Our next target for an extended stay after the visit to Page, AZ was Santa Fe, NM. The distance between Page and Santa Fe is approximately 450 miles. Since I like to keep the daily travel distance at around 250 miles, we stopped-over in Farmington, NM. Farmington is located at the junction of the Animas River, the La Plata River and the San Juan Rivers and is close to the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness. The Three Rivers Brewery in downtown Farmington offers the very decent Arroyo Amber Ale and a mean corned beef and cabbage dinner. That is pretty much the extent of my knowledge about Farmington. Why stop in Farmington you may ask? It was all about the Shiprock Pinnacle.
The pinnacle is a dominant landmark of the Four Corner Area, where the four states of Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico come together in a single point. Many travelers have seen the pinnacle from a distance; I wanted a closer look.
The Shiprock Pinnacle rises 1583 ft/480 m over the surrounding high plateau. The formation is assumed to be the remnant of a volcanic caldera and is locate at the center of two dikes. We took a leisurely afternoon hike along the southern dike and discovered a truly bizarre landscape.
I was surprised, driving through the northern parts of Arizona and New Mexico, by the large number of road side memorials in the form of crosses, candles, toys, flowers, shrines etc. Seeing these memorials where people have been killed by traffic is so sad.