I got the opportunity to visit Tuba City, Arizona this week. Met some wonderful folks at the Tuba City Hospital. Tuba city is on the Navajo reservation, about 70 miles northeast of Flagstaff. After visiting the hospital, I drove around town, trying to plot out the next morning's run. Not much to the town, but more than many rez towns I have been to. I couldn't help but smile seeing all the dogs. Rez towns are notorious for the number of dogs roaming. Driving around reminded me of time I spent as a child living on a Northern Ute reservation. I noticed numerous dirt trail roads heading away from the houses and out into the desert. I could see beautiful sandstone formations beyond town. Trails of all kinds into the desert beckoned. I made my way past a few houses...and dogs and found this trail.
THIS is where I will start, I thought.......
I sent a message to Shaun Martin, who knows all the rez trails like the back of his hand and he assured me to go, "just take pepper spray for the dogs" was his only caution.
Friday morning I took off just as the sun was coming up. It is Navajo tradition to run to the East to meet the sunrise. The Navajo offer prayers and yell to let the sun know of their presence and gratitude. I prayed and greeted the sun, but did not want to let the dogs also know of my presence, so I did not let out a Ayeeee! as I have in the desert before. I made my way through various types of sand...hard packed, damp, super soft beach-like and hard sandstone rock and everything in between. I followed ATV tracks, human tracks nad horse tracks, always keeping in mind the position of the sun, the time spent in this direction or that, and the location of the formations I was encountering. At times I made deep swipes in the red sand to mark a turn or signal my direction across intersecting trails. I got the impression I could run forever through the desert on those trails. It was amazing and beautify. Here are some of the pics I took....m