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  • Writer's pictureseimaistato

The sound of silence

Updated: Nov 21, 2023

Arizona, USA - July 2023

Have you ever felt totally breathless in front of the immensity of nature?

I had decided to spend 72 hours of the Fourth of July weekend in Arizona to explore some beautiful canyons. Plane caught at dawn, backpack packed on the fly the night before - I couldn't wait to get there. Having retrieved the rental car, I set off on the endless roads that connect Nevada to the parks. I felt like I was in a movie: 3 radio stations barely picking up, pick-ups and trucks, rocky landscapes left and right. Four and a half hours later I parked myself in front of the spectacular Lake Powell. The expanse of blue water that forms the lake between the red rocks is a diversion of the Colorado River due to the dam, built in the 1960s. The sand was boiling at 4pm and all I needed was to dive into the lake. I was so surprised by the temperature of the water, always very cool even on the hottest days. I dozed off just long enough to recover my energy, and then went to enjoy the sunset at the Horseshoe Bend Canyon.

In these places it is essential to have plenty of water, so I grabbed my water bottle, hat and sunglasses and set off. The worst 20 minutes ever: I think it was something like 45 degrees, it felt like walking in an oven with the air so hot it dried out my nostrils and throat. The water I had was boiling, but it tasted so good at that moment. Precisely because I had seen pictures of the Canyon a billion times on social media, I feared I would be disappointed; actually it was the opposite. To take a picture of the entire canyon almost everyone uses the zoom at 0.5, 'compressing' the image. So when you find yourself in front of the 'real' rock surrounded by the Colorado River, you cannot help but be speechless at the immensity you do not expect.

There were a lot of tourists and a lot of confusion, I could not fully connect with the place. At one point I noticed that to the right the rocks continued towards a mountain, so I walked and climbed over a rock face. It was like going through a space-time gap, so suddenly there was no one around me, just the sound of absolute silence. I sat on a rock, there alone on the other side of the world, and I felt teeny tiny: how often do we worry about things in our daily lives that are not that important? How many problems seem like the end of the world to us, how easy it is to get upset over small things while you realise that you are a speck in the universe?

Out of there I dashed to the first Dollar General to get an ice-cold Coke, which I enjoyed while chatting about life with a grandfather and his granddaughter. So many emotions in not even 24 hours.

The spectacular Lake Powell

Lago Powell at 4pm

The immensity around the Canyon

Horseshoe Bend

Beyond the great rock

Feeling very small

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