Where we were on September 14th, 2016
Monument Valley Navajo Park
Again when you see this word (download) underlined and in blue that indicates it is a hyper link to the full scale picture. When you open it you'll also see that your mouse pointer is a round plus sign, click again and the part of the photo where your pointer was will enlarge again. This is great if you might want to see more detail in a particular view. When you want to return to this page just tap the return arrow. Try it you might like it.
Oh My Gosh!
I liked this photograph better with the fence doing the eye lead. Dottie likes the road scene better so you've your personal choice!
Our entrance into the Oljato - Monument Valley-But Wow! What a way to start with a view like this dominating one's appetite for the spectacular.
I have mentioned in previous logs of traveling the Navajo Nation in the early 1960's, so I've driven by these peaks and wonders for years. But we all know the verbiage that 'Time is Money', so I just drove on by. NOT today, we came to savor the flavor of these magnificent red sandstone monuments.
I'll mention this early, for the wonders speak for themselves. On this log I'll keep my comment brief, and let the land speak for it's self.
We stayed at Goudings RV Park on an early afternoon arrival, and this view from the RV Park popped out immediately.
I had to pick the same spot, and Now behold the same view as the evening sun sets on the Valley
We had researched several different tours of the Valley, and quickly discovers as always) one gets what one pays for. The $50.00 tours were packed with 20 or so people as a group. While we were mulling over what to do Charlene, a very attractive Navajo Lady, approached and offered us a semi private tour of 3 couples on a vehicle for just a few $$ more. Thank you Charlene and Navajo tours, as we had a delightful and most informative 3 1/2 hours learning about Monument Valley and the Navajo culture.
We started at the View Hotel, which is the headquarters for the Navajo Center at Monument. Little wonder where they might have come up with that name. What a sight the guests at the View have at sunrise.
The View Hotel, restaurant, gift shop, library, museum and a special display on the Navajo Code Talkers from WWII are all located in this complex. Now under the careful custody of our Good Guide Tony, we were off into the Navajo Monument Valley, and of course on the Navajo dirt road system. I'll add that one can drive their car to tour the Valley, but we found that many roads we took were restricted unless traveling with a Navajo guide. Don't try going where we went unless in a 4X4.
Let me tell you that they were busy. We expected that by coming in the late summer after school had begun, that we would miss the crowds. Wrong! This and the other places we visited are loaded with people. Old Guys, Gals, and foreign visitors from many countries.. On the day of our tour I counted 13 Provost type tour buses in the parking lot. We and they were happy, so that is all that matters; and the Navajos loved it!!
Let me share an observation with you. The gift shop was loaded with excellent buys in Navajo Rugs, and Silver Turquoise Jewelry. What we looked at was not China Tourist stuff but nice hand made Indian Jewelry. Too, I was impressed that the prices were fair prices, and most of you know genuine Indian Turquoise Silver jewelry isn't cheap costume stuff and this wasn't.. It was excellent.
This bronze in the main lobby is more than just a cowboy on a horse, it is typical of the Indian love for horses. They are still heavily used tools on the Navajo Nation. I should add and-too, the Chev pickup.
Welcome to the Tour of Monument Valley.
The beautiful part of traveling with a Guide is that he took us to the very face of many of these monuments. It was a "Hands On Experience". This is vastly different from our National Parks, where one is so often restricted; and too, Tony, our Guide also liked Sammy, so he too make the trip. (Remember, Sammy is our 18 month old puppy.)
Now just relax and enjoy some of my photos.
Let's change the scene a little bit, and I'll show you a Hogan we visited. I must relate that Navajo Hogans are now a thing of the past. Today they have been replaced with Government housing, and on the remote plateaus mobile homes and travel trailers. in the 60's the Hogan was the standard, and to me it was the symbol of the Navajo Nation. It is sad to see them gone as antiquity, but then I'll admit that I never lived in one either.
We've only seen one other Hogan on this trip, and that was between Chaco Canyon and Nageezi. Too, note that this one is made of rock and mortar. I assume what ever is readily available, but man oh man the Hogan at Monument Valley made of Juniper would be a lot warmer. Nothing is as cold as a rock dwelling.
Meet Mary Elsiddy who was spinning wool to be made into Navajo rugs. She also demonstrated for us her process in weaving her rugs. The first rug to the left is a 'Two Grey Hills" indicating the area of the Reservation where it was woven. The bright one on the left with the red and the others with color were from the another areas. Mary had them on display, and of course they were for sale. The large Two Grey Hills I thought was priced right, but we already have two hanging in our home. I asked Mary if she sells her rugs at Granada at the Navajo Rug Auction, and she told us that she commanded better pricing here. Smart business lady.
Tony then explained many interesting facts of life on the Reservation, their dress, tools, and symbols of the items used in their daily lives. Remember now the beauty of the area we are seeing in the Valley is not empty space. There are Navajos living and ranching their sheep across all of the Navajo Nation.
The Navajo Nation is located in the three western states of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. It is 27,00 square miles if size, which is about the same as West Virginia. There are some 173,000 Navajo living on the Reservation. This is a density of 1 per 6.3 sq mi.
The door of a Hogan is always facing East and is waiting for the morning sun. Besides the door there is only one other opening, and that is the hole in the roof for ventilation and for the stove pipe of the center stove. The logs are juniper and most artistic in themselves. The floors are hard packed clay. Tony related that it would take one person about 4 ~ 5 months to built this Hogan; but then smiled and said he had lots of relatives, so his went up quick.
The Arches and Windows
I called this on the 'Sling Shot'. The ole juniper was just perfect in lineament for this photo shot. I must be truthful, as they had cut an X on a flat rock, that gave you the perfect setting for the Sling Shot. So to the Navajos goes the credit.
Sun Eye... Here Tony took us directly beneath the eye. We were actually laying on the sandstone slope looking to the sky and the Eye. See what a guided tour will net!
The Pinnacle is 505 feet tall reaching clear to the sky
A few more random photographs of the Monuments in the Valley
We loved this visit to the Navajo Lands, and especial the Native people. They are friendly, completely genuine, and personable. This is an opportunity I have long sought. Thank you Charlene, Tony and Miss Mary.
But it is time to move on up the road; so stay with us as we travel into Utah about a 150 miles to Moab, where we'll visit the Arches and Canyon Lands National Parks.