Four States at the same time.

Four Corners USA

Field review by the editors.

Shiprock, New Mexico

Four Corners, USA -- the only spot in the country where one can stand in four states balanced on one toe. The monument and plaque was placed here in 1912, to mark the spot where four states meet, on Navajo land. Some have suggested the intersection is further away from the highway, but we're tourists, not cartographers. We've been advised that anyone assuming the traditional body splay across four states should wash their hands afterwards; no telling what others have tried to do in four states at once!

The spot is centered on a large cement slab on a rocky, windswept rise, ringed by vendors selling snow cones and fry bread at outrageous prices. A "Pose With A Native American" booth stands unattended.

Four Corners may be America's Most Arbitrary Photo Opportunity. Hundreds of tourists pouring past the admissions gate every hour are after that ever-elusive wacky, state-straddling vacation photo. Most tourists sprawl "drawn & quartered"-style on the geographic crosshairs, as friends or relatives step back to the slab edge and snap a memory.

A steady stream (always about 15-20) of visitors impatiently wait their turn. Children don't get it, and parents are forced to coach the proper position. Two senior citizens pose with their heat-exhausted pet Dachshund, as it strains at the leash, scrabbling between Utah and Colorado.

It's time to break out our plastic Twister game board and spinner. Whipping dust-winds and a bright-but-lowering sun may tax our picture-taking abilities. It's not a problem, as our Sony Handicams with Shot Stabilization easily capture the action of four-state Twister. "Right Hand, BLUE!" A pile-up of feet on yellow Arizona dots ends amicably, and the Handicams ably motion-compensate for the wind and bystanders nudging us to move on.

Four Corners USA

Address:
4 Corners Monument Rd, Shiprock, NM
Directions:
US Hwy 160, turn at the sign, then drive two-thirds of a mile to the monument.
Hours:
Reminder: time zone change. (Call to verify)
Phone:
928-871-6647
Admission:
$3.00 per car
RA Rates:
Major Fun
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October 31, 2014

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