Monday, August 04, 2008

The Wild West

So! We jumped out of bed on my birthday, had breakfast and decided to go on a back country driving tour (of our own made up planning based on nothing real or factual) of Navajo lands west of Monument Valley. We drove off down a dirt road that we knew would eventually meet up with some other dirt road somewhere and so on and so forth. We have a GPS system so we just program the campground in as home base and we know we can always find our way back. This can be a really fun way to spend the day... just driving at random all over the back roads seeing what you can see. Yeah! It can be really fun! Exceptions to this "really fun" situation can be listed off as follows... 1. It's 103 degrees outside. 2. The dirt road quickly turns to soft sand. 3. Your 4 x 4 truck which is built for these sort of conditions GETS STUCK IN THE REALLY SOFT, DEEP SAND. 4. You are in the middle of nowhere. 5. Rudy is with you. 6. Several people in trucks drive by over the course of an hour and ignore you even though you are trying to flag them down. Here are some visual aids....

This one here is the oooold Navajo technique of using a Rubbermaid bin lid and dry old sticks to try to get your tire out of the sand.

This situation pretty well sucked. We tried everything to get out but it was futile. It seemed like everything we did wedged the back right tire deeper into the pit it was in. At one point we decided I should walk out and try for help or to get to an area where I could get cell signal and call for a tow truck or something. So I started walking. I got about two blocks down and decided I was scared of dogs. We had passed 3 or 4 homes on the way in and if I have ever seen places where loose dogs that may bite you would live these places were it. So I rejected the walking out plan. We could not really all walk out together because the fragile flower that is Rudy would have died in the heat before we got to the bend in the road. We tried digging the tires out with our bare hands. That was neat. Billy burned his hand on the exhaust pipe and I started to feel distinctly like I was going to puke from the heat. I was also continuously spouting off comments like.. "We are never gonna get this truck out of here without help. That will never work. This is pointless. No one is going to help us. The buzzards are starting to circle." These are the moments when I am sure Billy loves me most.

Eventually another truck was coming down the way so I set myself on fire and laid down in the middle of the road to keep them from driving by. After a few minutes of silent, stoic observation of our situation (and me hopping up and down like an idiot beside the drivers window begging for help) it was decided that the man would go home and get chains and his son and come back to get us out. After almost an hour they returned armed with shovels and chains and knowledge of these sort of situations that we ourselves do not possess. Within ten minutes we were out. The guy told us how to get back down the road and what areas to avoid so as not to get stuck again. As it turns out there was a two track bypass that most people choose to drive on in the spot where we got stuck. We just did not see or know that it was there.

This is one of the dudes who helped us....

We went back to the trailer totally covered in sand and red dirt and sick from the heat. We took showers and then laid around for a few hours. It was a real kicker of a way to spend the first part of the day.

In the late afternoon we headed over to the tribal park (Monument Valley) to do the loop drive. It was a zoo over there compared to how quiet it was the last time we were here. We did the drive and were as awe struck as before. It is a bone jarring drive... really bumpy and full of pot holes and rocks, so by the time we finished and came back home we felt like we had been in a train wreck. I went to bed with my hair so full of red dirt and sand it felt seriously creepy. I did not even care. I just wanted to sleep!

Here are some pics from the drive...

Thanks to everyone who sent Birthday wishes. Year number 36 is off to a grand start. Tomorrow we leave for Kanab. The drive from here to there is really pretty and only about 200 miles. We are going to hang out there a couple of days and check out the Coral Dunes State Park.

I leave you with a photo of my new jewelry purchases from the peeps selling in the tribal park. Good stuff! The necklace that hangs the lowest is made from petrified wood! It's my new favorite.

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