Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Whew!

.
I have to tell you, it has been quite a few days.

We spent three days in Monument Valley, and it was just heaven. We had really perfect weather. Our first afternoon, it was clear and crisp. We set up camp, explored the surrounding areas and generally marvelled at the beauty of the place.

On day two, we drove the seventeen mile valley floor loop. Now you can get tours, which take the same route (and I believe a bit farther, for tours only) but they only last two hours.

It took us almost six hours to drive the seventeen miles. That's because Terry, Saint that he is (Saint Terry), would stop every single time I asked him to. Eight hundred plus pictures later we were almost to the end of the route when the sky burst open. Thank goodness we have four wheel drive.

Yesterday, we decided to bite the bullet for a personalized tour. It was one of the best decisions we could have made, what a day.

We had spent a good amount of time talking with a Navajo silversmith the day before and decided to seek his opinion on who to use for our tour. The recommendation was Monument Valley Safari and a great choice it was.

We opted for the four hour Cultural Scenic Tour. Our guide was a Navajo gentleman named Brian Tome, and what a treasure he was. If you ever come and need a guide, you wont find anyone better.

His vast knowledge of the culture and the area made the day something we will remember forever. I must have asked a million questions, and he seemed to thrive on my interest. Botany, geology, geography, history, heritage, he knew it all and presented everything in such a way that we were able to absorb it all. It was everything and more than we could have ever hoped for.

And I got another six hundred pictures!

At the end of the day, we were completely worn out from scrambling around all day. When we looked outside, the full moon was rising right between the mittens in Monument Valley.

Now the bad news . . .

I was so tired, I just grabbed the camera and started shooting, completely ignoring the fact that I needed a tripod. None of those shots came out at all, but I do have wonderful memories of the event.

I just can't share any of those particular photos with you.

And the other fourteen hundred photos?

Well, it's going to take a day or two for me to sort, delete, etc, but be assured they are coming.

We have now left Monument Valley and are ensconced in a small Manti-La Sal National Forest Campground between Blandings and Monticello Utah. The campground is called Devil's Canyon, and what a tiny treasure it is. Recently renovated, we're in a loop that has level sites, all paved with slabs with tables and fire rings. The campground is exceptionally clean, water is available, and the solar is plentiful, even though we are surrounded by forest.

Hundreds of fall flowers complete the setting.

To make things even better, our camping neighbor is a delightful lady who is a Ranger in Canyonlands. She has kindly given us the low down on all the great places to stay as we continue our travels.

Our incredible good luck continues, what can I say, we are just lucky.

We will stay here over the weekend (just $5.00 a night with the Golden Age passport), work on the Monument Valley pictures and soak in the amazing atmosphere of this beautiful place.

I'll leave you with one picture that I took yesterday morning as the sun was just rising over Monument Valley.

And PLEASE, click to enlarge


There will be many more pictures
coming in the next couple of days.

6 comments:

Jonna said...

Oh I'm so glad you went to Monument Valley! I loved it there, we took the tour as well but it was many years ago and I forget the company. Spectacular just doesn't carry enough weight for the beauty of that place. I'm sure you got some incredible pictures, I don't think anyone can take a bad picture there and you take very good pictures.

CeiPui said...

Yes, your life is good!

photowannabe said...

You seem to have a rainbow over you all the time. Stunning shot and beautiful memories for sure.

Douglas Koss said...

Kate, what a wonderful picture and your description of everything just made me melt with desire too see what you have seen in Monument Valley. We are doing well, but shall not make the Balloon Fiesta since I recently had a cardiac situation. I am anxious to see some of your pics and look forward to hooking up with you folks again. Happy Trails To You, Doug, Beth and Heidi

Kate said...

Jonna,

Monument Valley is magical, I agree. Stay tuned for LOTS more pictures.

Kate

Kate said...

Doug,

I hope you're all right, please send me an email with an update.

I also hope we can meet up soon.

Kate