Edit Blog Post
Published: March 22nd 2013
I woke up bright and early to head on over to Navajo Nation!
I had always seen Monument Valley in pictures and movies and had wanted to visit. The drive from Moab to Navajo Nation and the Four Corners area was sure to be exciting.
I started my morning by driving to Newspaper Rock. This is a rock with a whole slew of petroglyphs. I also learned the difference between a petroglyph and a pictograph. A petroglyph is carved into the rock. A pictograph is painted onto the rock. Pretty easy to distinguish now right? I find both interesting to look at. I often find myself trying to figure out what they could represent or who. Aliens right? Haha!
I took a short detour afterwards into Goosenecks State Park close to the border between Utah and Arizona. The erosion here is even more stratified than over in Dead Horse Point. The view from on high is amazing (I keep having to use that word over and over again on my trip!) but I wonder how it would look like from down on a canoe in the river. Also I bet it hurts if you trip over and fall
from up high.
Now a quick word about time zones. I think Utah, Arizona, and the Navajo Nation are all on different time zone either because of culture, adherence to time zones, or because they don't want to use time zones at all. So time can be confusing in this area. Its good to always know what time is what in which part and where and when so that you don't lose track of time. I also think it adds a special layer of mystique to the whole place.
With that in mind we move on to the great Monument Valley. The road approaching it is long and lonely with many stunning vistas of the red rocks and weather worn formations. Then Monument Valley comes into view and things get exciting. Monument Valley is located on Native American lands. There is a neat visitor's center with a souvenir shop and a restaurant. I stopped to eat and feasted on Navajo Fry Bread for the first time EVER! It is delicious!!!!!! I had some puffy blue corn fry bread with my green chile pozole. I've had red pozole before because its a Mexican staple soup but never green pozole
with its delicious chunks of pork and hominy. The Navajo fry bread dipped in the sauce was amazing.
I then took a look through the souvenir shop. There were plenty of Native American crafts on display and for sale. The majority of the items seem to be kachina dolls, jewelry, and Navajo sand paintings. They assure you that all are made by actual Navajo craftsmen and women and not by factories in China.
Afterwards I took a drive to get a closer view of Monument Valley. The main buttes are Left Mitten, Right Mitten, and Merrick Butte. Catching all three in one photo is recommended. The road is not paved so be ready for a really bumpy ride. Still, its’ worth the drive to get a closer view.
I then headed over to the Four Corners Monument. It is the place where Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona all meet on one singular point. People like to pose standing right in the middle of the marker or to awkwardly have one hand or foot in each state. I elected to go with just sitting right in the middle of it, that way I could proudly proclaim that
yes my butt is big enough to fit in 4 states at once. To illustrate the point, my upper left cheek was in Utah, my lower left cheek in Arizona. My upper right cheek was in Colorado, and my lower right cheek in New Mexico. You can also walk around the marker while talking on the phone to a friend and say stuff like, "Oh hey I am in Utah, no wait, now I'm in Colorado, oh I'm in New Mexico, wait no in Arizona." Yeah I know I like this place.
My last visit for the day was at the Canyon de Chelly (pronounced Shay.) This monument is located in the upper right corner of Arizona. I arrived too late to take a guided tour of the canyon floor. Since it still belongs to the Native American peoples you aren't allowed to go down without a guide so I just drove around the rim then headed back out to Flagstaff for the night. I'd had a full day and was dead tired.
Tot: 2.265s; Tpl: 0.054s; cc: 11; qc: 50; dbt: 0.0425s; 2; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.3mb