Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Utah Road Trip - Day 13

Breakfast at the Olde Bridge Grill (it is right under one side of a bridge). Such an interesting place - lots of history all over the walls. Linda felt compelled to photo some of it for the 2 Old Buzzards' Road Blog. Meanwhile, John was wishing he could slide under the table (no by getting drunk. Just to hide). Our beverage server had a flower over one ear, a turquoise necklace and a flashlight shirt - a very cute and personable Native American gentleman. Despite the fact that he had to use a cane, he managed to very efficiently take care of coffee, tea and juice for all 7 or 8 tables of people. John had eggs, bacon & OJ. Linda had coffee, cranberry juice, Raw Bits Twang Twang and a grapefruit.

We rolled out of Mexican Hat, Utah on US 163 at 9:23 with pleasant 54 degree temperature. There were some cute puffy clouds which looked like they could add interest to our photo adventures. We soon arrived at Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. Long before we got to the official entrance we could see the large geologic feature (aka rock) that is often seen in depictions of Utah. We pulled off the road and got photos of it before going through the entrance booth. At the booth we paid our $5 per person fee (your National Park Senior Pass doesn't not apply here) and were given a map which showed the features of the park. There was a large paved parking lot, signs for guided tours, a hiking trail, a lodge, an unimproved dirt road and a visitor center. We went a few miles on the 17 mile "unimproved" dirt road that must have been a dry lake bed (lots of rocks of all sizes) before deciding to turn around. Wilma (our Honda Odyssey) is a real trooper but is not a 4-wheel drive vehicle and it would have been a terrible place to get stranded. Moreover, the people who had opted for bouncing in the seats strapped to pickups (enjoy your tour?) didn't look like they were having too much fun for the extra money they paid for a guided tour. So, our recommendation would be to drive to about 1/4 mile from the entrance, take some photos of the signature feature and make a u-turn - unless you have a red Hummer you are just itching to test drive... Besides, there are tons of features (rocks formations) outside Monument Valley Park all along the highway. And, as previously mentioned, there is Valley of the Gods in Mexican Hat which is absolutely free and has a much, much better road.

We proceeded south and were soon in Arizona on our way to Jacob Lake. It's good to have maps with you and not rely completely on GPS devices. Wilma tried to send us on a 24 mile Bureau of Indian Affairs dirt road (BIA 201) as a part of our route. She did this once before in Navajo Land on our Arizona road trip. No thank you Wilma. It took quite a while for her to stop suggesting that we "Make a u-turn if possible". The road we chose to stay on (Utah 98) was very scenic and there was hardly any traffic. Once we got to lots of pine trees the temperature dropped and we were soon at our cute little log cabin at Jacob Lake, Arizona. Don't be alarmed that John refers to it as Jacob Lake, UT in the photo gallery for today. He has been duly scolded and promises to do better on his geography. Our cabin is very rustic but very nice. No internet, microwave, refrigerator, air conditioner, phone or coffee maker. But that's OK. We like it fine. There are two nice-sized rooms. And Fannie Mae loves exploring the great outdoors. It's nice to be away from cactus, stickers and ant beds for a while and just walk on some nice pine needles. She really has had to be kept on a short leash (literally) for her walks in many of the places we've been to in Utah.

John got a Grand Bull to go from our lodging's restaurant. It was a burger on homemade toasted white bread with mushrooms, Ortega chilies and melted cheese. Linda had her leftover Navajo taco and her BBQd chicken from the Cottonwood Steakhouse.

The almost full moon looked so pretty shining through the pine trees. Linda got a nice shot of it near a clearing.

An added bonus to an October Road Trip with no radio or TV or mail delivery or land line or front door to knock on is NO POLITICAL MESSAGES! So when we get home we can just mark our absentee ballots and be done. Aren't you just a little envious of our POLITICIAN-FREE BUBBLE?

Today's photo gallery has about 52 HDR images of Monument Valley and environs. It can be viewed by clicking here.

This brings us to Linda's Tea Bag Philosophy for today: Another one from Good Earth Tea – not one of her favorite brands, but they do have interesting tea bag tags. “ Since a politician never believes what he says, he is quite surprised to be taken at his word.” (Charles De Gaulle (1890 - 1970)

BONUS QUIZ: What is a flashlight shirt?

John offers this Pot-Shot for today. It was selected at random.....

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