There is only one place in the United States where four states meet and touch at the same place.  A monument established there allows visitors  to be in four states at the same time.  Quite an attraction for being out in the middle of  “nowhere”.  I hope I don’t get condemned for saying that.  This is Navajo Reservation and Ute Reservation land boundaries as well, with occupation by Hopi and Zuni populations.  The Navajo Nation runs the monument with flags from all states flying in the wind.

We watched amused as this family took turns touching all four states.

The daughter got creative and did a back bend.  My advice, best to do back bends while you still can.

After our long drive from Canyon de Chelly,  Jim was still feeling a bit of pain, but managed to get down on his knees to touch the four states.

Each state has a bronze plaque in the cement and a marble block engraved with  a brief history of the founding of each state.

Surveyor Chandler Robbins established the first line in 1875. The Marble Monuments were installed by the National Society Of Professional Surveyors.

The history is an interesting one about how the boundaries were established,  but the light was such the photos of the marble blocks  didn’t turn out.  The  Marble Monuments were installed in 2010.  The first survey line was established within measurable distance from a  recognizable land mark, a huge jutting rock that looks like a ship rising out of the desert, aptly named Shiprock.

The first surveyor, marked the point in 1875, and this monument has been upgraded five times since then, with a dispute here and there along the way.


It is an important thing to know the boundaries of each state yet we don’t give it much thought. We enjoyed the stop, and visiting the  Navajo Kiosks surrounding the site selling native crafts, mostly pottery and jewelry. Something called horsehair pottery,  peace pipes and items we’ve seen nowhere else are available here.

I bought an Indian fry bread and went back to the motor home and made a delicious taco from it.


I offered to help drive, but Jim, with the help of a  little pillow to shield his bruised muscle and ribs from the seat belt, he managed the 140 miles by himself.

This is back country, and the road plows through some desolate landscape with a sudden picturesque rock face jutting up from the desert floor.


I thought  this may be Shiprock.

Or this may be Shiprock. Kind of resembles a ship plowing through the waves.

We are parked at an American Legion in the small town of Cortez, Colorado.

For more information about the Four Corners Monument, you can click the link below:

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  1. I am really enjoying your trip, well except for the accident. I have a picture of me in the late 60’s here. Fun to see it now!

  2. 2gadabout

    Glad to have you on board. I assume the icon picture is your Dad in uniform?

  3. kiyawa

    I really enjoy your pictures. And no Mary, Those are both not Shiprock. lol. Shiprock is actually in New Mexico and you missed it by about 50 miles… I think. My father told me once that Shiprock was actually a bird that killed people and that the Twins were the ones who destroyed it. I am very bad at listening to my dad, but everytime when we (me and dad) drove down Buffalo Pass I tried my best and for the life of me, I could not see the ‘birds’ shape in the rock. So after years of trying to see the ship or the Bird… LMAO! I have finally found the birds shape. lol.. I sat and analyzed Shiprock for a long time and finally came to a conclusion. >>My exact thoughts were, “Soooo… If the twins killed the man eating giant bird and it was still in flight…. Then came crashing down to earth.. wouldnt it be upside down? Soo.. ” I twist and strained my neck looking at it upside down and started laughing because the only way it resembled a bird to me was an upside down one with its tail in the air… 😀 But thats a little Native humor for you. I told my dad, he tells that story now to EVERYONE!… I still can’t see the ship though.

    • 2gadabout

      I could have sworn I answered this reply because I remember typing that I am now LMAO. When I miss something, I miss it big time, hey! Fifty miles. But, I must have also missed the publish button. Enjoyed very much your family story about the Shiprock. We just keep truckin’. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. I’m glad that you and Jim are OK. What a terrible accident, and so very sad. I know Jim from the WIN’s and found your link from Randy Vining’s blog.

    Here’s are some photos of Shiprock:

    • 2gadabout

      Wow! Those are some photos. I can’t imagine people living on top of it, it seems so steep, jagged and inhospitable. But, a fascinating place, never the less, just like so many of the mesas and and huge rock formations I’ve come to appreciate in Navajo country. Thanks for sending.

  5. Thank you for all of your wonderful posts/photos. I’m from New Mexico (Shiprock, actually) and now live in Lawrence, KS. We are fortunate to make the 16 hr drive “home” a few times a year. Regardless, photos can take me back there in an instant…photos like yours. Kiyawa is correct, the photos are not of Shiprock. Our stories are different, however. Our family stories tell us that she is our protector, and the mother eagle who brought us to that area to live so long ago. Our magnificent Tse’ Bit’ Ai (Shiprock) would’ve stopped you in your tracks. 🙂 I hope you get to visit one day.

    Ahe’hee’ and safe travels to you both. ~Lori

    • 2gadabout

      I hope we get to see Shiprock some day, too. Thanks for the family interpretation. The value of family stories is just that. They are family, most precious. I think that is what I love about traveling and blogging. All the people I meet. Thanks,Lori.

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