Traveling home from Curitiba we drove through parts of three states: Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul. Two routes led to the same destination--one by the coast and the other through the mountains. We chose the mountains. They are not the Rocky Mountains by any stretch of the imagination, but they are mountains, nonetheless. We drove through apple country and grape vineyards, on steep roads cut through the rock and on the plains. We passed umpteen trucks hauling timber, passed neat rows of soybeans and hills of corn, miles of stone fences, a row of cactus along the road and dozens--nay hundreds-- of fluffy fronds like those in the pictures. We saw hydrangea bushes past their prime and houses nestled against the hills, majestic pine trees--their branches lifted to God in praise. There were tree-covered mountains, breath-taking valleys and curvy descents by the River of the Antas. And the grottos appeared recessed in the rock with Mary looking after baby Jesus, and truck after truck after truck carrying burdens too heavy to bear. Yes, it was a long 12-hour drive with many stops but an opportunity to drink in a small part of the beauty of God's great creation.