Hubby does most of our vacation planning; he loves to research things on the internet and plan things out, make reservations, and have everything scheduled. When he mentioned Monument Valley, I will confess, I had to say “what’s that?” He replied that when I saw it, I would recognize the distinctive rock formations. Well, alas, I did not, but it was a totally cool place to visit. here’s the quintessential view–this is the “left mitten”…notice the fingers on the left, the thumb sticking up on the right:
To backtrack, Monument Valley is on the border of Utah and Arizona, about 2 1/2 hours drive up a nice highway from Flagstaff, so we stayed the night at The View Hotel, a new facility. The entire area is within the Navajo Nation.
On the way, I snapped some pictures from the moving car of the striated bluffs; it was spring, so there was a flush of green on them:
I loved the gnarled and twisty trees, and wish I had been able to get more and better photos as they whizzed by:
The View Hotel is incredibly well designed to meld into the scenery. I’ve highlighted it below.
There has been a store and restaurant there for some time, but the hotel–the left side in the photo above– is apparently fairly new, and quite nice. I love when architecture blends into the environment…the tiers of the hotel on the left look like more levels in the rock cliff!
Since the climate is so arid, and since so many families on the Navajo reservation do not even have running water, they made a deliberate decision NOT to have a pool. I also noticed that there is no alcohol for sale in the restaurant…no wine or beer. There are big problems with alcoholism in some Native American communities, and I applaud their decision to forego the income from tourists and choose not to offer alcohol for sale. Our room was on the third floor…here is Paul at the balcony.
We had hoped to see a zillion stars this far from any large cities, but alas it clouded over (this was the storm that pulled in to the Grand Canyon in my earlier post).
There is a 17 mile loop drive that you can see in the photo above. I took TONS of photos… I particularly was entranced by the colors of green (remember these were taken back in early spring):
And Eli sitting half-out of the (stopped) car to take a picture:
Then those ROCKS and bluffs:
That boulder in the one above is bigger than a car! And more…even I, who pretty much always makes representative art, am thinking abstract work inspired by these rocks:
And to prove that inspiration is EVERYWHERE…this is dust on the bumper of the rental car…. won’t that make an awesome screen for printing on fabric?
I actually managed to play with my watercolors, sitting on the balcony to our room, and painted JUST the wall/face of this bluff: