Most deserts are dry and dusty expanses of blue skies, bleached soil, and rulerflat horizons. The Colorado Plateau is not one of them. This is a land of stunning contradictions, where thousand-foot rock monoliths jut like raised fists from flat riverbeds, and traffic-light-green foliage glows on stoplight-red soil. The sky here appears not blue but bright white, a flashbulb burst through squinted eyes.
For years, Eileen and Jelle Kiesling spent much of their time in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, she as a teacher, and he as a manager for Royal Dutch Shell. Reaching semi-retirement, the couple, who live in the Netherlands, were looking for a vacation home back in the United States, specifically northwest Arkansas, where Eileen grew up.