I had driven the way out to Albuquerque with friends in the middle of the night. It was my first time out West. The total darkness feels like driving under water or in outer space. Some day-tripping from the center of New Mexico showed beautiful country, but the sense of the enormity of everything only became apparent on the drive from Albuquerque to Flagstaff.
Far-off cliffs spanned across glowing fields and massive outcroppings close to the road competed for my attention. The sky itself seemed unending and as much of a presence as anything on Earth. I felt an urge at times jump into that combination of emptiness and grandiosity and disappear. And where many places in the world lend themselves to close examination of one attraction, one town, one waterfall, this land lends itself to driving, to immersion in its immensity. Far off cars and trucks seemed almost poetic as they move silently in the distance.