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Hot Desert Weather: Southern Utah Summer, a Poem
Arches National Park
Southern Utah Summer
drools a stream of golden heat
across the edge of the sky;
Pants its white-hot breath
across the land and burns
the sky to fiery blue.
Parched and arid,
is the land.
worn thin from hot breath
on their necks,
And dust-devils play
where antediluvian streams
About This Poem
It was the late 1980s, and I had decided to take my two daughters, then young teenagers, on a 3-week road camping road trip covering Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and both northeastern and southeastern California.
We left California via the northeastern route on interstate highway 80; traversed Nevada, and went on into Utah. In that state, we saw Arches National Park, then traveled farther east into Colorado, where we visited Mesa Verde National Park. After Mesa Verde, we strayed a bit off our path to take in the Four Corners Monument, which marks the spot where Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico converge. That footstep on the monument was the extent of our "excursion" into New Mexico!
Trying to get an unobstructed photo of the girls standing in four states at once was a 'trying' experience, so crowded was the attraction! The NGS (National Geodetic Survey) has an interesting article about a controversy there was about the location of the monument.
From there, we traveled to the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, then northward again to take in Zion National Park in southern Utah. It was there that this poem came about. Not only was it the peak of summer; but a heat wave was in progress as well.
Leaving Zion, we returned to California via the southeastern route, for a stop at Disneyland before concluding our adventure and returning home.
This poem was originally composed back in August of 1987, revised in January of 1996, and another minor revision was made in June of 2010.
Four Corners Monument Survey Marker
© 2010 Liz Elias