Winter in the Desert - 2013 travel blog

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Super Man





room with a view

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Some day soon we are going to have to head for home. To that end we've been working our way east along the AZ-UT border 150 miles at a time. This has been much more confusing than it needs to be. When we left Arizona in February it was an hour ahead of California. However, the state generally does not follow Daylight Savings Time, which most of us changed to a few weeks ago. Utah definitely did. Some of the Indian reservations in this area do follow Daylight Savings Time, but not all. We start the check-in process at every new campground asking, "What time is it here?" Today it took the clerk ten minutes to try to clarify the situation. She only served to confuse us further. Fortunately, it does not really matter unless we are taking a tour or attending something that only happens at a certain time. Otherwise we're just on Wiseman time and get up and go to sleep when it feels like that's what we should be doing. It's great being retired!

As we study the route home, we are dismayed to find that virtually the entire drive for our last push NE is under a heavy snow advisory. Even here despite the bright sunshine it is cold enough to haul out the parka and gloves once again. The timing for the drive home is determined by an appointment to fix our jacks once again in Iowa. Today Ken pushed the button for the heck of it and the jacks came down. What does this mean? What should we do about it? Will the jacks come up again? Stay tuned.

In the mean time we are here to enjoy Monument Valley. This area was made famous by John Ford in a number of John Wayne movies and has come to typify the Old West. Hollywood still comes calling all the time. The rock formations are so dramatic and there is plenty of space between them to build a set or gather the calvary depending on what the script calls for.

People who arrive here on large buses tour with guides in open air vehicles, but independent souls like us, are free to lurch around the place on our own at our own pace. The road is in worse shape than the one we drove yesterday because of the boulders buried in the sand that toss you around. But with the view, who cares? The color of the formations is more monochromatic than what we saw yesterday. The rock monoliths, gravel and sand dunes are all the same shade of orange, which totally complements the bright blue sky and green vegetation.

The usual 17 mile circuit includes stops at great photo angles for each of the major features. Also at these stops are convenient jewelry shopping opportunities. Local families assemble the necklaces, bracelets, earrings, sun catchers and other typical Indian souvenirs and sell them throughout the park. However, today was especially cold and windy and most of the display tables were empty.

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