Southwest Roadtrip, Days 3-4

Day 3 we drove from Glenwood Springs, CO to Maob, UT. We arrived at Arches National Park, just outside of Moab, in the early afternoon. We stopped for lunch in the park (we brought a cooler with fruit, cheese, beverages, etc in it, and some crackers and things for lunches, and only had to buy lunch 3 times in the 10-day trip) and then we drove to a few of the scenic points, and finally hiked up to the Delicate Arch. That hike was longer and more difficult than we expected (but really not THAT diffricult—we’re not experienced hikers), but it was worth it. The Delicate Arch (the one on the Utah license plate and all the travel brochures) is quite impressive. But holy cow, was it windy up there! I stood up to take a picture and literally almost got blown over. My husband had to crouch and hold hold onto my legs/knees to help me stand up! And the little plateau/viewpoint was only probably 10 feet wide (much longer), so if you fell over you stood a real chance of tumbling down the back of the cliff, or knocking someone else off of it. Eppe! I actually wasn’t really scared, but later my spouse told me he was actual afraid for his life. It was kind of cute. 🙂 Usually I am afraid of heights, so I don’t know what was up with me.

Lunch at Arches National Park

Delicate Arch

After our hike up and back down, we were hot and tired, so we just went and found a hotel, had dinner (somewhere not super interesting), and walked around the town a little bit. Then we stopped for ice cream, and I tried horchata ice cream—it was very yummy! We were both tired, though, so we went back to our hotel and hit the sack pretty early.

Horchata ice cream, mmm!

The next morning, we got up early (we were still on Central time zone time) and hit the road. We drove through southern Utah and the Navajo nation, which was simultaneously beautiful, depressing, boring, and intriguing. The red rock scenery was really striking, but after a few hours of driving though it, miles and miles between exits, we got tired and a bit bored. The Utah part of the rez didn’t seem to be terribly populous, either. We did see some roadside stands where Indians were selling jewelry and other crafts, but most of the stands seemed to be unoccupied, and there just weren’t a lot of people out and about.

We stopped right on the AZ border at Goulding’s Trading Post, a well-known but probably not the most authentic trading post. We saw goats, horses and cows just wandering free-range, and even a couple of coyotes! I bought a kachina doll (Roasted Corn Kachina). I have been interested in kachinas since I was very young, and I was excited to be able to buy one. It was a small one and Navajo-made, so not terribly expensive. The Hopi and Zuni tribes, make the only “authentic” kachinas, which are carved all out of the root of a certain kind of tree and painted to represent the embodiment of their gods. Navajos make the kachinas basically as a source of income, and they are made from pre-assembled parts decorated with paint, feather, leather, etc instead of hand-carved from wood. But actually I like the Navajo-made ones better—I like the leather and feathers and things. Plus there’s no way I could afford an “authentic” kachina!

After that, we continued on our way to Williams, AZ. Once we crossed the border into the Arizona side of the Navajo nation, it seemed a lot more lively. We drove through several small town areas, and saw a ton of Indians out hitchhiking. We stopped for gas in a bigger town, and at the station an older Navajo man approached me and asked me for $2. He said he was hitchhiking and wanted to get something to eat at the McDonald’s across the street. J I probably got conned, but it was $2, so I gave it to him. He seemed nice. I wish I’d have asked him where he was going.

We stopped for lunch at Cameron, near the East entrance to the Grand Canyon, then drove the last couple of hours through Flagstaff and into Williams, where we had booked a B&B for two nights. We got in before check-in time, so we went into town and looked around a bit before checking in. Williams is an interesting little place. It’s an odd mixture of Western/cowboy kitsch and Historic Route 66 memorabilia. I bought another, bigger Navajo kachina (Hoop Dance Kachina) at a shop in town. After checking in and meeting the owners of the Grand Canyon B&B, we rested for awhile and then went back into town for dinner at Cruiser’s Café, and then returned to our room. We were tired! We watched some TV and read for awhile, but were probably asleep before 10!