Grand Canyon Travel Blog› entry 23 of 27 › view all entries
July 16th, 2008 – by: jsfarv
Mesa Verde, CO to Grand Canyon, AZ
10pm / 63 and cloudy
Today was amazing! We traversed the VERY HOT desert to get to the Grand Canyon. One of the hokier road-side attractions was Four Corners. In case you're not aware, Four Corners is where the states of Utah, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico meet. It is on an Indian reservation and run by the Indians. You enter the service road to get there, and pay at the gate, $3 a person.
Here's what happened - feel free to judge me and my family.
Several times on the trip we had come up to places, mostly our over-night campgrounds where we would only stay one night and then continue driving, where the person in charge would ask us how many people were in the RV.
So, we became liars.
First we went from a family of 4 to 3. Then from 3 to 2. It became like second nature. I'm sure this is just a gateway moral infraction. Soon we'll all be lying about our age, weight, and income on tax returns. But, like with the campgrounds, we'll be able to justify it. :-)
So, we get to the gate at Four Corners and immediately I hear my mom - the least deviant of us all - exclaim, "Harmony!! Quick - we're hiding in the bathroom!!!"
"I'm not paying for all of us to walk on dirt! Harmony, stand in the shower - quick!"
So I see a flash of blonde hair jump off the sofa and my mom and sister hide in the back of the motorhome.
We didn't save much money - $3/person. Here's how I justify it: We had driven through a significant amount of the Reservation to get to Four Corners. It is completely impoverished in so many locations. What looks like 3rd World dwellings were used as common, everyday homes. You may think this would make me want to pay EXTRA at the gate to help someone with housing or utilities. No.
They have a casino and I also saw the extreme disparity in wealth distribution. I don't want my $3 going to some Fat Cat politician on the Tribal Counsel.
Like I said, I am probably going to start lying on a lot of things, so beware.
After my awesome pose at Four Corners (see photo), we continued to the Grand Canyon.
One, last, major disagreement occurs...
We need gas. We need a gas station we can maneuver in and out of.
We need to make a split-second decision at a red light.
I need help making the decision.
I get 3 - yes 3 - reassurances that the station selected was OK for our motorhome.
It was not.
We pull in to the pump, only to realize that there is no exit. A mysterious, unforeseen concrete barrier prohibits our exit from the gas station. We can't back up because the tow car won't go backwards without buckling on the hitch.
I may have possibly lost my cool. Maybe just a little. Needless to say, we drove in silence for about 2 hours. Whoops.
If you've never entered the Grand Canyon from the South Entrance towards the South Rim - do it. Do it now.
You begin in red-rock, barren desert where it is very hot. For us, the drive was really slow because you gain quite a bit of altitude during your 70 mile drive.
Yes. A real forest.
I thought the whole time, "That John Denver is full of crap." (see Dumb and Dumber) You couldn't see anything - no valley. No canyon, grand or otherwise. So then I think - "Dang it. We picked the wrong end of the Park!!!"
Just about then, the road curves out to the right, the trees part and the Canyon at sunset appears. It is grand indeed and absolutely breath-taking. Feel the Impact.
It is huge. So huge in fact, that when you take a photo or look across it, it appears to be the backdrop at Olan Mills or Sears Portrait Studio. It looks fake, or too grand to be real. It's full of colors and absolutely amazing. Time, water and loose stones. Very impressive.
We only snapped a few photos before heading into the campground and setting up. Tomorrow we'll explore the park itself. I can't wait to see more of the grandeur that is the canyon.
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