10/27/2011

October 25 -26, 2011 – Four States in an Instant!

This morning we woke to clouds and decided to do a road trip to the Four Corners Monument.   We headed west out of Farmington thru the town of Shiprock.   But I have to tell you that the most amazing sight is the Shiprock Peak that you see for many miles before the town:

 10-25-11 A Travel Farmington - 4 Corners 64-160 012 

10-25-11 A Travel Farmington - 4 Corners 64-160 013 

Dramatic with those clouds, isn’t it!!

Here is some information from the internet:

“Shiprock (Navajo: Tsé Bitʼaʼí, "rock with wings" or "winged rock"[5]) is a rock formation rising nearly 1,583 feet (482.5 m) above the high-desert plain on the Navajo Nation in San Juan County, New Mexico, USA. It has a peak elevation of 7,177 feet (2,187.5 m) above the sea level. It lies about 12 by 20 miles (19 by 32 km) southwest of the town of Shiprock, which is named for the peak. Governed by the Navajo Nation, the formation is in the Four Corners region and plays a significant role in Navajo religion, mythology and tradition. It is located in the center of the Ancient Pueblo People or Ancestral Puebloan civilization, a prehistoric Native American culture of the Southwest United States often referred to as the Anasazi.

Name

The Navajo name Tsé Bitʼaʼí, "rock with wings" or "winged rock", for the peak refers to the legend of the great bird that brought them from the north to their present lands.[6][7] The name "Shiprock" or Shiprock Peak or Ship Rock derives from the peak's resemblance to an enormous 19th-century clipper ship. However Anglos first called the peak "The Needle," a name given to the topmost pinnacle by Captain J.F. McComb in 1860.[7] United States Geological Survey maps indicate that the name "Ship Rock" dates from the 1870s.[6][7]

Religious and cultural significance

The peak and surrounding land are of great religious and historical significance to the Navajo people. It is mentioned in many Navajo myths and legends. Foremost is the peak's role as the agent that brought the Navajo to the southwest. According to one legend, after being transported from another place, the Navajos lived on the monolith, "coming down only to plant their fields and get water."[7] One day, the peak was struck by lightning, obliterating the trail and leaving only a sheer cliff, and stranding the women and children on top to starve. The presence of people on the peak is forbidden "for fear they might stir up the chį́įdii (ghosts), or rob their corpses."[7]

In a legend that puts the peak in a larger geographic context, Shiprock is said to be either a medicine pouch or a bow carried by the "Goods of Value Mountain", a large mythic male figure comprising several mountain features throughout the region. The Chuska Mountains comprise the body, Chuska Peak is the head, the Carrizo Mountains are the legs, and Beautiful Mountain is the feet.[7]

One legend has it that Bird Monsters (Tsé Ninájálééh) nested on the peak and fed on human flesh. In one version, after Monster Slayer destroyed Déélééd at Red Mesa, he killed two adult Bird Monsters at Shiprock and changed two young ones into an eagle and an owl.[7] (In another version, the Warrior Twins were summoned to rid the Navajo of the Bird Monsters.[8])

The peak is mentioned in stories from the Enemy Side Ceremony and the Navajo Mountain Chant. It is associated with the Bead Chant and the Naayee'ee Ceremony.[7]

Geology

Shiprock is composed of fractured volcanic breccia and black dikes of igneous rock called "minette". It is the erosional remnant of the throat of a volcano, and the volcanic breccia formed in a diatreme. The exposed rock probably was originally formed 2,500–3000 feet (750-1,000 meters) below the Earth's surface, but it was exposed after millions of years of erosion. Wall-like sheets of minette, known as dikes, radiate away from the central formation. Radiometric age determinations of the minette establish that these volcanic rocks solidified about 27 million years ago. Shiprock is in the northeastern part of the Navajo Volcanic Field; the field includes intrusions and flows of minette and other unusual igneous rocks that formed about 25 million years ago. Agathla, also called El Capitan, is another prominent volcanic neck of this field.[9] [10]

More information at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiprock

http://sangres.com/newmexico/sanjuan/shiprock.htm

And the trip continued to WOW us:

10-25-11 A Travel Farmington - 4 Corners 64-160 009

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 10-25-11 A Travel Farmington - 4 Corners 64-160 033

We made it to the Four Corners National Monument.  The monument is run by the Navajo Parks and Recreation.  It is the only point in the United States shared by four states (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah). The monument also marks the boundary between two semi-autonomous native American governments, the Navajo Nation, which maintains the monument as a tourist attraction, and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe Reservation.  (Yes,  that means being 6 places at the same time – :-)))

Here is the monument – actually it is in the middle of no where:

10-25-11 C Dancing Horse Trail at 4 Corners NM 003

The official marker:

10-25-11 B Four Corners National Monument 003

10-25-11 B Four Corners National Monument 004

10-25-11 B Four Corners National Monument 011

Andy in 6 places at the same time:

10-25-11 B Four Corners National Monument 009

I just had to SIT in 6 places at the same time – LOL:

10-25-11 B Four Corners National Monument 005 

Many of the Navajo and Ute Indians were selling their crafts – such beautiful work.  I would have bought LOTS of stuff but living in a MH makes me be pretty frugal and space aware.   We did try Indian Fry Bread – it is just like our Funnel Cakes back home – different shape.   But it was really good!

We decided to walk off that bread by taking the  Dancing Horse Trail.

 10-25-11 C Dancing Horse Trail at 4 Corners NM 001

10-25-11 C Dancing Horse Trail at 4 Corners NM 021 

10-25-11 C Dancing Horse Trail at 4 Corners NM 006

The San Juan River:

10-25-11 C Dancing Horse Trail at 4 Corners NM 015

The Peak in the background is Ship Rock – we could see it from over 30 miles away – WOW:

10-25-11 C Dancing Horse Trail at 4 Corners NM 016

10-25-11 C Dancing Horse Trail at 4 Corners NM 017

10-25-11 C Dancing Horse Trail at 4 Corners NM 018

Doesn’t it look like a moon scape!!

And we continued our way back thru Colorado:

 10-25-11 D Travel from 4 Corners to Farmington 160-491 001

 10-25-11 D Travel from 4 Corners to Farmington 160-491 002

ShipRock:

10-25-11 D Travel from 4 Corners to Farmington 160-491 005

10-25-11 D Travel from 4 Corners to Farmington 160-491 007

10-25-11 D Travel from 4 Corners to Farmington 160-491 008

Chimney Rock:

10-25-11 D Travel from 4 Corners to Farmington 160-491 015

10-25-11 D Travel from 4 Corners to Farmington 160-491 021

10-25-11 D Travel from 4 Corners to Farmington 160-491 023

10-25-11 A Travel Farmington - 4 Corners 64-160 042

Chimney Rock:

10-25-11 D Travel from 4 Corners to Farmington 160-491 030

Ship Rock in the middle:

10-25-11 D Travel from 4 Corners to Farmington 160-491 035

10-25-11 D Travel from 4 Corners to Farmington 160-491 038

10-25-11 D Travel from 4 Corners to Farmington 160-491 039

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AWESOME!  AWESOME! and even more AWESOME!   We continue to be blown away by the scenery.

Back home, we had dinner at the Elks – Catfish – Yum.   And we got a chance to talk with Bob on the Elks Campground at Navajo Dam.  It is only open from May thru September and rented monthly but we may check it out next spring.

What a SPECTACULAR Day!!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

We woke to thunderstorms and rain and more rain.   We had hoped to go to the Aztec Ruins but too wet.  So instead we did laundry and shopping and just hung out.  It is getting colder but we hope to hang out here for a few more days before heading west.   More sightseeing to come.

Enjoy today…

3 comments:

Kathy said...

I loved the dramatic pictures of Shiprock, Chimney Rock and the Four Corners area!
Like something out of Tony Hillerman's books! :)

KarenInTheWoods and Steveio said...

So cool to be at the Four Corners. It's on our Bucket List someday too.

Your photos are wonderful and the scenery is amazing!

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Karen and Steve
(Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard
http://kareninthewoods-kareninthewoods.blogspot.com/

Diane said...

Kathy and Karen,

This area of the country is just awesome...we are going to come back next spring and do more exploring. (It is starting to get a little too cold for us..).