The emptiness of the Arizona Strip is also due to the fact that it is almost exclusively public land in all of the popular western flavors (National Park, National Monument, State Park, and the balance under the supervision of the Bureau of Land Management). At its greatest extent, the Strip is 150 miles wide, and almost as many again from north to south, and nowhere in that vast expanse can you find a single paved road. No paved roads, and no towns, gas stations or even running water, either – but a great deal of quietly (and often spectacularly) beautiful country can be enjoyed wherever you go.
All in all, a fine way to begin a few days somewhere that could seem so appealingly far away. Strangely, the part that remains with me most today is watching not the setting of the sun, but the slow descent of Venus until it hid itself, at last, below the horizon. Til then, it shone almost as brightly as does the moon in the light-polluted night sky back east, where I would never have found the time to pause and do nothing, but simply enjoy the sight of so beautiful a goddess float serenely in the sky, and gently sink from sight.
For more selections from Not Here But There: A Wilderness Journal, click here