Monument Valley, the wild west as we know it.

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We stayed overnight in Kayenta, which is on the 30,000 acre Navajo Tribal Park and part of the Navajo Reservation. This reservation is the largest in the USA, and covers 16 million acres.

This was the starting point of our Monument Valley drive.

Monument Valley is the archetypical American west, as depicted in many Cowboy and Indian  movies since the 1930s. John Ford movies such as ‘Stagecoach’, 1939 and ‘The Searchers’, 1956. Then there’s the 1969 road-trip cult classic ‘Easy Rider’.

The next morning we drove to Goulding’s Lodge where we picked up an off-road tour to visit the valley.

There are 17 miles of unpaved roads that aren’t accessible with an ordinary car. However I did see a number of sedans, including a convertible Mustang driving along the track.

The tour did take us to some areas that are within Indian private land. This exclusivity was somewhat diminished when our driver/guide had to reprimand some French tourists for trespassing.

Within one such area we were shown some 1,500 year old Petroglyphs.

In the afternoon we drove to Cortez in Colorado, with a slight detour to Four Corners. There are plaques in each state

This is a completely man made attraction, originally established in 1899, that celebrates the border convergence of four states – Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona.

In many ways this is a totally underwhelming experience, but one you have to do if you are in the area.

There is even controversy as to whether the location of Four Corners is geographically accurate.

It’s also a money spinner for the local Navajo as they charge $5 per person for tourists to stand astride four states and have their photo taken doing it.

One Response to “Monument Valley, the wild west as we know it.”

  1. Alex Mifsud says:

    How on earth did you manage to take a photo like this Bruce? Which camera? What time of the day? Cheers, Alex.

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