Monument Valley resides in Arizona and Utah
it is almost entirely on the Navajo Reservation

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Anasazi writings


Since 1979 I have been coming to Arizona. In 1993 we moved to Chandler. Getting out of the valley and into the mountains, valleys, plains and other geologic features has kept my motor running very well. Sometimes too well as I dumped my Yamaha Viking 700 on its side last January and near cut off my ear, or at least a big chunk of it! Anyway in all the travels out of the valley I have seen literally hundreds of sites where the "Old Ones" as they are called, wrote on the rock face! In there own primitive way they are very much works of art that should be treated as such. if you find these, please leave them as you find them.

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The Hole

Throw Snakes Though

Somewhere in Monument Valley you will find this natural formation. Our Guide claimed that it was used in one of the Indian Jones movies... could very well have happened. Monument Valley has been the mecca for western movies since Harry amd Mike Goulding went to Hollywood in 1938, where he met John Ford and the photos he had of monument valley convinced the master director to use that as the site for the movie "Stagecoach" starring John Wayne. The rest is history! And a good one at that.

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Harry & Mike Goulding

Trading Post and Movie Set

Harry Goulding and his wife Leone aka "Mike" helped invent the American West as we see it and think of it today. But at that moment up on Comb Ridge he likely knew only that this place spread out before him—of sandstone and siltstone and shale, of yucca and juniper and sagebrush and cliffrose so soft that the Navajos used it to make cushions for their infants, of red hues as pale as rose petals and as dark as blood rising up the monoliths in rhythm with the rise and fall of the sun—was where he wanted to spend the rest of his life. As for the rest of his tale, a quintessential American tale set in a time when there were still such tales to tell, it would have to wait until he knew he could survive in a place that was farther from a railroad station—180 miles—than any place in the continental United States.

More info on Gouldings and Monument Valley

One expanse of scenery after another...
The wonders just go on and on and on...

We took a tour each time we visited the Valley, but I would like to take my truck and just recon the area myself... fly in the ointment is the fact that you as an individual driver can only go into certain areas... maybe a third of the Monumant Valley, or less! With the day long tour comes lunch, hamburger over an open fire, and a trip to Mystery Valley which is south of Monument valley and only accessible with a guided tour. The tour guides were very knowledgable and stopped at all necessary Kodak Moment spots!

Rock House
Built for shelter and defense!

I guess people have been building rock houses and long as there have been rocks... but the location of the very early houses speaks to the defensibility of the abode as well its livability.

Desert floor in Mystery Valley...
many very different plants than this Buckeye is used to!

As you might expect, the Native Americans used a variety of plants for food and medicine... these were somehow special, but I forgot why! Happens a lot lately.

Our expert Guide makes a fine hamburger over an open fire!
Just for the day long trip...

She was working with a new grill, and and had to get the fire just right then burn off the grill the cook the burgers... fresh buns, pickles, onion, mustard and some potato chips to boot. I think they also had drinks along the trail.

And there is More Desert floor in Mystery Valley...
these also had medicinal purposes, just don't know what!

These were also somehow special, but I still forgot why! Notice the sand on the valley floor near a talcum powder like sand... stragely solid for a powder!

Rock House Two
Built for shelter and defense! Jusy like the other one.

Again this was in that part of Monument Valley that the Navajo call Mystery Valley, off the ebaten path and you are not allowd to drive in this area by yourself! But I would really like to ramble around in here for a few days. It is really cool!

The hand of the rock giants are waving!
It is so hard to go through with all the stops needed!

The whole scene changes within a 100 yards of travel... new sights new photo opportunites, another chance to climb out of a tour truck made for midgets!

More Monster Vistas in Monumnt Valley

Is there such a thing as too much good scenery? Like a car with too many horses, a woman... well you get it!

Dick Pierce
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A photo by Richard Aaron Pierce in Monument Valley
© Richard Aaron Pierce 2014

Judy Pierce
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