Monument Valley, Utah to Flagstaff, Arizona 3/25/2014

MARCH 25, 2014 (Tuesday)

 

Happy 25th anniversary to my wonderfully adventurous husband! Thank you so much for the fun and laughter. Looking forward to our next 25!

 

We got up and were out by 9:00 AM. We went exploring a little ways, stopped at the store to get coffee and breakfast, got gas, and then headed to Monument Valley.

Edie spotted some pretty flowers as we headed out.

Edie spotted some pretty flowers as we headed out.

Got some gas, since we are in the middle of not sure.

Got some gas, since we are in the middle of not sure when we’ll see a gas station again.

Have to pay to have it here.

Have to pay to have it here.

Just a top off.

Just a top off.

We had been told there was a 17 mile drive you could take instead of paying $65.00 per person for the tour. We paid our $5.00 per person to get into the park (Navajo run), looked at the map, and took off – fat, dumb, and happy. We had been told by the lady at the entrance booth that the first half mile of the road was the hardest part, but after that it was good road and “your car is passable”.

So the first half mile was horrible – and so was the rest of it. We got about four or five miles and turned around. It took us over an hour. At one point we lost all traction and had to roll back down the hill and try again. There were just so many ruts, rocks, and fine sand. Very difficult to do in a low riding car. Highly recommended for big trucks or SUV’s. Was very beautiful though, and a totally different perspective from the valley floor. Glad we did it but we plan on coming back and doing a tour (or bringing a truck).

Started off beautiful.

Started off beautiful.

Kinda wanted to film a western here myself.

Kinda wanted to film a western here myself.

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Rough road.

Rough road on the left.

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The Prius is low to the ground to be aerodynamic.  Today it was rock dynamic.

The Prius is low to the ground to be aerodynamic. Today it was rock dynamic.

Pretty though.

Pretty though.

Grumpy waiting while pretty woman found a jewelry store.

Grumpy waiting while pretty woman found a jewelry store.

Rocks, ruts, or fine sand.

Rocks, ruts, or fine sand.

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Three sisters.

Three sisters.

Rock stackers.

Rock stackers.

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Zoom out.

Zoom out.

Zoom in.

Zoom in.

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Took me three runs to make it up this hill.

Took me three runs to make it up this hill.

Almost got to the top and ended up having to back all the way down to get a running start.

Almost got to the top and ended up having to back all the way down to get a running start.

Lex discovered she has anxiety issues with Dad driving.

Lex discovered she has anxiety issues with Dad driving.

Once we got back to civilization, we went to the Visitor’s Center and the shops at Monument Valley. They had a little museum there that had a lot of good information about the Navajo people. They also had a lot of stuff with John Wayne. There’s a hotel and restaurant there that would be a fun place to stay next time we’re here.

We made it out, pavement is such a wonderful invention!

We made it out, pavement is such a wonderful invention!

Lots of respect for the elders.  Should have focused more on this with Lex.

Lots of respect for the elders. Should have focused more on this with Lex.

Lots of displays, as it should be, reflecting the Navajo pride in the USMC Code Talkers of WWII.

Lots of displays, as it should be, reflecting the Navajo pride in the USMC Code Talkers of WWII.

I've never seen or read from the Japanese perspective how far they got in breaking the code.

I’ve never seen or read from the Japanese perspective how far they got in breaking the code.

The Navajo have achieved high art in weaving and metal work.

The Navajo have achieved high art in weaving and metal work.

Why the hell don't they put this sign out at the entrance gate instead of that lady that so sweetly lied to me???

Why the hell don’t they put this sign out at the entrance gate instead of that lady that so sweetly lied to me???

Rough statistics.

Rough statistics.

Forever more referred to as, "the road".

Forever more referred to as “the road”.

Well, they were here first.

Well, they were here first.

We took off – heading to Flagstaff for the night. The drive was almost 200 miles and took about 3-4 hours. We did make one stop at the gas station to fill up on air. Because of all the rocks and stuff on the road in Monument Valley, our tire pressure light came on and we didn’t want to chance it. Michael decided to put a little air in all the tires (we didn’t have a tire gauge). We plan on stopping and getting a gauge as soon as we can. (We thought we had one in the car but we couldn’t find it. )

Interesting motif at a strip mall.

Interesting motif at a strip mall.

Amazing life, tenaciously living.

Amazing life, tenaciously living.

We drove until around 2:00 PM and stopped for lunch in Tuba City. Our first choice for lunch was Taco Bell but we couldn’t find it; second choice was a Chinese Restaurant but it was closed; third choice was another Chinese Restaurant called China Star. Wonderful lunch buffet. Great food and a fantastic variety of options for anyone’s taste. We would definitely go there again when we go back.

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We got into Flagstaff around 3:00 PM.  The sky had changed from brilliant blue to clouds.  The weather turned a little dark between Tuba City and Flagstaff.  The check-in at the Travelodge was quick and easy. The room is large and clean appearing.  Once we got into the room and turned on the TV, we saw where a huge dust storm was heading to where we just where. That would have been exciting.  They said 40 deaths over the years have been caused by dust storm related accidents.

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Michael and Lexi went out to get our dinner and bring it back.   They brought back Chili’s (anniversary splurge).  It was all really good.  Michael had a salad, Lexi had a hamburger, and I had nachos.  He also got a huge cookie for us to split. Everything was excellent!

That was our day.  Hope yours was great!

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