Day 13 (October 12, 2021): Monument Valley, Arizona, to Kanab, Utah approximately 195 miles.
Day 14 (October 13, 2021): Kanab, Utah, to Bryce Canyon City, Utah approximately 79 miles.
I promised you some excitement at the end of the last post… Well, we had a little too much excitement! When we woke up in Monument Valley on October 12th, we had had some rain and frost.
Model A’s are tough: they can drive over rough roads, they can handle rain, they can handle heat, they can climb up and down mountains. However, they do NOT handle sleet well. Some of our cars don’t even have windshield wipers. Wipers on the cars having them don’t work in a sleet storm.
On October 12th, the cars who left early enough were able to make it to Kanab without being stopped by the sleet storm. The rest of us only made about 25 miles before turning back to Kayenta and booking rooms for the night.
We sheltered in a Burger King while the hotel cleaned all our rooms. (It was still early in the morning and we felt very fortunate to be in a warm dry place.) We were able to cancel our Kanab reservations and we actually had an enjoyable, easy day while the storm blew over. Right next door was a Code Talkers museum.
In case you don’t know about the Navajo Code Talkers, here’s a brief introduction:
In 1942, 29 Navajo men joined the U.S. Marines and developed an unbreakable code that would be used across the Pacific during World War II. They were called the Navajo Code Talkers.
The Code Talkers conveyed messages by telephone and radio in their native language, a code that was never broken by the Japanese. The Navajo language is complex and remained mostly unwritten The Navajo radio code comprised words selected from the Navajo language and applied to military phrases. The Navajo language has no military terminology, and most of the code developed was new and instilled with military meaning. For example, the Navajo word used for ships was “Toh-Dineh-ih,” which means Sea Force.
The total number of Navajo Code Talkers that served in the U.S. Marines is estimated between 350 to 420. In 2001, the original 29 Navajo Code Talkers were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal and all others were awarded Congressional Silver Medals.
October 13th was sunny and beautiful.
We had to drive approximately 250 miles to reach our destination of Bryce Canyon City. (FYI: That’s a LONG way for a day’s drive in a Model A!) Here are some shots of the beautiful scenery we would have missed if we had continued driving in the sleet storm:
Here are a few highlights from the entrance to Bryce and some of the look outs.
In the next post we will be back with the entire tour group and heading toward Kanab – without a sleet storm!