Lewes Road, early Sunday morning.
Ode to the man in seat 20B
Oh sleeping man,
you have slept so deeply,
for many hours.
Those snug earplugs save you,
from waking yourself up,
with your incessant, snorting snore.
On and on you snore,
Louder and louder.
No music drowns you out.
Also, you have taken the entire arm rest,
Which is annoying.
So I have made an unflattering inktober sketch of you,
since I cannot sleep.
If you had moved whilst I sketched you,
I would have suffocated you,
with that tiny pillow under your arm.
I am sure you are very nice when you are awake though.
Just a short sketching opportunity this morning before I fly back to the UK.
My lap of honour around Vegas starts at the Luxor.
I am alone in the pyramid lift and it is making a noise no lift should make. It shakes violent from side to side and the display says ‘EZ’. What does that mean? Is this part of the experience? I feel claustrophobic.
The display still says ‘EZ’. The doors start to rattle inwards and for the first time in my life, with force, I press the ‘save me’ bell. Nothing happens, but a second later the display says ’16…17′ etc. Soon the doors open and I leap out with enthusiasm.
To my dismay, when I head out, the only available lift is the bone shaker. I hold the doors until a big group of people join me. Their reaction to the shaking and grinding confirms this is NOT part of the experience.
I ended my last day in the National Parks at Zion, the most lush and colourful. This meant a very early start, to miss the holiday crowds.
The Riverside Walk takes you up to the start of The Narrows. Which is essentially a hike in the Virgin river, so you need to be prepared. Fancy shoes, dry pants and a wooden pole can be hired for the occasion.
Ended the day with The Watchman trail. An amazing view up the valley, although the cloud was setting in.
I’m at Horseshoe Bend, Arizona and it’s raining, which makes it feel like Symonds Yat in the UK.
I left Page with some sadness when the radio announced that I could have got 10% off at the lube shop. Only if I turned up in my Halloween costume though. Still I’m not one to dwell on missed opportunities.
A Baby Driver moment, as Stairway to heaven played on the radio, through rippled Arizona plains. The sky was full of little fluffy clouds, which gave an added sense of the sheer vastness out there. The biggest sky I’ve ever seen!
Whilst I sketch, a Chinese woman asks my partner to take her picture. She gradually edges towards me, until eventually, she squats down right next to me, puts her arm around my shoulder, and grins for the camera. She doesn’t look at me, or talk to me. Now that never would have happened in the Forest of Dean.
Then just before Zion National Park, the Buffalo came.
Windows or Mac user? Who cares! Lower Antelope Canyon has wallpapers for both.
The canyon is as stunning as it appears in the now famous National Geographic cover photo. The tour moves fast, so I only had time for a some quick outlines, adding colour later in the dusty car park.
Walked part of the Bright Angel trail in the Grand Canyon today. I felt quite intrepid until someone overtook me uphill, carrying a baby.
I love that when you enter the South rim of the Canyon, you are greeted with pictures of deer and elk, in ever increasing states of ecstasy.
Bluff and I got off to a bad start last night. First I mistook the town laundrymat for our hotel (it’s huge). Then I found myself driving through the dark, deserted town on the left hand side. Whoops!
I admit I had fairly low expectations for Bluff fort, but this great museum and its dedicated volunteers really bring to life the story of the town’s first white settlers.
I was struck by the Native American attitude to the land, contrasted with the white settlers who literally blasted their way through rocks, adapting the landscape to meet their unbending needs and faith.Next, a dream fulfilled. A sketch of Monument valley from Forrest Gump point, whilst being circled by hungry dogs. Somebody pinch me!
The only thing to top that has to be sunset at the Grandview, Grand Canyon.
It’s Sunday, so it must be time for the Arches omnibus.
I begin with Delicate Arch.
I am Boba Fett perched at the Great Pit of Carcoon, and the Sarlacc is belching below me. At least it feels that way as I sit clinging to my rucksack and ink pots, terrified my sketchbook, or me, will slide down the 45 degree slope and into the sheer drop below.
Next up, a touch of sedate pen work down in the valley.
One arch isn’t enough for me, so next up, Double Arch.
Yesterday was all chipmunks and vultures. Today lizards, deer and a skunk in the middle of the road!