After a full day exploring at Mesa Verde National Park, it was time to move on and make our way to our next destination; Farmington, New Mexico. Farmington was going to be the jumping off point for the our next day’s adventure.
As we began to drive away from Mesa Verde, it began to snow. The flurries weren’t sticking to the road, but it let us know that we weren’t crazy because we wearing our hats and layers all day. Once we got down to a lower elevation in Cortez, it was no longer snowing, but instead it was raining hard! We were glad we were done touristing in the area, but also sad to be moving on.
We had one detour to make on the trip to Farmington; we were going to head West for awhile and visit the Four Corners Monument. The monument is considered to be the legal boundary between four states; Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. I say “considered” because the site was surveyed in the 1860s, the marker placed, and it became the legal boundary. But it was later discovered that the surveying was a bit off. Of course some of that has to do with the fact that the surveying methods at the time were fairly primitive.
In addition to it being the boundary between the states, the Four Corners is also the boundary between the Navajo Nation and the Ute Tribe. The monument is operated by the Navajo Nation and they charge $5 per person to visit.
On the afternoon that we were there, it was still really cold, and there were very high winds. Like hurricane force winds. We were almost blown over by the force of the winds!
As a result, we didn’t hang out for long – just long enough to get some photos of ourselves with two feet and two hands in each of the states. I told Jon before our trip even began that he would pose at the Four Corners for a photo; and he kept his word. A couple of pics and we were done. Even the vendors thought it was too cold to be out; there were only a couple of Navajo artisans bundled in blankets waiting for the few tourists who might venture along.
Back on the road, we spent some time in Arizona, and then crossed back into New Mexico. We saw a gorgeous scene; a lone wild horse standing on the hillside. I just had time to turn in my seat and snap a picture, and was lucky to capture this:
Then we saw what must be one of the most obvious landmarks in the Southwest: Shiprock. Before we figured out its real name, Jon started calling it Castle Greyskull. You can tell we both grew up in the days of He-Man cartoons!
Shiprock the rock has a Shiprock the town named after it, and sadly, this area had some of the most abject poverty I have ever seen. Seeing run down homes, hopeless looking people, and stray dogs made my heart hurt. It made me not want to take for granted the blessings we have received in life.
We continued from Shiprock to Farmington, New Mexico, and made good time. We arrived and got checked into our hotel – we changed things up this time and stayed at La Quinta! Then we continued our brewery streak and made our way to the 3 Rivers Brewery.
Several things on the menu looked really tempting, but I settled on the 1/2 order of Fish and Chips, and a Strawberry Wheat beer. Yum! I splurged on a second beer, in a schooner size, of their Arroyo Amber. I really enjoyed the Amber as well, as it had a heavier, maltier flavor.
Jon had the fish special – Monkfish with cauliflower mash and veggies, including Brussels sprouts and onions. Jon enjoyed the Papa Bear Double Honey Ale (made with local honey!), and also had a Scottish Ale. He was pleased with both his choices.
Farmington seemed like a neat little town; it has a population of about 45,000 and is home to San Juan College, a two year college with an enrollment of about 10,000 students. We were headed the next day to Chaco Culture National Historical Park, but there are several other Puebloan ruins in the area that would have been nice to visit.
But we didn’t have much time for exploring on this trip; we headed back to get some sleep before our trip to Chaco Culture!
I do have one question though… A 16 oz. beer is a pint everywhere, but at home in the Pacific Northwest we call a 10 oz. glass a schooner. In the Southwest, the waitstaff were consistently confused by the term. What’s a 10 oz. beer glass called where you live?