Archives for June 2007

On the Way to Tuba City, AZ

It was cool enough this morning, but the sun is now cooking the desert alive and I’m sweating pretty badly. Venturing across Navajoland, I come across the aged shell of an abandoned gas station bathed in graffiti. One mural is two large eagle feathers tide together, with the phrase, STILL HERE, sprayed in red paint below. On the other side K-Town is written, slang for Kayenta, a town close to the east. The wind is cutting through the power lines along the highway and the monster cottonwood creaks. There’s a bunch of dogs barking from a nearby residence while an old Navajo drags a pallet on a chain behind his 77 Chevy, grading the dirt road back to the house.

Traveling and Moving Around

I’ve been moving around the Southwest far from home. The first journey was a 1,600 mile loop around Arizona passing Hoover Dam, traveling along Route 66, down through Prescott, and as far south as Tucson. This is around the time my brother was getting married to a girl from Mesa, Arizona.

On the ancient Colorado, I had the opportunity to be Swamper for Arizona River Runners for one trip and worked my tail off. That is because one of the gals that was susposed to go had a medical condition at the last moment. So this oppurtunity was pretty rare and was told that getting a paid position on the river in my situation was like winning a contest. So I was able to skip the volunteer (work-your-way) position somewhat. My whole life I’ve been visiting Grand Canyon, but never had the chance of going down the river. Folks down there get a little trippy; they’re the whiskey-vodka drinking crowd, but I enjoyed the company. Sleeping on the pontoon every night, the stars were incredible. The river’s current rushed just feet from my head and it plays out in dreams and visions.

After the river, I traveled around Navajo land, going over to Shiprock, up to Blanding, down to a Tuba City flea market, and stayed in Monument Valley for two days. I went to several look out points above the Goosenecks of the San Juan River, like Muley Point. My whole idea was to venture up to Canyon Lands, but was missing Navajoland, so I returned to Monument Valley.

I’m back home in Cedar City, but already anticipating another road trip; maybe something more than that?

Note: Edited June 26th to add a few more details.

A Dream Come True

Well folks, I’m going on a Colorado River Trip through the Grand Canyon! See you when I get back on June 19th. Until then, West Desert Journal is on hiatus.