“Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above. Don’t fence me in.” 🎼🎶🎤

One visit to the Grand Canyon can leave you wanting more, so thank you, Carolyn, for noticing that a very small detour to today’s destination allowed us a second visit to see parts we could not manage yesterday. It was another ‘champagne day’ in that it had clear skies and a positive sparkle. We loved doing a drive through and stopping at multiple viewing points along the rim. I was trying to ration my photographs after yesterday’s bonanza but gave up after thinking, “What’s a few more?”  Rather more than a few and it would appear I have infected Carolyn, too, who was getting very creative with her shots.

By lunch time, we knew we had to tear ourselves away and press on with the journey to Monument Valley. We dropped the luggage at our hotel on the way and headed straight off. (The wisdom of this will become apparent).

In the late afternoon sun, the huge monoliths lit up and who could fail to remember the old John Wayne films as he rode his horse through what is really the spiritual home of the Navajo people. Apparently, John Wayne called the hidden valley ‘God’s Treasure’. The park extends into both Arizona and Utah and we wandered the dusty trail marvelling at the natural monuments. The setting sun ignited the red sandstone and we were treated to nature at its best.

The people of the Navajo Nation continue to manage the park and, again, it is somewhere you could return to on many occasions and see/do something different things each time. Horse riding is very popular, judging by the number awaiting rental. Perhaps not, but on the other hand a horse would have been useful to us tonight. As we drove away from the valley, we heard a rhythmic click from the car. Upon investigation we had picked up a bolt in the tyre – not a nail, not a screw but a thumping great bolt. More bad news – no spare wheel. After consulting some of the local guys (who would have changed the wheel for us), we had to try to limp back to our hotel without removing it as doing so would open up the puncture. 12 miles from the hotel (and now totally dark and on an unlit road), the tyre let go. Bang – and we were down to the rim. We pulled off  to the side of the road (a dirt track hard shoulder) and discovered….not a phone signal between us!

What do a pair of women of a certain age do in such circumstances?  We flagged down a passing car which happened to contain a lovely young Spanish couple who are staying at the same hotel. They brought us back and Carolyn hit the phone to the car rental people. I marvelled at her performance, so convincing and profound that I was almost moved to tears myself!!  Anyway, all is being sorted, the car has been retrieved and another one will be delivered tomorrow.

The final straw…we are staying in a ‘dry hotel’ just when a drink was needed!!


Carolyn’s Curios

A wonderful day only punctuated (or punctured!) late on with our unplanned adventure. An interesting and testing experience.

It must have been an odd sight for the lovely Spanish couple as they approached the uphill bend. We’d limped there to ensure the car was off the road itself – 65mph unlit road. No ‘phone signal. No sign of life for miles. Emergency flashers switched on and I stood on the edge of the carriageway trying to wave down a car. A car approached, … drove past. Another and another and another. Twelve miles from our hotel. Idea! So, using the flashlight on my iPhone, I shone it on myself as the next car came over the brow. I must have looked like something from Blair Witch of The Shining but, bless them, it worked. Back safely. The car hire company seem to have reacted well tonight – with prompting  – but I’m sure I will be in touch with them again.

I may catch with other curios tomorrow but, for tonight, a few photos only.