For as long as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with taking pictures. I’m under the impression that a moment hasn’t actually happened unless it’s documented in a picture!
Naturally, as we travel with our kids, I am a total crazy person when it comes to snapping pictures of every moment.
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Thankfully, my children have also inherited my love of photography and now they want to document all of our adventures too. (I’m still working on getting them to pose and smile at my camera…but based on my husband’s reaction to that request, that’s a lifelong process!)
Side Note: I am a HUGE fan of the VTech Kidizoom Action Cam 180! If you travel with kids, you NEED to grab this camera!
Based on this little photography revelation, you’ll understand why I had major FOMO (fear of missing out) when I saw a friend’s social media post with an awesome picture of her family at the 4 Corners last spring.
We were planning a trip to the area. And by “the area” I mean that we were going to be within a couple of hours to the spot where 4 states touch. It seemed entirely reasonable that we should not miss out on this opportunity for a picture!
So I basically told a little white lie to my husband and said it was along our route.
As we planned our crazy trip I kept saying things like “we’ll be driving right by so we’ll just stop real quick and take a few pictures.” There were so many other details to worry about that I don’t think my husband clued into the fact that I was creating a major detour just for a cool picture.
On the other hand, my friend who’d visited the 4 Corners Monument in the Spring kept trying to talk me out of the stop. Essentially she said “I’d never go there again.” And, if she could re-do their Spring Break trip- she wouldn’t have subjected her family to the drive.
But y’all, when I set my mind on a picture I can not be stopped!
So against her recommendation and with my blissfully ignorant husband, I plugged Tech Nos Pas into our GPS and off we went. I tried to text my friend a few hours into the drive to concede that she’d been right, but there was no cell signal. That was pretty much how it went for HOURS. When you visit the 4 Corners you’re truly in the middle of nowhere. Like NOWHERE!
As we finally pulled up to the 4 Corners Monument our whole car got very excited. That is, until we got out and everyone realized there was literally nothing there (even though I’d been forewarned, even I was a bit shocked at the desolate landmark!)
It took all of 5 minutes to snap a few pictures.
And then we walked around looking at the handful of vendors. My kids pushed each other in and out of states and across the lines (which I didn’t object to since they’d been cooped up in the car for so long.) I finally decided that we should take a few more pictures…I mean, why not?
Less than 30 minutes after arriving, we were back in the car. It was at this point that my husband plugged our next destination into the GPS and realized we would be doing some considerable backtracking. Joke was on me though because he looked right at me and said “nope.”
He flat out, refused to backtrack.
I patiently reminded him that our GPS was going to lose service about one second after pulling away from Tech Nos Pas. He pointed out that we knew exactly where we were on a map at that given moment. As long as we headed north and kept Colorado to our east, how hard could it be to find Moab, Utah?
So we set out- in the middle of nowhere- not having a clue what roads to take!
We didn’t pass a bathroom, gas station or restaurant for hours. And, with no cell service, we had no idea when we would come to a developed area. Pretty much my biggest nightmare! But, admittedly, I probably deserved it after adding so many miles to our trip for a picture.
We did eventually make it to Moab, and along the way we made an impromptu stop at Natural Bridges National Monument. It’s probably pretty rare for people to just stumble upon a National Park when they’re in the middle of nowhere, but that’s how we roll!
So here’s the moral of the story…
Am I glad to have pictures from the 4 Corners Monument? Absolutely! However, I can easily say it’s one of the only places I’ve ever been that I’d never go again!
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A few final thoughts on The 4 Corners Monument:
- It is not part of the National Park System. Everyone must pay an admission fee to visit. They do have a credit card machine; however, I’d plan to have cash just in case! Trust me, you don’t want to drive all the way out there and not be able to get in!
- Be sure to set out with a full tank of gas and plenty of snacks and water in your car. Entertainment items for your children such as Water Wow!, Wikki Stix Lil’ Traveler Playset or a Backseat Bingo Set are also a “must.”
- There are signs posted limiting each group to 3 pictures. But, there is nothing wrong with getting in line multiple times. Don’t regret any pictures that you don’t take. Check your camera before leaving and make sure you are happy with what you’ve got!
- It was super sunny. My kids are squinting in every single picture. We had sunglasses in the car. I have no idea why I didn’t think to grab them for pictures!
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