|Day 16 - Grand Canyon National Park
||[Aug. 22nd, 2004|10:00 pm]
Trip Odometer: 4403 mi|
Woke up to a quick breakfast of cream of wheat (from the blue box), and tore out of mesa verde to get across almost all of Arizona. Despite driving most of the day, we did make two stops in Navajo Nation.
The first was at the four corners, to get the traditional tourist photos of standing in all four states at once. Otherwise, there wasn’t much there besides a few jewelry stalls, so we left pretty quickly. I was unimpressed, but not surprised. Atleast I checked it off my “things to do sometime” list without any significant going-out-of-my-way to get there. (I was also amused that all the tribal parks we passed – including the four corners monument – had huge “no national parks passes” accepted signs).
I did have a goal for my time in Navajo Nation though – I wanted to buy an authentic Navajo rug and a dreamcatcher. However, the place is empty and most of the (very few) trading posts we passed were skeezy or attached to gas stations or something. I was about to give up when we got to Monument Valley, and passed a small shanty town of sales shacks.
We stopped here and looked around, as well as had some Navajo Tacos (though no meat this time – and they were significantly more bland than they were at mesa verde) for lunch. I did manage to find a nice four-color dreamcatcher and a rug that I was happy with (and could afford). Apparently even the small one I have takes about a month to weave, so it’s a pretty time consuming task. Its red, white, and black with a traditional pattern on it. I like it though so I’m happy.
We did drive all the way to the gates of monument valley tribal park, but it was getting to be early afternoon and we had about 4 hours ahead of us to the grand canyon, so when we found the entrance fee to be $20 for the two of us, we just took some pictures of what we could see from the road and continued on (at most we’d have been able to spend an hour there, which probably wouldn’t be worth it).
We also went food shopping, and started a quest for some feta cheese. Amusingly, we showed up at a Walmart and they didn’t have it (they did have some feta cheese substitute stuff though – ewwww). One of their floor people set us elsewhere though. I was amused.
Further through Arizona was more nothingness than even South Dakota had. I mean, atleast South Dakota had cows, but Arizona barely had rocks and sand. Atleast until we started to approach the Grand Canyon, then we found ourselves in the middle of a forest. In fact, the whole area was way more forested than I remember (though I was on the south rim last time). We had steak and onions for dinner then relaxed the rest of the night (mostly, I typed up some entries and krchicken read a book.
Some other minor notes: there was no cell phone service at the north rim, which made me sad because my parents get antsy when I don’t call them every 2 days and this was one of those days. There were all sorts of signs up at the campground saying things like “ravens and squirrels are theves” – for some reason I kept thinking in my head “wow, sounds like gollum wrote that sign.
Arizona did, however, gain us an hour by being on MST instead of MDT, but that means we’ll lose an hour when we go back into Utah in 2 days.