Arizona’s Wide Open Spaces

A trip late last year for a conference in Arizona allowed me to visit places everyone should see when spending time in that beautiful state. Although I was there for nine days I quickly found out there is so much to see that it was not even enough time for the few places I did visit. This will be the first of a few installments about Sedona, the Grand Canyon, and a National Historic Landmark in Tucson, Mission San Xavier del Bac.

Some overall impressions start with the way the colors of sunrise and sunset seem different than in Florida where I live. There is a softness and richness to the colors of the sky with the sunlight scattering that make it more magical, more impressive. Don’t know what it is about the sky that does it, drier air maybe, possibly cleaner air, maybe more dust in the air, not sure, but it has more appeal, or maybe it’s just me.

See Arizona images, Sedona, Grand Canyon, and Tucson
A soft orange glow starts the day in Mesa, Arizona.

Another thought is that, while drier looking for the most part, the open ranges have their own appeal, maybe because they made me think of the cowboys and cattle in the expanses of wild country that you saw from any highway, not that I ever saw cowboys or cattle, but the feeling of being in a western movie was never too far away.

Along the same lines, the open country was easily visible to great distances because of the type of vegetation, which was mostly grasses with some small scrub trees in most areas I visited. What stopped the view, or changed it, was either the distance or the mountains that were to be seen in most directions most of the time. It seemed that there was always some place that called for me to go into the mountains to see what I could find and see what the country looked like from above. To sum it up, this country always seems to beckon you to go see more.

I’ve been through some parts of Texas and, while the Texas countryside is open and varied, I never got the same feel of expanse, that feeling of beckoning or the feeling of wanting to explore as I did in Arizona. Maybe I haven’t been in the right part of Texas but I would counter that with the idea that I went several hundred miles in Arizona and it always seemed to be that way.

Another thing that struck me was the architecture for many commercial buildings and residences. I saw adobe style with rounded edges and arches, mixed in with Spanish style, much of it blending into the surrounding desert with their soft earth colors.

I will follow-up with at least three posts, one each for Sedona, the Grand Canyon, and San Xavier del Bac in Tucson. You can view many images from the trip here.

Thanks for your visit. Your comments are welcome,

Ed Gleichman


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