Sunday, April 3, 2016

Monument Valley

Our visit to Page was slowly drawing to a close but there were still a few
more things to enjoy before we hit the road.

Our next stop was a visit to horseshoe bend.
A short 3/4 mile hike over a hill south of Page on US89  brings you to this
wonderful view of the Colorado River making a 270 degree bend about 1000' below.

Horseshoe Bend
Kate and I posed for this self portrait with the bend behind us. 

Back at Wahweep Campground, a picture of our site (in left center)
Behind the Cedar Trees (R Center) is Jim & Kristis Rig and
Marcel & family is just to the left out of the photo.

Our final night with Jim & Kristi (they were starting the long trip home) was
shaping up to be a very pretty evening.

Some interesting cloud forms were drifting across the mesa's to the east.

Later the setting sun set those clouds on fire.
(absolutely zero photo processing was done on the colors)

We had a farewell dinner and then the following morning said adios to J&K.

Monument Valley

Later that morning we too hit the road northbound to our next stop
at Gouldings Trading Post in Monument Valley.

Kate and I have traveled thru Monument Valley but never stopped to explore it more
deeply so this trip with our friends was a perfect opportunity to do just that.

Gouldings is located in the Valley and the campground is in a scenic canyon 
with a slot view of some of the mesas.    

We positioned our chairs to take advantage of both
the afternoon sun and the view.

As the evening sun got lower in the sky we took the short drive into the 
Navajo Tribal Park to view the mittens.

The Mittens - Monument Valley

Saturday morning we decided to take the Navajo guided tour of the valley.
You can take your own vehicle on some of the roads but with the Navajo guide
you have greater access.

The photo below is called The North Window.

North Window - Monument Valley
If you've watched a few John Wayne Western Movies, then
chances are you have seen some of Momument Valley, and quite possibly the 
view below.

John Ford, the famous movie director, fell in love with Monument
Valley due to its typically western look.

The view below is taken from the site called John Ford Point
 Often an indian on a horse would stand on the end of the point in center to
add to the photo.   No such luck for us.

John Ford Point - Monument Valley
The view taken from out on the point.

John Ford Point - Monument Valley

Other directors loved the Valley as well.
A short list of some of the movies shot here:

My Darling Clementine
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon
How the West was Won
The Searchers
And some non-western titles:
Easy Rider
2001 A Space Oddysey
Forest Gump
National Lampoon Vacation

Remember the scene where Chevy Chase drives the "Wagon Queen Family Truckster"
thru the "Road Closed" sign and has to walk thru the desert looking for help?
It was shot in Monument Valley.

Below is a picture of the vehicle that we rode in on the tour.
I was the only American out of about 12 people.

In retrospect we all thought that the tour was an expensive waste of money.

We were rushed thru many of the photo spots, we had people from our tour walking in
front of our shots, and our tour guide was over an hour late when we had signed up for
a sunrise tour to take advantage of the light.

Next time I will drive myself!

Below is a shot of Goudlings Campground taken from a nice hiking trail that departs
from the campground.

Gouldings Trading Post Campground
You can see the trail winding along in the background.

Kate and I took another photo op.

Today we are driving a short 40 miles north to Goosenecks State Park.
Goosenecks is an undeveloped campground on the edge of
the canyon over the San Juan River.

Some great photos should be in our next post.

Thanks to everyone who sends an email or leaves a comment.
We get them all and I can't always answer every one of them, but we do
love to hear from all of you.
It's nice to know that people are reading the blog and enjoying it
or finding it useful for planning.
So thanks again!


  1. Oh WOW! That cloud formation! I've never seen anything like that before. Absolutely awesome!!!! This is another one of my favorite places. Seeing your photos and reading about your adventures brought back a flood of wonderful memories. We drove ourselves through and wondered if we missed anything but along our drive we kept seeing the tour vehicles and it appeared to us that we were able to drive to a lot of the same places they did. I'm sure the paying customers got to go to some places we didn't but we certainly didn't leave there feeling cheated. It was an expensive venture and that was one we opted out of. Sounds like we made the right decision. We did have a nice lunch in the restaurant. We actually camped up in Utah, near the border and made day trips down to Monument Valley, Horseshoe Bend and Goosenecks. Some beautiful country for sure!!! Take care and enjoy!

  2. Loved that beautiful sunset!! Nice photos, glad to see you two in the selfies. Margie

  3. I love a good western!! National Lampoons was hilarious. Great scenery. Have fun and be safe!

  4. The first time we visited Horseshoe Bend it was 106 degrees. We thought it was at the top of the hill. Did I mention we didn't have water with us? It was still worth it.
    Did you have tour the museum in Gouldings?

  5. I don't always post a comment but I read every post. We're jealous!!! What a great ride you guys are having.


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