Driving Northeastern Arizona - saturday 2008-11-08 2239 last modified 2008-11-08 2239
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Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park is a circuit of amazing sandstone formations, iconic of the southwest, a circuit of unpaved roads that an unscrupulous businessperson would parlay into a profitable brake, tire, and suspension repair shop. You can drive it yourself or you can pay for a ride. In light of the severe amount of wincing I did, you may really want to opt to pay for the ride. Some reviews claim the road is fine for normal passenger cars. It isn't.

Garmin knows nothing about BIA-59, a route an hour faster than going from US-160 directly to US-191 (it's the shortcut from Kayenta to Many Farms). Driving BIA-59, a simple, straight road, brought out several "recalculating" expletives from the GPS engine, and none of its routes would have saved time; as the route progressed, each recalculation got shorter when the suggested turnoff was skipped.

It's beautiful out here. Sunset is intense and colorful and warm - and all too brief. Aside from the weather extremes, the desert agrees with me. The southwest is often depicted using the formations of this region, but unlike, say, the Statue of Liberty (so small!), this part of the world is far, far better in person.

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