Indian Summer

Trip Start Mar 12, 2011
Trip End Dec 15, 2011

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Where I stayed
Comfort Inn

Flag of United States  , Arizona
Thursday, October 20, 2011

Martin's moment:
Well what sort of Indian summer? Its "fall" but the temperatures are more like high summer apparently,although the first snows fell last week .And Indian?.Well we are in Navajo Nation and all my pre-conceptions were of a beleagered minority population kept in a state of suspended animation by mind-altering substances similar to First Nation people I had seen on Vancouver Island.
But these Navajo are different.Physically robust,they also have obviously got assets beyond the casino ownership that they are famous for.The hotel we are staying at is staffed mainly by Navajo's and Roger and I are going to try to settle our differences as to whether this represents their role in life tomorrow.Are the majority that work relegated to menial tasks whilst the ownership of big enterprises does not really help their general population at all - or are they truly integrated and are represented evenly across the cultural and social scene?Your boys will do some sculling around tomorrow.Not quite Louis Theroux but we'll see what we can discover.
Oh and the country?It must say something when you choose not to visit the Grand Canyon.Apart from both having  seen it before - Roger more recently than I - the trip through Monument Valley was truly an assault on the senses,I didn't even need my tinted glasses.
Once again we have spoken with some really friendly people and felt an affinity for the Harley Davison fraternity that swan past us.
Note for Jamie: we passed a cycling group doing a section of the valley.Looked a bit hot for such exploits but what a thing to have done.

Set off from Cortez at our usual eary start, making our way to the 4 corners monument. This is the only place in the USA where 4 states all meet together, quite surprising seeing how many of the states are bounded by straight lines. However, here meet Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico. here really isnt all that much here, theres a plaque on the ground showing where all 4 meet, and 4 large stones donated by the surveying Society telling about how the first surveyors put the line sone 8000 feet wring - thats well over a mile out! They also tell how repeated attempts to correct the error were blocked by the then President and Congress (or was it the Senate?) but no indication of when they did put it right. Loads of little stallks around where the indians can seel their jewellery, blankets etc, but when we got there about 10 oclock, there were half a dozen setting up shop, none actually selling. So much for Martins statement that the Indians are well integrated into the economy! We'll settle that tomorrow, or the next day.
Quite a lot to pay for not much, but as we can say that we have been to a unique place, I wont grumble.
Went from there back into Arizona which caused a bit of a problem. Arizona is one hour west of California, but it doesnt have Summer Time, so theres no change from California. The change comes as you go into New Mexico/Colorado, which are on the same time as Arizona, but they do have  Daylight Saving, so there is a time difference. Returning to Arizona, however, the time hadnt changed from Colorado, because North Arizona does have daylight saving, so they are different from central Arizona. Keeping up/ No, and I'm not surprised. All this will get worse shortly, as daylight saving ends, so the time will go forward, back, or stay the same.
Anyway, we then detoured north into Utah so as to drive south again through the Monument Valley. In a way, from our trip with Janet & Gordon, i knew what to expect - mountains. But whatever anyone says about mountains, they are always spectacular, and these were no exception. Unfortunately, the pictures will (again) do them no justice, the scenery is not capable of being captured on a wo dimension picture. And its not only the scenery, its the vastness of it. Anyway, lok at the pictures and multiply by at least 100.
Exited Monument Valley, and went into the Navajo National Monument. Essentially, this is the place where you can see another 2 major cliff dwellings, so we didnt spend a long time here,  although they were really spectacular. Another tourist commented that they have no sense of perspective, as you are looking across the valley. Re Pats' comment, no they weren't sparticularly small people. The stone was apparently brought up from below the area, rather than cust from the cave, the cave was already there and made by erosion.

From there we droveto Page, where we are going to spend the night, wit a trip tomorrow to...
But you'll hear about that tomorrow, not now

Mileage 287. Altitude 4248, max altitude was 7339. Climbed 11178 ft altogether. If you arent interested in this, dont worry, its just a record for me. 
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Peter.w on

If you read your mail before breakfast (sans pronto) take trip to the dam wall, they run tours (free) inside to the turbines, interesting details about the dam,construction etc. Page is an interesting place they do have a small museum and tourist office is or was quite helpful last time I was there.

karl on

At the risk of sounding like an overprotective granny - do keep an eye on the Weather Channel (TV) as you proceed northward as the temps can change rather rapidly at this time of the year. Enjoying the story and the occasional glimpse of Stanley in the photos.. good luck

Peter & Sue H. on

Your last 2 days bring back happy memories of Monument Valley, Mesa Verde and Page when we toured Arizona, Utah and Colorado in 1995. We have a framed photograph of "Medicine Hat" in our living room, so are pleased to see that it is still standing. Have a great journey Eastwards. By the time you get to NY, we will down under in OZ. See you at Christmas !!

Peter & Sue H. on

Apologies - that should read "Mexican Hat". Medicine Hat's in Canada

Alison on

Sue and Peter Glad to see you are off on our travels, you are obviously keeping well Sue which is great news, keep it up! You not only find out things about the two od boys but other people as well . Hooray for modern techology

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