Four Corners

After leaving Houston first stop was Austin for lunch with my niece. Then a quick run up to Lubbock where my son is thinking of applying to Texas Tech. Okay, I didn’t go to the campus but the hotel I stayed in sure did show Texas Tech spirit.  Since I’ve crossed West Texas and eastern New Mexico multiple times I figured I’d make tracks to get to more interesting sites. First I considered going up through Santa Fe but I’ve done that area a few times and probably will again on another ride between Houston and Breckenridge. So after considering suggestions from friends I ended up staying in Chinele, Arizona as a base for a couple of days of exploring what I think of as Tony Hillerman territory.

One thing I wasn’t aware of until after I checked in was that being in the middle of the Navajo nation the hotel I was staying at and its surrounding area were all “dry”. Pity since a margarita would have gone down well with with the Indian Tacos and accompaniments.

DSCN0455 Canyon du Chelly is pronounced “Shay” which seems a bit odd to me despite the explanation I was given as to the reason for the pronunciation.

Since I was literally staying at the entrance to the park this made a quick tour before settling into my hotel an easy thing to do. I didn’t have a whole lot of time but I’m told that if you take a Navajo guide trip down through the bottom of the canyon it is very interesting. Other than a couple of hiking trails you can do on your own using a guide is the only way to go into the canyon.

Next morning after a quick breakfast of protein bars and coffee I headed out to the Four Corners.  Some lovely desert scenery starting with a nice twisting canyon road. To end up at the Four Corner’s Monument.

canyons  sw-1 sw-1-3  011

Yeah, I know it’s kind of hokey but what is a trip to the Four Corners if you don’t put your foot right on the intersection of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah?

Fortunately since it was mid-week during school time there weren’t too many kids running around. I didn’t take a photo but I did like the pre-teen who did a back arch with each foot/hand in a different state. Since it wasn’t my kid I and I didn’t want to deal with getting a release you’ll just have to image it. Open-mouthed smile

sw-1-4Next up, Monument Valley, that iconic image of the “Old West” known to so many from John Wayne and other cowboy movies of the last century.




DSCN0414Unfortunately, there was a serious amount of road work going on and every one of the paved turnouts were closed which made it a bit difficult to take as many photos as I would have like. Despite which one of those “happy accidents” you sometimes get when pulled over for a photo allowed me to get what is one of my all time favorite photos.

I have to admit it was a little scary when that bus whished by. The “shoulder” of the road was less than 3’ wide before it started to drop off to sand. Y’all know how much I like dirt so that left me very little room.

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