Monday, 8 November 2010


Another cold and frosty morning as we set off at 7am. for Monument Valley, in Utah state.  People seem to get up very early around here, but then things are pretty quiet by 10pm.  200miles down the Navajo Trail Highway, and about 4hours later, we arrived at Kayenta, about 30miles away from Monument Valley.  After featureless, vast sand and desert, there were signs of the wonders to come- rocky, spikey outcrops springing up out of the flat plains. $5 each allowed us into this sacred site of the Navajo.  The Navajo-owned hotel The View blended into the landscape, and we could drive along a dirt track through this amazing landscape.  Vivid blue sky, red earth, and massive rocky sculptures rising dramatically out of the desert.  We drove along the very rough track to John Ford Lookout, where we turned around and enjoyed the whole thing again but from a different perspective.
We returned to the Holiday Inn, Kayenta, an unpretentious hotel in this bit if a backwater.  Admittedly it was Sunday, but the area had a distinct end-of-season feel.  As with the Grand Canyon, it was quiet here also, perfect for us, but many places do seem to shut down in October.  Kayenta is distinctly Navajo, and all the people in the shops and cafes have similar Navajo characteristics- round, moon faces.  Babies in papooses, just as you'd imagine they've been carried years ago.  The other interesting fact- great evening meal of fajitas with water- yes, water- it is illegal to sell alcohol on Navajo tribal lands, so water with your meals or non-alcoholic beer!
Although we'd booked in for 2 nights we decided to stay only one night- because we'd seen all there was to see here in one day!  and because we had a very long day of 300miles drive tomorrow to Bryce Canyon, where we decided to spend the night instead to give us the best chance of exploring the area the day after. 

No comments: