Day 6: July 2, 2009 - Durango, CO to Jacob Lake, AZ
The care of a sick car
We woke up in Durango for the second morning in a row, unfortunately, it wasn’t supposed to be that way. We were supposed to wake up in the Grand Canyon and continue to do so for two more mornings. Fortunately, having our car break down when it did hasn’t put has behind schedule. We have very few TRUE deadlines, places to be by a certain day and as many people have commented: “At least we got stuck in Durango.” There are a lot of far worse locations to spend an extra day, especially between Durango and the Grand Canyon.
So, we took advantage of our clean room, hot showers, continental breakfast and complimentary internet (as should be noted by the surge of blogs that were posted in one day). Mike was able to hold a gchat conversationg with a young gentleman who lives in Iran, found us on CouchSurfing and began asking questions about Laramie as he plans to attend the University starting in August of 2009. He offered sympathy toward our car problems, but encouraged us to name our car so that it would behave better. So began the process of naming the 1993 Subaru. Mike and I came up with Navajo and Durango. Keivan, our Iranian friend, preferred Navajo…however, in his mind the word was pronounced Nav-ah-Joe. We discovered this discrepancy, and almost concluded that the car should then be named Durango. However, after some discussion it was decided that the car would have the full name: Navajo (pronounced as Keivan would have preferred) Durango Subaru. Her nickname will be Nav-E, a play on the popular children’s movie Wall-E.
Shortly after naming the car we received the call that our car had been fixed, a total of $580 to have the timing belt inspected and the pulley’s replaced. Mike went to retrieve the car and in a matter of minutes we had stopped at a grocery store and made our way toward Jacob Lake via Mancos, CO for a geocache search and Hovenweep National Monument. Geocaching is a great way to get off the road a bit and see parts of town you may not otherwise see. Unfortunately, we could not find the geocache at Mancos, but the attempt was the main objective. Hovenweep was similar to Mesa Verde in that it was structures that served various purposes within the community. We enjoyed the 1.5 mile walk around the park, the sky was overcast and evening was slowly approaching – the most comfortable temperature our cold-loving bodies have experienced thus far.
From Hovenweep, we headed toward Bluff, UT - another geocache destination. Little did we expect Bluff, UT to me a fantastic location, comparable to Wyoming's own Ten Sleep - but more red. We found the geocache successfully and were on the road once again, making our way toward and through Monument Valley. We have recently been informed that it was at Monument Valley that Forrest Gump stopped running, the place where he finally finished and turned around. It was a beautiful sight!
Night fell and Melissa was finally behind the wheel, taking Nav-E and passengers through Kayenta and Page where the wheel was given back to Mike who finished out our drive of the day, landing us in Jacob Lake, AZ where we found a forest service road, pitched a tent, and quickly drifted off to sleep.