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New Mexico - Arizona

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New Mexico - Arozona

White Sands National Monument. The biggest of its kind. Beautiful white sand dunes
which are not even made of sand. These are only 7000 years old and made of
plaster stone mountains around. The wind erosion transformed these mountains into
these dunes throughout the years. They even move couple of feet a year. And the whiteness
is so blinding you can't even imagine it. Really..

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White Sands National Monument

Then we headed north up the route Hw.54 towards Carrizozo, where by sheer coincidence we
spotted one of the "historic marker" spots - home town of Billy the Kid. With no hesitation
whatsoever we took a 30ml detour which was definitely worth it. We found ourselves in a typical
western town surrounded by woods and prairies where a guy called William Bonney a.k.a. Billy
the Kid with his gang used to roam at the end of 19th century. The town is infamously known by
the Lincoln County War which lasted between 1878 and 1881 and brought killings and anarchy into
its streets. Nowadays Lincoln town looks pretty much the same as then, locals are even now obliged
to build their houses in the historic theme, so they fit in. We were camping like cowboys that night and
an inexplicable urge to watch the Young Guns movie came upon us. Next morning - sausages and beans
for breakfast - just like the auld cowboys. I'm telling ya. And then we whipped our horses (under the bonnet)
and disappeared in the dust heading west to Arizona.

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Billy the Kid
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Lincoln town

The nights were getting slightly cooler, mainly up in the mountains. Our thermals had to come out coz at about
5am my Suunto showed reading of 4 degrees. It's a huge difference compering to 30 degrees during the day.
Later on we crossed the Arizona border, clocked few miles on Route 66 heading north to Apache, Navajo and
Hopi reservations. This is vast and dreary country side. Sun, wind and drought. Only those canyons are nice to behold. Sad history meets sad presence. Indians are not what they used to be. Unemployment, vandalism,
high percentage of obesity and diabetes among them doesn't make it any easier in preservation of their identity.
Finally after two weeks we indulged ourselves to a 80km round bike trip. And it was pretty tough one coz it gets super windy high up on the rocky plains.

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Canyon De Chelly, the home of Navaho Tribe
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Then we made it to a place called Page near the Lake Powell, where we dunked our poor bodies into cool water of
this artificially flooded lake. Navy blue water surrounded by nothing but golden-red sandstone rocks. Not a single tree to be seen - very strange scenery. So we camped right on the beach next to bunch of Americans. We chatted, had a couple of beers together, they even helped me out of the sand when i got stuck. A guy brought his massive 4x4 Ford truck (just like the one you see on telly easily driving through other cars) and got me out.
Next day we're at Kat and Jim's place in Page. Following morning we're going for a walk to Antelope Canyon and then we're heading to Monument Valley.

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Lake Powell
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Colorado River, Horseshoe bend
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Posted by robertpalicka 12:45 Archived in USA

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