The Mountain Has No Name

I did a pretty uncharacteristic thing for me this past weekend: I drove from St. Louis, Missouri to Scottsdale, Arizona, and back, from Friday afternoon to Monday afternoon. Alone.

Driving alone across several states, you tend to think a lot.

I thought about what an amazing nation this is — that you can actually do something outrageous like just get in your car and drive. There are no checkpoints, no passports, just tollroads, and truckstops… well, there is a bit more, but you get the idea.

I thought about how amazing it is to see the landscape change, from the soft hills of Missouri to the plains of the Texas panhandle to the red rocks of Arizona. The light changes as you swing southwest, it becomes harsher, more demanding.

I didn’t take a lot of pictures: I was limited on time, but as I headed back, I had to stop at the Arizona-New Mexico border. There are several Indian trading posts along the road, off the Interstate highway, just under the eyes of a Mountain.

This was my third trip to Arizona, and each time this Mountain has called to me, so this time I stopped and listened. I went into one of the shops and asked the young lady behind the counter, what do you call this Mountain?

She looked at me a little quizzically, and replied, “It doesn’t have a name.”

I thanked her, and walked away, thinking about this.

And I realized that whether or not it was true, the Mountain didn’t need a name: The Mountain simply is, as it always has been.

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