2009 USA Tour : March 24th, from 66 to 99

Leaving Route 66

As the song said we headed down to Gallup, New Mexico, during this morning, another 124 miles of desert and some mountains and then a 24 mile turn off to Route 12, the start of the next two days of heaven where I throw in the symbol of 99 as this was the start of a complete polarity of Route 66

Onto The Valley Of The Gods

Route 12 is into Arizona and we had turned from heading west to heading north.

This started with a narrow road journey through the red rocks park, of unusual twisted bright red mountains connected by red lakes.

After about 50 miles we climbed into wooded snow cap mountains and then after another 30 miles into a combination of red dusted and green dusted desert plains as 12 merged into the famous Route 191 that took us into Utah.

In the distance we could see cowboy country, John Ford country, the isolated pinnacles of towering monumental red rocks.

When we turned from 191 into the road that would lead us to the edge of Valley Of The Gods our jaws dropped. We had to park and go for a walk.

Over a dusty Mars like red dust field we reached an edge looking over into a canyon and in the distance the surreal towering red giants of the Gods in the Valley.

Back to the RV we headed for quickly Mexican Hat village to get a gasoline fill, but on the way stopped by the remarkable Mexican Hat Mountain, which looks like a giant Mexican with hat and decorated poncho. Behind him was a remarkable large mountain landscape of folding red and green crevices, so odd and unreal.

Valley Of The Gods Guest House

I knew this was going to be special but their web site just does not reveal how remarkable this property is. I had booked us here for 2 days. About 8 miles from Mexican Hat village and on the edge of the Valley Of The Gods this is the only property around. Built in 1930 and owned by Claire and Gary for the last 13 years this is the ultimate in green living and being with nature. All power and hot water comes from huge solar panels and three modest windmills yet power is stable here and hot water abundant. This is luxury accommodation in the most stunning wilderness! Claire looks after the B&B while Gary is off installing alternative energy for other folks in remote places. These people even gather used cooking oil from fast food places and restaurants to fuel their vehicles, one of them being a Mercedes.

Claire and I rented a cozy split level two storey cabin near the cottage. So lovely and intimate.

The moment we arrived it was a glorious warm sunny evening and it hit me that this was a break from the tour. I immediately threw myself into wandering the desert studying the incredible variety of plants and shrubby trees. This is a pharmacy here. I was amazed to see a desert holly, a “mahonli” as I had bought the same holly tree for our garden labyrinth without really knowing what it was.

After watching the sun set Claire and I shared a meal and turned in for an early night. My intent was to catch the sunrise 

Before I ended this day my imagination was buzzing so i quickly write this into the visitor’s book, kind of nonsense rhyme I use in my folk drama.

It takes something like The Valley Of Gods
To unravel the fuddled minds of us poor sods
A moment of not resisting the spirit of inspiration
to bubble up the couldron of our imagination
For it is here we become bards
as its not very hard
Thanks to Claire the home goddess of this warm nest among the stones
and Gary who toiled as warrior steward of these lands, despite creaky bones
Wishing you the love, guidance and blessings you deserve
that return from those here in the Valley Of Gods you serve



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