Tuesday, May 10
After stopping for groceries in Gallup, New Mexico, the crew and I head north on Route 491.
At Yah-ta-hey we turn due west on Route 264 and then north again on Route 12, which takes us to Window Rock. I gas up the Perfect Tow Vehicle.
This is Navajo Nation country.
Route 12 from Window Rock to Wheatfields Lake is an exceptionally beautiful drive!
I attempt to take photos of the red rock formations through the windshield, but they don’t come out well. (Except for a short, rough section, the road is good. However, there aren’t places to pull off the road for photos.)
I stop for this one crossing the road and take another through-the-dirty-windshield shot.
The Navajo horse is described as follows:
” . . . often short-backed and deep bodied. They appear narrower in the chest so that the fore legs join the chest in an A-shape rather than the U-shape as seen in stock breeds like the broad-chested, muscular American Quarter Horse.
“Some of these Navajo horses have broad foreheads and wide-set eyes. They may have thicker necks. Often they have large, well-shaped hooves, good teeth, heavy manes and tails, solid bone density, thick hides and efficient immune systems. . . . the Navajo horse tends to have high intelligence, gentle disposition, smooth riding gaits, excellent endurance, and superb stamina and hardiness.” — Navajo Times
We go around White Cone Mountain right before reaching Wheatfields Lake.
Then Bridget, Reggie, and I stroll along the lake.
I choose the one closest to the fishing area. We’re under Ponderosa pine boughs again!
I really don’t know for certain. I haven’t found a reliable source that clearly states this is a pay campground or that a permit is necessary.
Prior to coming here, a few weeks ago when I had internet, I researched camping on Navajo Nation land. On an official website I found a list of campgrounds where a permit is required.
Wheatfields Lake was not on the list.
Without internet signal at this camp nor at our previous camp, I couldn’t research further whether a permit is required at Wheatfields Lake.
(Since this time, I researched more and found the statement that a $5 permit is required to camp on Navajo Nation land. However, the statement was in connection with back country hiking and camping, leaving me unsure about Wheatfields Lake. Two very large signs at the lake state the rules, such as No Swimming in the Lake, Fishing License Required, No ATVs, etc. Nowhere does it say a permit or fee is required for camping. I leave it up to you to decide what to do before you camp at Wheatfields Lake.)
Even so, it provides a convenient place to camp, to smell the pines, to listen to the birds, and to watch the coming and going of people with fishing rods. While at this camp the air temperature ranges from the 40s at night to the 70s during the day.
It rains during the night. Early the next morning we break camp.
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