Day 12, April 23, Miles Driven: 333 long and hard miles ...
9:11 a.m.: We are pulling out of our campground in Tijeras, New Mexico. I liked this campground for its simplicity and unique views. No need to remind myself that we were not in South Carolina anymore! We are on our way to Monument Valley, Utah, which has been our primary destination all along. Within the first hour we reached Albuquerque. Not impressed from the view from the highway. Too many roads and a poor camper could get lost pretty easily.
High Noon: Stopped at Gallup, New Mexico, for lunch. Gallup is right at the border of NM and Arizona. We wanted to get gas before we hit the reservations, plus it was time for lunch. The gas station was part of a shopping center that included a Safeway Grocery store, so we went grocery shopping too, the first time since we left home! Not bad.
The day is beautiful, sunny and low 70s. Kim has on shorts. I am not so brave. Blue jeans for me for now. Kim wants to purchase a cowboy hat, much to her father’s displeasure. I tried to talk Paul into bringing he cowboy hat with him, but he refused. I should have just packed it – but then, this is coming from the lady who forgot her cat.
1:30 p.m.: We are on Navajo Code Talker’s Highway. Neat. More flat here than in the past hundred miles. Lacks the huge towering rocks. We still have the dry grass, sagebrush (which I now have a new appreciation for) and those bushes, whatever they are. Over time the landscape has turned to more evergreens, tall ones.
2:15 p.m.: Left Navajo country and now are in Apache country. Now back to Navajo country. It is flatter here, just scrubby. A cow here and there. Even fewer houses – lots of mobile homes. Oh yes, and some horses. I have yet to see a person.
3:15 p.m.: We may be lost. I’m not sure. Kim and I are following Paul who is in the camper. He just left the highway and turned onto some road that is not on my map. Scary. But it is beautiful. Ok, Kim just checked her phone map (yes, while driving). We are on Indian Road 59. Not on my map. Miles and miles on a road to nowhere.
4:15 p.m.: Utah! I am far from home. The landscape has changed so many times I cannot count them. Give it an hour and it will be different, from flat and sandy to rocky, to hilly or mountainous. Sometimes short trees. Sometimes no trees. Nearly always these short bushes. Fences for cows or horses that seem to belong nowhere. And today we saw some sheep. I think the babies got out of a fence because they were along the road.
5:15 p.m.: We are here. I see some rock that is smooth, while others look like boulders piled atop each other, I'm thinking by the glacier. Some looks swirled like soft serve ice cream. Tomorrow we are planning on going to the visitor center and seeing John Wayne’s cabin (oh be still my heart) and plan to take a guided tour of Monument Valley itself. I took so many beautiful pictures today it was hard to choose which to send you. There are lots and lots of unique rock formations and colors.
We have such a creative God! It is amazing to see all this diversity. We also saw many of the Navajo homes right at the base of huge rocks like. I wonder if you need boulder insurance, kind of like you need flood insurance in our part of the country?
7:45 p.m.: Supper is over. Spicy honey lime chicken in the instant pot shredded and eaten in a tortilla. I think it would have been good over rice, too. No way to use the tasty broth in a tortilla. Dishes are done. The sun is going down and so are my eyes.