I recently realized that although I haven't been in all the states, I've been in the four corners (not counting AL and HI) -- Washington, California, Florida, Maine -- and many other states as well. In fact, in the last four years, I drove through the following states: Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Maine... And that's just in the last four years; I could add many other states if I went back further. All this got me thinking about my favorite trips and places. And although I love many, many places, and there are several that are right there in first place, there was something about two trips in particular that spoke to me on a very deep level. One was to New Mexico, and one was to Utah and Wyoming. I have lots of photos from both -- here are a few of my favorites; more to follow in another post.
This is Topaz Mountain in Utah (for more information, check out the links here and here). It's not much of a mountain and mainly appeals to rock hounds (for -- yes, you guessed it -- the topaz to be found there). The area is high dessert, stark; the plant life there looks like it's been subjected to harsh weather because it has; the wildlife is, maybe surprisingly, abundant: jackrabbits, coyote, ground squirrels, and much more. The only camping at Topaz is primitive -- dig your own latrine, bring your own water -- it's miles and miles from any kind of civilization -- the colors are amazing, the light is beautiful, the stars are incredible... and so is everything else about the area.