Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Monument Valley

Utah – it is almost as hard to get from southwestern Utah to southeastern Utah as it was to get out of California. Basically you must either go way up and around from where we were or drop down and go around. We chose the southern route which took us back into Arizona passing through the Vermilion Cliff area and then up through Monument Valley.

Monument Valley - think John Wayne in Stagecoach. This area provides perhaps the most enduring and definitive images of the American West. This is called a valley but since there are no cliff walls to enclose it – it seems to me to be more of just a wide flat area with these huge red monoliths rising out of the sandy floor. We were there at mid-day so the colors are not as vibrant in the pictures as they can be at morning or evening.
Monument Valley belongs to the Navajo Nation and to see all of it you must pay them to drive a 17 mile long dirt road. We decided that we could see plenty from the main highway and kept on truckin'.

Mexican Hat is not part of Monument Valley but I did not have any place else to put this picture. Mexican Hat is a town in Utah named for this rock formation - or so we believe.

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