Thursday, October 20, 2011

Kayenta,AZ to Grand Junction, CO--Or, I have no idea what number day this is for this trip and it's too much trouble to figure it out!

Set the alarm again, only the second time I've done that but I intended to drive a long way!  The day began with Monument Valley;

Very beautiful in the morning light.  Then I drove on through bluffs, mesas, and other interesting rock formations in red mostly (iron in the ground) and through a second world nation.  All the US's First nations homes are places of grinding poverty (compared to the rest of us) the people are caught between two cultures.  The traditional culture has been fading over the years (partly because of the intense effort of the government in earlier times to integrate them into white society and partly because of higher and higher levels of influence from the outside) yet they don't quite fit into the mainstream.  In more modern times Tribal leaders have been trying to bring at least a sense of who and what they are.  It is difficult to tell if they will be able to mesh the two for they can never truly go back to traditional life.  (No one wants to live without heat, electricity and no indoor plumbing!)

I took a highway just outside of Mexican Hat, UT, which on the map looks perfectly fine, Utah State  Highway 261. Known as the Mokee Dugway  I knew I was in trouble when there were huge warning signs-No RVS, No towed vehicles, etc, etc.  Three miles of narrow, dirt, hairpin switchbacks!  The view was stupendous, again one of those a camera cannot capture!  Besides I didn't dare stop as it was two- way and few places to get out of the way!  Thankfully, I only met one car and that was close to a small (read tiny) pull over spot.  I am so glad I was going up!

Next stop, Natural Bridges National Monument.  Small and rather remote it was a treasure chest of canyons and unusual rock formations (saying that, Lucas would LOVE it!)  Here are the three natural rock bridges inside the monument:
Oh, and one of the many curious rock formations.

Leaving there I headed towards Blanding, UT.  Happily, I could see snow capped mountains to the east-meaning I was nearing Colorado! I passed by both Canyonlands National Park and Arches National Park, both were on my original list of places to see but,  I had driven for two days along side, buttes, bluffs, ridges, mesas, rock formations etc, etc, etc and I couldn't get up the enthusiasm for more!  Missed my turn in Moab, don't know how (guess I should have enabled Samatha, you know the GPS) and so missed a valley that is really neat.  I didn't care enough to go back.  Driving due north, knowing that I soon would intersect with I-70 (the one that goes only a mile north of my house!) about 5-10 miles away I saw the buttes that I know from past trips run along the side of the highway, excitement!  When I saw the semis headed west on it I actually cheered!  A few miles after getting on I-70 I entered Colorado!  Really cheered--am only two states away from home!  Can you tell I'm anxious to be there?  Anyway, spent the night in Grand Junction, had a dinner at Outback and feel like I've returned to civilization!  Next up, over the pass, through the tunnel to Denver and my brothers house!  (Then it's only one long day until I'm home.)

1 comment:

a good yarn said...

It's spectacular country and mant folks will never have the chance to see it. I think you are amazing to travel such vast distances on your own. An intrepid traveller indeed! ann :-)