Today…Monument Valley, AZ
For those of you who endured the slide shows of friends before the Digital age, I am worried that I will turn on the lights and find everyone asleep. So I’ll speed it along. I did want to show you Monument Valley, a special hotel off old Rt 66 in Gallup, NM, and – wait – on the way to the Grand Canyon a rather good aircraft museum and….Bodie, CA.
Anyway I’ll skip Zion National Park except to say that the rock formations were even more spectacular…
So this episode (if anyone’s still awake) is Monument Valley, where so many westerns were filmed. And if you like the rest of the travelogue and can stay awake, I’ll show you my pictures of my niece eating oatmeal for the first time (yawn). How’s that for an incentive? 😉
One thing that I learned while in AZ is that so much of the state is Navajo country. There is a good part of the state that is the Navajo reservation.
The nearest town to Monument Valley is Kayenta – part of the Navajo Nation. They had an interesting little museum there include a display from the famous code-talkers of WW2 fame but alas, they didn’t want people to take pictures inside.
As I left Kayenta I saw this bucket in the road so I stopped the car and for the good of the Navajo Nation and the Lexicans, I kicked the bucket 😉
It’s about a 25 mile drive out from Kayenta to Monument Valley. I tried to imagine John Ford and crew doing this in 1937 – complete star entourage and film crew on what was undoubtedly a rougher road. And for a movie they did this more than once – taking a break in Gallup NM, almost 200 miles away. More on that in the next episode…
You have to pay a $20 fee to see the Valley – and here’s the thing I learned – after I visited of course – to drive around these formations is a 17 mile dirt road. And it does have big potholes. My old SL with maybe an 8″ ground clearance did not like that at all. Discovered rattles I didn’t know I had.In both the car and my head.
If you have a pickup or SUV your vehicle shouldn’t complain at all.
But the take-away point: The Navajo have a service for $75 p/p they will take you on the back of a pickup (actually a flatbed with seats) and they will take you inside to the places where, say, John Ford filmed this scene or that…
But here is the entrance…You pay $20.
You first go to base of the 17 mile road – with a modern hotel and restaurant. And in many of my shots I like to take pictures of the people in the area…
Another British couple. They do like to travel. And Hogday told me that he did not know them, either 😉
I might add that the Navajo consider this area to be a sacred place and ask you to treat it accordingly…Stay on the road – do not venture off….
Tomorrow, I’ll take you to the hotel where John Ford and movie crews for decades came to relax with a break from the shooting….
Part 1 is here
Part 2 is here
Part 3 is here
Part 4 is here
Part 5 is here