Saturday, March 29, 2014

Such Beauty for Just a Day Trip

Al and I set out on a day trip from Monument Valley, UT.  We decided we would go to some places recommended by Goulding's Campground in our brochure.  The first place we stopped at was called Mexican Hat. It is a small community in Utah overlooking the San Juan River.  It is named for the Mexican Hat Rock formation.
                                                          Mexican Hat Rock Formation 
                       It was hard to miss this as we drove out of town. There was a pull-off and
                      we took lots of pictures. They all came out pretty much the same though.

      Our next stop was the Goosenecks State Park in Utah- known for it's impressive sandstone formations.

                         These next few pictures are of the overlook at Goosenecks State Park

As we left Goosenecks, we saw these beautiful painted rocks. This is all natural.

On our way to the next stop we saw these cute cows lined
up perfectly along the road, and not crossing that white line.
Nobody was around, just the cows. 

Our next place we stopped is called Valley of the Gods. I must say it was an amazing drive through this place. It actually took us 2 1/2 hours to go through. We went in from one road and came out on another. The road is impassable during the rainy season and it is sorta like an off road experience. Of course, Al loved driving it. It is so beautiful, that I just know if we are ever in that area again, we will definitely return. I hope you enjoy the next several pictures we took. Some of the pictures with the light on the sandstones are just beautiful.



one of my favorite photos 



Our next stop is called Moki Dugway.  It is a narrow gravel switchback road that winds along a
steep cliff with a fantastic view. The road is only about 3 1/2 miles, but it was pretty scary to me, not to Al though. We climbed really high as you will see from the first picture of the road we traveled.

                          See the winding road below we had already traveled!  Pretty scarey!

I had a hard time taking pictures as I didn't like looking down. Mostly Al took a few whenever there was a pull off and he was able to.

                      Just to give you an idea what the road was like.  Mostly gravel and curvy!

Once we came out of Moki Dugway, we decide since it was just a short ride to our next stop, we would take a ride over to Muley Point. It was only about 4 miles, so we decided to make this our last stop of the day. Muley Point is a beautiful and breathtaking overlook.  Pictures below are of the overlook. No words to describe are necessary.

                          At least I'm not in the truck on a gravel winding road looking down.

Needless to say, it was a long day.  We wanted to visit another place called Natural Bridges National Monument, but that will have to wait until the next time we are in the area as we ran out of time, And and we were leaving the next day.  We had a great time and saw a lot and just couldn't believe all we had packed into one day. Whew, what a day. Everything was within a few miles of each other, so that is why we did it all in one day.  We hope you enjoyed all the pictures.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Navajo Guided Tour of Monument Valley, UT

Al and I took the great tour. What an experience! 3 1/2 hours long. We were with a Navajo tour guide, who told us stories and gave us the history of the area. He explained much of the culture and geography as well. It was a pretty rough ride through the area as much of the roads were not well kept. Many of the old westerns were filmed here. John Wayne films in particular, but others as well. Some of the films include: The Searchers, How the West was Won, The Legend of the Lone Ranger,  Back to the Future III, and Thelma and Louise.  You may recognize the backdrop.
We also enjoyed our stay at Gouldings. They not only have a beautiful RV Park, but also a Lodge. We were lucky to get there just before their rates went up.  A week later our rate would have almost doubled.  We were only there for three nights. Everyone who works and lives there are Navajo as far as we could tell. All very nice people. In talking to one lady, she told me they would have to drive for over 2 1/2 hours in any direction to find a Walmart or any large department stores. They do have a grocery store on the property. Not huge, but adequate.  The prices were a little high, but not too bad. You can buy almost anything you need.  Also they have a very nice restaurant there. We went out to eat there one night and enjoyed their Navajo Taco's.

View from our Campsite
This is Don our Navajo Guide 

Merrick Butte 
                             This is called a Hogan. This one is not occupied. However people
                             do live in them and several are located throughout the reservation

                   Inside the Hogan. you can see how it is constructed. In the center is heater.
                                stays very cool in summer and very warm in winter.

                                                 This is called The Three Sisters. 
                        No this isn't Al on the horse. This Navajo is just posing for pictures  

The tall one is called Totem Pole
I believe this one is called Rooster

What Al won't do to get a good picture

Not bad and I'm glad he took it and not me!

                                                          Petroglyphs from 1300 A.D

Just the right time of day and the sun was hitting the sandstones perfectly.

This is called Left Mitten

                                     A duplicate of Left Mitten, but I liked the setting
                                             with the other sandstones around it.

                                                  Right Mitten and Merrick Butte