Christian Kemp's USA travelogs

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Sometime on Wednesday, I noticed that I had left the outlet plug converter at the Motel in Moab. Since driving back 200mi was not an option, and I wouldn't last long without recharging my camera and laptop, I had to find some store that carried what I considered as fairly unusual item, seeing how there's probably not that many Americans who need to use mainland European plugs in US outlets. So I inquired at the front desk and drove into Durango, patiently waiting until an electronics shop opened, and coming out two minutes later with a $2.14 converter. Nevertheless, this delayed our departure until after 10:00am.

After driving through New Mexico for a short while - this stretch was distinctly different from what we had seen until now, and featured lots of worn down housing along with many miles of low-class malls and other stores across the highway - we headed back into Utah.

A dirt road leading through Monument Valley's "little brother", Valley of the Gods After stopping at the Twin Peaks Café in Bluff for lunch, we headed on towards Valley of the Gods. This Scenic Area is really a smaller brother of Monument Valley, but as I would find out later minus the crowds, the native inhabitants and their dubious approach towards tourism.

The dirt road through the Valley is passable in 2WD, but at times visibility is fairly low and therefore slow speeds and careful driving are required. We didn't hike at all, instead opting to just take in the view through the windows and occasionally (or often, in my case) stopping for pictures.

After a while, we were on Highway 163 again, and heading towards Monument Valley. Which looks spectacular, but I couldn't help but have mixed feelings about the way it is being run. On one hand, you are being made to feel like you are unwelcome on the land, and people are looking grumpy and treating you very much like an unwanted guest; but on the other hand they are perfectly happy in taking your entrance money and deliberately keeping roads unmaintained so they can make more money selling jeep and horse tours... Mind, this is all just a first experience opinion, but first experiences usually stick. Perhaps everybody I came into contact with just had a bad day. Or I had a bad day.

After a quicker than planned drive through the park, we headed to Kayenta, where we stayed for the night, and where motel and restaurant workers enforced my opinion formed earlier that day and explained in the above paragraph.

Written October 20th 2002 in Luxembourg, revised December 19th 2004.

Motel/Hotel Accommodation: Best Western Wetherill Inn (Kayenta, AZ): $98 plus 10.50% tax