Monument Valley

NOTE: It is late at night and I don’t have the energy to fiddle with the strange way text is mixing with the photos at the end. GRRRR

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This morning began like most mornings on this trip. I woke up early, but not as early as Jack, who was sitting on a chair in the dark reading stuff on his ipad. When I emerged from the bathroom and was pouring a cup of coffee into a paper cup from the little pot the motels all provide, he said, “I have a plan.”

I turned on the light and crawled back under the covers with my coffee. Last night, in Tuba City, we’d actually forgotten to go out to watch the sun set over the painted desert. And that’s why we’d chosen to stop in Tuba City. The morning plan: go out and watch the sunrise.

“Is sunrise as good as sunset?” I asked.

“Better,” said Jack, the perpetual enthusiast. “Just reading about a good spot half an hour away. If we hurry, we can make it.”

We headed out around seven and had driven five miles out of town when Jack looked at the gas gauge. Nearly empty.12.28.1

So we drove a few more miles and stopped along the road, well short of our destination, and waited for the sun to rise. It was cold, and the sun took its time. The spectacle wasn’t quite what the postcards promise, but good enough. Then back for one of the better free hotel breakfasts so far.

On to Monument Valley, just an hour and a half away. I don’t think I need to write much about this. We timed the day right: checked in to our motel early, had a late lunch, and headed out from mid afternoon and to sunset. I’ll let the photos tell the story.

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Now, we are off to a John Wayne movie, filmed here (as many of his were). The motel we’re staying at shows one every night. The Searchers tonight. Apparently his best, one of the best American westerns of all time, a classic, etc, etc.

A couple of comments about yesterday’s post.

First, I’ve been reading a bit about the Hopi, and they certainly do participate in the economy—mining coal and running several establishments like the hotel we stayed in last night. No casinos, though.

Second, you can tour Monument Valley without paying for a tour guide. We drove through it on our own this afternoon. Tomorrow morning, though, we are taking a guided tour into a restricted area with a number of archaeological sites. And then taking the one hike that’s permitted without a guide.

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