Storm clouds gathered over Shiprock.
Storm clouds gathered over Shiprock. (Erin Clark/Globe Staff)

Los Angeles team

Oct. 27, 2022

Shiprock — and all the other reasons to pull over and take it in

SHIPROCK, N.M. — It wasn’t there until we went round a curve in the road, and then it was.

Shiprock, a giant formation that looks like a castle reaching from the desert toward the clouds, greeted us outside the eponymous community in northwest New Mexico. The Navajo Nation calls it Tse Bit A’i, or “rock with wings.” We were so awed, we stopped in multiple locations just to gaze at it.

As we drove away, storm clouds enveloped it, as though we had seen enough, and the universe was taking it back, thankyouverymuch.

Shiprock was one of the many wonders — and surprises — of our route from Kansas City to Los Angeles. Did you think it was always warm in the Southwest? We did, too, until we found ourselves lacking for layers in the cold late summer evenings, under incredible Arizona stars.

 A rainbow stretched to the ground after a storm in New Mexico.
A rainbow stretched to the ground after a storm in New Mexico. (Erin Clark/Globe Staff)

Did you think it was always dry? The sudden downpours in New Mexico would suggest you’d be wise to always pack a rain jacket — but the rainbows afterward were stunning.

Did you think the long stretches of open road were starting to get a little boring? Seeing the hills in Texas turn pink as the sun set was sure to change your mind.

With each mile, there was a new reason to pull over, take a few photos, and try to remember.

Sandy mountains near the town of Shiprock, N.M.
Sandy mountains near the town of Shiprock, N.M. (Erin Clark/Globe Staff)

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