Tuesday, 9 September 2014

On Four Corners and Mexican Hats l America 2014; Part 3

Oh yeah, remember when I went to America in March and then totally forgot to blog about it? Allow me to try to rectify matters for you...

Feel free to read Part 1 here (it's got a plane journey from hell and baseball in it you know) and Part 2 here (it's got pictures of Monument Valley in it you know).

If you don't fancy re-reading back then allow me to refresh you: 

We flew to Phoenix, Arizona, spent a couple of days acclimatizing with American Girl & Boy, got a car, drove to Monument Valley, spent the night at The View Hotel. In a nutshell...


The next leg of our American road trip was one of the biggest in terms of distance covered. When I tell you the reason why you may think that I possibly have mental problems but hear me out…

When we were first planning our Grand American Road Trip I had spoken to American Girl about my determination to go to Monument Valley. She suggested that as we were up that way we could take a visit to Four Corners.

“I beg your pardon? What the hell is a Four Corners?”

When I found out that this is the only place in the US where you can stand in four states at the same time it was on the list. In stone. We were going to do it.

Even when I then looked at the logistics and realised that we were going to have to drive quite a way out and then come back on ourselves I was insistent that I wanted to go. The Person wasn’t that keen but I wasn’t backing down - I’d included the Grand Canyon on our road trip for him (I already saw it back in 2008) so I needed Four Corners.


If you look at the map you can see how ridiculous my plan was, but hell, I was the one that was doing all the driving so I was driving us there.

(Do you love my map? It’s so hilariously awful isn’t it? I just went mad in Paint. I can only apologise. I’m sure my award for most aesthetically pleasing blog is going to drop in my lap any day now…)

This was actually my favourite day driving. On the way from Monument Valley to Four Corners the roads were empty. And I mean empty. Remember the pictures of the roads from my last post? Just those roads with no-one else in sight. It was weird. But actually quite nice. I turned the music up and drove along without a care in the world, making sure I didn’t think about what would happen if anything did go wrong on an eerily deserted Highway in the middle of nowhere. For the rest of my life Settle, the album from Disclosure will remind me of this particular day's driving.

We did make a brief stop off on the side of the road not too far out of Monument Valley. Having seen signs for a town called Mexican Hat we spouted various theories as to why it might be called that. Turns out they have a rock formation that looks like….a Mexican Hat.

Too good.

But mostly it was mile after mile after mile after mile of open and clear road. It’s easy to zone out on those lonely America highways - they are so straight and empty that all you have to do is set your course and plough straight ahead. The scenery was overwhelming - it’s hard to explain how something so vast and empty can simultaneously leave you spellbound. I suppose it was just that it was so different to anything I’ve seen before. The UK just doesn’t have the space for those kinds of vistas and although views of rolling hills and fields are beautiful in their own way, they are on a completely different level to what I could see out of my window as I drove along through Utah/Colorado.

Four Corners is.....Well.....

Ok, it’s a little underwhelming. The monument is there with the flags of all four states flying in their respective corners and surrounding that there are lots of stalls for local traders. We found out after we got back that allegedly you can buy weed in the Colorado corner as it is legal to buy it in that State. Unfortunately I can't confirm that for you.

The good thing about going out of season meant we virtually had the place to ourselves so we could lie on the monument, crawl over the monument, put small stuffed animals on the monument - anything that we pleased. 

Hanging out and being super cool on the Four Corners monument. That's a crocheted mouse on my lap. I don't want to talk about it...

To me it was worth going just to say we’d been there - and for the simple pleasure that driving there meant that I had technically driven through 4 states.

Touristed out (and yes, yes I did buy a Four Corners tshirt and it is my favourite and I love it) it was back in the car to basically head back exactly the same way that we had just come for two hours…

This was much less fun than on the way out and I was definitely starting to getting tired - the windows went down and the hypnotic music went off and The Person was woken up to keep me company until we got to something resembling civilisation which turned out to be Bluff, Utah.

I swear I’m not making these place names up.

Bluff is a road with some houses, a petrol station, a post office, and most importantly, somewhere to have a lovely cup of tea. It suited me perfectly and we spent an hour there drinking tea, writing postcards, using the much loved wifi and starting to feel a bit more human again.

Restocked on drinks and crisps we were back on the road to our final destination, Page, Arizona.

The drive was relatively drama free, we found our hotel for the evening without any fuss whatsoever, and took note of the slightly alarming number of churches that are very neatly lined up one after the other on the road into Page. I think we counted 8 in total - all different denominations, all different churches, all in a line. It was…..different.

It was kind of an odd place, looking at the signs almost felt like I’d stepped back in time, I’m sure the Travelodge opposite to our hotel had old branding. But I don’t know if I’m just making it up, I look at this picture and I just absolutely love it, I don’t know if it was the light or what, but it just makes me smile. I know. Of all the things I took pictures of on this trip a photo of a hotel sign is one of my favourites. I’m quite the artiste.

We took a little wander about but opted to have dinner at the easiest place we could find, right opposite the hotel. I don’t know if it was the altitude (Page is 1,255m above sea level compared to my home town’s 144m) or tiredness for the driving but I got pretty wrecked on a minimal amount of alcohol. It was brilliant.

(This reminds me, I will one day tell you a story involving me and altitude which will probably make you cry with laughter but will almost certainly make you think less of me. I’ll get around to writing it down one day…)

In hindsight we could have not gone to Four Corners, had a much more laidback drive to Page and had more time to hang around there but then I wouldn’t have been able to say I’d driven in four states, you know?

What on earth were we in Page for?

I'll try and not leave it another five months before blogging about it...


  1. I've never heard of Four Corners but I'm always weirdly intrigued by straight borders around states and countries. Why isn't everywhere 'wobbly' like in England?

  2. Ace! Also, a couple of hours is nothing in America; I've never heard of Four Corners either but that's cool. I wonder if there's a Four Counties equivalent here somewhere? Although probably won't have a t-shirt. Those vast landscapes are crazy, England feels so crowded in comparision

  3. Haha, I love the fact you went - I would totally have gone as well. Fuck logic. ;)
    I sometimes dream of road tripping in America and it's always down those roads with nobody else around. Maybe one day, eh?

  4. I would definitely have insisted on going too, probably won't have give with a crochet mouse though...

  5. Or...
    probably wouldn't have gone with a crochet mouse

    Fucking auto correct

  6. Four corners sounds ace! Mark and I are hoping to go to America in a few years, it just sounds amazing

    Maria xxx


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