It may be tiring taking the long way across America, but it never fails to amaze and delight. Although I don’t know or completely understand all the different forces that have created the land structures, this I do know: it is all colours and layers.
This, at least, is the explanation of the formation of the layers around the San Juan river. Yosemite, I know, was made by the convulsion that created the Sierra Nevada, raising it thousands of feet into the air, which was then ground out by glaciers, exposing the harder granite, many faces of which still show the visible scars as the glacial ice forced boulders down the valley.
But moving on through the country, hundreds of miles at a time, I was struck again and again by the sheer variety of colours and layers.
From the deep reds of Monument Valley
to the pale sandy colours of the, so-called, Painted Valley made familiar in the paintings of Georgia O’Keefe.
and as well as that you have the many and various colours of The Grand Canyon and the less gaudy but delightfully subtle strata at Gooseneck in the San Juan Valley.
But just when you think you have seen every colour under the sun, you travel through miles of mesa (the flat topped hills) in the palest sand
and from there you get into the mineral riches of Silverton,
all with the blue, blue sky above.
We have reached Denver and there are more delights to come I am sure. But this is a taste of why you should travel by land not air.