Driving across the desert valleys of Arizona, we are reminded of the scale of the American countryside…..the valley in front of us looked to be only about 10 miles across but turned out to be more like 30!!!! so don’t believe your Australian eyes….We saw our first snow lying on the side of the road just 8 miles west of Williams in Arizona on Interstate 40…the temperature dropped to 28F from a more tropical 55F in the desert down at Bullhead City…..and at that point we considered dragging out our scarves.
We had 2 rather extended and frustrating stops along the way in Kingman and Flagstaff to get our internet hotspot back up and running…nope…dang thing died so we are now the proud owners of another one and the soon to be owners of yet another booster antenna for the roof of the car……Once we’d got that out of the way we tucked into a turkey and cheese sandwich from the gas station lathered with mustard and mayo in those little childproof packets for hot dogs….and topped the whole concoction with a layer of Jalepeno chips……and it was then that we knew we were really back int he USA and ready to chase storms!!
Contrary to our first observation, the land is not flat, but instead covered in domes, slopes, cuttings, heaps of red rock, rock and soil layered in colourful stripes, interjected by washes and sporting the occasional house or stone ruin…it could be bleak if you let it – but it isn’t…..
Driving around Humphreys Peak (12,633 or 12,635 or 12,637’…depending on which map you read) near Flagstaff was mesmerising….on one hand the peaks were snow covered with a 50knot wind blowing snow off the ridges and peaks 6,000′ above us, while just to its northeast we came over a ridge and in front of us lay an enormous flat plain…or the rest of America (so it seemed from our elevation above it)…..
and with that observation we turned and went up into Utah and on towards Monument Valley……