Four Corners USA. Kayenta, Cortez, Shiprock, Gallup.

I spent a week in the Four Corners region driving and walking around some of the most widely varied territory in the US. And I enjoyed some pretty good food while doing it. I started out by arriving at the Grand Canyon too late for the sun to be right for photos, so I was a bit miffed about my own planning. But it was the Grand Canyon so it wasn’t all that bad. Then it was off to Monument Valley to see the land that John Ford made famous in all those classic westerns. That was pretty cool. But just a note, a Toyota Prius is not a 4WD and that road is not a place for it. Just sayin…

Then I hit the road and visited Amigo Cafe in Kayenta. Never heard of the town or the cafe and loved both. I got the Combo Plate and though none of the items were great they were all good. Better yet, the crowd was almost all local and they nodded and smiled as I walked in. I am a traveler but I like to eat with locals.
Plus the waitress was rocking the espresso machine and fixed me a very nice Cortado!

Then it was off to Cortez so I could visit the cliff homes of Mesa Verde.
All I can say is…
Living on a cliff? At 6,000 feet? With a short growing season? In a semi-arid region? With the Apache down the road?
Word to the wise, Mesa Verde doesn’t allow guided tours of the cliff houses until mid-May, so I took my tour on foot and never set foot inside. Still very cool.

Wait, did I mention the art work of Cortez? It was CCC Moderne, which kind of makes me laugh. I grew up near Fort Peck Reservoir, so I saw a good bit of it in my youth.

Or the family meal I wolfed down on Main Street? They did have corn tortillas (not flour) so the over use of cumin is almost forgiven.

Then Gallup. Hmmm…
Loved my hotel, the el Rancho Hotel. 1937 kitsch, old movie stars and good people. And another Combo Plate!

The town of Gallup? Not so much.

Then there was the drive from Gallup to Phoenix through Payson. That is a beautiful stretch of land. Payson is not well known, but it is a gem.

I mentioned it earlier but the Lamb Stew w Frybread at Nataani Nez in Shiprock was rather good, i would definitely order it again.
And the people are very welcoming which is cool.


Fun trip report, great pics! Thanks!!