The next day dawned foggy and quiet. I still wish we had stayed longer that morning, but we quietly packed up and eased our way out of there.
It had started to sprinkle, and we were hoping to get out before the heavy rains hit (had excellent cell reception up there). On the trail, it was pretty apparent where the Armada had traveled. It was torn up to hell and back. There were a few places you could see how often and how deep the underside of their vehicle had been hit. The evening before, we had overheard the family conversation enough to understand the son had done most of the driving, until reaching the end of the trail at the campsites. There he had told his mom to drive, even though she kept saying in broken English that she didn’t have her license. So you can just imagine how that must have looked.
Just outside the park at the small convenience store, we came across the same Armada. The rims were scratched to hell and the back bumper was bent out in an odd way. The son certainly didn’t look happy, and I’m pretty sure it was a rental judging by the bar code tapped in the window.
We left the North Rim back through the surrounding forest, which as of August of last year was mostly burned out tree stumps and logging roads, and started the journey back home. First, we had a slight detour to make at Monument Valley.
Some advice, don’t pay the fee to the Navajo Nation to go into the actual park. We made that mistake, and it would have been fun if it hadn’t been for the:
1.) Minivans, sports cars, and sedans getting stuck in sand.
2.) The average jow driving at 30mph+ over sand roads, nearly hitting people and then getting stuck slamming on the breaks.
3.) Stock Jeeps being driven by French teenagers who felt the need to drive up our ass until the first Jeep lost control in the sand, got stuck in a dune and rear-ended by his buddies.
4.) Excessive amounts of washboard road under the 6+ inches of sand.
5.) Guided tour trucks and SUVs that were unsafely modified to carry passengers on bubba-rigged benches that raised the center of gravity well over center mass and looked like the damn things would tip over as they passed all of us on the “road” in a cloud of dust……
It was hell.
And the best views were had from outside the park anyways.
After that we realized we were really close to the “Four Corners, USA”, so we were dumb enough to think about checking that out. BUT you have to pay there too, and it looked like a cheap Indian reservation tourist trap. So yeah, we said forget it and started home.
The drive through Arizona was beautiful. The Navajo Nation, which is a lot larger than we realized, sits on some beautiful territory. We even came across the Colorado River, one last time.
After that, the trip was uneventful. We left the North Rim on a Saturday morning, arriving back in Florida sometime around 3am Monday morning.
And we can’t wait to go back