Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park and getting there.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

We left Suzanne’s house about 9:00am. The drive from Denver west on I-70 is very pretty. As we passed by the different ski resorts we could see the skiers and the lifts. Everything looks busy. The drive through the Glenwood Canyon was especially nice. Sheer rock walls and the Colorado River. The parking lots by the springs at Glenwood Springs were packed with cars. Business looks to be good.
We arrived at the James M. Robb-Colorado River State Park near Fruita, CO about 3:00; a longer drive then I had anticipated. We’ve stayed here before. It’s just off I-70 so it makes for a very convenient nights stop. We’re the only campers here tonight. The Ranger said just help yourself to any site. He, or his relief, would drive through the campground now and then. $20/night for a full hookup site plus a $7 entry fee. Nice to have electrical hookups on yet another cold night. We finally got to dump the tanks after spending nine days camping in the streets at Suzanne’s house.
It was 17* this morning when Gopher and I went walking.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Monument Valley

Today we drove through the state of Utah from Crescent Junction to Mexican Hat . Passed through the magnificent National Parks of Arches and Canyonlands, through the Manti-La Sal National Forest, Moab and Monticello and a dozen or so “towns” that barely existed. This is a most beautiful drive through canyons, up and over mesas, past huge cattle ranches and eventually to the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park just south of the UT/AZ border. We need to come back this way when the weather is more conducive to outdoor things.

The Monument Valley Tribal Park is a very special place in the Navajo culture. The visitor center had an extensive collection of artifacts and told the story of the area from before the army expelled the Navajo tribe as part of the Western Expansion to modern times. Very interesting. Carol found two beautiful, well crafted, pairs of handmade Navajo earrings in the gift shop. The nice thing about buying crafts in an “official” store, rather than from a roadside stand, is that everything comes with a certificate of authenticity. Is the certificate authentic?? Who knows. For the price I should hope so.

There is a camping area near the visitor center. It’s simply called the Primitive Campground. Trash cans and pit toilets; nothing else. $10/night. Tonight it’s us, three young couples tent camping and two couples from Germany traveling in their RV. Europeans quite often ship their RV to the US then travel extensively. They really like the “Old West” America; cowboys, Indians and such. Several of the old western movies by John Ford were filmed in Monument Valley. Stagecoach being the most famous.

Our view is magnificent. We’re on an elevated area overlooking the Mittens, named because they resemble a mitten, Mitchell Mesa, Merrick Butte and Elephant Butte.

In the morning we continue south. An Escapee friend told us about a New Years Eve campout a bunch of Escapees are putting on at Mittery Lake which is a BLM area just north of Yuma. That’s where we’re heading next. The woman who is organizing the party sent us an e-mail with directions and said the temperatures are in the low 70’s. Much more to our liking.

This view from our window.

A happy camper

Our campsite overlooking the Mittens

What's keeping that rock from falling?? The formation is called Mexican Hat.


Donna K said...

Wonderful pictures. This is an area I definitely want to visit in the near future. I am fascinated by all those rock formations. They must be magnificent in person.

Anonymous said...

Loved the pics. Reminded me of staying there in the same location as yourselves. It is really magnificent!

Glad you are finnally getting into a warmer climate.