I am in a dark cavernous world at high noon – it’s sweltering outside and ever so cool in here. The sandstone walls and sandy floor are lit by sunbeams that shine straight in at noon, and at other times they curl in and light the stratified walls their crimson, coral, and rose glory. As I walk through the narrow crevice with its sensuous sculpted walls, I remember that rushing water formed its curves.
A young girl herding sheep discovered this canyon in 1931. To get here today, you’ll need a permit from the reservation and a guide. Although beautiful, there is danger here, too. Eleven people were killed in the lower region of the canyon when their guide failed to heed the flood warnings of the tribe and local authorities (remember, this place was formed by rushing water).
The nearby town is just outside the reservation, and a few miles further is a National Park that also has a controversy around flooding. A huge dam was built and the whole area was flooded to the delight of boaters and the scorn of conservationists.
This environmental rift is again mirrored in the country at large; it is the world’s biggest polluter, and its 210,000,000 cars are responsible for 50% of greenhouse gases produced by cars worldwide, though many of its citizens say they are very concerned about global warning.
Do you know where I am?
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