The Badlands of New Mexico

Dear Maia and Isaac,

What a day!  We went 350 miles, visited 2 national monuments, stopped at a Navajo Flee Market, and drove on one of New Mexico’s scenic byways.  But to start here is Sleeping Ute Mountain with snow.  It isn’t the best shot but if you look you can see the headdress and toes.  That’s on the Devil’s Highway.

Sleeping Ute Mountain near Cortez, CO

Next stop was the Shiprock Flee Market.  I love the bright colors of the Navajo blankets.  I got a couple of Navajo weave pillows for the downstairs room and a cool sun visor that looks very Native American.  The girls were the hit of the place with their matching shirts.

Next, we drove to Farmington and took the Bisti Highway south.  This is where the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Badlands are located.  It is a scenic byway – and 100 miles of farmland and wilderness.  It was a pretty road – the landscape is pretty flat, but there are the butts and mesas in the distance.

Then it started to look like badlands – I think they are cool, but no farmer could grow food here.  The alien-shaped rocks are called hoodoos.  When we were hiking in Utah a couple of years ago, there was a hoodoo in our path and Maizzy wouldn’t stop growling at it.  I don’t think she sees that well anymore.  I want to name my next dog Hoodoo!

After the badlands, we got to the red rock that is so common on the Colorado Plateau.  The Plateau is an uplift that was created by the prehistoric Colorado River.  I live on the Plateau and it goes quite a ways south, but we will be off if it totally by tomorrow.  When I see the red rocks, I know I am close to home.

Red Rock of the Colorado Plateau


After that, we got to Grants, New Mexico and I grabbed lunch and let the dogs out for a short walk.  We all had full bladders.  Then we headed to El Morro National Monument that is about 40 miles further.  I was so mad at myself because after 10 miles I realized that we needed gas badly.  I had last filled up in Ridgway (26 miles from my home).  I got 46 MPG in my Honda Fit.


El Morro National Monument

By the time we got to El Morro they had closed the trails.  I got some good photos from the road going out of the National Monument.  We passed through El Malpais National Monument on the drive out, so we stopped and looked around there a little at one of the trailheads.

By then, I was tired!  I am sure the dogs were done being in the car, too.  Tomorrow won’t be as many miles and we are stopping at Salinas Pueblo Ruins National Monument on the way.  It worked well to go to bed early and get on the road by 9 AM.  I slept pretty well other than Sazi barking in her sleep.

Kachina, Sazi and, Maizzy in Grants, New Mexico.

Love, Grandma Hartt

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