5,539 Miles

13 days, 13 states, 5,539 miles, Hoover Dam, 3 National Parks, and 1 wedding with family = an awesome vacation!

A week or so ago, on the day we returned, I posted this line on my Facebook page. I’m still high on the trip my husband and I took. We drove and camped our way to California, stopping along the way at a few places we had not been before and revisiting others.

We are not landscape snobs. Our family has generally driven cross-country to our destination. We have learned to ignore people’s remarks about places like Iowa, Nebraska, and the Dakotas. We have camped in all of those places, stopped along the road, and found that if one takes a little time in this “fly-over zone,” there is much to be appreciated. Each area of the country has its own peculiar beauty.

I admit that we were not exactly thrilled with the idea of driving through Nevada on our way home. But it turns out that beginning with the peculiar salt formations at Mono Lake all the way up to the northeast corner where it meets Utah, Nevada is a strangely beautiful place.

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I am also not particularly fond of the dry southwest. I brought plenty of lotion on this trip! But there too, the stunning colors that layer the land and the odd vegetation that is able to survive there have a beauty that is unmatched.

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It is not uncommon to hear people quote Psalm 19 when thinking about the creation: “The heavens declare the glory of God.” Or Psalm 8: “When I consider the heavens, the moon and the stars that you put in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them?” The direction of the gaze is always up.

But while the night sky at Homolovi State Park and Death Valley National Park was stunning, so were the rocks, one of which is represented on the top of the page. If we did not praise God for the beauty of this world and his glory that was so evident in every place we traveled, I am certain that the very rocks would cry out, as Jesus indicated at his triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

O Lord our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth.