Friday 7th – Four States in a day.Our drive from Durango to our new lodging in Monument Valley will take us into New Mexico from Colorado, into Arizona and finally just across the State Line into Utah. Four States in a day. We decide not to visit the Four Corners National Monument which is where these four States intersect – the only spot in the U.S where four States intersect.
Route 64 takes us into New Mexico and the poverty of the people here is apparent immediately. The small towns are filled with pawn shops, scrap metal dealers, rusty second hand cars, and trailer homes.
Time gets scrambled here and the satnav doesn’t know how to cope. Arizona is in a different time zone to New Mexico and the Navajo have their own time zone. They are all different to Nevada. Our phones leap backwards and forwards while the satnav adds hours on to our arrival time.
It somehow seems to fit with the somewhat sad state of these Indian reservations that time has forgotten them.
We turn onto another scenic highway – Route 163 – and the rock formations take on a redder hue, hills surround us and strange hummocks of rock. In the distance is the silhouette of the iconic Monument Valley surrounded by a huge sky.
We pass through a small town named Mexican Hat, named after the rock that is its portal. This has been the location of many westerns, ‘ She Wore a Yellow Ribbon’ and ‘ The Searchers’ among the most famous. We notice two tiny figures who have climbed to the top of the rock. Rather them than me.
Soon we are descending into the area around Monument Valley and we eventually find our Airbnb perched under Tear Drop Arch and with the most spectacular view of the entrance to the Navajo Park.
Our Navajo host, Ilene, makes us comfortable before heading off for a night of celebration for her upcoming birthday. She is off on a two hour drive into a town in another State that has a casino ( gambling is not generally allowed in Utah or Navajo lands) where she and her friends plan to gamble away the night. She leaves us in the hands of her daughter who is trying to catch up on sleep on the couch, between texting and watching old movies.
We have a cosy room and the most amazing view from the front porch of the sun setting on the Monuments.
Tomorrow we explore. It has been a lifelong ambition of Marilyn’s to visit this place, bought up as she was on a t.v diet of Westerns that featured these iconic rocks.
Tomorrow she gets her wish.