AZ-UT mile 244

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From the Navajo Monument Tribal Park we drove north into Utah, turned right on an unmarked road we guessed was Indian Route 6480, which, according to the USGS map, morphed into Gypsum Creek Road, then segued into Cane Valley Wash Road, then lap dissolved into an unmarked road;  we ground down toward Arizona and wound up a steep hairpin before finding the border using GPS– no signs or fences here to give it away. We walked west toward a ridge in the distance, mercifully shaded by a generous cloud. Of course, assessing distance in the desert is difficult, at least for those used to eastern indicators of size and distance– like trees, buildings, utility poles or atmosphere. We ended up walking 5 hours round trip, slight ups and downs, mostly on the fine red sand of the great Navajo beach decorated with grizzled junipers, spiky-sharp grass clumps, an ATV track, but no fences. Last year’s horse dung lay scattered across the desert– not much for horses to eat, though. We’d seen a pair of horses earlier, but none on our walk. The occasional lizard. Mouse tracks, abandoned prairie dog towns.

We arrive at the ridge we’d sighted on; the GPS nudged us north. We pulled down our hat brims when the sun reappeared, brightening the views and desiccating us in the process; we ended up on a wide sandstone knob with a view back toward Navajo Monument Tribal Park and a fine view east. No fences or roads, no planes, no non-desert sounds.  N 3659.8888′ W1090 45.8396′.

Looking west







Looking east