We leave the canyon Zion through a tunnel in the very stone, bored through the body of the mountain. We emerge from this worm hole in the earth into wide vistas, bare desert, mesas eroding to tumbles of rock. Wind in the low brush at the roadside, movement in the corner of the eye.
Isolated storm clouds stand upon pillars of rain. We drive through them, the droplets darkening the roadway, drunk up by the thirsty sand.
Long descent from a mesa toward Lake Powell in the afternoon. Boats are mere chalk-mark wakes on the vast mirror of the water. We cross the canyon on an impossible bridge, suspended above the abyss. Upstream, the dam is a massive block of constructed stone choking the throat of the canyon. Downstream the walls drop below seeing, as if descending into the guts of the earth.
On the lands of Diné, Hopi, and Paiute people. Single-wide trailer outposts, empty paddocks, a few trees stationed around, or none. Still pickups. Crumbling mesas like theater scrim.
In failing light we turn toward the rim. Out of rolling sagebrush hills into scrub pines, low and dense. An elk waves his wide rack in the headlights as he rips grass from the roadside.
The immensity of the canyon shows briefly through the trees under a fiery sunset. We make camp in the dark. Pinyon pines gray scrawls in the shadows. Thunder again, close by.