Sunset Crater and Navaho Country

ArizonaAfter the hot Mesa weather we woke up to: snow.  WTF?  We packed up and headed out.  Earl Ruby told us about Sunset Crater, which is north of Flagstaff and since we were headed northeast to Canyon de Chelly (pronounced Canyon de Shay), we dropped by for a look.  Boy, are we glad we did.

Lava Rocks
Lava Rocks

The rocks are left over from a huge volcanic eruption abut 1000 years ago.  The landscape is tumbled lava rocks of varying sizes and it makes the landscape look alien.  It’s hard to capture in a photo because the rocks are all black, but it’s eerie and beautiful at the same time.  At the visitors center (we love visitors centers), we learned that the lava and ash obliterated everything within miles and miles so any plant life you see in the photos are there because wind blew in dirt, then blew in seeds, which finally took root.  Mother Nature is patient indeed.

There’s a path to view the rocks up closer, which the BF took.  Sunset Crater DaveI waited in the car where it was warm.  Did I mention the snow?  Luckily, by the time we left Sunset Crater, the elevation was low enough for the snow to stop and the rest of the day was snow-free.  We headed north to Navaho country, which is a huge swath of land across three states.  In Tuba City, the time changed abruptly.  Arizona does not do daylight savings time, but Navaho country does so we lost an hour while we ate lunch.

We also had no wifi connection at Denny’s.  “Oh, yeah,” the waitress said, shrugging.  “Sometimes it just doesn’t work.”

Because: the middle of nowhere.


Great Desert Highway
Great Desert Highway

The sheer amount of land in the southwest is staggering.  The country is desert, but different kinds of desert as we drive through the states.  The vistas go on forever and it take hours to get from one place to the next, with nothing in between.  We made it to the Thunderbird Lodge at Canyon de Chelly just as the sun was fading.  It was bitter cold, but we were still warm from the views of the trip.  I leave you with pictures of the day.



Navaho Country Monuments1
Navaho Country Monument
Black Mesa View
View from Black Mesa with rain clouds in the background







Navaho country
Navaho country

Next: Canyon de Chelly

Start the Journey here

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