(Ron Writing) We left Farmington this morning and headed west on US-64 to Shiprock, NM. The town of Shiprock is named for a very unusual rock formation a few miles southwest of the town. The peak is a 27 million year old “throat” of a volcano. Softer rocks around the throat have eroded away leaving this huge rock standing by itself 1,583 feet above the surrounding high desert plain. The peak is 7,177’ above sea level.
We could already see Shiprock as we were leaving Farmington this morning, a distance of about 40 miles. We drove south of the town of Shiprock about 6 miles on US-491 and then west on I-3 about 5 miles which took us around to the south side of Shiprock. All of this area is part of the huge Navajo Reservation and there are no roads open to the public that go all the way to the base of the mountain.
We drove back to the town of Shiprock and continued west on US-64 to Teec Nos Pos, AZ. Then we took US-160 north to Four Corners and continued in to Colorado a short distance where we picked up CO-41 west to Utah where the highway changes to UT-162. Wow, four states in one day. We didn’t stop at the four corners monument since we already did that about 3 years ago. This entire four corners area is high desert plains broken with beautiful mountain formations. Most of the time today we were roughly following the San Juan River. The river valley has carved some deep and spectacular canyons through this area. Late this afternoon we arrived in Bluff, UT. Bluff was founded in 1880 by Mormons. A group of Mormons from the Salt Lake area came to colonize the Natives of the area. They had a very difficult journey finding a route through some of the most difficult terrain in the country. This is the group that crossed the Colorado River at the famous “Hole in the Wall”. We discovered the Mormons are in the process of restoring and recreating the original “fort” in Bluff. We spent about an hour touring the settlement and watching a video about the history of this town.
As we left Bluff around 5 PM we noticed a BLM campground just a couple miles west of Bluff on the San Juan River. We decided to check it out and found a very nice campsite – just $5 with our senior pass (no hookups).
Today's weather was perfect!