Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Monument Valley, AZ

Driving south from Moab to Monument Valley is scenic wonderland. There are many side trips in Utah before you come to Monument V. If you have the time, spend a day or two in Blanding, UT.
We have a large sedan and didn't have any problems visiting the well-known places in the area.

Remember once you enter Navajo land, they don't acknowledge "daylight savings time," so be sure you know where you are to know what time it is. Because it is Navajo Land, we hired a Navajo guide, which allowed us to go to areas not usually travel by tourists in there own vehicle.  Yes, in a way it is condescending, but the other side is it gives them a chance to gouge the "white man" for a change.

If you couldn't tell, the grandeur this area is unbelievable. We have so many pics of this area, I didn't know where to begin. The scientist in me must say, as you look at those great mesas, a thousand feet in the air, remember that 100,000+ years ago, the top of those mesas was the bottom of a vast inland sea. Over time, the weight of all that water compressed the sand into rock. When the vast sea drained, it eroded the bottom of the sea. Then, eons of wind and rain eroded the shapes we see today. Also know that during those eons, volcanoes in the mountains around Las Vegas NV created "acid rain" that hastened the erosion.  The other interesting feature is this area has been arid since those day, so that the rains were infrequent.

There is water out there, but you have to know where to look.

We stopped at a reproduction hogan. Between the thick clay walls and shade from the hot sun, it felt cool inside.

As mentioned above, the constant wind and infrequent rain creates marvelous structures.

This is called "The Ear of the Wind."

This cave has a Top Hole the sun shines through. The stain on the wall is from rain running down from the hole. That's me in the blue shirt with out Navajo guide, which give a perspective as to it's size.

In closing, the classic shot of the vista with the Right and Left Mittens. (Think of a mitten thumb sticking out to left or right when viewing the spire separated to one side or the other.) For perspective, those dots on the road in the foreground are cars. The mesa tops are over 1,000 ft high.

A visit recalls the great John Ford/ John Wayne movies. It's worth the drive to visit here.

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