Monday By Mateo: The American Southwest

Americans tend to take the scope and grandeur of the Southwest desert for granted—the red rocks, buttes, mesas, towers, and river-etched sandstone canyons have been imprinted on us by countless appearances in TV shows, movies, advertisements, etc. But when visitors from abroad make the pilgrimage, they are usually left dumbfounded. “Ma guarda tutta questa roccia!” a friend from Italy once said upon driving the River Road, east of Moab, Utah, where endless red walls of Wingate sandstone loom over the languid green waters of the Colorado River: “Wow, look at all this rock!” They have nothing like this in Italy—not even close. So, get in your car, load your camping gear in the back, and head for the desert.

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