It’s late at night. The crickets and gas station lights are buzzing into the darkness. There’s hardly any street lights through Bluff. We ate at the Twin Rock Cafe just up the road before sundown and I think the Yannies are out, tonight. Just across the San Juan is the Navajo Rez. I’m staying in the tidy little Kokopelli Inn, writing a few brief thoughts and getting ready to go for a nightly run which feels a little intimidating…
There are ghosts roaming the night. Little people move up the arroyos somewhere out on Cedar Mesa, south of Bluff, busy in their cobweb tunnels. Some lone old bearded man is coming off the mesa into town after passing the rim of the Goosenecks between Bluff and Monument Valley. He can also sense the uneasiness of the night and what hides in the bush beneath the stars.
Crickets buzz, the gas station is burning the darkness like a shining beacon, a light house in a Sandstone sea. There’s barely any traffic up and down the road, maybe a car every 30 minutes on their way to Four Corners and onto Cortez, Colorado. In the little Sinclair station in the belly of Bluff, I’m visiting the two funny Navajo ladies running the register, asking them questions, and just chatting and joking. The buzz of the gas station hums against the eerie night. The neon sign of the from the motel shines into the black, buzzing, and burning away with a Kokopelli playing the flute, but the bright light doesn’t get reach very far into the blackness. The crickets are very loud and the sound is growing, being amplified. It’s like a scene out of a movie. Something out there is moving in the darkness, looking at me and the people in little station.
Most towns in Utah don’t feel like this. Bluff is strange, weird, eerie, comforting, and even unsettling. I’m attracted to the spook of it. It’s an ancient aesthetic and beauty, apart of this rugged little hidden town buried in hoodoos, waterholes, arroyos, cliffs, canyons, toadstools, balancing rocks and the white sandstone that adheres to the sacred Rio San Juan. It’s a river that’s deeply rooted in Navajo folklore, and history. As it snakes around in the goosenecks, in the darkness, off to the South as I write this. I can feel the river, the crickets, the glowing neon.
It’s the middle of May and this is my life. It is beautiful. I’m getting ready to go for a run out in the darkness. Toodaloo! 🙂