Today, we’re going to do something a little different. I’m going to describe one “vacation spot”, and why you shouldn’t stop there. It’s a tourist trap of epic proportions.
I saw a thing on YouTube before my vacation that actually listed the “Four Corners Monument” as one of the worst tourist sites in the country. Why? Well, let’s examine it. My granddaughter and wife wanted to go to it. That’s the place in northeastern Arizona where four states come together. Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah all merge. And they’ve built this little area signifying where they all come together. It’s not run by the federal government, like you’d think. It’s run by the Navajo Nation because it’s on their reservation. And be prepared to pay if you go.
First of all, something on their reservation, a WAYS on their reservation takes a LONG while just to get to. You’re three hours northeast of Flagstaff, Arizona, and about two and a half hours northwest of Gallup, New Mexico. It’s all two lane roads. There is no cell phone coverage. The speed limit drops to 45 miles per hour every time you go through a “town” which is more like a few trailers huddled together. And you are in for a long, boring drive…though I will say, the scenery is pretty nice.
OK, when you get there, there isn’t much parking. There is a $5 per person charge to get in, which isn’t bad until you consider that it covers basically taking a few snapshots on your phone after you wait in line for 45 minutes. And it can get hot. Bring an umbrella and plenty of water. There are souvenir booths ringing the actual “four corners”. They’ve done a nice job with elevated picture taking platforms, and there is some seating, but it’s out in the sun. There’s no shade there. Once you get to the “spot” you stand, smile, and get your picture taken by some member in your party. The Navajo’s could have made an extra few bucks if THEY took the pictures, but that went over their head apparently. Meanwhile, you are treated to Native American music being played off to one side. There is a guy there that gets on the microphone to welcome you and thank you for “supporting what we Navajo’s believe in”, which I’m still wondering what that meant.
In the end, you spend about six hours getting to and from this place, waiting in line for 45 minutes for a couple of pictures. Now, my granddaughter and wife almost passed out from the heat, but they loved the two pictures I took of them standing in the spot where four states come together. Was it worth it? Well, of course, to make my wife and granddaughter happy, I’d walk on hot coals barefoot, but frankly, I thought the experience was almost as painful. Do yourself a favor. Go online, download a picture of the monument and Photoshop yourself into it.
You’ll thank me later….trust me!
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!