Saturday, October 17, 2009

Have you slept in a wigwam lately?

I'm catching up on my updates since we weren't able to post yesterday or the day before. Thursday morning we awoke in Gallup and headed North to the Four Corners. The drive there was quite interesting since we were driving through Navajo Nation. Pretty much all of the western half of New Mexico and the eastern half of Arizona is sectioned off to the different tribes. Zuni, Hopi, Navajo to name a few. The land seems quite uninhabitable to us, but they seem to make it work. It was about an hour and a half drive up through it and by the time we got to the Four Corners...we were officially in the middle of nowhere.
The Four Corners was cool though. We all stood in 4 states at once, and then walked around and looked at the Indian crafts. I bought a gorgeous marriage vase made of horse hair pottery. It's beautiful, I wanted to buy so much more.
We left there and headed back South through the Arizona half of Navajo Nation. We saw some crazy things on this little leg of our trip. First of all there were tons of hitchhikers. The crazy thing was that there was no civilization (that we could see) for a hundred miles in either direction. There was a guy hearding his sheep along the side of the road with his two dogs. There was a donkey literally standing right on the edge of the road. It was cool to look around at the occasional shanty. I noticed that most of them had a little octogon shaped hut near them. Not sure what those are used for, but they were all the same size and of varying states of disrepair or new more modern ones. Some were made of sticks and some were quite fancy with tile roofs.
We finally made it back to I-40. Unfortunately the Mother Road was buried under the highway for most of eastern Arizona so we had to stay on the interstate. We then went to the Petrified Forest National Park. You start off driving through the Painted Desert, then wind your way south through the Petrified Forest. While this was cool, it was nothing like we had pictured. It's not like a forest of trees that are made of stone. Apparently years of erosion have exposed these logs that a zillion years ago comprised a lush fertile forest. A volcano in the area buried the forest in lava and the earth continued to evolve. Now what you can see is what just looks like charred logs lying on the ground. I have to say that it was more neat to see the shops in the area that have cross sections of the logs for sale and on display. Pretty crystals in the center. If you ever go, do drive through but don't expect to see anything spectacular...the story behind it is the best part.
We settled for the night in Holbrook, AZ at the Wigwam Village. SO cool! It's pretty much like glorified camping, but well worth the sacrifice of comfort. Don't get me wrong...the accomidations were nice, it just wasn't the Hampton Inn. It was like 15 teepees in a semi circle, all with a cool old car parked out front, reminiscent of the 30s and 40s. This place inspired the Cozy Cone in Cars, and they did a good job in that movie imitating the look. There is even a Doc Hudson and whatever that VW bus was named...they are both parked in the lot here. The bed was teeny tiny, and the shower was about big enough to fit Little Matthew, but it was so fun to stay there.

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