Friday, June 18, 2010


This photo was taken on the same trip as yesterday's photo. That's not fog, it's smoke. We had been visiting the north rim of the Grand Canyon, and as we were leaving the park, a ranger informed us that a nearby forest fire necessitated closing the only road that led back to our lodging near Zion National Park. There was no choice but to detour, and being that this was a remote rural area, the detour was about 70 miles.

In retrospect, we're glad we had to detour. We saw sights we never would have seen otherwise. This photo was taken over 20 miles from the fire, yet a large cloud of smoke is visible. We cranked up the car's cd player (we could only find two radio stations, and one broadcast in Navajo. The Louis Prima cd I had bought a few days previously in Las Vegas came in handy!) and drove for miles down a road cut through a field of sagebrush that stretched from horizon to horizon. Stopping for dinner about 35 miles from the fire, we found the entire town covered in smoke, which hovered at mid-chest level. Later, after dark, the distant forest fire looked like a gigantic charcoal grill. We stopped in Zion National Park to star gaze, the high altitude and absence of light pollution revealing a sky more full of stars than I'd ever seen before.

Sometimes, an unanticipated change of plans can be a good thing.

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