Catherine Dodd Corona

Frow vs. Culler

Progymnasmata: Comparison

Frow’s dissection of Cullers ideas on semiotics links into the illusion of free will. Culler argues that reality is always subjective and the judgment of that reality is already predetermined, because there is no way to break preconceived assumptions. Culler shows that this idea is emphasized through the lens of tourism. He argues that for example blue jeans will never just be blue jeans. They will always represent an assumption made by society. Weather that be casualness in western culture or an example of western culture in nonwestern societies. Culler explains how this subjectivity creates authenticity. It puts an aesthetic or certain “vibe” to a place or culture. Frow builds on this to argue that trying to label and determine what the semiotics of a certain place then diminishes its authenticity. Looking through the lens of tourism it shows people cannot travel and find authenticity in a certain place because of the semiotics or original assumptions of that destination. Because of semiotics any destination is already full of judgements, meaning it will never truly be authentic. This leads into the idea of free will. A tourist may think they are immersing themselves into a certain culture when really they are immersing themselves in a predetermined view of that place based on that tourists assumptions.

Catherine Dodd Corona

The Semiotics of Tourism

The Semiotics of Tourism

Progymnasmata: Confirmation

Culler does a fantastic job of outlining how symbols mean more than their function. In other words how objects have “signifiers” being cues to what that object symbolizes or the judgments unconscious or conscious one gives a person, place or object. One example he uses are “blue jeans”. When a person puts on blue jeans they may not be thinking of the symbol it gives off or the signifiers it has but it certainly does give off a meaning. Blue jeans indicate a sense of casualness or western style. They could also have a different meaning depending on the culture and situation they are in. Blue jeans pose a different symbol when they are worn at a rodeo compared to a fancy dinner or when they are worn in LA compared to Kuwait City. While this is already an interesting observation it touches on a larger concept being that everything humans produce is an imaginary concept. Even though those imaginary concepts have power and can make differences in society, they are still made up or are being described by our limited language. (If you are confused by everything being an imaginary concept Yuval does an incredible job of describing this concept in his book Sapiens) There is no way to escape this concept along with the semiotics Culler explains. One is always going to perceive different objects as cultural signs, even if the judgment they give does not match the intended expression. More importantly these objects, their intended symbol, or their misinterpreted symbol even if it is a tiny aspect of an environment gives authenticity to that environment. Signifiers even though they are imaginary and described by specific cultures make up certain cultures and environments. This observation is important because it allows reflection on how one or a place represents itself or at least tries to represent itself. Which is especially important in the tourism industry.

Catherine Dodd Corona

The Tourist Gaze

The Dilemma of Too Many Tourists

Progymnasmata: Proverb

Creating an analogy between pollution and overcrowding is a fantastic way of exemplifying some of the difficulties with places of interest. While there may be nothing wrong with a particular destination the messy masses can often be a struggle. That being said the messy masses can be an integral part of an experience. Regardless, overcrowding is definitely a form of pollution.  

Urry makes two contradictory points on the influx of people wanting to see a particular sight. One stating that an excess of people can pollute that area even more just by having more visitors. The other is that an influx of people can help protect special places. While contradictory both points are essential to understanding the impacts of too many people, especially when it comes to wildlife tourism. An influx of tourists can cause more trash in a river but that interest can also cause governmental protection of said river. Protection is important to save ecosystems, beautiful sights, environments like parks that benefit public health, and more. It is a balancing act, finding how many people is too many, and how many is not enough. 

A great example for this dilemma would be the protection of the desert southwest along with the increase in industrial tourism. There are lots of National Parks in the desert southwest protecting canyons, arches, sand dunes, and more magnificent natural creations. The protection of these areas allows more people to access them and benefit from their wonders. On the other hand, the influx of tourists have caused crowds and infrastructure that can take away from the experience, and brings in litter, cars, infrastructure and more. Part of the magic of the desert is the solitude and sense of nature, but with an almost Disney esq. visitor center in Zion and hundreds of people it is hard to experience those qualities of the desert. 

It is important to understand both points because it mitigates arrogance. I have felt connected to the desert traveling to very unknown places on river trips growing up. So to see the industrial tourism in these areas hurts my heart because it is such a special place. Especially when the people visiting are disrespectful of the environment through littering and other rude actions. BUT these places that I love would not have the maintenance, or the protection they have if they stated secret and unknown. Arches would be defaced, a McDonald’s could sit two feet from the Grand Canyon, an oil drill could destroy my favorite landscape. I also live in a tourist dependent town, Aspen, Colorado and without tourists my town would cease to exist. Tourists in both places make areas like Zion National Park or Eric’s Bar undesirable in my opinion, but both are interesting places I would recommend many people visit. There are still special wonderful “secret” areas I can enjoy, plus the fascinating places people are curious about. 


Catherine Dodd Corona

Visual Rhetoric

The Analysis of a Lucky Cigarette Advertisement.

Progymnasmata: Fable


This advertisement is targeting people who are debating quitting smoking. It highlights the new aspects of Lucky cigarettes that will mitigate the reasons to quit. It’s long words, the older physician and the product shows that the advertisement is targeting an older generation. 


If you have ever seen Mad Men you may recognize this slogan and the background of the advertisement. Cigarette brands started losing sales when research groups published journals proving cigarettes harmful effects. Advertising companies started to combat media and scientists. One way they worked around the evidence against cigarettes is by showing a smiling physician holding a pack of lucky’s and a slogan that infers there are less harmful effects, coughing and irritation. They also reinforce the advertisements company own research saying that 20 thousands physicians say luckies are less irritating. 


The purpose of this photo which is an advertisement is to sell Lucky Cigarettes. 


The advertisement is displaying a calm but exciting tone. It gives off the impression that there is new news. The smiling healthy physician gives a comforting tone and holds a neat inviting pack of cigarettes. Nowadays it has a vintage look but back in its day it would have fit in with other advertisements nicely.  


The photo is split in half the top half showing the jolly faced physician and the bottom half shows the slogan. The arrangement is nice and forces the eye to go to the slogan first, then with the surrounding information complimenting the information and tying the image up nicely.


The scale works, the consistent red color ties the top half with the bottom half. I do wish the words were a different size so they fit together nicely. The words seem a little misplaced, and childish.


The font changes quite a bit in this advertisement, which makes it look haphazard. There are lots of smaller symbols like quotation marks, which while necessary are distracting when displayed like such. The change in color while trying to highlight the important words, in my opinion is also quite distracting. I like the advertisement but the words and font are not my favorite. 


The red that is presented in several places on the image ties everything together. The red is also a very exciting color. It infers blood pumping, warmth or power. The rosy cheeks of the physician is also a signal of warmth along with his comforting grip. The subliminal messages are all leading towards an exciting but comforting new release. 


 This image is very readable. It has a point and all the different aspects are trying to prove that point. Besides some small distractions this advertisement is clear, concise, and effective. 

Catherine Dodd Corona Uncategorized

The Art of Travel – Alain de Botton

Traveling Nearby

Progymnasmata: Confirmation

This video as a side piece to Alain De Botton’s book “The Art of Travel” is a wonderful collage of the reasons to travel. The perks and drawbacks of traveling to the unknown. He ventures through different kinds of travel such as cruise ships, road trips, and plane travel. With most places he draws from artists who painted, photographed or wrote about the sublime and wonderment of different places. Along with clips of the cities and villages that almost abstractly show the feeling and aura of each place. Whether it be an obscure shot of the neon on a red light district or the smooth movement of an airport escalator. From quick shots of tanning European cruise ship go-ers to the erotically dressed swinging hotel guests, these small clips give the viewer a sense of the atmosphere of a certain place. Botton travels to several different countries and discusses the “why” of travel in all of them. One of my favorite points he makes is that one does not necessarily travel far to feel the excitement and pleasures of travel. He observes people in distant places wandering sheepishly towards their guide. It seems that their curiosity is not being fed by the must see wonders of that destination. People have left their home to wander aimlessly, and maybe that is what they want. But there are lots of people that travel to see something exotic. He argues that something “exotic” is a matter of perspective. A cold rainy english day can be exotic to an Egyptian, just like the Nile can be exotic to an english man. The point being travel and the wonders of travel can be felt very close to home. It’s a wonderful argument because it manifests curiosity. People should travel to different cultures. There is extreme merit in that, but people should also explore their known. By accepting travel to nearby or known places one can accept more curiosity into their day to day. In a way it folds some of the wonder in travel into habitual life, so days do not feel so monotonous.

Catherine Dodd Corona

Where was the Birthplace of the American Vacation?

A Encomium to William H.H. Murray

Progymnasmata: Encomium

Coming from modest beginnings, William H.H. Murray caused the view of the wilderness of the Adirondacks to completely shift. Murray left his hometown Guildford, Connecticut to attend Yale college with only $4.68 in his hand sewn pocket. During the summers he became familiar with the Adirondacks and wrote for a small local newspaper. He shook up New England with his ruggedness, at one point he gave a sermon in his hunting breeches and shooting jacket, while his rifle leaned against the pulpit. He was tough, which allowed him to become closer to nature. That toughness was not reflected in the people we attracted to the Adirondacks, as mosquitoes and dirt attacked them. His book Adventures in the Wilderness; or, Camp-Life in the Adirondacks caused a massive influx of people looking to get out of the overcrowded cities and into the spacious wilderness. 

A pull to nature that people have felt since they discovered America its freeing expansiveness. Similar to the shift to beach travel fifty years ago, people started to feel too close, and in a Darwinian sense needed to spread into the dangerous and unknown. This unknown being the beach or nature.

In Murray’s case people did not accept nature with open arms, but the increase in people visiting the Adirondacks did not stop. Murray was able to instruct people on how to feel comfortable in nature and people became more comfortable with mosquitoes and deer. What he did with his writing was quite impressive but claustrophobic cities definitely aided in sending people outdoors. He was definitely as the executive director of Adirondack Architectural Heritage in Keeseville, New York says, “Murray was the right person, in the right place, with the right words, at the right time,”. Even though Murray’s fame was luck does not take away his accomplishments. Murray aided in teaching people the benefits of the outdoors, which for many including myself, an unsurpassable benefit. He definitely is an inspiration for wilderness seekers and nature lovers alike. 


Catherine Dodd Corona

The Foreign Spell and Grand Tour

A response to Iyer’s optimism

Progymnasmata: Thesis

“Among the Beverly Hills–worthy sanctuaries that encircle the village of Ubud—full of signs for paradise regained, bikini parties, and furniture stores called Reincarnation—people will tell you that Bali is “spoiled,” as if choosing to forget that this is what the island has been tempting every visitor to say since the beginning. And as if the so-called spoiling makes the place any less eerie or unsettling or unfathomable. Pundits assure us the world is homogenized now—there are KFCs everywhere on Bali, and DHL will now send your owl masks back to Santa Monica almost overnight—but forty years of travel, from Bolivia to Ladakh to Ethiopia, Beirut, and North Korea, have only convinced me of the opposite.”

Bali is certainly not spoiled, but it is less unsettling because of the overwhelming amount of visitors. It is wonderful that Iyer can find the beauty in Bali being more homogenized than other countries and the merit behind KFCs and bikini parties. As wonderful as it is, he is leaving out a lot of what makes people say Bali is spoiled. It is true that Bali is basically paradise, riding around on a moped through the sweet smelling jungle, eating the rawest fruits, vegetables and chocolate, and lounging by almost magical fountains and pools. Its air is tangibly tranquil, the culture is full and beautiful but Bali is not just some magical foreign place.

The recent development and increase of tourism in Bali has definitely made the small island prosper and has fed its people and culture. It is certainly beneficial, but it is so oversaturated with tourists it removes the wonderful uncomfortability of travel. Yes, when someone travels to Bali they are removing themselves from their habitual day to day, but many people treat Bali as a bender and less so a cultural exploration. It is true that regardless they will feel a different culture and I can not tell a person how to appreciate a place, but I met so many people that didn’t leave Canggu their whole trip because they were too hungover.

I struggle with this view because I have only been there once, and I have no place to say that partiers do not appreciate Bali. I felt that I appreciated Bali and I still subscribed to stumbling through the streets late at night. I am also not saying that these partiers make Bali any less Bali. Bali is whatever it chooses to be, and whatever it morphs into. I am simply arguing that this influx of tourists doesn’t necessarily make Bali more culturally beautiful.

There are some huge downsides to the tsunami of Aussies, Americans, or Germans who have an aim of not being sober or seeing the sunlight. That downside is specifically the lack of respect people give Bali. The disrespect comes from their pure aim to simply use it as an adult playground for drinking.

After, living with a widowed Balinese native, her two sons, and my old family friend Tom Lang for two weeks I felt I got to see many sides of Bali. I attended a ceremony deep in the mountains under a volcano and learned how to pray. I was dressed in traditional clothing by my hostess grandmother who did not speak a lick of english, and bathed in an ancient spring. I went to the international school made of bamboo, and yoga retreats where my friend would teach. I met foreign business owners who told me how difficult it was to have a business as a foreigner (lots of bribes was his answer). I met a woman who fled from her abusive husband in California and has lived peacefully in Bali with her wonderful daughter. There are so many enriching and wonderful sides of Bali, from people that are native born and immigrates. I feel not many people seek to explore these different avenues. I was lucky, yes, to have a local as a guide, but many tourists go to parties do not see these magical factors that make up Bali. It disheartens me, but then again I cannot tell another person how to travel. That is up to them. I just believe the influx of tourists is not just a magical collision of culture. I think it is more complicated than what Iyer makes it out to be. 

Note: This is what was on my mind after the readings. In no way do I think I am qualified to retort what Iyer is saying, because of my personal experience. I also struggle with bringing my personal experience into the mix since it can come off as me just wanting to talk about me going to Bali, that of course is not my intention. 

Side Thought:

“I wasn’t rich, but the door to the world was swinging open for those of us ready to live rough and call ourselves foreigners for life.”

This quote made my heart sing. I have a core brief that anyone, from any background can travel. I am in no way saying everyone at the drop of a hat can get on a plane and fly away. There are major obstacles in people’s way. From children, to felony charges, to demanding jobs, to overprotective parents, but I have seen people who have a deep urge to travel overcome many unsurpassable obstacles. Do not become a fugitive, but people often hold themselves back just because they believe they just can’t travel. Even if one can’t leave the country Kenab, Utah or Atlanta can be just as foreign as Cairo or Kathmandu. It is about how one prioritizes their life. There are legitimate reasons people cannot travel. For example, I am not a mother with three children and two jobs and I understand that, but many of the people I come across are also not mothers with demanding jobs. Yet, I hear all the time from young, privileged people, I wish I could go to Japan. My response? Do it. Save the money, prioritize and go. Can’t find someone to go with you? Go alone. Can’t speak Japanese? Stay in hostels and meet people that do. Do not have the time to plan an itinerary? Make it up as you go, it’s much more freeing.You do not have to be privileged to travel is what I am trying to get across, and I think Iyer believes that same.


Catherine Dodd Corona

Why we travel. In the eyes of Iyer.

The nonreligious religious aspect for why we travel.

Progymnasmata: Chreia

In a world full of social media, selfie sticks, and full camera rolls it is hard to emphasize the magic of travel. It seems today that a large group of people only go on adventures for the pictures and audience that will see them. But I would argue that regardless of their aim internal growth is stapled to the experience. Iyer, a well known author on travel, highlights this romantic perspective on why we travel. While he has other aims in his essay, Why we travel, one of them is clearly the aspect that different cultures cause an internal awakening. He states, “in some sense, that all the significant movement we ever take is internal.” In this he exemplifies the significance of moving internally and growing. Not only do different cultures emphasize this internal movement but it places it on fast forward. Placing oneself in an uncomfortable, unknown is essential for internal growth. He also discusses meditation, and in a way how traveling can make reflection explode and speed up. Not necessarily reflection on the differences and similarities between culture but instead reflection on the inner being. This is a very religious, especially Buddhist, practice. He makes this point by first stating that he is not religious but this practice in a sense certainly is. He writes, “I’m not religious, but one beauty of a religious practice, I sense, is that though it does not infallibly give one solace or wisdom. It almost always leaves one with a greater sense of humility.” In a romantic sense he highlights this external, larger entity that we sense and feel, when we practice inward reflection. He also states that reflection caused by travel often does not instill solace or wisdom but leaves a person humbled by the grander entity. Which contradicts the reason lots of people travel, to gain wisdom and separate yourself from the well known. Even though these aims contradict themselves they are both good reasons to step into the unknown. This greater entity is the indescribable feeling of connection between different cultures. We travel for that reflection and connection to the greater world. 

Catherine Dodd Corona

An Autumn Effect

To Travel or Not to Travel

Progymnasmata: Refutation

The reason an individual travels can vary, yet the pull to adventure is felt similarly between all explorers. I, among many others, have felt this pull to the unknown, the exotic or culturally different. To experience what I could not experience in the valley I grew up in. To smell, taste and breath a different kind of life. 

I originally assumed I was like many others, but I discovered that beyond my community there was a longing of comfort instead of experiencing the unknown. Robert Louis Stevenson touches on this difference in his short story An Autumn Effect. As he recalls wandering through the english countryside with fun stops along the way. This passage is beautifully written, almost poetic. Instead of highlighting the obvious and lavish aspects of visiting a new place he touches on the subtle curiosities. These little curiosities, personally, are more gratifying than the picture worthy stops when traveling. I find this aspect of this story to be fundamentally very important, but there are aims in the story that I disagree with.

At one point Stevenson describes a family eating dinner, and explains how mundane going through the motions of everyday life can be. More importantly he writes about these people in an arrogant and demeaning way. He states, “It is a salutary exercise, besides; it is salutary to get out of ourselves and see people living together in perfect unconsciousness of our existence, as they will live when we are gone.” (Stevenson, 1875). Stevenson says it is salutary to see people acting unconsciously which implies that what he is seeing is unpleasant, but it makes him feel better for his curiosities. This is not morally right to impose that one curiosity, the need to travel, is ultimately better than another curiosity, raising a family or cooking. Even though I agree with this statement, I disagree with looking down on it. It is a preference to feel the call of adventure, and the lack of that preference does not mean those people are any less. 

It is frustrating to relate to the need and urge to travel, but to see people like Stevenson look down on others who do not feel that urge. I could not understand why people would not have that curiosity, but when I marinated in thought about it I realized people find solace in the mundane. And more importantly there is nothing wrong with that comfort. If the whole world wanted to discover the unknown and feel that importance of solitude. To follow in the footsteps of Stevenson, Edward Abbey or Chris Mccandles, then there would be much less specialization. Less unknowns to experience. Yes, nature would be intact, ready for discovering, but that urge to isolate and push away from the unconscious norm would lead to loneliness. Really it is a balance. Following the urge to discover the little curiosities out of your neighborhood, valley or home, but to also appreciate the intricate little aspects of a mundane life. I would like to see Stevenson appreciate the comfort of the known, and push the importance of discovery. 

A Side Note on Rhetoric

Progymnasmata: Comparison

This is one hundred percent one of the most beautifully written passages I have read in a while. After reading it then reading The Rhetorical Situation I could appreciate Stevenson rhetoric even more. Bitzer, the author of The Rhetorical Situation, compares rhetoric to a tree, but includes that unlike a tree, rhetoric is fully dependent on its soil. The soil being the text that rhetoric is playing through. I love this metaphor because I can understand that rhetoric is not just situational but also magically sewn through a piece instead of being a stark and obvious factor. It is not something separate from the text but it is really an aspect of the text that can prove its power or lack of power. One aspect of An Autumn Effect is its poetic sentence structure. While the sentence structure is not the rhetoric the beauty of the words put in that order adds to the rhetorical power of that passage. 

Another aspect of An Autumn Effect are the tangents about trees and their beauty. These tangents do not add any fact to the story but the way they are described adds to the substance of the passage. The tangent highlights the importance of what these trees mean. Describing their beauty adds to the aim Stevenson is trying to prove. And in doing so adds to the rhetorical power of the passage. 

My Attempt at Ekiphrase

The visual analysis of a rock in the desert southwest
Progymnasmata: Description

From a memory of an experience I had a month ago:

The smell of dust filters through the window or air conditioning as my tuck barrels down a pin straight desert road. I keep my eyes peeled for the unmarked left turn I have only seen once before and my friend scrolls through song choices. We are just south of Moab, a town I have grown to know well. As a child my family would pass through on our way to raft the Green or San Juan Rivers. Both rivers give me a visceral connection to the desert Southwest. Accept, this is only the second time I have passed through without parental or teacher supervision. 

I finally spot it. Our camping destination. A large bolder about 100 yards away. A colorless mole on the desert visage. To me it is quite boring after being desensitized by canyon walls, arches and buttes. On the other hand my friend exclaims, “look at how cool that rock is! It’s so big”.  I chuckle and respond, “that’s the backside you haven’t seen the cool part”. I turn the truck left onto a less maintained road. Our bodies sway and correspond with the bumps as the massive rubber wheels trample the sand and spit dust out behind them. The road becomes particularly sandy and the gas pedal loses all weight as the wheels lose traction. I switch it to four wheel and the truck jolts out of the sand. I see it as a little warning from the desert not to mess around. We have arrived. 

A juniper tree grows at the base of the rock, speckled in jean colored berries that look too dry to be even close to nourishing. A good thing too being that they are poisonous in large quantities unless distilled into gin, which funnily enough is also poisonous in large quantities. A ring of rocks that make a fire pit sits at the base of the tree. People have added to the structure since the last time I visited. A large log has disappeared, but besides that it looks the same. We step out of the air conditioning we have been enjoying for the four hour drive. The heat kisses our pale skin like the inside of an oven when the door is open. Smells drop in the dry air but I can just make out dust and sage. The rust color rocks radiate the heat back up to us, emphasizing this oven effect. But it is dry heat, and I am not bothered. It makes me nostalgic, I feel very much at home. A weird feeling since the harshness desert does not make it easy to love. Just read Desert Solitaire and you’ll understand. 

I turn back to the rock and tell my friend to “flow me”. We still haven’t seen the good stuff. We round a corner of the bolder. I take my shoes off so my feet can meld with the warm sandstone. It has always shocked me how perfectly my soles and sandstone fit together. It makes me think of how even rock and a human can have a connection. It reminds me that even though I am living and the rock is not, we both have energy and are made from the same star billions of years ago.

There it is. What would normally be a sloping face of a bolder resembling the other side is instead concave. A massive amphitheater reaching 100 feet high. Right now we are alone but I explain how this is a popular climbing site. People will hike up the side, shimmy through a small crack I can barely make out and repel the 100 feet. Then the climber can hike to the back of the inside wall, sinch the rope tight and swing. It is most spectacular at night. I remember holding the rope behind my back, taking a breath and pushing off. Once I passed the ceiling of the rock I felt like I jumped into an ocean of stars. The Milky Way barreling across the sky. The concentration and sheer number of stars was otherworldly. I have trouble finding the words to describe their cosmic power. So shocking I almost cried. 

My friend bursts into laughter, “Holy shit this is so much cooler than I thought it was!” “Right!” I respond, “and No one is here!”. I let out a howl that echoes off the wall and radiates into the vacant air. The most spectacular part of this massive rock is far to the left. The fin of the bolder over time couldn’t bare the wind, so it gave way and let it pass through. Creating an arch. the sun peeks through it’s hole making it difficult to look at and gives it its name Looking Glass Rock. We hike into the belly of the bolder. Slipping on sand, weaving through sage, and saying Hi to the shuttling lizards. I find one doing push ups, one of my favorite childhood memories, and I feel proud that a lizard wants to show his muscles to me. “You wanna sit in the arch or set up camp?” I ask. “You can sit in it!!” She responds. “Yes, and you don’t even need a rope” we continue on and get to the sandstone where it is slightly too steep for sand to pile comfortably. I smear my foot and start to walk straight up. I feel like a desert creature scaling this rock with ease. When I realize that my friend, from Manhattan, does not have this  nostalgic connection with the desert. Even though she will soon discover it’s magic. I tell her to hair pin up the side. Instead of walking straight up she walks along the side at a slight incline then switches making an s shape as she climbs further. We reach the hardest part and take a break. We watch swallows dart in and out of their homes. Flapping their wings in a bat like fashion. This five foot  area between us and the arch is the most daunting part. Still not very hard as my friend brought his  guitar and a six pack up on our last visit. It’s slightly steep and my anxiety spikes but I smear my foot into the side and trust my traction. I take a few careful steps. Placing my foot in the shallow bowls, the wind and carved out and then I am there. Inside the arch. I look up and see the thin ceiling. It’s deep rusted red band with sharp edges cuts through the bright blue sky. I see people have etched their name into the rock. How could they deface something so much older, bigger, and profoundly more important than them. I investigate the carvings one says ROCK and another says Kyle and Sarah. I wonder if Kyle and Sarah are still together, they didn’t even bother to add a heart. I turn to help my friend across the tricky steep bit by going below her and having her use my hand as a foot hold. Then we are both in the arch. The bottom is flat and comfortable to sit. With two ledges that resemble stairs. “Wow” is all my friend can say. 

The view is also spectacular. I can see for miles. I can see highway 101 to my left and to the right is a sea of sage and some scarce juniper. The olive colored bushes fit well with the orange sand. Some other large boulders sit further to the left with the backdrop of the dark blue La Sal mountains. The sun shoots rays into my eyes when I look to the west. It is two hours from setting. We retreat and set up camp, but as our pasta is cooking I notice it’s almost golden hour. We return to the arch to watch the sunset and the colors which were dry get flooded in a caramel film. Enhancing their contrast in a shocking way. The rust red turns to skin peel orange. Not the yellow on the peach but the darkest orange a peach can be. The bright blue sky is charged with pinks and oranges and the sage even glows with renewed contrast. I burst into tears, in a time where I have felt trapped like many others in quarantine. I am overwhelmed with the daunting but exciting feeling of solitude and freedom.