Saturday, October 26, 2013

Monument Valley

Wed. 10/23 - Tue. 10/29/13 (1 week) 
Goulding's Campground, Monument Valley, UT
The internet is oh so slow! I haven't been able to keep up with the blogs I follow. But, it is better than no internet. While I wait for a page or email to come up, I just play Spider Solitaire or read. My norm is to multitask.
It's always a good thing when I want to sit outside all day. That means the temperature is great, the surroundings are nice and I feel comfortable where we are. Yea! Debbie is finally happy...for now.
Here in the Navajo Park, there are quite a few loose dogs around. It always makes me sad. If I were single, I would take at least one in & just deal with it. Scott doesn't want to have anything to do with the dogs. It's not that he doesn't feel bad, but I think he is VERY protective of our own dogs and doesn't want anything passed on to them. I just cannot help but give them a little love and food and water. Luckily, they aren't emaciated, just a little thin. I would think they have their areas where they get fed by someone occasionally. I've met three female dogs. Two of them look barely one year old and have definitely had puppies.  They are all super, super sweet! They first look at you, then kind of put their head down, and wag their tail. I talk to them and put my hand out and they creep over. Once I start petting them, they just can't get enough and follow me around. They leave our dogs alone. No aggression, but no curiosity either.

Shhh, don't tell anyone, but I just finished feeding the golden colored dog and gave her some water. She is now relaxed and sunning by our site in the street. She keeps her eye on me, but stays away from Devin who wants to play so badly with her.
Yesterday, two others stopped by with the same approach. One looks to be a brindle Pit mix, maybe 8 months old and has had a litter.  The other looks to be Cattle Dog mix? But again, they are all very sweet and just want to be petted more than be fed.

 Uh oh, she's sleeping on our dog bed I have outside. I know we shouldn't...I found the bed on top of the truck this morning. Scott has the strength to say no.

 There's also two young black cats that are driving Devin to insanity. They like to hang out under our RV, or on our dog bed, popular resting place.
This little girl moans in contentment when you pet her. Oh so, so, so sweet.
Monument Valley is on Navajo Nation Park property, and is impressive. Yes, More red rocks, but different. Goulding's Campground (review when we leave) is very nice. It is situated between 2 buttes (an isolated hill with steep sides and a flat top,similar to but narrower than a mesa). So we get a feeling of coziness wrapped by the huge rock formations. Or maybe claustrophobia to some.
View from left of my picnic table

View from right of my picnic table
There isn't too much to do here unless you want to hike in the sun. We opted to take a paid and guided tour to get the most out of this area.
There are approximately 15 tour companies to choose from. I researched and decided on Sandstone Tours even though Goulding's is walking distance and have their own tour company. I first looked up reviews, then pricing, then amount of info on their website.
We opted for the mid-range tour of 2.5 hours. This not only takes us on the 17 mile scenic dirt road that is open to the public, but also along some back roads that only the touring companies are allowed. I would highly suggest you opt for a tour and let the "experts" do the driving for you. This Monument Valley 17 mile scenic dirt road is VERY rough. We were bounced around in our seats and would not want to put our own vehicle through this terrain. My pedometer said I did 9800 steps and I KNOW I was sitting on my butt all day in a 4 wheel drive truck. The bounces must have given the pedometer a false reading. Of course, if you've got an ATV or a 4 wheel drive that can handle it, then go for it. There were a couple of times that we thought we may not make it up the sandy slope.
Overall, this was an enjoyable, fun and interesting tour. Scott LOVED it. I enjoyed it, but I also had my ever present current book I'm reading handy. There were five people total in our group and they (including Scott) tended to spend more time looking at points of interest than I, so I just returned to the open air truck to read.
The buttes and mesas have many names.

Wagon Wheel
Now some photos of our tour. I tried to put a vehicle or person in the photo to give you an idea of the size of these buttes and mesas and arches.


 Scott likes his arches.

See the size of the person just left of the yellow bush?

We were told to lay up against this and look up. We would be able to see a rock formation that looked like an eagle. I just had to take a photo. And yes, we did see the eagle.

"The hogan is a sacred home for the Diné (Navajo) people who practice traditional religion. Every family even if they live most of the time in a newer home -- must have the traditional hogan for ceremonies, and to keep themselves in balance.
Hogan home
The Navajos used to make their houses, called hogans, of wooden poles, tree bark and mud. The doorway of each hogan opened to the east so they could get the morning sun as well as good blessings."

Debbie inside Hogan. Beautiful! The wood logs, not me silly!
Sandstone Tours, Monument Valley, UT
Our rating 4 out of 5
We opted for the mid-range tour which is 2.5 hours at $65.00 per person.
This tour had decent ratings and was up to $20. cheaper per person than other tour companies.
We ended up being almost 1/2 hour late because of an unexpected homecoming parade in town, with no side streets to detour to. I called to say we would be late and they were great. They would put us on on another tour when we got there. We waited about 7 minutes for our tour guide to arrive. Even though we paid for a Sandstone Tour, we ended up on a Black's tour. So maybe they all work together.
Our guide, Ferguson showing us petroglyphs

Our tour guide was Ferguson. Sweet young man, but not real outgoing. Other reviewers have raved about their tour guide. We sort of had to drag info out of him. Eventually he talked more. He spoke of how he learned about the history of this area from his Grandmother and related some stories. I think we could have had a better guide, but Ferguson was ok.
Definitely worth the money and avoid the wear and tear on your own vehicle on this very rough, rocky not maintained dirt road.
I finished a crochet doily to cover our little lamp shades. Now on to another one.

See the stones? We picked them up in NM last year.
Thursday, 10/31-Sunday, 11/10/13 (11 days) Albequerque area


  1. One of our favorite drives is in that area, the Valley of the Gods road. Glad to see you feeling better, hard to see dogs like that and not do something. Safe travels to Albuquerque, we'll be going through there in another week or so,not looking forward to Raton Pass though.

  2. i, too, wear a pedometer. Driving from Kansas to Arizona, we were on some bumpy interstates and I logged 2,000 to 5,000 steps each day, just sitting still.

  3. You know, we stayed at Goulding's and I'm pretty sure I saw one of those black cats get treed by the brindle dog. So they've been around there since March at least. Dineh is beautiful! Ratkins both send their love. Chino is noisily crunching kibble in my lap.

    1. We were just talking of you. Thought maybe by the time we get to FL, you may be settled in FL again and ready for a new family dog. Hmmmm. something to think about.


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