Sunday, September 23, 2012

American Southwest Trip: Day 3 Four Corner and Farmington NW

     The first night I tried to take night sky photos alone in the parking lot. I failed because I was afraid of any human surprise while I was taking photos. Maybe I watched too many horrible movies that depicted some psychics appeared and kidnapped women who were alone. I knew ten minutes exposure was not long enough. I didn't have a great return for the ten minutes shooting. I was very upset. So I discussed with my husband the night before for waking up early to take sunrise photos at Horseshoe Bend. 
     I had no problem to drag my husband to go with me in the early morning. He likes the freshness of the early morning air and weather. He was surprised that I did get up right away without asking ten more minutes in bed. 
Comparing to the prior day, only my husband and
I were there. We enjoyed the tranquil morning.  
More and more people came to the site before sunrise.
A dog barked down below the cliff echoed in the canyon  

which broke the tranquility. But it made the atmosphere 
more interesting.     
The sun started shining on the sky. 
The rock formation on the rim
The reflection of the cliff in the river became red.
It was just like on fired. As I stood close to the edge,
I saw a tiny kayak, a tent, and people walking on the
trail next to the river.   
Sand and Plant
After taking the photos, we were back to our hotel
and got ready for our next journey. 
Our journey for the day
As we left Page and approached the power plant, 
we saw many tour trips to Antelope Canyon. It was a 
pity that we did not have enough time to visit the 
canyon. We have to wait for next time.  
I was trained to take pictures when the car speed was
over 60 mile per hours over the past years. I couldn't
always ask my husband to stop the car for me that would
extent our time traveling on the road. Alternatively,
I asked my husband to slow down for taking photos.   
After turning into the side rode, we still had to drive
around 10 mile to the park. 
We saw a lot of vehicles stopped along the road
and people were searching or working for
something. Our guessed was they were picking
the pine seeds (nuts). But the pine trees were all over
the park. How could they finish picking the endless
pine seed? 
After we arrived at the visitor center, we asked the 
 park ranger. She said it was in season. Navajo people 
 picked seeds, took the nuts out, and roasted the nuts.
Hogan and Sweathouse: The transitional ancient
Navajo building structures.  These two structures

were behind the visitor center. 
It was very interesting to learn the sweathouse and
thought about nowadays lifestyle comparing to the
ancient people. 
We took the Sandal Trail which was 1.3 miles round-trip
behind the visitor center to the outlook overlooking the  

Betatakn dwellings. 
It was built between 1250 to 1300. Approximate 
75-100 people lived here with 135 rooms according  
to the archaeological survey. 
I felt I was like a paparazzi to peep at someone's
privacy. Anyway, it was amazing to see the close-up
dwelling. The park offered free guided tours to reach 

the dwellings' site.
Please visit its official website for more  detail. 
The 1.3 mile round-trip trail sounded
not to long. But when it came to an inclined  

hill, it was hard to walk and consumed
more energy than walk down the hill.
Most time it was boring driving on the desert
environment. There would be some silent time in
the car. My best way to kill time was to document
rocks or look at some interesting forms of clouds.
These rocks were called baby rocks. 
We arrived at Four Corners National Monument
which was managed by the Navajo Nation. The
entrance fee was US$ 3 per person. 
The Navaj Nation is the biggest population among
all the Indian tribes. 
Here is the focus point. The four corners are the only
place in the States that 4 states meet. The four states
are Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah. So,
just stepping on the cross point, I was in the four states  

at the same time. Better yet, my article title should
be like " Travel to Four States on One Foot."   
My husband bought me a pair of earring
from this jewelry vendor. He was talking
to her asking some questions about the 

Navajo Nation and promoting Taiwan.   
We met this rock which is called Shiprock on our
way to Farmington, New Mexico after we left the
four corners. It is an important landmark.   
We arrived at our hotel in Farmington. We were
surprised by the room which had a kitchenate with
a dishwasher. It was unusual set up in a hotel room.
My husband and I were very happy with the room
quality and friendly staffs.    
After we drove around the down, we met these riders
especial two female riders. I am always amazed by
them handling a heavy motorcycle and they don't
worry about the weather situation on roads.  
The view from our room

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