MARCH 24, 2014 (Monday)
Spring is here! The weather has been beautiful and looks like it will continue for awhile.
Michael and I got up around 8:00 AM and went down to the registration area to have their continental breakfast. Kind of awkward in that there was only seating for about six people and there were many more waiting to eat, get their food, or sit down. Michael and I ended up getting our coffee and food and eating it at the counter. We had to keep moving our food items so other people could get their breakfast. (We took a waffle and juice up to the room for Lexi.)
We left around 9:30 AM – destination Monument Valley, Utah. It’s about a 200 mile drive but we wanted to do little detours to Ganado and Canyon De Chelly. (Kind of a walk down memory lane for Michael – and him telling the stories about when he lived there for us.) We stopped in Gallup at the Safeway to get a couple of items, and then gas at the Giant Gas Station close to the Safeway ($3.36 a gallon).
We drove through Ganado, and then stopped to go to the bathroom. Michael said he didn’t recognize much anymore. I wanted to go see the school he used to teach at, but he wasn’t sure where it was anymore. After we had stopped to go to the bathroom, we were driving out of town and saw the road was blocked by the Ganado Fire Department. They were busily putting out a small fire on the side of the road. We also saw where they had put out two or three other fires. Looked like someone was driving along starting fires. Stupid. Anyway, the Ganado Fire Department did a great job and we only had about a ten minute wait while they doused everything to make sure it was safe.
The next stop was Canyon De Chelly, outside of Chinle, Arizona. What a beautiful canyon. We drove to several of the overlooks, and even walked down a couple to the viewing areas. Gorgeous! We got to see a few of the cave dwellings in the cliffs. I love those. I could live in one (if it had a bathroom, running water, TV, internet and an elevator). We thought we’d see more cave dwellings at the Spider Rock Overlook, but the White House Overlook homes were easier to see and make out. Michael and I decided that we’re going to come back and do the hike. First we need to get in shape. At some of the parking areas they had Native American (Navajo) vendors selling their artwork. They were very friendly and were eager to tell their stories and share what their symbols were all about. Loved seeing them actively making their wares while we were looking/shopping.
We stopped in Chinle, Arizona for lunch. The choices were either Subway or a Burger King. We opted for the Burger King because it looked busier. Took awhile but we got our food and went on our merry way to Monument Valley. The GPS took us a weird way but it was fun because the road didn’t have a lot of vehicles and there were many horses, mules, cows, and sheep just munching or standing alongside the road.
The drive to our hotel (Goulding Lodge and Tours) was beautiful, especially going over the Monument Valley Pass and then down into the valley. So many formations. We started naming them – the Indian, the mohawk, the pyramid; just too many. We are going to do more exploring tomorrow before we head back down to Flagstaff, Arizona.
Wanted to mention that we thought we were going to be staying with our Aunt and Uncle in Oklahoma for a few days but she still isn’t feeling up to company so we have been booking hotels and taking a slow route to Las Vegas. I have been booking the hotels mostly through Booking.com because it lets us change our plans without charging us. So far everything has been okay. I actually prefer using Priceline.com, but with 3 of us, they can’t guarantee two beds. Once we get Lexi settled, we’ll probably go back to using Priceline.com.
We got to the Goulding Lodge around 4:00 PM. It’s in a lovely setting at the base of a mountain. Our “home” was a little ways away but it’s quite lovely – a two bedroom. Lexi was thrilled. It’s a little apartment. The only thing it doesn’t have is a washer and dryer. Oh well. When we get to Las Vegas we’re hopeful we’ll have a washer/dryer. Michael and I have decided that we want to come back here and explore more. It’s just too much to see in one day.
Later in the evening we went to dinner at the Stagecoach Restaurant. Before we went in to dinner, we walked around and saw the cabin where John Wayne’s office was in “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.” Too fun. There was also an old stagecoach and other old artifacts.
Was nice to see. When we were eating dinner someone would ring the dinner bell, just like in the old days. The food in the restaurant was good but pricey, probably because there really isn’t much around. After that we went to the gift shop and looked around. The Goulding Lodge is a nice place and has lots to see and do on its premises.
Anyway, that was our day. Hope yours was great!