Historical Landmarks · Mountains · Parks · Roadside Attractions · Uncategorized

Four Corners Monument (Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah)

I decided to go to the four corners because who wouldn’t at this point? I mean really, its there, might as well go. I sort of figured it’d be this lame monument in the middle of nowhere with nothing much going on around it. I also figured it’d be free. No, you do have to pay a few bucks to see it, nothing too extravagant though. I drove in and found it quite busy. People filed in and out, the vast majority were Americans this time. People came in and took photos of each other touching all four states at once. The usual staged touristy photos were taken.

Around the monument itself there were a few dozen little stands, all with Navajo craftsmen and women. They were selling everything from tacky little four corners memorabilia to hand crafted sand paintings, gorgeous pottery, and lots and lots and lots of jewelry and beadwork. The people selling the stuff all said hi and were very friendly. I talked to a few and one woman told me that the sand paintings were all made of locally collected pigments, taken from various rocks. This was amazing as they were so colorful. I ended up buying one (a depiction of a pot – unique from the other more traditional designs) for $15 as well as a magnet. I have a magnet for a number of my destinations now. It would forever remind me of the irony of the situation – a meaningless monument set up and run by Native Americans for white people to show them the lines they drew in the dirt for their states. I mean whoever thought of that was genius. Props to them!

It was sweltering and hot and I was hungry so I tried some “fried bread.” Turns out that this was just the local way of saying fried dough, which is fine. It marked the end of my fried food tour. I was eating it with cinnamon and sugar in the car when I heard a knock on the window. I looked up and there was a guy that I swear to God looked like the father on one of those crappy 80’s sitcoms, Family Ties, I think. Anyway, that’s aside the point..

“What town?” He said without even coming up with a proper greeting. I recognized his Yankee accent. He was either from New Hampshire or Vermont. Since there was a moment of confused silence the man repeated his question and I answered.. Turns out he was from Bennington Vermont and had been travelling for 16 years. He told me about the book Travelling on a Shoestring and a number of locations I could check out including Monument Valley, just an hour down that road there.

I ended up taking his advice and good thing or else I would have missed Valley of the Gods which would become one of my favorite destinations.

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