The centre of the Anasazi universe has become what is known today as “The Four Corners”. It is the only location in the USA where four states join at the one point. So we have Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona all meeting at the one point, which is at the headwaters of the San Juan River. Today this location is a tourism hot spot, populated by pop-up stores where local Indian tribes-people sell jewellery, trinkets and of course, tribal t-shirts, so I purchased more for my collection, which now numbers about 150. Yes, it is excessive but we all have these issues that are hard to control. Whilst here I was able to speak with people from several different tribal groups in order to see what interests and motivates them in today’s world. While we were having these conversations we were amused by the general tourists who come to this location with the intention of putting their legs and arms into each of the four different states at the same time.
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This area is populated and controlled by the Navajo Nation, and seems to have little else going for it except for the San Juan River and as a tourist trap from which to sell goods. Being a very low rainfall area, red dust creates a problem whereby the San Juan river is regarded as being the dirtiest water in the USA, and as it flows into the Colorado River just above the Glen Canyon dam, authorities think it will silt up this structure and cause massive issues for the Colorado River and those it serves located downstream. The next dam south is the Hoover that provides water for Las Vegas city.
We were fortunate in being able to retreat from this hot and desolate area to the nearby Indian Casino for the night, where we really enjoyed the experience of this well run and appointed facility. This visit provided another opportunity to speak with members of a different tribal association (Utes) and listen to their views. These establishments provide income and occupation opportunities for tribe members through provision of accommodation and gambling, much of the profit from which is used to further the lifestyle and aspirations of the “First Nations” people, who own and operate these alcohol free casinos that are built on Indian land.