Million Dollar Highway Day 3: Chinle to Scottsdale
Daily Distance: 287 Miles
Almost home! Welcome to Part III of my trip write-up about my Memorial Day 2013 travels to southwestern Colorado in the Acura ILX, totaling nearly 1,300 miles over the 3-day weekend.
Monday morning, I took my time getting up and about at my hotel in Chinle, Arizona (pronounced chin-lee). The name itself is derived from a Navajo term that means “flowing out,” since this location is where the water comes out of the adjacent canyon. One point of notable historical significance is that Chinle was the location of the 1864 peace conference between the Navajo people and Kit Carson that ended the war between the Navajo tribe and the United States.
These old phone booths are an indication of just how behind the times this community is. It all appeared pretty run-down during my brief drive through.
Just a little bit out of town on Highway 191, I saw a small one-lane dirt road leading off to the east. As I got closer, I noticed that the sign said this road would lead to the town’s cemetery. Since it was Memorial Day, I saw it fitting that I should go.
Notice, the south side of the sign said “Cemetery.”
And the north side of the sign spelled it “Cemetary.” This sign was clearly confused.
Here’s what the road looked like. It seemed to lead off into the middle of nowhere. I was careful not to take things too quickly in my ILX and road conditions were pretty good considering it was a dirt path.
Probably 2 miles down the road, I got to the location of the cemetery. There is a dirt mound for each gravesite, but at this point I’m not clear on whether that means the bodies are buried above ground or below.
I took a few minutes to pay my respects.
I can see why the Navajo nation has selected this place for its graveyard. It is very remote, secluded, and quiet. There was a very peaceful feeling about it.
Back on my way I go.
Loved this picture which captures the lines of the ILX in front of a picturesque background.
The only other picture I took on the way home was at a (closed / abandoned) trading post called Bita Hochee.
In the 730 miles since I reset the car on Sunday morning, the ILX achieved 38.6 miles per gallon.
Here’s a 5-minute, 40-second video which captures the entire 25-mile drive from Silverton to Ouray, Colorado in a speed that’ll give you motion sickness if you watch the screen too closely. Watch at your own risk!
ANDDD, after all of that, I’d say it was time for a car wash.
I decided an at-home wash job was not going to suffice, so I spent $2 at the local coin-op car high-pressure station.
I took a few moments to wipe down the interior and all-weather floor mats, too.
It cleans up pretty nicely for having about 40,000 miles on it already. This week I also made an upgrade to the license plate lighting. At left is the new LED bulb; on the right is the stock bulb. The car definitely now has a more upscale look to it at night.
Thought I’d share this messy page from my day planner. This started out as my list of “to-see” driving destinations for 2013. Notice how many of them I’ve already crossed off. And the list continues to grow.
Thanks for coming along!