By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 2/24/2019
Occurred: 4/9/2016
Topics/Keywords: #65thBirthdayTrip #Arizona #MonumentValley #Travel #Utah Page Views: 1522
All about the first day of my 65th Birthday Trip.
Map

So this is the morning we set out on our Grand Tour of the Southern United States. Our route started at Keith and Paul's Hogan and, before the days' travel was through, ended at Monument Valley.

Travel Day 1
Starting Point Home
Ending Point Monument Valley
Accommodations Goulding's Lodge & Campground
Miles Covered 311
Estimated Driving Time 4 hours 49 minutes

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So, one day after I turned 65, I arose about 7 am to start packing for the trip. I let Keith sleep in for an anticipated after-dark drive, when I planned to be exhausted!

Keith Jim

We got going about 1 PM, as planned. Our first stop was at Sunset Rest Area so Keith could get in a quick smoke. I was excited to see the prickly pear were about to bloom. (When they do, they will have bright fuschia flowers.)

Paul S. Cilwa

But the ocotillio were blooming fiercly.

Paul S. Cilwa

We couldn't have picked a prettier day to go for a drive.

Paul S. Cilwa

We passed by the eastern side of the San Francisco Peaks (the huge home to Snowbowl, Flagstaff's famous ski resort).

Paul S. Cilwa

The puffy cumulus clouds, so far above us when we were in Phoenix, were not so distant now that we were 5000 feet higher. And some of them shrouded the still-higher peaks.

Paul S. Cilwa

But for us it was smooth sailing, and the clouds (we seldom see them in Phoenix) just made it even prettier.

Paul S. Cilwa

Continuing past the Flagstaff area, we headed up towards the Navajo reservation past Tuba City. The land is spectacularly beautiful; but Keith explained to me that it was worthless to live on, because it can't be farmed.

Paul S. Cilwa

The sere landscape offers many surprises, such as clear views of the many geologic layers that have been partially eroded by millions of years' time.

Paul S. Cilwa
Paul S. Cilwa
Paul S. Cilwa
Paul S. Cilwa

With hills behind us as we turned East, we couldn't directly see the sunset but we didn't miss it, as it kissed the cliffs ahead of us.

Paul S. Cilwa

By the terms of their treaty, indivdual Najavos are not allowed to own businesses on the Rez; they have to be owned by non-Navajos (in other words, white people) who may then employ Navajos at whatever wages they prefer. I'm thinking it might be time to re-assess that treaty…