Weekend In Monument Valley, UT

Here is the view from the hotel balcony.  Pictures will never do it justice.



This was the one hiking trail you could take without a Navajo guide.  It was a good 3 mile hike and absolutely beautiful.  Off in the distance a man rang a cow bell to move his sheep to another area.  A few seconds later the herding dogs spotted us and came to say hello.  We were very happy that they were friendly!


This sign was out in the middle of the trail and there was no hogan in sight.  Not sure where it came from. 



This chart hung in the hotel room.  It shows what plants are used to dye wool.  Among these are red onion skin and juniper berries and needles.



On Saturday we took a guided tour through the park.  We were the only Americans in a group of lively German tourists who had the best camera equipment I have ever seen.  My camera conked out the first day and all of these were taken using my phone.  They are highly touched up.  This was the first photo op.  This old trunk is that of a juniper tree.  Monument Valley is a very windy place and this gnarled trunk shows what years of wind and elements can create.




This lady is named Susie.  She is 91 years old and only speaks Navajo.  She is inside her hogan

(pronounced ho-gahn).   We pulled up with the tour guide into this little ranch and the tour guide beeped the horn a few times.  Susie no longer lives in the hogan but has a small house across the lot.  The guide gathered us all into the hogan and Susie came out of her house and entered the hogan.  She took a seat on a small bench opposite of the door.  She showed us how she makes wool and had a long spindle that she rolled against her leg.  The wool comes from sheep on her land.   The highlight of this tour was meeting her.  This wasn’t something just set up for the tourists.  This is where and how she lives.  That was pretty neat. 


I ws the lucky recipient of a Navajo hair bun.  This is a style that is worn by both the men and women.  If I remember correctly, the men wear it higher up on the head.  I sat infront of Susie in the hogan while she brushed my hair with a buffalo hair brush.  She wound it with wool from her own sheep.  It was such a privilege!   



Although you can’t tell, these dunes are of the most rich terra cotta color.  The sand is as fine as powder.





The Navajo nation is knows for it’s wild horses.  Our guide stopped to let us take some pictures and these guys wandered onto the set.  It was neat to see. 




Well, I would love to go back with some better camera equipment.  It was an incredible trip.  On Saturday night when we returned from dinner, I decided to sit out on the balcony and take in the stars.  There are no street lights at all and it is very quiet.  I caught a glimpse of an orange light peeking behind a cloud layered on the horizon of the night sky.  It was the rising moon, a little past the full stage.  All of the sudden in the distance I could hear drum beats coming from the valley below.  There were no lights from campfires or anything else out there that I could detect.  I stood on the balcony anticipating the moon to rise up like the leading lady on the stage of the night sky.  The drums seem to get louder and more intense.  Suddenly the moon broke free of the clouds and I almost wanted to applaud it’s arrival.  Even the stone buttes seem to rise up to it.  Everything seem to be so alive.  The wind picked up and whistled around the building like a voice.  I could have cried.  It was so beautiful.  The moon cast a milky blue glow onto the buttes and the desert below.  The drum beats continued.  I didn’t want it to end.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend