We had no reservations, and we made no reservations. We slept in school playgrounds, at friends houses, at campgrounds, etc. The whole thing lasted a month. One of my best experiences ever. We all bonded, and were good friends after that. The class clown latter died of a brain tumour.
While in the Southwest, mainly Arizona, I took a lot of pictures of vast canyons and buttes. They were enthralling, in real life, but the pictures did not do them justice. Mostly, the area was barren. I remember being in four states at the same time, at the Four Corners site, where there was a big "X" marking the spot. I remember the Grand Canyon, which was grand, but also somewhat removed from grasp, or something. However, my LL tells me there is a Native American reservation down there, where hikers can stay, which is an amazing experience. I think it would be great to live down there, where things are cooler.
One picture I took was of my other friends standing, looking out over the Grand Canyon, with their backs to the camera. The class clown had a broken arm in a cast. The cast was a little bent. He was standing a little behind the football player. When my brother looked at my pictures of the trip, he didn't show a lot of support or interest, really. But when he saw the pic of my friends standing at the rim of the Canyon, he burst out, "Why does that guy have his arm around the other guy?!" I hadn't noticed it, but the cast, and position, created an optical illusion where the class clown had his arm around the football player. I laughed.
I explained this all out, and my brother either refused to believe me, or felt insulted that I was laughing. What a turd. How's that for encouragement for a growing boy? I once told my father, who had travelled around the world, that I would like to travel a lot one day. And he said, gripingly, "What are ya going to find there that you won't find HERE?!" More support, from a dad who often said, "You're no son of mine!"
Also, my brother once heard me singing along to George Harrison's, "I Dig Love," which reverses, saying, "I love dig. I love dig!" He yelled at me because his brain believed I was singing, "I love dick! I love dick!" This is the same guy who responded to me mentioning having a hard time in college by yelling, "Why don't you get another job blah blah..." He somehow had the authority to yell at me, rather than support me, even though he had dropped out of college, and the seminary, and was a known fuck-up in high school.
I don't understand ho my other siblings have chosen to carry on this abuse, where, in their minds, "Madman is the problem!" - over ad over, like a broken record. They listen to those voices in their heads, not realising that their behaviour and psychology has been moulded on a stupid idolisation of dysfunctional authority - heeding my brother because he was bigger than them. Now, I am living in this bad neighbourhood, where two people were shot today, on my street, and its the same mentality - the very poor mirror the insatiable dysfunction of the professional class. It's all the same American tragedy. It's all the same Northern Illinois banality - the mentality that brought us Rahm Emmanuel, and such. The building up of a house of cards of deceptions and lies and false promises, surer to fall, as did the USSR. And no one sees it.
Anyway. So - I saw some wonderful colours in the rocks and cliffs and walls in Arizona. It warmed my heart with instinctual memories of Australia. Stark, giving, uncaring blue sky, over glowing red and golden rock and sand, as if it were the Earth who was giving up the warmth, alive somehow. Pink on Azure Blue. I don't know if I saw any of those tight canyons and rock formations closer to Bryce Canyon. But, later, I took the train to and fro Reno a time or two, and passed by these AMAZING, colourful, eternally dead yet resonate and magical, rock formation and slit canyons, in Utah, near Grand Junction, Colorado. I also loved that city, and its remote area, from what I've seen of it.
While coming through Grand Junction, the train was lightly pummelled with a variety of thuds, and came to a stop. There were dead cows lying all around outside. The people in my train car suddenly woke up, into something resembling animation. When I spoke, and said the word, "carcass," suddenly the whole car was in the palm of my hand, as if eating corn, dazzled by my quick and to-the-point vocabulary, and perhaps a terrifying conveyance of the specter of death, so cold and factual and psychopathic in a way.
Well, back to Utah... When I saw those formations and amazing slit canyons, I felt that I REALLY MUST hike there - or even LIVE there somehow - knowing I would get stuck and die, or get killed by a flash flood. But I REALLY LIKED IT. Turns out, I became ill, from the pesticide industry, and now I am a housebody.
My LL recently visitted several areas of this ilk, in the Southwest. Very great places to hike. Most are rather challenging!
Vermilion Cliffs and Paria Canyon - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paria_Canyon-Vermilion_Cliffs_Wilderness
The Wave! - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wave,_Arizona
Buckskin Gulch - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckskin_Gulch
Antelope Canyon - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antelope_Canyon