The Painted Desert Arizona
We traveled a lot when I was a kid. My dad was a musician and in the summers he'd pack up my mom, my two brothers, my sister and I for various trips across the lower forty-eight. I saw many landmarks, natural and artificial during my youth but none so spectacular as the Painted Desert in Arizona.
It's hard for a male child to call nature beautiful, but there is no better way to describe the Painted Desert. The Desert is vast and expansive and has spectacular jutting cliffs painted in glorious purples, pinks, yellows, reds and blues. To observe this desert is to observe God's canvas. These cliffs that jut from the barren earth look as if they have been painted by the hand of God himself. I remember seeing these cliffs in breathtaking awe. They seemed alive in an area where there was seemingly no life.
The beauty of the area alone is enough to inspire someone to visit this desert, but, there's also interest to those who love natural sciences, especially geology. The colors clearly show that these cliffs are layered. These layers infer that some kind of violent flood forced it's way through that Arizona valley many millenniums ago, leaving behind layers of sediment, which are clearly visible when observing the Desert. The sediment-- and the rocks and fossils found within them-- are better than any textbook at showing the natural history of the world. The destructive force of the ancient flood waters left behind scenery that's indescribably beautiful and infinitely valuable.
I've only been to the Painted Desert once, but I'd like to go back. I even lived in Las Vegas for a few years-- just a few short hours from the Painted Desert-- but never made the trek. I'll go back someday. If you've never been, you should add the Painted Desert to your list of "Must-See" locations. You won't regret it.