Monday, April 29
Today we leave Sunset Crater Camp to drive about 180 miles to Navajo National Monument in the heart of the Navajo Nation Reservation.
On the way out of the Coconino National Forest, I count three RVs parked about 400 feet or more from the road. How do they get away with it? I’d be slapped with a fine so fast my head would spin.
Right past the last illegally parked RV, we meet a green pick-up truck heading in the opposite direction.
I read these words on the door of the pick-up: National Forest Service. Uh-oh. Somebody’s gonna’ have company.
Okay . . . We’re on our way to Navajo National Monument . . .
The drive north on Highway 89 and eastward on Highway 160 is very scenic.
The landscape is a dramatic display of buttes, cliffs, mesas, plateaus, ridges, and valleys of various hues.
Scattered along the route are signs announcing Navajo jewelry for sale at tables set up in the open sun. Passing through Tuba City the highway takes us past the Hopi Reservation on the right.
Bridget and Spike sleep until we turn onto the road to Navaho National Monument.
A sign warns RVs and trailers not to enter if over 28 feet total. We continue on. Only 12 more miles to go!
After a few miles I pull over.
This looks interesting. I let Spike and Bridget out to relieve themselves.
I put them back in the PTV. I don’t want them falling into the canyon! Then I venture further out and take some photos.
Further along I stop at Tsegi Point Overlook.
From this point I can see Fir Canyon through the haze.
Oh my. This place is incredible! I wonder what the campground will be like in such a place as this. I sprint up the walkway and start up the PTV.
“It won’t be long now, little pudding pops. Just a little bit farther.”
With every curve of the road, my anticipation grows.
We approach the Visitors’ Center.
I drive by. I want to check out the campgrounds first. Sunset Campground has a cramped feel. Sites are short and close together. Not pretty and a lot of campers here. I hope Canyon View Campground is better.
The road deteriorates on the way to Canyon View.
Good. Maybe it won’t be as crowded. We drive in and pass site #1, empty . . . site #2, empty . . . sites #3, #4, #5, #6, all vacant. I continue driving through the entire campground, repeatedly glancing to my right at an absolutely stupendous view.
The campground is empty! Aw gee, we’ll be all by ourselves in the prettier campground. Heh-heh-heh.
I pick out the best site and drive back to the Visitors’ Center.
A dark-haired lady at the desk offers me a brochure.
I thank her and ask where I pay to stay at Canyon View Campground.
“Oh, it’s free. Just pick a spot.”
Ooh, a gorgeous campground all to ourselves and it’s free! I take a quick look around at the usual souvenir caps, books, and postcards. In another room are pottery displays. On the way out I ask the young lady, “Is there internet up here?”
She smiles and says, “No, no Wifi here.” I can read in her eyes, “What did you expect?”
I hurry out to the crew in the PTV.
It’s noon and probably in the nineties. I drive us back to the site I picked out at Canyon View Campground. Oh well, I didn’t think there’d be internet way out here. The Navajo Nation Reservation is the size of West Virginia and we’re in the middle of it. This means we’ll have to leave tomorrow night. I don’t want to ignore the blog too long. That will give us only one full day to look around.
I nestle the BLT between shady trees, making sure the PTV is in the sun.
I take in the view. We’re high up and a cool breeze blows. Several trails lead away from camp. Gee, it’s beautiful here.
In order to put the BLT back in order, I remove the Wilson antenna and pole from my bed. Might as well put it in the bumper mount to get it out of the way. Back inside . . . Hmm . . . I wonder what the air card will say. I turn it on and it reads “searching.” Well, that’s no surprise. We are in the middle of nowhere. Just as I’m about to turn it off, one tiny bar flickers on and off. What? Could it be?
I run outside, grab the end of the antenna cord, poke it through the open window, run back in, and connect it to the air card.
“Holy cow! Five bars! Five steady bars!”
I let the ramifications of this revelation sink in.
I can blog. I can email. I can read the news. I can check the weather reports before we leave. I look out the window at the paradise we’re in. I laugh out loud. We don’t have to leave after one day. We can take it easy here in this incredibly lovely, quiet camp . . . and it’s free!
NOTE: Such a long post today, I’ll show you Canyon View Camp tomorrow!