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Topic: The Navajo National Memorial  (Read 13493 times)

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JonS
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« on: November 15, 2011, 02:03:40 PM »

Last Saturday, I decided it was time for a ride. The place I wanted to see was the Navajo National Memorial, which I have passed many times, but never stopped. When I Googled it, I discovered that it wasn't a memorial to  the Navajo, but part of the National park service and surrounded by tribal land. I left at about 9:00am after it had warmed up to about 40 degrees.

This view is about 10 minutes from our house, in the middle of nowhere. Smile


It's hard to keep going with all the scenery close by, so bear with me.


Soon I got my first glimpse of Monument Valley.


This is the bridge over the San Juan River and onto the Navajo Nation. It's in Mexican Hat, the closest place to our little town and named after a distinctive rock formation near by.


Getting close. Monument Valley is a Navajo park, with restaurant and hotel. People live amongst the Rock formations. It doesn't cost too much to take a self guided tour of the place, but decent ground clearance is needed.


OK, one more as I pass. Smile


Monument Valley is also the name of the town. At the outskirts you enter Arizona.


Down the road a ways, I came across this formation. It is actually the core of a volcano. With time the softer out rock has eroded away. Pretty common sight around here.


This view is at the edge of the Park Service area. On the right hand side, across the highway is Black Mesa. It's shared by the Navajo and the Hopi. There is also a huge coal mine up there, which causes water problems for the people living there. The Peabody Mine has been there since the 30s, through some unfair land use contract, I believe. That's how things usually work around here.


This was a nice surprise!



Ok, here we are. It's about a half mile walk to the viewing area, across the canyon from the ruin. I was always confused because this place had the name it did. The main attraction is an ancient Pueblo ruin. Nothing to do with the Navajos, except it's on their land.



This explains things a little.


This is a huge conveyer, from the top of the mesa, to where it is loaded onto an electric train that takes the coal to an electric plant at Page AZ, on the edge of Lake Powell.


This is a very common sign around here. You never know when you will find horses, cows, sheep or goats along the highway. Seems especially true close to where we live.



I stopped for lunch at a Burger King in Kayentae, AZ. The Navajo are very proud of the Veterans and active serviceman among them. This display was in the restaurant.


Leaving the burger king, I spotted these two young horses in the parking lot.


Cool clouds, I thought.


Back in my own state and county.


One last shot of the beautiful rock formations around here. That's Cedar Mesa on the left and the Blue mountains on the right. Cedar Mesa is a very popular hiking area, as most of the canyons there have ruins in them.


I was a few minutes from home and I realized that I didn't take any shots with my bike in it, so here it is. Lol That cliff is across the San Juan River, which is at the base of the cliff.
Length of ride, about 230 miles









 










« Last Edit: November 16, 2011, 08:05:30 AM by JonS » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2011, 02:16:15 PM »

Gorgeous desert scenery man. Very nice.  Thumbsup

You're very lucky to live near such a spectacular place.
I don't envy you with the rattlesnake and scorpion thing, but otherwise the desert is very cool.  Thumbsup
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« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2011, 02:18:05 PM »

Beautiful scenery!  I love the Southwest.  Thanks for the pics, Jon.  I hope to return to Monument Valley with my kids someday.   Thumbsup
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« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2011, 04:08:59 PM »


Gorgeous desert scenery man. Very nice.  Thumbsup

You're very lucky to live near such a spectacular place.
I don't envy you with the rattlesnake and scorpion thing, but otherwise the desert is very cool.  Thumbsup


Thanks  I have never stopped gawking at the surroundings here.
Rattlesnakes are very rare here. Maybe it's the elevation we live at, about 4500ft. Scorpions, on the other hand are definitely around. The first year we lived here, there were 4 in our house. Arizona bark scorpions. The most dangerous in the country. I found the first when I walked into the bathroom in the night and stepped on it. EEK! When I turned on the light, I was not amused, I laid in bed for quite a while staring at the ceiling.before I could sleep. Crazy That was last year, right after we moved in after building. This year, so far so good.
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« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2011, 04:17:44 PM »

oooooo yeah Az Bark scorps are nasty little bastards. So I've heard.

I got nailed by a scorp in the high desert in California around Inyokern.
sent me hightailing it to the Bakersfield hospital, it did. I don't know what kind it was but it was
a very evil painful sting with a lot of swelling.
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« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2011, 04:34:54 PM »

Beautiful photos. Inlove  I can't wait to return to your neighborhood next May.
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« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2011, 07:39:36 PM »

Great shots.  Really looking forward to exploring down that way.  Debating motorcycle vs. Jeep - it's a tough call with the amount of dirt roads.
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« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2011, 08:45:10 PM »


Beautiful photos. Inlove  I can't wait to return to your neighborhood next May.


Thanks!
Good plan! Just before it gets too hot.
You know, I spent the first 33 years of my like in Milwaukee. Smile Almost all of it on the East side.


Great shots.  Really looking forward to exploring down that way.  Debating motorcycle vs. Jeep - it's a tough call with the amount of dirt roads.

There is definitely a ton of dirt roads here. There is also a fair amount of "Scenic Byways", not to mention Colorado close by. Inlove
« Last Edit: November 15, 2011, 08:48:34 PM by JonS » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2011, 08:45:25 PM »

Gorgeous.  Pam and I were out there last year about this time.  What struck me was the poverty amid the beauty.  Hard to forget.
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« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2011, 09:03:26 PM »


Gorgeous.  Pam and I were out there last year about this time.  What struck me was the poverty amid the beauty.  Hard to forget.


Yes, the Navajo suffer from the same things that other Native Americans do.
 One thing that threw me when we first moved here was that they do not landscape around their homes and that makes thing look worse to our white eyes.  They are also very fine people, as a rule. Friendly and helpful and very family oriented. Where we live, almost anywhere we want to go, you have to enter their land or the Utes. My neighbor and his wife are biologists working for the Navajos. They are handling their wild sheep.
He told me once that when you cross the river, it's really a 3rd world country. That actually was a valuable thing to know Shrug.
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« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2011, 11:22:51 PM »


This view is about 10 minutes from our house, in the middle of nowhere. Smile

You retired people suck!  Angry3

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Gorgeous scenery  Drool

Glad to see you're back on the road after your get off  Thumbsup
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« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2011, 12:47:17 AM »

Great report, and awesome pics.  Thumbsup

Utah is simply amazing - usually ride there once or twice a year and never get sick of it.
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« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2011, 09:29:06 AM »

Quote
There is also a huge coal mine up there, which causes water problems for the people living there. The Peabody Mine has been there since the 30s, through some unfair land use contract, I believe. That's how things usually work around here.


Back in '05 when Tammy & I stopped overnight in Kayente we saw a bunch of coal trucks with U.S. Gov't license plates.  We talked a bit with one of the drivers, a local Navajo, who said he and his fellow Indians got paid mega-bucks to drive the trucks just 3 days a week, through some really skanky-sounding (to us at least) public/private partnership deal involving Peabody Coal and the Dept. of Interior.
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« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2011, 11:03:16 AM »



You retired people suck!  Angry3

 Wink

Gorgeous scenery  Drool

Glad to see you're back on the road after your get off  Thumbsup


Retirement is great. Actual work never crosses my mind. Razz  Bigsmile
Thanks!  Right now it feels a little odd when I for start out. Then things return to normal. Smile

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« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2011, 11:05:14 AM »




Back in '05 when Tammy & I stopped overnight in Kayente we saw a bunch of coal trucks with U.S. Gov't license plates.  We talked a bit with one of the drivers, a local Navajo, who said he and his fellow Indians got paid mega-bucks to drive the trucks just 3 days a week, through some really skanky-sounding (to us at least) public/private partnership deal involving Peabody Coal and the Dept. of Interior.



 Crazy I didn't know about that. Not too surprised though.
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« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2011, 01:10:39 PM »


Great pictures, especially the first one!

I've driven around that area, but never ridden it...hopefully one day....
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« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2011, 02:02:35 PM »

JonS, what is the riding weather in early April usually?  Thinking about a long ride from NJ.
tanks
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« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2011, 02:10:53 PM »


JonS, what is the riding weather in early April usually?  Thinking about a long ride from NJ.
tanks


I am not JonS, but I rode that area early April this year, and the weather there was great. However, crossing the Rockies is another story. I got stuck coming home due to a late snow storm and had to lay over a day in Montrose, CO. The same storm also hit the higher elevations in parts UT a bit as well. It's a mountain state, so it can always be hit or miss weather wise.
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« Reply #18 on: November 16, 2011, 09:52:55 PM »

Jon,

Good report and outstanding pics. IMO you live in the most beautiful part of the USA. SE Utah is absolutely amazing! My wife, my brother and I spent a few weeks riding in the four corners area last summer--had a wonderful trip. Some of our favorite roads were just north of where you took this ride. I will definitely get back to SW Colorado/SE Utah again next summer. Like you, I hope to retire near there in a few years.

Jon
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« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2011, 10:23:13 PM »

 Bigok  Thanks for the report.
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