50 States in 50 Days: The Wild Wild West of Arizona

Posted by: MAJ Sven Olson, Bilateral Affairs Officer

Cowboys Up The Creek (Sedona AZ)
Photo by Sven Olson

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It is such an honor to have the opportunity to introduce the 48th State, Arizona, to our readers of “50 States in 50 Days”! I often tell friends around the world that Arizona is a wonderful place to go home to, and I truly mean it from the depth of my prickly pear soul. In all my explorations of the world, Arizona stands apart as one of the most magical. It never stops giving me breathtaking moments and unforgettable adventures. When I close my eyes I immediately think of cowboys and Indians, and in Arizona, those dreams are our reality! The brilliant sunsets and sharp desolation of the desert and cactus are wonders of the world that each of us should have the privilege to see some day. Whether in a city like Tucson, or in a long deserted ghost town, the mysteries are boundless in sights, sounds and smells. One of the most unforgettable scents on earth is the wet desert mesquite after a hard summer rain. It’s a freshness so unusual that no one can describe it better, than just experiencing it for yourself.

Monument of Time (Monument Valley, AZ)
Photo by Sven Olson

There are 21 unique and amazing tribes of Native American Indians in Arizona. Their lands are now protected and their cultures preserved by Pow Wow’s and patriarchs of ancient family bloodlines.

Native American New Years (Tucson AZ)
Photo by Sven Olson

I have walked among the cliffside ruins and sat around their campfires in the desert, listening to their ancient stories told with such reverence and respect that the magic comes alive in the smoke and ambers of the fire. Few people on earth have the resilience of our Native Americans and the beauty of their legends is told not only by their words but in the fabric of their very lives and costumes. In every corner of the Grand Canyon State, you can find an Indian Tribe, rich with tradition and mystery.

Most famous for the mighty Grand Canyon, the Colorado River cuts deep through Arizona’s north and western rim, with miles and miles of twisted stunning beauty. I have rafted the canyons and explored the deserts and each time I survive to tell about it, I feel like I have been blessed with the chance to return some day and do it all again!

With sunshine 360 days a year, I invite you to come visit us in Arizona, whenever you have the chance.

Arizona Sunset (Yuma AZ)
Photo by Sven Olson
Saguaro Cactus Up Close (Tucson AZ)
Photo by Sven Olson
Mission San Xavier (Tucson AZ)
Photo by Sven Olson

3 thoughts on “50 States in 50 Days: The Wild Wild West of Arizona

  1. Sven, what a privilege to read your words and have pictures of my Arizona adventures come to mind instantly. It’s very true about the smell of the desert rain, truly undescribable. Safe travels till you come back home. AZ misses you.
    Jason

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