Mexican Hat Trail
Okay, Mexican Hat is one of the sillier hiking attractions by name, at least. But as a site it isn't without appeal. When we got there, we found the main thing to do given the geography was to ascend the rock formation as high as we could without free soloing. (Free soloing: cliff climbing without ropes.) The view from the top of Mexican Hat Rock (near the top, in reality - the last part would have meant free soloing) was great.
A group of tourists, little dots to us at that point in our walk, got out of their van for a moment to gawk up at us. We gazed longingly back to them as they returned to their air-conditioned van, which they had never stopped running.
We were enduring about 100 F on the rock. Although we got occasional breezes, we decided we had done enough. We headed down to make our vehicle give us air conditioning too.
There is no town in Monument Valley, really. But there are a few places to eat and shop, most of them called Goulding's. (Goulding was an entrepreneur with the idea of selling things to the Navajo and other, more recently arrived locals. When the Great Depression hit, his concept seemed to be in danger, so he did what anyone would. He went to Hollywood and per$uaded a director to make the Great Train Robbery in Monument Valley. Then his businesses lived off the tourism of the landscape and visitors to the movie sets for a while.)
We found the cleanest, neatest laundromat we'd visited in years. Admittedly, we don't see the inside of laundromats very often. But this place was called Goulding's. As expected. And it was better than fine.
The wonderfulness of laundromat was due to a single Navajo teenager, as far as we could tell. He talked Diane through the slightly odd payment process, cleaned up the already spotless room, and checked in with us again after we had gotten partway through our laundry cycle. We met him again at the convenience store when he was reporting for his next work shift there forty yards away.
Diane tried to talk him up to the manager there. But the manager laughed and said he already knew. This guy was the the best worker wherever he went.
In the evening, unfortunately, we found the air conditioner had broken in our bed and breakfast cabin. All we had to alleviate the heat was a fan. Shade and a fan do make a difference, though. We were relatively comfortable when compared to, say, our midday hikes. We managed to sleep in the hot desert air. We wished it were a colder night but it was not quite sweltering, and that was enough.
Breakfast the next morning was cereal. Plus some tangibly dry remarks from Diane about the bed and breakfast.