Coffee-ied up and out of my motel before seven. Got a mile up the road and saw my tire light. I limped back to town and pulled up in front of a tire repair place. There was a note on the door saying he was open by appointment and there was a phone number. I called and he said he’d probably be in around nine.
I checked a few other places, but no one repaired tires, so I headed back to the motel to wait until 9 o’clock. The owner saw me, wondered why I hadn’t left, and I explained. She had her son come and put air in my tire! Hooray! Back on the road!
Half a mile up the road, my tire light came on.
I rolled slowly forward, getting in and out of the car to check my tire, and there it was. A nail.
By this time it was 8:45, so I got some gas and headed back to the tire place. At 9:10 I called the tire guy again and he said he be in in about half an hour. He made it in twenty minutes.
In the meantime, I looked at maps to change my route yet again. The plan had been to stay on back roads and stop at Canyon de Chelly, then go through Teec Nos Pos to the Four Corners and head into Cortez, Colorado, where my next motel awaited. 6 1/2 hours of driving time. Plus, of course, I wanted to spend time at the Canyon and get the obligatory photo at Four Corners.
I wouldn’t have time to do all that without having to drive into Cortez in the dark. Out of the question. I rerouted.
Up 191 to Sanders. A beautiful high desert route with nearly a dozen windmills, most happily pumping water. There was little traffic.
I didn’t make my goal of not being on interstates, but since technically I’d had to use I-10 for seven miles the day before, I’d already blown the goal. I missed the canyon but saved an hour and a half of driving.
At least it was a scenic drive.
At Gallop I exited the interstate into a traffic jam. Roadwork heading north made for a mess, and drivers were not courteous.
The highway north was dotted with hitchhikers, the most I’ve ever seen. One or two or three were on every block, all of them Native American.
More beautiful high desert driving. I finally saw the Shiprock.
Then to the town of Shiprock where there was a large area of government-issued housing. None of it was in the traditional hogan shape and all houses were identical. It was pretty awful. How depressing it must be for the people who live there.
From there I drove to Teec Nos Pos and headed north toward Colorado. In a very short time I’d reached The state line and the famous Four Corners.
The marker says FOUR CORNERS…HERE MEET…IN FREEDOM…UNDER GOD.