We were ready for a four-hour ride when we packed our stinky clothes and our stinkier selves into the minivan and bid good-bye to the cool yurt (and the cool temperatures) in Mancos State Park.
We were headed west…toward Monument Valley, Utah, with a planned pitstop for a photo op at Four Corners Monument–the one spot in the United States where four states (New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona and Utah) intersect.
But first, we had to enter the Twilight Zone. Ne, ne, ne ne- ne ne ne ne…
You see, the trip took us here…
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Out of Colorado which adheres to Daylight Savings Time, then back in time to Arizona, which doesn’t, except for the portion of the Navajo Nation, which does, then it was on to Utah, which also does. Our cell phones registered time changes every half hour or so, so by the time we got to Monument Valley, we had mostly given up on trying to figure it all out.
Our consensus of Four Corners Monument as a family was that the four states could have found a nicer place to meet, preferably somewhere with air-conditioning, or at least a spot of shade to escape the 110 degree temperatures.
The monument itself is basically a concrete slab, laid down in a white hot parking lot, in the middle of a rocky desert, in the middle of nowhere. Picture the moon, under a heat lamp.
Yet, when we arrived we lined up behind twenty other cars, full of families from all over the world, waiting to pay their $3 per person fee to enter. Then it was out of the climate-controlled cabin of our minivan, and into the hostile terrain, to wait our turn in line for 20 minutes or so.
Being Navajo Territory, we were on the same time zone as Utah–even when you walked around platform to Arizona. In fact, it felt as if time had stopped altogether. Did I mention it was hot?
While we waited, I tried to convince the kids it was fun.
“Hey, why don’t you take a walk around the monument and see how long it takes you to walk through four states?”
My suggestions were met with polite scowls, instead of the out-right mutiny being waged against the father behind us, who was quietly pleading with his Goth teenage daughter to at least stick around for the photo. Not that I could blame her for her anger. With all that black, attracting the heat, she must have been positively combustible.
When it was our turn, and we stepped out into our moment in the sun, we were less enthusiastic than I had imagined during the planning stages of the trip, but still my children and my husband (kind as they are) obliged me by doing a few stupid human tricks across four state lines. I brought a jump rope for Katie, and a baseball and gloves for Troy and Emmett, and Anna used her superhuman flexibility to draw a few comments from the crowds.
Here are the photos, plus one that the father of the Goth girl took of all of us, while waiting his turn. Then, after an obligatory stop at the Navajo Flea Market and a jewelry purchase, we were back on our way.