Farmington, New Mexico may not be the prettiest town in the world, but it's location more than makes up for it. As the most populous city in the Four Corners, it serves as the hub for the entire region. When I first moved to Farmington for a job, it seemed like just an ordinary small town. Turns out it's surrounded by some of the most vast remote wonderlands in North America- the only region in the US where four states meet, and part of the largest indigenous Native American reserves in the US. A great place to help guide one through this region is the Four Corners Region Geotourism Mapguide by National Geographic. The famous Monument Valley is 2.5 hours from Farmington. One of my favorite drives is Gallup to the town of Shiprock. This road appears as US 666 on some maps and was long known as "The Devil's Highway". The ski town of Durango, Colorado is 50 minutes away, Mesa Verde National Park 2 hours away, and Historic Bluff, Utah also 2 hours away (where, incidentally, my great grandparents came from the Hole in the Rock Expedition ). A winery called Wines of San Juan lies 40 minutes away, and Aztec, New Mexico just 30 minutes - where the first flying saucer "landed" before Roswell. There are many more places to explore and report back, but these are some of the starting points in the region.
The area that is now Farmington was settled by the Anasazi in the 7th Century. When the Anasazi left the area, the Navajos, Apaches and Utes moved into the area. A key part of the region was known in Navajo as "Totah", which means "where three rivers meet". The three rivers are the San Juan (which I hear has some amazing Fly Fishing), Animas River (I love walking that riverwalk), and the La Plata River. Pinon Hills Golf Course in Farmington is one of the best municipal golf courses in the United States -a fact I found quite surprising! Farmington is also known across New Mexico and throughout the Southwest for its baseball tournaments, with the Ricketts Ball Park is the home of the Connie Mack World Series. For shopping one can find good quality Native jewlery. If you are a foodie, Durango is your best bet, but breakfast at Blake's and Three Rivers Brewery for pizza & beer won't steer you wrong. My favorite place to have a shot and a beer is the Irish Embassy Pub - Durango, Colorado. If you want a true feeling of the old west, hit the dive bar K.B. Dillon's. You'll find a pretty waitress, braided natives, and cowboys with tequila. Have a shot and please don't start a bar fight!
Like any town, we have our ills of society. Drunk driving is an issue here, as in much of New Mexico, but an additional & unexpected problem for the motorist in Farmington is intoxicated pedestrians. Please watch for them. C'est la vie! Until next time stay safe.