Visiting the American Southwest

IMG_7950-51-52.pngWe had a wonderful and thoughtful two weeks exploring the National Parks in Arizona and Utah. I came away with about a thousand photos – 147 of which are posted here – and a couple of impressions.

My first impression from the trip is that the diversity of our country – in climate, geography, and people – is impossibly large. Perhaps unmanageably large, in our present political climate.

I cannot imagine living in the middle of a desert where my “next door” neighbor is 5+ miles away, or where my commute to the grocery store is a 30 to 45 minute drive. But I can now better understand why some people in this part of the world can’t wrap their brains around the concept of a “row house”.  Perspective is everything, and travel absolutely enlarges that.

My second impression is that Native Americans got a really bad deal when our government moved into the neighborhood and took over their lands. The so-called “reservations” we saw looked to be pretty grim landscapes of poverty. And the Heard Museum of Native American Culture in Phoenix was a real eye-opener. The Carlisle Indian School in my native state of Pennsylvania was but the tip of the iceberg that was the debacle of Native American “resettlement”.

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