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Thursday, May 15, 2014

South of Moab

We said out touching goodbye to Lars and Laurel and hit the southbound highway.

 Basically drove all day, it was about a 6 hour drive and we passed through so much. Neither of us have been south of Moab on that road.

Passing through the Manti-LaSal national forest was sublime. Cold like Montana, the highway climbed to 7000 feet. The LaSal mountains snow capped to our left and right.
We got to some charming southeastern Utah towns, Monticello, Blanding and then continued onward. In the juniper forest with mountains in the distance for a bit and then down in the red rock canyon and scrub desert a while. We passed through an especially red land as we said goodbye to Utah at the town of Mexican Hat. A very funny little town built into the canyon of the San Juan river, Laurel strives to be its mayor one day.

Then we headed to Monument Valley. Monument!!
Pulled over at a scenic pullout with a navajo jewelry shop there. Just a shack, falling apart, made out of old plywood and such. No jewelry or anyone around for miles. A couple of open signs decorated the place. We stopped here to rest and cook lunch.

 A nice view, very peaceful, until a dog approached us. It had big swollen infected nipples and walked with an unsettling gate, like it's liver was ruptured. She smelled the food! A good pup, I named her Cynthia. She scared Maggie, so Maggie sat in the bed and watched her to warn me when she came to close. Get back Cynthia! But we gave her some food and wondered about her life.

Then we drove through Monument. On the indian res now, the largest in the country, we drove and drove. My friend Billy doesn't believe Arizona exist and I can see why. There's not much there. Drove through the Navajo capital of Kayenta. It was okay there, we stopped in a very friendly post office.

We went off, passing through much open, dry land. Open space the U.S. didn't need so they figured let the Navajo have it. It's dry useless land anyway. The towns are makeshift, tires everywhere. Some people have their yard fenced with tires. I think the social status of the Navajo has to do with how many cars they have in their yard. Can't believe Utah let Arizona have the Grand Canyon.

Anyway...We drove through the vacant strange land for many hours and talked about life. We wondered why we came here and slowly sorted it out. It was a fantastic, bleak and meaningful drive. The landscape went from rocky red to sandy lime green grass. At some point we saw beautiful green mesas and hills and at long last connected with the depressing interstate 40 full of trucks. Arizona suck! That's putting it nicely.

Came to this awful town of Holbrook where we met a psycho hitchhiker and I got an ice cream for a dollar fifty. Wow! This is the first day of our road trip we didn't hike which is a shame. Found an interesting spot on a kinda creepy hill with a beautiful sunset and full moon and the city lights below us. We were stalked by a red sweatshirt on a stick in the distance and have to pull out the binoculars.

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