We head on toward our destination in Townsend, Tenn - which is right up tight against Great Smoky Mountain National Park.
Townsend is called - rightly so - as the Peaceful Side of the Smokies.

But first - we stop for a day in Flagstaff, AZ at a KOA nestled in the foot hills (@ about 7,000 feet) of the San Francisco Peaks.

Humphreys Peak, the highest tops out at 12,633 feet.
(Here seen from the north)

We travel north into Navajo Country...

...and see a very colorful landscape.



We are now well into the western fringes of the Navajo Reservation.


Many shapes and formations greet us as we drive north to Tuba City (about an hour north of Flagstaff.)

The Navajo Nation, as can be seen in the sketch below, occupy ...

...26,000 square miles - or about 17 million acres in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

To give you a sense of scale : The Navajo Nation covers an area larger than
the states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island - combined.

We take the opportunity to spend a good portion of the day...

Exploring this relatively new museum in Tuba City.


As we own several Navajo blankets/rugs - we are, of course, interested in a series of
descriptions of the various styles and their background history.







An exhibit demonstrating the weaving techniques.


And on display some very large examples of their artistry.


We are amazed at the craftsmanship of the work, the detail that is shown...

As well as the carvings and...

...and jewelry...

...and pottery mastery.

During WW-II the Navajo Code Talkers provided an extremely valuable service in the Pacific Theater by
transmitting message in a code - or language - that the Japanese were never was able to crack.



Now we move on, toward the east along I-40 all the way...

However - we had to stop along the way - our right front tire blew
along a very desolate section of highway in sparse northern Arizona ...

However a call to Good Sam's Emergency Help number ...

Brought us help, (putting on our spare) and within a couple of hours we were on the road again headed in to Albuquerque for a new tire.
As you can tell - we didn't think we could patch this one very well.