Monuments –
___If I reached out my hand and held the moon within it, would it burn me? Is its bright face hot or cold? Would it, perhaps, freeze me so that I would quickly let go and drop it in its old track? Would it scold me, then, in its dusty old voice for having been so bold?
___It is by the moon's cool light only that I write these musings, so perhaps he would just gaze down upon my tiny form, then smile and sail away.

___In my journey to find my sacred place, I find myself standing once again on the rim of Monument Valley, looking at the famous scene of sandstone towers and rust red canyon first by ruddy sunset light and then, as the full lunar face rises up over one of the Mittens, under a chill moonlight. I have been here before, the first time almost a quarter century ago.
___It strikes me now, that if the stone towers could speak to me – they who have stood mute through millions of such sunsets – they would say, "Stay still, little one. You were just here a second ago, weren't you? Slow down so that we may appraise your form."

___If they do speak such things, their voices are too slow and deep for my small ears.


___The road leads me on into Utah, past the San Juan River and its gooseneck canyons and up onto Cedar Mesa and the view from Muley Point, a thousand feet higher.

___Heading north to cross the northern edge of Lake Powell, I drive alongside the White Canyon. It must run for 30 or 40 miles and one gets a glimpse every so often into its astounding white sandstone channel as you drive the highway. Every section of that canyon is similar in many ways, but I find myself looking at each window view and wondering with some longing to see just what is in that turn of the canyon and what may be in the next turn. The canyon calls and teases and then hides once again. It is a teaser and a dancer.


___The Dirty Devil River

___I camped at the very northern tip of Lake Powell, at a primitive campsite at the mouth of the Dirty Devil River, where it empties into the Colorado. This spot is just about where the famed one-armed explorer John Wesely Powell camped on his first journey down the river. When his party arrived here, he jokingly asked one of his men if he had found a trout stream. The man looked at the muddy, convoluted waterway and said, "it's a dirty devil!" Powell said that would be its name hereafter.

  ___Gazing out at this twisted and textured landscape, I ask myself, "Why does the desert interest me? Why does it have a different effect than, say, driving across Ohio or Kansas?" Certainly, the desert is harsh and calls to mind the counterpoint with living things that it represents. Certainly, the desert is hot or cold, but then so can be other places. Maybe it has something to do with what I expect. When I drive across "normal" places like Ohio or Kansas, I pretty much know what to expect. I know that I will see fields, farms, trees, grass, towns, and cities, that all look similar and fit a pattern that man has evoked upon the landscape.
___In the desert, things are different - literally. You never know what to expect, or what may be coming next. It is this novelty that I think makes the desert so attractive to us. The key to understanding why we like the desert is the word Curiosity. We are curious animals and the desert is endlessly fascinating to that part of our psyche because it is always showing us something new and mysterious and compelling.

This site and all text and photographs within are Copyright, 2002, David P. Crews. All rights reserved.