Stand the Test of Time: Utah/AZ Day 6

Dear Isaac, Maia, and Virtual Wanderers,

Today, I rose and hurried through packing up the dogs and car. I wanted to walk the ruins before it got too hot to leave the dogs in the car. It’s awe-inspiring but not dog friendly at Navajo National Monument on the Betatakin ruins hike. It is an easy hike and the sandstone canyon is beautiful. When you get to the ruins, there is a lookout and a scope to help you see the ruins. My camera does a decent job, though.

Navajo National Monument ruins hike
Betatakin Ruins at Navajo National Monument

Then we headed down the road to Kayenta, AZ for lunch at our favorite dog-friendly eatery. I had a wonderful blue corn Navajo Taco. They just taste better on the reservation! From there, we started our journey through Monument Valley. My head is spinning, both about the skin lesion and about where to camp that night. The original plan was Goosenecks State IPark that night, then a night at Hovenweep, then home. But the monsoons had left their mark. Everywhere we went were washed outside roads. The drive from Bluff to Hovenweep is super rural, so I really felt it was better not to go that way. Monsoon season was not over.

Navajo taco sandwich for lunch in Kayenta
Moki, Kachina, and Sazi at Monument Valley
Horses along the roadside at Monument Valley
Mexican Hat, Utah

We stopped at Monument Valley for our annual (or semi-annual) dog photo. Then, up the highway past Mexican Hat Rock, a major Utah icon that always makes me smile. At some point, I decided to drive a little further to Bluff and camp at Sand Canyon. We had camped there before and they have a great petroglyph panel. I decided we would spend two nights here and mess around in Bear’s Ears tomorrow – we were a few miles closer to home and could make a run for home the day after tomorrow. So, while I do the same trip every few years, it is never exactly the same.

Sand Canyon Petroglyph Panel – “Spider Woman”
Sunset over Sand Canyon near Bluff, UT

Anyway, it was hot there, more so than in any place since Goblin Valley. We mosied down and looked at the panel – the one called Spider Woman is my favorite part but I always have trouble finding her. The mosquitoes were bad, I remember that. I totally forgot that I brought bug lotion and probably could have saved myself a few bites. I’ve been reading Desert Solitaire the entire trip at night. It was good to be in the tent, away from the bugs, visualizing the words in the book from our own epic journey. I wished it would rain and cool the earth down.

Navajo National Monument to Sand Canyon (Bluff), UT via Monument Valley

#navajonationalmonument #betatakinruins #kayenta #mexicanhatrock #utahicon #sandcanyon #monumentvalley

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