And smack in the middle of this vast, empty, dead land rises this awesome great presence — The Rock.  What can you say about this baby?  People say that it’s one of only two natural wonders (the other is the Grand Canyon) that’s so spectacular that no matter how much you read about it beforehand, no matter how many great photos of it you’ve seen, your first sight of it still blows you right out of the water!

And it does that, for sure.  We decided to blow the budget and fly down from Alice, mostly to be able to see this giant from the air.  Worth every penny!

 The Rock!
The Rock!

A monolith so massive it looks otherworldly.  It rises 1,142 feet from the sandy soil around it.  It’s almost a 6-mile trek to walk around the beast.

The Kangaroo’s Tail
The Kangaroo’s Tail 
Massive sides loom right over you, making you dizzy when you look up from the base.
Massive sides loom right over you, making you dizzy when you look up from the base. 
The way the surface has weathered makes it look like the scaly skin of some monstrous reptile.
The way the surface has weathered makes it look like the scaly skin of some monstrous reptile.
Aboriginal painting.
Aboriginal painting.
Aboriginal painting.
Aboriginal painting.
There are some small cave-like openings big enough to crawl inside.
There are some small cave-like openings big enough to crawl inside.

The plane landed very close to the only buildings around The Rock in 1975 — a small hotel, a little shop, and an empty campground.  Why was it empty?  Because we had arrived in mid-summer, when the temperature can approach 50 degrees!  NO one goes to Uluru in mid-summer.  Bad planning?  Yeah.  Good luck?  Absolutely.  Because we were the only ones dumb enough to come at the worst time of year, we had the entire place to ourselves for two days.  We never saw another human being the whole time we were there, except for the 3 staff who ran the hotel and the shop.  We had The Rock all to ourselves, and that was one of the most awesome experiences of my life.