The sun was resting on the western horizon as I exited Twin Rocks Cafe and made my way down the front steps. Soft raindrops gently touched my face as I dodged a bus and several other vehicles while crossing the graveled parking lot to my car. My ride was parked under the protective branches of a large cottonwood tree across the narrow strip of roadway at the edge of the Gaines property. It had been a long day, I was tired and focused on getting home to my wife and family. I opened the car door, dropped into the bucket seat, turned her over, pulled out and pointed her east. A French tourist, whom I had met earlier at dinner, jumped off the bus with a camera in his hand and sprinted to the middle of the road, right in front of my moving motor vehicle. Consequently, I very nearly picked up a Nikon hood ornament for my Nissan.
Navajo Storm Pattern Rug - Pauline Lee (#013)
The now wide-eyed tourist smiled apologetically, bobbed his head and held out his camera as if to say, "So sorry! But . . . I am in a great hurry to take a marvelous picture." He stepped from in front of my car, moved to the right side of the road and made his way toward the intersection of Highway 191 and Navajo Twins Drive. As I pulled past the man and rolled up to the stop sign, I looked up to the cliff tops and saw what had captured his attention. There, at the crest of Cow Canyon was a magnificent rainbow backed by a roiling and altogether angry dark purple storm cloud highlighted by the orange-red glow of the setting sun behind me. The view, I realized, was well worth the risk of an early demise. As I sat there in awe, the Frenchman caught up with me and, smiling brightly, pointed at the spectacular spectacle, gave me the thumbs-up and quickly began snapping images. I smiled in return and forgave the manic man his trespass, pulled out onto the highway and headed north.
In anticipation of the view I might have at the top of Cow Canyon, I picked-up speed. Reaching the top in no time what-so-ever, I was far from disappointed. To my right the rainbow remained as brilliant as a minute before. It arched over the textured landscape as if to bear witness that yes . . . this really was a magnificent place. The thunderstorm behind it was rolling rapidly across Recapture Ridge, like the raging waves of a turbulent ocean. I powered down my windows, heard the rip and tear of thunder and watched as lightning split the near darkness. The air was static with electricity. To my left the scattered storm clouds remaining from an earlier shower caused the setting sun to blaze like a bonfire fending off the night. As I cruised up the highway, I wished that I had clipped that Frenchman and made off with his camera. No matter, my spirit was reinvigorated and my mind refreshed. I will remember this scene well.
With warm regards,
Barry, Steve and The Team
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