Saturday, April 9, 2016

New Mexico: 4 Corners, Shiprock, Laguna Pueblo

Day 1 included quite a bit of driving and not a lot of sight seeing.  We did a few things:

Four Corners/Shiprock/Laguna Pueblo:

First, we had breakfast and packed up our tents, bedding, etc.  That first night in Monticello was freezing.   It was so cold the next morning.  The kids spent most of the time in the car while Annette and I made breakfast and packed everything up. 

Then we got on our way and headed to Four Corners.

Four Corners was smaller than I had pictured.  You stand in a line to take photos (there was a sign that said to take a MINIMUM of three photos...I'm sure they meant a maximum, but it seemed like most people took about 10.  The line wasn't too long so it was fine.   Then you stand on the little plaque that shows you where the 4 states meet and take your photos.  All around the little square were booths selling Navajo jewelry and other souvenirs.  There was also a little trailer that sold Navajo tacos and fry bread.  So we had some fry bread and bought a few souvenirs.

Of course, we took our traditional photo in front of the state sign!
After our visit to Four Corners, we began driving toward Albuquerque.  We stopped in Shiprock, New Mexico for lunch.   Shiprock is a town not far from the rock formation with the same name. 

Shiprock (the formation) rises nearly 1,583 feet above the desert.  It is part of the Navajo Nation.  It apparently figures in their religion and myths.  It was pretty majestic.

Our next stop was Laguna Pueblo.  The Pueblo is only open on feast days, and our understanding was there would be dancing and cultural presentations.  I was excited to go.  Unfortunately, it was really more like going to the fair or even a farmer's market.  There were vendors selling food, clothing, jewelry and other items.  There were people milling around and buying things.  There is a beautiful Catholic Church there and we took a photo in front of it before we were told that taking photos anywhere in the pueblo is offensive and not allowed.  We were allowed to enter the Catholic Church and it was very interesting and beautiful.  It had a unique mixture of Catholic artwork and Native American artwork/architecture.  It was fascinating to see the influence of both side by side.  It was a small cathedral, but beautiful.  Also, seeing the Pueblo village from the freeway, it looked quite beautiful. 

Here are the kids standing outside the car as we were about to head into Laguna Pueblo.

Then we drove the rest of the way to Albuquerque area where we stayed at a campground along Turquoise Trail.  We set up camp, made dinner and had showers.