Monday, February 28, 2005

05-11 part 3, Arizona, 4 Corners area, Tuba City

The Four Corners area
Week 11 of 52 (part 3)

Tuba City, AZ
4 Corners

It just amazes me at the number of places and things I see within a week. The number of Week 11 reports is testament to that. Or is it just that I look for more to see and do. I traveled across hwy 160 and came to the official 4 corners of Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. It’s a quick picture opportunity and then on the road again. Cost $3.

Traveling along hwy 160 the terrain and landscape continue to change. Becoming more arid and the hills and mountains continue to surprise me in their shapes and color. I wish I could stop and take pictures, but in many instances, the highway has no place to turn off and take those awesome pictures I’d love to take. Oh, and at higher elevations on my way to Tuba City, I saw some of the largest displays of wildflowers all along the sides of the roads. From crisp white to powdery pink in large clumps 12” to 18” in diameter, that I just wanted to pick and take pictures off. Again, I couldn’t pull over. But what an awesome display. I wish you could see the smile on my face. Just enjoying that wonderful scene.

Apparently their was some kind of a big bicycle marathon across hwy 160. I saw many bikers spread out for many miles with their car crews following for protection and aid when needed. How many miles they were doing, I couldn’t guess.

After passing Elephant Feet (see pic) I twice came across a number of sheep grazing along the side of the highway. Thank goodness I saw them and didn’t have any encounters of the wooly kind. I did see the results of a motor cycle accident. At least one man was injured, as he lay on the side of the road, awaiting an ambulance. Only a minute or two behind the already heavy traffic jam.

After settling in at a campground in Tuba City, named after a Hopi leader, Tuve, I headed out west of town to the dinosaur tracks site. It’s on Navajo tribe land and a guide by the name of Bertha gave me a tour of the site. There were many different dinosaur tracks including petrified dinosaur eggs, and dinosaur poop. About the size of big bowling balls. Bertha showed me the different feet marks of various dinosaurs that walked this area and along with the eggs, showed they lived in this area. You can check it out on the Navajo web site: A person can’t get any closer to the past and the era of dinosaurs than I did, placing my hand over the foot prints of those past residents of this land.

At the hotel/Rv site, I talked to a native Indian who has lived here all his life and has never visited the dinosaur site. It’s like that all over the world isn’t it? What’s closest to home, we never visit.

Did you know that out here in Arizona, it can often get windy every day starting around noon time. A dust storm ensued along with the wind today, my first experience with that. Fortunately, I usually try to get to my next campsite by noon. Giving me time to explore the area before settling in for the evening. I see many campers drive in late in the afternoon and early evening. I find traveling early in the morning, I can put in 4 to 5 hours at the most and be set up in time for lunch. I guess it’s the early bird in me.

One of the locals told me that the wind is so consistent in the summer, they are unable to grow any flowers or vegetables. And, that they have to put rocks and pebbles along the sides of their homes or the wind will dig holes and channels all along the foundations of their homes. Leaving the resident with a “sinking” feeling.

Just a quick note on the Navajo Tribe. They are the largest tribe/reservation and have never ceded any of their original land to the US government. So in essence, they are truly a country within a country.
They are proud to say they are the most loyal of all Indian tribes, having never had to fight for their land. The Navajo also are noted for being the Code Talkers during WWII. Using their own language to send secret messages for the US Marines and avoid Germanys ability to decipher their messages. A truly proud moment in the Navajo history.

PS, this is just one day in my life as I travel the west.

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