Monday, June 28, 2010

The Manual Monument Valley View

New Year's Eve, 1994. I was Roadtripping from Flagstaff, Arizona to Moab, Utah. I'd spent the day before at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. The day before that I was in Las Vegas. Before that Southern California.

I was driving my, then new, GMC Safari Van. As I drove along, enjoying the Painted Desert I looked up to see a scene that seemed real familiar. I pulled off the road and got out my van's manual.

The cover of the manual was the view I was looking at through my windshield, which you are looking at in the photo.

This was south of the turn off from Highway 163 that takes you to Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park.

New Year's Eve, 1994 started off on Highway 89 out of Flagstaff. Then east on Highway 160. About 10 miles on to Highway 160 I got off the highway in Tuba City and went to one of the most unique McDonald's I've seen. Since I was in the Navajo Nation it should have come as no surprise to find the McDonald's Navajo themed.

Back on the road the next stop was in Kayenta at a Burger King. I'm sounding like a fast food addict. I had a good reason to stop at the Kayenta Burger King. I'd read there was an interesting museum there. And there was. It was dedicated to the Navajo Code Talkers. A story that had not been widely told at that point in time. This lapse has since been fixed. It was the first I'd learned of how the Navajo Nation had helped America win WWII .

At Kayenta I left Highway 160 behind and head north on 163. It was on 163 I saw my van's manual cover staring at me.

Shortly after leaving the Navajo Nation I came to a bridge across the San Juan River and saw the San Juan Inn in Mexican Hat for the first time. I wished I'd stayed there for the night, rather than continuing on to Moab. I didn't make that mistake the next time I was in the area, staying at the San Juan Inn the day I got off a Lake Powell Houseboat.

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