Drove across the Navajo and Hopi nations today. About 250 miles.
What a let down from the last time I did this trip in the 70's.
1. The Four Corners monument (some flags and a circle in the ground showing four states) now has an admission fee of $2.00 per person dharged by the "Navajo Nation" parks and recreation department. And what you get for your 2 bucks per person is some old beat up trailers and a portapotty.
What an opportunity missed. This could have been a welcoming to Navajo land monument with native crafts, music, etc., instead of a total rip off. If they wanted a donation to Navajo welfare, I would have gladly given some. But I refused to pay the 2 bucks each just on principle, and turned around.
2. The wonderful and quaint towns of Kayenta and Tuba City have now been totally McDonadlized, Burger King ized and Tacoo Bellized. No native crafts, no authentic indian lore, nothing but a lot of poverty and chain fast food places.
3. Could find no decent biking places that I felt ok on for 250 miles. I have had previous experiences of going on Indian land without permission and had to pay $5.00 (in 1950's) to avoid further trouble, and was not about to go on any private indian land in this area without permission. It would seem to me that they could open some of the land up, legitimately charge a fee, and perhaps get some income. Oh well.
4. On to Flagstaff. So, we had read about the vaunted "Flagstaff Urban Trail" on the Inet, etc., and were looking forward to using it. BUT, no one in Flagstaff seems to know just where it is. The lady at the visitors center ws quite confused, telling us that only certain parts were open to bicycling (not true) and confusing us greatly with her directions and poor quality unreadable map. A local mtn biker had no clue and sent us to a LBS, who drew us a map indicating there would be a sign on a certain road - no sign.
We discovered that this is quite a segmented trail, not together yet, and is a little rough in spots. We finally found a short section, and rode a little bit. After that we drove around and found another section, which some local walkers assured us would go at least 5 miles in one direction. We found another segment near WalMart, but it was pretty full of trash. So, tomorrow morning we are going to try the 5 mile section (we hope). Also, almost all of the forest around here has a total fire closure due to the extreme drought, and the homes and businesses are built right next to dry ponderosa pine trees. This whole city could go up in flames in jsut a few hours. Scary.
On to Gila Bend tomorrow after our ride in the am in Flagstaff. We don't expect to find much there except a pool and heat!!
Then to California and Oceanside, Carlsbad, etc., where I KNOW there are nice trails, etc.