DAY 0 (September 29, 2021)
Members of the Model A Touring Club (MATC) met in Kanab, UT today, having arrived from all over North America. Representatives came from Washington State, California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Iowa, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Florida – and even one couple from Vancouver, BC, Canada. Unfortunately, due to the status of the US/Canadian border, our Canadian friends could not drive their Model A; instead, they flew in and rented a modern car in order to participate.
Some club members drove all the way from home, and some trailered their cars to Kanab. Then there was Jay Burbank’s Military Maxi, who broke down in St. George, UT on day zero and arrived via tow truck. (She was ready to rejoin the tour the following morning.)
At the welcome dinner, we received our tour itinerary, books, and goodies, and prepared for a GREAT tour.
DAY 1 (September 30, 2021): Kanab, UT, to Monument Valley, UT — Approximately 202 miles.
We drove through Page, AZ, through Kayenta, AZ and on to The View Hotel in Monument Malley, UT. Due to Covid restrictions, the restaurant at The View was closed. We found dinner a few miles away at Goulding’s Lodge.
DAY 2 (October 1, 2021): Monument Valley, UT, to Durango, CO — Approximately 210 miles.
First thing in the morning, we took the 17-mile drive around the floor of Monument Valley. It had rained lightly during the night, and we had some rain at the beginning of the drive. Then the sun came out, and the colors came alive.
Tim and the trouble trailer were right behind us, but when a call for help came, there was no choice but to continue forward on the one-way road. He gathered the disabled car and headed toward Durango, CO. Tim hadn’t even completed the first tow when he got another call for help. As soon as he delivered the first car to our Durango hotel, he headed back to pick up his second “customer”.
While Tim was driving back and forth, we continued on the designated route, past Mexican Hat, then up –and down! — the Moki Dugway.
What is the Moki Dugway, you might ask… “Moki” is a local term for the ancient Puebloan people who inhabited the Colorado Plateau hundreds of years ago. “Dugway” is a term used to describe a roadway carved from a hillside. The Moki Dugway is a stretch of Highway 261 in Utah where the blacktop turns into a dirt road that drastically switches back and forth down the side of a cliff at an 11% grade.
Arriving back at the floor of the canyon, we drove through the Valley of the Gods, a scenic backcountry area in southeastern Utah. It is a hidden gem with scenery similar to that of Monument Valley. It offers isolated buttes, towering pinnacles and wide open spaces that seem to go on forever.
Today’s itinerary also included Four Corners National Monument, where you can stand in four states at one time, and Mesa Verde National Park, where the Ancestral Pueblo people built thriving communities on the mesas and in the cliffs of Mesa Verde for over 700 years. As we crossed into Colorado (in the dark), there was a significant change in altitude and scenery.
Stay tuned for our next blog which will find us in New Mexico and enjoying the Albuquergue Hot Air Baloon Festival! Up, up and away!