Trip to Mom’s Place

Business in the tourist town is beginning to wind down since all the kids went off to school. I planned a trip to see my mom and help clean up around and under the house.

The trip can be done in under 11 hours, but I decided to play a little tourist myself and take my time getting there. My first stop was my campsite for the night, Navajo National Monument. For those who haven’t stopped by, Navajo is a beautiful area with the remnants of cliff dwellings visible down a short hike. The place was emptied out being the end of the Labor Day weekend.

Oh, and the camping… It’s free. Don’t expect any hookups, but the grounds are well kept and the views… Just look at this sunrise.

Sunrise at Navajo National Monument

There wasn’t much of a sunset the night before due to a pile of rain clouds that blotted out the sun and later the stars. And next time I’ll actually get pictures of the cliff views.

A short drive east of Navajo is Kayenta and the turn off to Monument Valley. A quick stop for breakfast and a bit of dragging my feet to get the sun to poke through the clouds. It was worth the wait.

Prelude to Monument Valley

But instead of going to Monument Valley, I decided to head north to Valley of the Gods. I did get a little distracted on my way around Monument Valley.

Monumental Views
Road to Monument Valley

After a short trip North, I caught the west end of the 17 mile dirt road that winds through Valley of the Gods. The sun was popping through at random spots.

Purdy Flowers

Now my Jeep handled the road around Valley of the Gods with ease, but I’m not sure I’d take some of the vehicles I saw out there. Definitely don’t take anything with low profile tires. And even with a small SUV, I’d keep the speed really low.

On the way south back to 160, you pass through several picturesque areas, including Comb Ridge. It’s just spectacular.

Comb Ridge View

Leaving that beauty behind, it was time to make the mad dash through the Greater Farmington Area. I plan to stop by Shiprock on a later trip as the lighting wasn’t that great for pictures. I grabbed lunch and something to take for dinner and headed south on 550.

Only a few miles south of Bloomfield (maybe 20?), I turned east to Angel’s Peak. At the end of a 5 mile, wash-boarded sandy road is a free camping spot. The whole park is a small area that is a cross between Bryce Canyon and the Badlands National Park and, unfortunately, and oil refinery. The views are spectacular, especially with the late afternoon light, but expect to see roads in the valley leading to natural gas pump heads. At first you think the sound is just a close highway with constant traffic, but eventually you realize that it is a constant drone from several pump sites. It is at least worth a quick visit and even an overnight stay, considering the price.

Angel’s Peak Area

Eventually, I made it to my mom’s house. But what happened then is a whole lot of other projects. Just you wait.

Sunset to end the trip

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