On the Road Again

19 09 2007


Yesterday was only a warm up to the trek we faced today. It was a long and noisy journey from Flagstaff to Durango. Google Maps plotted the route as being about 310 miles taking about 5 hours to complete. A quick detour to Monument Valley was a can’t miss opportunity, so we brought the kids to see some really nice looking rock formations. However, after paying to get into the visitor center, we felt we wouldn’t have enough time in the day to take the 2 hour self guided drive to see all the rock formations. I didn’t want to get a whole lot of clay dirt in the car, and we had already lost an hour since the Navajo Nation observes Daylight Savings.

So, off we went along highway 163 north into Utah. Then after more than 40 miles, take 162 east, and this will eventually catch the US 160 highway and get us back on track to Durango. In retrospect, it may have been just as quick to just turn around after visiting Monument Valley, but at least the route was scenic.

We also stopped by the Four Corners National Monument. I figured since we aren’t taking this route on the return trip, we might as well stop and say we were there. It was an interesting place to stop. I’ve seen many people report that it wasn’t worth the price of admission. I believe that my donation to the Navajo tribe will go to good use, or at least to help maintain the monument. The kids used the oppotunity to run around, not knowing that they were running across 4 states. And, it was rather weird to be in such a point, the only point in the United States where 4 states meet. The position of the state lines on the monument felt as though they were 45 degrees of axis; I hope they were poistioned correctly.  At least now, we can say we were there, and we have pictures to prove it.

Tomorrow promises to be a scenic and memorable day. We are taking a trip on the Durango-Silverton Express. This train was once used to haul silver and gold from Silverton to Durango. Tourists started taking the scenic ride only months after it was completed back in 1881 or so. Eliana is looking forward to it, as am I.  The train takes 3 hours to go 45 miles, so this isn’t a back breaking ride. I just hope the kids help us to enjoy the ride.

Our drive yesterday was short and sweet. With less than 3 total house of kid-consciousness to deal with, the yelling and screaming ended as soon as it started. Today was much more difficult. We stopped nearly every hour to let the kids out and stretch their legs. We lingered at lunch time to let the kids run around in the play area at Burger King. (The Navajo Code Talker exihibit in the Kayenta Burger King was very interesting.) In all fairness though, Annabelle is the one having the tough time. Eliana is quite content to sit in her seat for the whole day as long as we have the DVDs playing her favorite movies. Annabelle gets bored after about 10 minutes and starts crying. She is just not old enough to handle the whole trip. I don’t know how we’re going to get along on Friday when we drive up to Denver. That will be at least 6 hours of car time. Only 2 of which they will be asleep.

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