This was certainly not the United States I’d observed from the back window for the past 1,500 miles. The flat, monotonous lands that we’d earlier seen slowly rose into mountains and rolling hills. “I can probably climb that,” I thought as we passed these rounded formations – seemingly low in incline. The road slowly curved through the wide New Mexico landscape, snaking around a mountain bend and revealing more patches of green dispersed throughout a continuous sea of straw-colored land. This went on for miles – hours.
We hardly passed many towns. Those we did seemed empty, reminiscent of Cars, the movie. You know, deserted gas stations and old vehicles along a long, lonely highway.
I’d love to come back to New Mexico – to the quiet scenes of dry, rolling hills. I want to breathe in the landscapes from the landscapes themselves – not behind a tinted window of a caravan. I’d like to actually take that mile-long hike through the Petroglyph National Monument and walk, not just stop for a photo, through the Valley of Fires. Still, the drive through this part of the U.S. is an experience on its own, especially from sun up to sun down.
Until next time, New Mexico.