Thursday, September 30, 2010

Monument Valley, the End (Finally!)

I promise that this
will be my last post
on Monument Valley.

At least till the next time we visit.

And there will be a next time.


One more arch.
I think these may be one
of the most beautiful creations
in the region.

But then, every time I look
at another picture,
I feel the same way.

The foliage,
both living
and near living
just amazes me.

It comes in all colors,
brown, gray, green,
black, white
and yellow.

I find these fissures
unique and beautiful.

These small white flowers
were blooming everywhere.
Tiny and delicate,
they were my favorite blooms.

Flora against shadows.

Next we went up
on a trail
behind Goulding's Lodge.

For us, this was
new unexplored territory.

Our goal was Teardrop Arch.

We were on top
of a huge single piece of rock.

Look closely and you'll see
the dividing line
of the different
kinds of rock.

It was HUGE!
I took this photo of Terry
so you could see the scale.

That was the last stop on our tour
and boy were we tired!

We got back to the rig
as the sun was setting
and what should appear
but a herd of goats
(with a few sheep thrown in
for good measure).

I liked the back lighting,
the scenery
and the animals!

They stopped for a drink
out of this puddle
(which had evaporated
just a few hours later)

I'm including this
as a memory shot for me.
Regular readers will remember
that this was the moonrise
where I didn't bring the tripod.
Lesson Learned.

One final shot of Monument Valley.

You can click on any photo
for a larger version
in a new window.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Catching Up (and Dinosaurs!)

I know I've been posting a LOT of Monument Valley entries, but as we continue down the road, the memories fade, so for me the blogs and pictures are important.


We have been doing a lot since we left Monument Valley.

One of my favorite places we've visited was the Dinosaur Museum in Blanding, Utah.

It had lots of information, several skeletons, beautifully presented. In addition to that, they had a fabulous display of vintage toys and a fine selection of items representing dinosaurs in the movies.

This is one of the first
mass marketed dinosaur toys,
tied in to the release
of the 1925 blockbuster,
the Lost World.
And they say movie marketing
is a fairly recent phenomenon.

I didn't take a lot of skeleton pictures,
I thought this one
could represent them all.

They also had a huge selection
dino-related comics.

Lots of them!

Then we happened
on a most amazing thing.

There, in a glass case
was the ACTUAL model
of the brontasaur
that was used in the making of
King Kong!
Not a reproduction, but the actual one.
For movie buffs like us,
this was a special treat.

This was such a cool thing.
If you look at this closeup,
you can see the gears and armature
that made it work.

What a treasure.

Then we came across
another wonderful piece of
movie making art.

While not a perfect shot,
I took this picture of their
stop motion set up.

Is this cool or what?

A great museum, and a perfect place to spend an afternoon. Put it on your "things to do" list.

Now to backtrack a bit.

I wanted to once again mention Devil's Canyon, a truly spectacular campground. If you ever find yourself between Blandings and Monticello Utah, stop in, it can't be beat.

While we were there, one evening, two ladies came strolling by. I was at the window and we began chatting. Before you could say Boo! we seemed to be friends.

This happens to those of us on the road, a perk of this lifestyle.

As we talked, it turned out that we are both bloggers and have run across each other on the web. Their travels are great and the photographs beautiful. If you'd like to check out their blog, click here.

We also discovered that we follow some of the same blogs, including a couple named Laurie and Odel. In looking at their most recent entry, we discovered we were heading in the same direction. We emailed them, and just a few days later, had dinner together in the tiny burg of Torrey, Utah.

It's a small world out here, but the internet truly keeps us connected

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Monument Valley-Part Five

It's important that you understand that the Mystery Valley Tour is completely separate from the Monument Valley Tour.

You're welcome to drive the seventeen mile Monument Valley floor in your own vehicle (four wheel drive, high clearance is recommended), but Mystery Valley is a different place entirely. In order to go there, you have to have a Navajo guide (the entire area is part of the Navajo Nation).

As I mentioned before, we were fortunate to discover Monument Valley Safaris and doubly fortunate to have a gentleman named Brian as our guide.

Again, I reiterate, it was a most special afternoon.

And now, our tour continues.

We visited so many arches,
all were amazing
and I'll probably have to share
pictures of every single one!

The blue of the sky
viewed through the red arches
is so beautiful,
I could have stayed all day.

I thought this one
looked like those giant
shark jaws you see by the seaside

If you look carefully into the side
you'll see ruins,
so people lived
inside this arch.
Is this a cool house or what?

My Terry
hiked up the hill
for a closer look.

When you travel in this country,
you see these kind of markings
in many of the rocks.
the composition of the cliffs is such
that as the wind and the rain
beats on them,
over the years,
the softer areas erode.
Lovely natural art.

Then you turn your head
and you see this.
Completely different,
but just as stunning.

Then, once again,
there are those canyon trees.

Another cliff dwelling

Now for some petroglyphs

I don't know if you can tell
from this photo
but I was standing at the base
of this wall.
It jutted over my head
at a sharp angle.

A strange sensation
but kind of wonderful
at the same time.

I'll finish today with the house of
two thousand hands.

It's located in the back of a canyon.

The walls above the "house"
are a kind of shale.
It breaks off in these even chunks.
This was one of my favorite places.

When you start looking
under the broken shale,
you'll see many hand prints
and symbols.

Nothing is known
about the people who lived here.

Another angle of broken stone.
This pattern really spoke to me.
I'm using it for my desktop
on my computer!

Here's a closeup of the main ruin.
Part of Easy Rider was filmed here
back in the 1960s.

Here's another tiny bit
of the ruins.

There isn't much to say
about this
except I think it's
one of those natural wonders
that deserves a picture.

I find it wonderful
that places like this
standing testament to a time
and people
from long ago.

More petroglyphs.
There are hundreds in this place.

Can you imagine
living under this wall of rock?

One final pattern.
This is a kind of "desert varnish".
The minerals in the rock
cause this effect.
We saw it all over the area.

Only one more entry
from Monument Valley.
Hopefully, I'll get it posted tomorrow,
then I can start on more of Utah.

Today we took a day trip
and visited the Pando,
one of the oldest and largest
living organisms in the world.

Lots more pictures to come!