Friday, August 6, 2010
Flashback Friday is a segment where I "entertain" you with photos and captivating prose about places we've traveled since we've been on the road. So sit back, and hopefully, enjoy.
If you ever want to take a vacation where you want to see the natural beauty of our land, to feel insignificant compared to the vastness of it's size, then Monument Valley is just the place. It is located on the Utah/Arizona border and is on Navajo land.
This is the scenery just driving TO Monument Valley. Please click on each photo to enlarge them to see how truly beautiful it is around this area.
Our campground was nestled among the beautiful red rocks and was on the Navajo Reservation. Here are some pictures of the campground.
Looking out as the setting sun reflects off of the beautiful rock formations in the distance.
That's our truck, Big Blue, and our trailer, first in line.
We had no cell service there, which meant no internet, either (we use an air card for service). I had to use a pay phone to call family members. When was the last time YOU used a pay phone? Think about it! Anyway, I called my sister one afternoon. She was having a hard time hearing me for two reasons a) bad connection and b) her grandkids were acting up. So I said, quite loudly, I might add, "The NATIVES are restless?"
Oh yes I did.
After I uttered the words I quickly looked around to see if anyone heard me. Nobody was standing near the phone, but the gift shop doors were open and possibly the woman inside heard me. I was SO EMBARRASSED! I can honestly say that I had NEVER uttered that phrase before in my life! Where did it come from? It was like I had temporary TOURETTE'S SYNDROME or something.
Okay, back to the tour.
You can drive a few miles into Monument Valley on your own, but to see some really good things, you should really take a tour. Since it IS a reservation, you have to go with a guide to see more of the valley. These are pictures from that tour.
First we stopped at this traditional Navajo home, called a "Hogan".
Inside was this Indian woman who showed us how they spun wool, ground corn, braided their hair, and even how they positioned their legs so they could sit for long hours.
I can't remember what this structure is for, but I liked the look of it.
This is the view from the visitor's center. If you enlarge this, you will see a white car driving on the road off in the distance. You will get an idea of exactly how large the valley is and the structures that rise out of the ground. In this photo are the right and left mittens.
We drove way far in to see this beauty.
Now to get an idea of the size of the rock, look how small the people are in front of it!
Wide, open spaces interrupted by these huge rock sculptures. I almost felt like we were on Mars with all the red rock.
This is called the Three Sisters.
This is called The Big Hogan. I love the way the sun is shining through the hole in the top of the rock.
It's so easy to imagine Navajos from so long ago carving these into the stone, standing in the very same spot as I was that day. I was very overwhelmed.
If some of these sights look familiar to you, you might remember them from the movies. Many movies were filmed in Monument Valley such as My Darling Clementine, The Searchers, How the West Was Won, The Legend of the Lone Ranger, and Fort Apache. As a matter of fact, one night the local hotel was showing "The Searchers" with John Wayne, so Jim and I went over to watch it. It was cool to spot the landmarks in the film that we had seen that day on our tour.
Monument Valley is a wonderful place to visit, and a photographer's dream to photograph. I would recommend this place to everyone - it's not real touristy and there isn't a lot to do in the area, so a couple of days would suffice. But it's worth it for a chance to see these beautiful rock formations!