In Monument Valley

Last night we sat looking over Monument Valley as dusk fell. No sunset because it was too cloudy, but it was nice watching the colours of the rocks change as the light faded. Our cabin is away from any light pollution, so we slept with the blind open, and we could see the stars between the breaks in the cloud. It’s a shame we’ve just had a full moon, otherwise the sky would have been a lot darker.

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The alarm went off at six this morning and it was twilight. It was cloudy, so we wouldn’t be seeing the picture postcard sunrise over the valley. We did get a hazy sunrise of sorts, and it was good to again watch all the rocks change colour as the light dawned, and the sun shone through the gaps in the clouds.

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There is a figure of eight style loop through Monument Valley made up of unpaved roads. The nearest loop is open to the public to drive round, though you have to pay $20 per car to enter the Navajo land. The furthest ‘backcountry’ loop is closed to the general public, and you can only go here when accompanied by a Navajo guide. There also sand dunes and so a 4×4 is required.

A few months back, I’d arranged a three hour private tour with a Navajo guide in an open top 4×4.  After a buffet breakfast in the hotel restaurant, we met up with our guide John who showed us to his vehicle, and we were on our way. He was a lovely guy and showed us all around the valley, telling us some Navajo tales as we went along. He even played us a tune on his pipe.

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This afternoon we’re just going to chill out in our cabin, watching the ever-changing picture out of the window. It’s still windy here and it doesn’t look like we’ll be getting a sunset tonight, or seeing a sunrise in the morning, but we’ve had a great time here anyway, and that would have just been the icing on the cake. Tomorrow we drive down to Gallup in New Mexico, on the Historic Route 66, then start making our way back to Phoenix for our journey home.

Mike

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