Thursday, 23 January 2014

Monument Valley

Approaching Monument Valley - enticing and exciting
 Awesome is not a word I use often, but for Monument Valley and the many and various Canyons in Utah, this is the only word!

Classic view of the famous Mittens
Monument Valley is instantly recognisable, and has been featured in many Western films. Film maker John Ford frequently used it as the setting and background in his films, and there is one viewpoint of the Valley named after him.
View from John Ford Point
Monument Valley is dusty and dry, with scenic photo ops at every turn of the road which visitors travel through to see it. It's the home of the Navajo, and visitors are not permitted to approach their houses and properties which are scattered throughout the Valley. Many of the Navajo sell craft and jewellery from stalls in the Valley. These are made from semi-precious stones and are made by family members to earn a living. I bought an amethyst and heamatite necklace from a very friendly Navajo man called Ron. There were lots of different necklaces to choose from, all made from semi-precious stones. He didn't know that my favourite gem stone is amethyst, yet he picked out the very necklace I would have chosen for myself. He told me he taught drumming and dancing, and gave me his card with himself pictured in full ceremonial costume, complete with an full eagle feather head dress. His wife made the necklaces and he sold them at his stall.

He was based a little off the beaten track, and there were plenty of amazing views to be had nearby.
Some vegetation does grow in the Valley
I couldn't stop taking photos...
Off the beaten track

The road through the Valley passes several notable buttes, and why this one on the left is called Elephant Butte is obvious..... 
The elephant's head overlooking the road
One of the quieter spots - but the views are superb everywhere

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