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.
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.
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.
That cliff is across the San Juan River, which is at the base of the cliff.
Length of ride, about 230 miles