Our first full day in the Four Corners region was capped by attending an annual two-day Totah Festival of Indian culture and the arts. And before I get pilloried for writing “Indian” instead of Native American, all I can say is that the artisans referred to themselves as the former, not the latter. Totah is a Navajo word that means place where three rivers meet, which in this case are the San Juan, the Animas and the La Plata near Farmington.
Anyhoo, the festival featured native dance troupes such as the one in the opening photo and other artists, including a comedian. There were a large number of artisans from across the region. We did our best to pump up the local economy, let’s leave it at that. The following video captures the same dancers from the Acoma Pueblo in New Mexico. They were all kids from roughly age 11 to 16. If it wasn’t hot we might have watched more, but unlike the locals we weren’t smart enough to bring an umbrella for shade.
We started the day playing our one round of golf for this trip at the highly rated Piñon Hills golf course. We were paired with another visitor to the area who was in town as part of a long trip back to a reunion in Colorado. He had his own clubs. We rented. It was a very fun golf course but it is clear they don’t often have people renting clubs. For the golfing friends, let’s just say that for me to play exactly to my 20-handicap using a set that consisted mainly of steel-shafted, forged Titleist AP2 blades is nothing short of a miracle. (Yes Rob, for real.) My lifesaver was an old Adams Idea 7-iron that was very forgiving and the oddball in the set. The driver and three wood were newer and more like what I am used to. But overall I recommend the course for anyone that comes to this area. For the fisherman, the San Juan River that runs through Farmington also is evidently highly regarded for trout fishing. It’s not my thing but consider that a public service message.
Farmington itself is a very quiet burg, but we anticipated that. The downtown, such as it is, consists of three or four blocks of businesses. There are only four or so restaurants in that area, but all are walkable from our B&B accommodations, the Casa Blanca Inn & Suites. One of the big operators in town is an outfit called Three Rivers Brewery. It takes up an entire block. In addition to a brew pub it has now opened a distillery and cocktail lounge, has a pizza parlor, and a restaurant.
We went to the cocktail lounge on Saturday night where I enjoyed a good martini made from their house gin. Pat opted for a Manhattan that was had a house made bourbon as the base. Our inn host recommended the burgers and we each opted for one, and they were very good. The place was nearly empty due to the Totah festival. There also evidently was a concert featuring local favorite acts in Durango, CO, which is only 45 minutes away.
Tonight we are resting up and ordering out to get ready for our first hike of the trip, through the Bisti (pronounced Bist-eye) Badlands, led by a Navajo guide.