Yesterday went drove from La Paz County Park near Parker to Flagstaff. We got out early to try to beat wind forecast for the lower desert - and we succeeded. We had an easy drive. It was interesting to watch the terrain change from desert to high desert to mountains. We got off I-40 at Seligman & drove on Route 66 for almost 20 miles before getting back on I-40. We even saw a number of Burma Shave sign series. We were in our site in Flagstaff mid-afternoon. The temperature started dropping late afternoon & it was 30 when we got up this morning. (Think it was in the 60s when we got up yesterday!)
We were up early this morning & hit the road before 8:00 to try to miss the wind that was supposed to lessen the further north we got. (Unfortunately, it got worse the further north we went.) We drove thru Flagstaff on Route 66 before finally heading north. We left the mountains & pine trees behind in just about 30 miles.
We were in Navajo territory for the rest of the drive. Saw lots of hogans - primary traditional dwelling of the Navajo people. They can be round, cone-shaped, multi-sided, or square, with the door facing east to welcome the rising sun for good wealth & fortune. Today some hogans are still used as dwellings & others are maintained for ceremonial purposes. Most of the ones we saw today were 8-sided. We also saw a number of Navajo markets - rough market stalls where individuals & families sell jewelry, pottery, weavings, etc. We didn't stop at any today. The wind was really whipping & there weren't many vendors in the stalls.
We passed several routes into the Grand Canyon. We've been there a couple of times but are passing on by this trip.
The desert mountains are so varied & colorful - they give you a lot to look at as you drive. As we approached Monument Valley, they turned deep rusty red. We drove thru Monument Valley in Arizona before crossing the border into Utah.
We're staying at Goulding's Camp Park in Monument Valley, just across the border in Utah. The Gouldings came to the Monument Valley in the early 1920s. They were able to buy a substantial plot of land & quickly set up a trading post. When the depression hit in the 1930s, the Navajo reservation suffered. The Gouldings heard of a movie production company scouting for locations to film in the Southwest so they used their last $60 to go to Hollywood. They met the famous director John Ford & when Ford saw their photos of Monument Valley he knew it was the perfect location for his next movie - Stagecoach, starring John Wayne. Gouldings has continued to host movie crews, photographers, artists & tourists, expanding to include a lodge, dining facilities, grocery store, fuel station & gift shop where Navajo hand-made items are sold. It's the largest "resort" we've seen. And it's located on the Navajo reservation so has to meet reservation laws - including no liquor sales. We'll be checking out the original trading post, John Wayne's cabin, etc. in the coming days.
The rv camp is very nice & clean. The views in every direction are spectacular. The rocks & sand here are very red & the sand was really blowing this afternoon in the high winds. We walked Callie a couple of times & it wasn't fun. We're looking forward to less wind this weekend.
Didn't do much exploring because of the wind today. Looking forward to getting out & about the next few days. More later...