Magazine article Sunset

Ship Rock

Magazine article Sunset

Ship Rock

Article excerpt

Looking south from Four Corners, the only spot in America where four states touch, you see the Carrizo and Chuska mountains, blue humps wandering off into infinity. To your left rises Ute Mountain, the Roman-nose landmark of the Ute Mountain Indian Reservation. Beyond it is Hesperus Peak, the sacred northern cornerstone of Navajo country. Behind you is Utah's spectacular canyon country. Southeast, the blue bump on the horizon is Mount Taylor, the Sacred Mountain of the East, where the Hero Twins of Navajo myth slew Walking Monster to begin their campaign to make this high, dry landscape safe for the Navajos. In the center of this immense mountain-rimmed emptiness, the gigantic basalt thumb of Ship Rock juts almost 2,000 feet out of the grassland like a gigantic Gothic cathedral of the prairie.

I first saw it almost 50 years ago, doing an article about rock climbers killed trying to reach its peak. Ever since, it has drawn me like a magnet. …

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