Woke up quite early in Farmington and were on the road pretty quickly. Our first stop was the 4 Corner Monument. Basically a huge concrete pedestal which indicates the point where Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah meet. Kind of interesting, but nothing spectacular and the 3$ admission leaves one scratching heads … The “monument” is surrounded by Navajos selling their indian craft.
We continued and passed Shiprock. A huge rock in the middle of nowhere. Too bad that no street really leads close to it. Then we arrived in Kayenta, where we had lunch in a small local place called “Amigo Cafe” … the guide book described the service as “cheerful” … well .. if there is an opposite to “cheerful”, then it would describe out waiter-lady. The food was decent and cheap (but they charged 1.25$ for an extra plate).
Only 22 miles to Monument Valley, the day’s highlight! 5$ per person gets you into the park, and there is a 17 miles dirt road which leads around all those buttes and spires. Very Very beautiful landscape which hsa been used in so many movies, that I came to believe the southwest of the US has those kinds of rock formations all over the place To add to the fun and thrill, we decided that Ritsu would drive that part. We stopped about a bazillion times and took pictures until the batteries ran dry
We then checked out this Gouldings Lodge, the only motel being very very close to the valley. We phoned ahead and already knew that they were booked out. Seeing the place, we were kinda glad that we did not do the 160$ per night reservation. The place is pretty no thrills and totally banks in on the fact that it has a partial view of monument valley. The adjacent restaurant looked very touristy and sells overpriced burgers. But the old trading post has been transformed to a museum partially about the area having been used in movies (For the younger ones of us best examples: Back to the Future 3, Thelma & Louis, Forrest Gump)
We then faced the decision about what or better where next. A) stay in Kayenta B) go 120 miles to Chinie to see some canyon C) go 108 miles to Page to see some lake .. and we settled on C … so we drove some 1.5 hours more and witnessed a spectacular sunset and when it was very very dark we arrived in Page, AZ and got a room at the local Quality Inn for 53.99$.
The climate was now a bit warmer again and we strolled around a bit since there were nice restaurants around. We settled on some nice local place and shared a seafood platter, which was pretty nice. We headed then back to the hotel and had sweet dreams.