13 October 2011
The Road Less Traveled
On my way to Colorado, I usually turn north at Kayenta and head up the well traveled and winding road through Monument Valley and Valley of the Gods. There is a straighter alternate route that heads east of Kayenta and then turns north to Bluff, Utah, which I've been wanting to try for some time. Today was the day. Just a couple of miles east of Kayenta, this spire of ancient volcanic core rises up out of a sandy sage brush flat. Such a contrast to the red petrified sand dune hills in the distance.
Just past the core, the road rises to the top of a small hill. Turning and looking back at the core provides a vastly different perspective! Such a spiky landscape, both in the rock formations and in the yucca dotting the landscape here. My usual route takes me between the distant ridges of rock and around the right-most spire of rock in this photo before heading north to Monument Valley.
After the turn north towards Bluff, I looked off to the west and saw this distant view of Monument Valley. While this route doesn't have quite the impact that driving through Monument Valley does, it has it's own Colorado Plateau beauty. The vistas here are so amazingly vast and the sky seems unbelievably endless. It's also incredibly isolated. This truly is the road less traveled ~ in over 30 miles, I only passed one car! At one time, Kayenta was considered the most remote post office in the continental United States. Driving east of Kayenta on these isolated roads, one can understand why!
Today's journey ends with a brief stop in Colorado. Tomorrow the road leads on towards Nebraska and South Dakota with my Mom and daughter! How nice it will be to have traveling companions for a change!