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04 July 2009 @ 01:53 pm
Monument Valley  
The drive from Denver to back home in California was going to be a long one. I wanted to get back home before the holiday crowd takes over the national parks across the country. It is amazing how popular remote places and outdoor activities are in this country and for someone like me who prefers to be in places where there are no crowds, weekends and holiday weekends are time to stay away from national parks and such.

I left Denver early on the morning of the 2nd of July. Interstate 70 through the Rocky Mountains is an amazing road. Besides being very scenic there is a lot of wildlife next to the roads all through the mountains. I saw lots of deer and big-horned sheep. They could be traffic hazards, but it is always nice to see that they are around even if they are next to a winding freeway at 11,000 feet where vehicles speed in excess of 75 mph. I picked Monument Valley on the Utah-Arizona border as the place to stop by for the night. It wasn't exactly midway between Denver and San Jose, but I couldn't have picked a better approximate midway point.

When I got to the Navajo reservation, it was all cloudy and dark. The day was still young but I didn't have much hope to see the sun that evening. I went into the park and went for a drive on the valley floor. The overcast and low light conditions was interesting to make some photographs but when I saw horses for trail rides, I decided to go for it. Riding a mustang in the iconic western landscape can be wonderful experience but with the Navajo tour guide telling me things about Navajo culture, beliefs and tradition, it was just awesome. The weather played its part with an occasional drizzle as the Navajo horseman sung his rain song. Almost as soon as I had finished with the horse ride, the clouds opened up a bit to show the magnificent landscape of the Colorado plateau.

Here are some photographs from the Monument Valley.




Route 163







"The Three Sisters"





The morning in Monument Valley







Puddles of water on the trail have interesting reflections





Water on the trail





Buttes in Monument Valley







"Valley of the Gods"





A Butte





Navajo horseman showing me the way







Stormy evening





The trail on the valley floor





"Two Elephant Butte"







More of the iconic Buttes





My tent and campsite. It was one of the most beautiful places I've ever camped in





Daybreak in the valley







Daybreak near "Totem pole"





Monument Valley!









 
 
 
Aparna: Myselfinspirethoughts on July 6th, 2009 04:01 pm (UTC)
Beautiful Pics! The whole place looks like it's out of a mythical book! How enchanting!

Why are they called "The Three Sisters"? Legend of some sort?

Where did that water come from? Rains? Or is it like an Oasis?

Hey, your tent matches to the surrounding! Nice camouflaging! Just curious, weren't you afraid to camp out there all alone? Unless, you did this trip with a group of friends. I know, it is a really silly question!
Yathinyathin on July 6th, 2009 04:11 pm (UTC)
Every Butte has a story.

It rained the previous evening and the though it is a desert, there is a good chance of flash floods. It is a strange place.

I was alone and it is not at all scary camping alone. It is more scary to stay in a hotel in a big city (or staying at an apartment in a city for that matter!)
Aparna: Thinkinginspirethoughts on July 6th, 2009 04:41 pm (UTC)
Hmm...I see your point of view. As much as I love to blend with nature, I cannot do it alone. I need someone with me to accompany me, at least one person with me. :) That is why I asked if you had not felt scared.