With internet and texting and tweeting and all the other technological advances we have in the world today there are folks who can do several things all at once. For example, as I’m writing this I have three windows open on my screen in addition to the word document I’m using to type this blog entry. With the click of a mouse, I can search; check e-mail, check Twitter, and type as quickly and efficiently as I want to. So, why not travel to several states at once for vacation?
I’m still an advocate for slowing down and taking the scenic route and meandering on the way to whatever destination you’ve chosen for that girls’ trip or family trip or romantic getaway, but if you have that urge to get several stops in at once, I’ve got just the place for you. And you can meander on your way there.
Four Corners, USA. It’s an interesting bit of geography you can travel to that is “the only place in the United States where four states intersect at one point”. Isn’t that great? The efficient traveler can cross four states off her traveling bucket list just by going here. Never been out west? Interested in seeing Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico or Utah? You got it. All at once.
Four Corners was established in 1964 and as far as I’m concerned, it’s one of the country’s best kept secrets. I’ve traveled through many states in the U.S.A, but hadn’t heard about Four Corners until just last fall. And when I did, I knew I had to go. We loaded up the kids and headed out west.
It’s a small place where the roads are long and tucked between deserts, dusty little towns, and majestic rock formations that take a person’s breath away. And it’s worth every mile of the drive to get there.
I’ll admit I expected more. Maybe some kind of theme park or museum or something; none of which were there when we arrived. Described as a “monument” Four Corners is unique because the monument doesn’t stretch up into the sky like I imagined it would. What we found in place of a museum was a landmark-style monument that inscribed in the ground the names of the four states with each of the corners touching.
Surrounding the landmark are outbuildings where individuals can set up booths to sell Native foods and goods. There are semi-modern day outhouses for patrons to use. (I encourage you to bring your own toilet paper and hand sanitizer.) And land stretching as far as the eye can see.
When we arrived, it was early evening and we’d been driving for hours. We were hot, tired and hungry. I was even a bit disappointed when I realized we’d just paid a cover charge to drive onto this piece of land that someone had declared to be the touching corners of four states. Like I said, I expected more.
I remember other families there posing on the monument and instructing kids to get into “crab-walk” position so that they had a hand and foot in each of the four corners at once. I remember the wind blowing and a smattering of dust flying through the air. I remember the herd of wild horses on the perimeter swishing their tales, throwing their heads, and whinnying to one another. I remember stretching my arms out and kind of leaning against the wind. I remember the mysteriousness of it all; the lack of commercialism as I stood there in the four corners of four states, all at once.
And, being a somewhat efficient traveler myself, eager for my children to see as much of this great country as they can, I remember instructing them they could cross four states off their “must see” list –Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado.