For Fall Break the International Office arranged a trip with Recreational Services to the Grand Canyon, and other stops along the way. The first stop was to the Painted Desert in Arizona. This was one of the most stunning places I have every been. It was like what I would imagine stepping out onto Mars would be like. It was primarily red ground, with flashes of yellow, white, purple and green intermingled with the sandy reds. It was like a whole other world with mountains, volcanoes and valleys stretching as far as the eye could see. It was as different to Scotland as anything could be. The mountains were striped, so you could see the different layers of soil that were exposed.
One of the most unique things about the Painted Desert is that unless you are there on two completely clear day, you will never see it exactly the same again. The South-West of America is all about the cloud shadows, and as these are never the same from one day to the next, every visit to the Painted Desert is totally unique. It is a truly astounding sight and I feel so lucky that I have had the chance to see it.