Continuing along on our Summer ’08 Road Trip, Angela and I left Mesa Verde and headed west towards Buckskin Gulch, a slot canyon on the Arizona/Utah border. On the way we stopped at Four Corners Monument, where visitors can simultaneously exist in Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. The monument is owned and operated by the Navajo Nation, and consists of a giant granite and bronze survey marker surrounded by the representative state flags and seals. The visitor center is a small, neglected building housing a sign-in book, posters of Navajo facts, and artifacts from the surrounding area. The Navajo charge a $3 admission fee to enter Four Corners, and judging by the state of the visitor center, I’d assume that most of that money goes toward preserving the actual monument.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the copious amounts of vendors hocking Native American crafts. Like almost any other tourist destination in the world, these crafts ranged in quality from poor knock-offs to quality artisan craftsmanship. Not wanting to spend too much of my dough before reaching Yellowstone, I opted to purchase an item somewhere in the middle of that spectrum. I bought a small piece of stone for $1. On it was a child’s drawing of a snake and the words “Four Corners”.
On the way to the slot canyon Angela took a really cool photo of a guy on a motorcycle. He appeared out of nowhere in my rear-view mirror, draped in a skull mask. I thought I was hallucinating then looked up again and said, “Get the camera!”
The rest of the day was pedal-to-the-metal driving. We covered half of Arizona and finally found the trailhead for the next day’s adventure – Buckskin Gulch Slot Canyon just west of Page, AZ.