Southwestern Adventure 2009 – Day Three

Day Three – April 8th, 2009

Four Corners USA

I drove from Albequerque to Four Corner USA. It was fun to stand in four states at the same time. However, I learned later that perhaps this monument may not be technically where the four states meet. It doesn’t matter for this trip anyway.

Four Corners USA

Four Corners USA

Four Corners - Four States

Four Corners – Four States

It was VERY windy here…

Four Corners - Standing in Four States

Four Corners – Standing in Four States

Monument Valley Park

I drove from Four Corners towards Monument Valley Park. I saw breathtaking views and I seemed to be the only vehicle for miles! I can’t wait to get back here with a pro camera to take some awesome photos. Throughout this journey a song started playing in my head with wordless vocals sung by a Native American. It was my soundtrack for the trip.

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

This is my favorite photo from the trip and I see a priest providing overwatch of a castle. I found out only recently upon searching that this formation has the name “Stagecoach”. You can view it on Google Maps.

Monument Valley - Stagecoach

Monument Valley – Stagecoach

There were many other formations like this one but I didn’t get very good photos of them. Next time.

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Fans of the Half Life video game franchise may recognize Black Mesa which is the location where the game takes place in a secret military base. I’m guessing this is where they got the idea from. I was surprised to see actual signs with this labeling.

Black Mesa Station

Black Mesa Station

Black Mesa Complex - Half Life

Black Mesa Complex – Half Life

Not pictured is my detour through The Valley of the Gods. As I was driving along the road I saw the sign and thought, “Why not?” I stopped at the entrance and let another vehicle pass – tourists in a rental who appeared to be just fine racing along and chuckling as their vehicle bounced. However, I wanted to be careful with my vehicle. This was the most frightening part of the trip as the temperature was soaring and my vehicle was borderline overheating. The path is a 17-mile dirt road that is VERY rocky and I had to go VERY slow so as not to damage my vehicle suspension. My Jeep is supposedly “trail rated” but seriously, was not able to handle this. I tried to enjoy the scenery but it was quite treacherous. I was praying the entire time that I would make it through okay.

Near the 5-mile mark a women in a small white four-door vehicle stopped and asked me for the nearest gas station as her tire was going flat. Unfortunately, I didn’t know anything about the area, and was wholly unprepared. Cell phone service is not available and my phone at the time had no service. However, I think the navigation system in my vehicle was working and so I could follow the trail. She went onward and I felt bad that I could not help her. I now have a portable tire inflator that I keep in my vehicle. She was near the exit and there was about 3 hours of light left in the day so I have hope she was okay.

It took me perhaps 1.5 hours to get through this trail moving at a snails pace. I was so happy to make it through. Next time I may rent a rugged vehicle or something.

Next up… Southwestern Adventure 2009 – Day Four

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