A Horseshoe for Good Luck

It’s been sooooo long since I wrote a blog post about travelling, this feels almost like my very first one. Because it’s been that long, I am sad and embarrassed to admit that all illusion of continuity and wholeness of my USA trip is probably gone. But since I am working towards diversifying anyhow, I will do what any life coach or about-to-be-ex-partner would advise me to and I will take this as an opportunity.

I will thence use the newly acquired opportunity to show you a couple of pretty pictures and tell you a short story about a sun-soaked afternoon.

So, back in April 2014 – geez, it’s been this long already?! – my man and I did a little cross-country trip in the US. We spent some time in New York, got sunburnt in Miami, then stopped in Colorado for a few days, after which we spent more than a few days among various types of sand.

Last time I reminisced out loud – that is, in writing – about it all, I mentioned how finally we were fed up with the sand (or more specifically we didn’t want to risk our car being fed up with it and leaving us stuck somewhere in Monument Valley), so we skipped 15 of the 17-miles scenic road and headed off to…

More sand. The thing is, when you’re somewhere between Utah and Arizona, and on your way to Nevada, you have limited options on the landscape. So you gotta make the best out of it. Lucky for us, whoever designed that place did have in mind the wanderers who were to pass through that great empty space, and left little gems every here and there for us to look at and marvel.

One such gem – the Horseshoe Bend:

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One piece of advice – if you want great pictures, either go early morning or wait until the actual sunset. Since we cut our Monument Valley visit short, we arrived at the Horseshoe bend at the wrong hour, photography wise. Especially since we’re bad tourist and don’t pack too much heat when it comes to wide angles and lenses. I have since vowed to be taking the GoPro everywhere because some views you just can’t stitch up.

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These are the best pictures I could manage, but, honestly, I’m not even worried about that. I just scrolled to pages of identical photos Google Image search yielded, and apart from the post-processing, they really are all the same.

That is not to say that I did just as good a job with my phone as the photographer who waited for the perfect light with his professional ecquipment, of course not. What I mean to say is that this place is not something you can just take a picture and move on from it. If you go to the Horseshoe bend – and it will probably not be a random pee-break on your road trip – just take your time. What I really wanted to do was wait until all the tourists were gone, all the photos were taken, and silence had once again descended over the desert so I could hang my feet off the edge and just be still for a while – a tiny spec of a human on the edge of this serene meandre and its beautiful colours. How often would you get an opportunity like that nowadays?

Well, I didn’t get to have the place all to myself, but I did get to hang around on its edge for a while, and I think I did get some inner peace out of it. And on that note, despite the unfortunate start, I declare that day a success! 🙂

P.S.: One of the few more interesting photos I found was one made from a radically different vantage point. I’d love to be able to experience that shot:

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Credits: Ann Torrence Photography

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About Yoanna Novakova

Yoanna is a reader, writer, traveller, concert goer, hiker, drinker, thinker and, of late... a blogger. She's currently doing a lot of travel writing (obviously), but fiction, fantasy and life-writing all have a representative in her portfolio. A reader of varied tastes, she's even been called "strange" for enjoying Stephen King and Terry Pratchett alike. In her pre-teen years, she used to be the kid who'd re-read her favourite books over and over again. Now she knows life is just too short for that. Always reading more than one book at a time, always writing more than one project at a time, she is yet to find her perfect pace. But she's working on it!
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