Navajo Bridge and The Vermillion Cliffs

After the Little Painted Desert, the landscape changes to the beginning of the Vermillion Cliffs. It’s more gorgeous scenery.

Once we get to the “official” section of the Vermillion Cliffs, the National Monument portion, we also come to Navajo Bridge, the bridge that spans the Colorado River on this section of Highway 89A. It’s high at 700+ feet and the view from the pedestrian bridge alongside the highway bridge is spectacular. Colorado, which means red, doesn’t apply here. The water is a gorgeous emerald green flowing through the steep rock walls on both sides.

The scenery just before Navajo Bridge

I see an odd looking buzzard and am unable to get him photographed as the wide metal walkway has high security fences and while I was able to photograph the river through security fence of the walkway, capturing a moving target proved impossible. It’s a vulture of some kind with large sturdy beak for ripping carrion and a strip of white on the upper side of its wings.

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These photos, below, are the “official” beginning of the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, with electrical wires  we forget there  civilization out here.

Thanks for stopping by!
Hugs, Shawna

The Little Painted Desert

April 19, 2018
The gorgeous pueblo ruins of Wupatki are left behind, and I point Freedom’s nose once again northward on highway 89A.

Cameron is the destination for an overnight, but it ends up only being a small respite because I do not find anywhere that looks like a good spot to camp even for one night. I do find a spot to park, have lunch, and walk the dogs, but this is Navajo Reservation land. I don’t think we will find anything unless a casino pops up. It doesn’t.

I haven’t been looking forward to this part of our journey as it looks pretty dreary on the map, but just beyond Cameron the scenery changes from blah to beautiful in an otherworldly way. We are entering The Little Painted Desert. Small hillocks of gray with colorful bare mountains in the background and it changes every few miles to something else as equally interesting.


The wind begins to kick up and it’s blowing with a furious force. Fortunately it is coming from the south so we have a nice tail wind to help us along. Getting out for photos is another story, but I am perfecting my wind stance. Clear, in-focus shots may be something else and not due to dropping the camera either. That’s a whole ‘nother problem, but I snap away and hope for the best as the wind tries to keep the doors closed on the van.

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I call this “Spilled Toffee” as those square pieces of rock look like toffee to me.

We take a little break, I walk the boys beside this totally weird and wondrous landscape, then it’s back in the van to continue on.  Charlie gives the go-ahead, assuring me there are no errant lizards about.

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The Chiweenie Brothers and I thank you for tagging along on our adventures. Hugs, Shawna

CURRENT READ:  Dead Mountain by Donnie Eichar. The untold true story of the death of nine hikers in Russia.  The author searches for the reason the young college students died, and the findings are pretty amazing.

 

 

 

Wupatki National Monument

April 18, 2018. It’s a gorgeous morning, and I can’t believe the sleep I got last night! Not a single sound in our camp. We were totally alone and the stars were particularly bright.  

We  head out to visit the different areas where Wupatki Pueblo ruins can be seen.

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We start with the Wupatki National Monument Visitor’s Center, the hub of it all where visitors get the brochures and all the info about this beautiful place.

Wupatki Pueblo was built and occupied during the 1100s and abandoned after a nearby volcano erupted and forced them to vacate the high desert land they had cultivated for 400 years.

Their homes were built with stones cemented with clay and entrance was gained through the roofs made with wooden support beams, support poles, and covered by shakes, grass and clay or adobe. The rock and mortar are still here today, however the roofs are long gone due to rot and scavenging by those needing the wood

We motor back down to the Citadel Pueblo. As I grab the camera (which focuses, after being dropped, some of the time … there’s a lot of fiddling) and leave the boys in the van with the windows partly down I hear howls of protest. Geez, can’t even get a bit of time to myself! Poor spoiled babies.

Are these awesome or what? I am fascinated with these ruins, and the thought crosses my mind that Arizona has so much to offer.

Hopping back in the van I fire her up and we head to the Lomaki Ruins

If I have the opportunity to come this way again I will take the road to Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument coming out of Flagstaff and do the loop which will only add 15 miles to our northerly trip and will be able to take in both Sunset Crater and Wupatki.
Now it’s decision time. Go? Stay? I opt to head out. The predicted wind doesn’t seem like it’s going to be much of a problem … Ha!

Thanks for stopping by 2Dogs! We’re having a blast and I hope you are enjoying coming along for the adventure. Hugs, Shawna