Part 3: Monument Valley
Tuesday 9/13: We stopped for lunch and gassed up the car in Page. We left by 2 PM for the drive to Monument Valley. It was a sunny afternoon. After we passed Kayenta we started to see buttes from the road. We knew we were close.
We crossed into Utah and we were there. We made a right turn to enter and then we had to stop for a herd of sheep to cross the road. What never occurred to me is that people live in the park.
We stopped and paid the entrance fee and drove to the View. Check in was quick and easy. I went out and got our bag and then went to our room. Yes, the room was nice, but that is not why we were there. It was the view. Pictures do not do it justice.
We went down to dinner at 5 PM. When we check in they told us to go early or we would have to wait in line. There were no line, but it was already half full. No window seats available. The food and service was good. And the prices were not at a premium but, what I would expect to pay elsewhere.
We spent some time walking around the visitor center and taking pictures. Then we went to the gift shop. My wife told me that the prices on the pottery were cheaper here on similar items that she had seen elsewhere on our trip.
We spent the rest of our evening on our balcony. The rising full moon over the valley was an unexpected bonus.
Wednesday 9/14: I had set the alarm to watch the sunrise but, it was overcast with low hanging clouds. It had also rained during the night.
So we had coffee and breakfast in our room. Packed up our bag and checked out.
And then we waited in the lobby to meet our tour.
I had booked a back country tour with Gary of Navajo Spirit Tours. I chose his company because after many tries, he was the first one to answer the phone.
Gary explained that this would be a small group, there would be only another couple going with us and that Larson would be showing us around the valley and back country.
Gary left us, having to go somewhere else, so Larson led us out to the truck.
It was a normal tour vehicle that we had seen from our balcony the evening earlier. A ¾ ton pick up with a flat bed. There were 3 rows of seats and a railing around the side.
We introduced ourselves to the other couple. They were ranchers for the Gold Country of California. Visiting Monument Valley was on their “bucket list”.
We stopped at the Mittens, and the on to John Ford’s Point. Every one went for hot coffee at a trailer and I spent some time taking pictures and talking to our guide, Larson. Larson was proving himself a good guide. He spent time explaining what were seeing and always asking if we had any questions. He told me that he enjoyed his work and meeting new people.
As our tour progress, it seemed that we would be in a crowd sometimes, like we were at the Eye of the Sun, or by our selves like we were at the Ear of the Wind. But, were not here to see the other visitors, we were here to see the sights.
Too soon our tour was over and it was time to go. We said our good byes and drove on to Mexican Hat.
That is a drive I would not want to do in the dark.
It was after noon and we were hungry. I did not realize how small Mexican Hat was. We grabbed a sandwich at a dinner/mini mart/RV camping site. Then, we drove on to Goosenecks SP.
It is a special place with so many unique things going for it. (You have to remember I live in a flat land surrounded by miles of corn fields) First there in the San Juan River meandering back and forth through 600 foot of rock. There are views of Monument Valley to the west. Then there is a unique mountain to the east with straight and angled strata. Maybe I should have been a geologist or an artist but, as I said it is a special place.
It was now after 2 PM and we have a long drive back to Sedona.
Thank You for reading our Trip Report.
You can read:
Part 1: Sedona
Part 2: Page
When I have time I will write Part 4: Back to Sedona.
You can view our travel pictures at: https://picasaweb.google.com/rwdwTA