On my down day I packed up and headed to Arizona. I stayed at the Best Western Inn Canyon de Chelly in Chinle, AZ, for 2 nights. What I am missing are my pictures from a sunset tour I did of Monument Valley and the shot I took of the “Forest Gump road” from the movie…I bought a magnet that included that and it is on my refrigerator but it is rusting and I would prefer to be able to find my shot…I might have to steal it off the internet just so you know what I am talking about. I did a lot of driving over the next two days driving 2 hours each way back and forth from Chinle to see sunset at Monument Valley and sunrise at Mystery Valley. The downside to not knowing an area well enough to figure out where you probably should stay. One thing I remember from the missing sunset tour of Monument Valley? There was a goofy photographer with us….he had traveled the world and the stories he told us were amazing but the guy had an unusual camera and for the life of him…he could not hold on to the lens cap for that thing! He lost it several times and found it…the last time he lost it, it was all hands on deck to find that…in the dark! I eventually climbed into the van and surrendered…it was dark and I was cold! I don’t remember his name now but I did google him back then and it turned out the goofy guy was kind of famous!
Mystery Valley is a section of Monument Valley you can only visit with a Navajo guide. If you are ever intending to visit the area you really should look into it. You will see things you can not see without the guide. And the gentleman I had was knowledgeable and kind! I wanted a few shots of areas he was showing me and because of my old bones, I couldn’t get quite the shot I wanted…he took my camera and got those shots for me! A true gentleman! Because I had the same guide for both days…I gave him a $100 tip at the end of the sunrise tour! I felt I had had the best tour I ever had that included so much information…from how the families in this Mystery Valley section lived, to the Navajo story behind the different rock formations, different traditions and why, etc. I won’t share with you…you truly need to do this on your own!
I can’t find it…I have to do it! I just googled it…I do have the picture but I am going to post this…where Forest Gump stopped running…Monument Valley…
Spectacular! This one attributed to Michael A Stecker, firstname.lastname@example.org…thank you Michael for an amazing shot!!! And folks…if mine shows up when I post images of driving around the area…hopefully you will recognize it as being as beautiful as Michael’s! Maybe?
There was a lot of area covered this day…because I don’t have pictures from sunset at Monument Valley, we miss a day of posts…because I went to Mystery Valley for sunrise it gave me plenty of time to move on to my other stops after leaving Mystery Valley…I move north after here to a number of areas on the Arizona/Utah border. But I get ahead of myself…backing up for sunrise at Mystery Valley….
Big Hogan is one of the areas within Mystery Valley.…just a few images! A bit dragon like…don’t you think?
Another section of the valley that I loved was Ear of the Wind…again, difficult to get up the sand for the shot I wanted to the guide was kind enough to do it for me.
And we have Moccasin Arch…
And the rest of Mystery Valley…
After leaving Mystery Valley I started heading north…my destination was the Best Western Ruby Inn in Bryce, UT. This is not going to shock you but I got lost…and it turned out I spent about 45 minutes going in the wrong direction. But I did go into a Navajo neighborhood and spoke with a very nice gentleman who headed me in the right direction. This town was Tonalea, AZ.
Then there was the lovely town of Kanab…I stopped here to get something to eat. I found it very funny that the police station was a store front operation next door to the liquor store…and working hours of the police station is 8-5! It is a lovely little town though.
I stopped at the Glen Canyon Dam near Page, AZ. I will be back this way in a few days but I decided to get out and stretch my legs and walk around.
And on my way out…I had to stop on the highway for a roadrunner!! Meep Meep! This little guy was fortunate that there was no traffic on the road and he only had to worry about me! And no…there was no Wylie Coyote following it! My son asked so I figured it would be a question on your mind too!
So back into Utah heading for Bryce and my hotel with dinner at Foster’s Steakhouse. 🙂 The hotel property was huge and you needed a map to find your way around but it is basically a glorified motel…though my room was across the parking lot from a lovely pond that the sun set on.
Tomorrow I will be spending a few hours driving around Bryce Canyon National Park before heading back to AZ and Lake Powell. Bryce is gorgeous! If you have never seen it before be sure to come back.
You know the routine by now….come visit me at my page on Facebook, on Instagram and at my website. If you find something you like on my blog and you don’t find it for sale, please contact me. I will give you a quote.
See you on the road!
We travel initially to lose ourselves; and we travel next to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe where riches are differently dispersed. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again – to slow time down and get taken in, and to fall in love once more. – Pico Iyer, Why we Travel