Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Road to Monument Valley

Up with the American equivalent of the larks with a sense of excitement as today was the day we would head for Monument Valley, scene of many movies and so familiar that it was intriguing to know whether the place would live up to the expectation, but first of all we had to get there.

Breakfast in Kanab

The road out of town

The route would take us, first of all south through the previous day’s snowfall on roads that had been cleared but were subject to wind driven snow covering the tarmac with no warning as to the presence of ice that occurred in patches. Difficult conditions for driving that didn’t ease till we dropped from 7,000 feet to 5,000 feet where the ice that had attached itself to the car showed the first signs of thawing. However, the route was spectacular with snow clinging to the precipitous faces of the roadside mountains as we progressed towards the junction that would take us heading toward the Valley.

Icing Up

Vermillion Cliffs

More Vermillion

And More

Rock Furniture

Rock Sculpture

Towards the Junction

Interesting roadside rock scenery was a constant distraction until the first sight of El Capitan the first significant uprising of the Monument Valley region. I couldn’t resist photographing it as the background to a sign declaring that there was an accident ahead. Little was I to know that the accident might be in my head as I tried to take in the enormity of what I was beginning to view. The closer we got the more tantalising glimpses we had of the familiar sandstone mesas and buttes, until finally arriving at our accommodation for the next couple of nights, Goulding’s Lodge.

El Capitan

Beware Beauty

How about this for a bedroom view?

The view from our window was like a fairy tale involving a stellar Hollywood cast who one expected to ride around the nearest butte at any moment. My childlike excitement at the sight had me Skyping another movie fan to share the moment, my mate Jed.

A short run along to the Navajo Tribal Park and Visitor Centre gave us the chance to take in one or two of the classic views and whet our appetites for the more detailed tour of the morrow. Magic.

Two familiar Buttes

Local Fauna
In the tripod holes of Ansel and Les


  1. Well we are back from India having had a brilliant time and are thinking about where to go next. Think you have answered that it all sounds amazing. Love the pictures and the write ups. See you soon Sheila. Jane

  2. More than happy to swap travel inspirations, you were a big part of the stimulus for the NZ leg of this tour.