Saturday, April 4, 2015

The 'Deluxe' - God's Monuments part deux

Our Monument Valley tour was not until 3:45 in the afternoon so we took care of some housekeeping (vacuuming, and other interior projects) and took a walk down the hill to Goulding's Market......we didn't need anything, but just wanted to see how well it was stocked.  Well, I can report that they do carry Snap-E-Tom (my favorite tomato cocktail), so they are adequately stocked as far as I am concerned.  

It was still in the low 50's at 10 am when we took the 1 mile round trip walk, and the forecast was for a high of only 59, so we were already thinking about how cold it would be on our tour, which was scheduled to end about 7:15 pm.

We each layered up for our afternoon tour.....I wore an UnderArmor long sleeved shirt, a long sleeve hiking shirt over that, then a vest.  For later in the afternoon I brought a jacket, my watch cap and some warm the end of the tour we were both very happy for every article of clothing we brought with us.  Normally it's in the 70's during the day here, but we are in a brief 2 day cold snap.  The temps will warm back up to the mid 70's by Saturday.

A little history about the area......Harry Goulding and his wife Leone bought 641 acres of land adjacent to Monument Valley back in 1921 to establish a trading post.  Our tour guide, Carol, advised that it was Harry Goulding that helped the local Navajo tribes turn Monument Valley into the first tribal park.  I believe there are four now scattered across the U.S.  If you would like more info on the Gouldings click the link above.

We were picked up in the vehicle shown above, joining about 18 others (at $70/person that is a good amount of money for one tour....$1400).  For us it was a little pricey, but after taking the tour I can tell you it is well worth it, especially to have such a knowledgeable guide such as we had in Carol, who is a full blood Navajo, born on the reservation.  She was sent off to boarding school at age 14 in Salt Lake City, and also attended college there before moving back to Monument Valley at age 21.  In the Navajo culture there are still, to some degree, arranged marriages, but her mother did not want that for her, so she signed Carol up for boarding school.

I won't pretend to remember all the names of all the buttes, 'windows', and arches but will let the following pictures tell the story......


3 Sisters

View north from John Ford Point

'totem pole' on the left...420 feet high

Big Hogan 'window'

A 'Hogan'

Inside the primitive 'Hogan' with Carol...constructed with cedar and juniper wood, and covered with dirt on the outside

Just at sundown...left 'mitten' butte (left) and right 'mitten' butte (right background)

Left 'mitten' butte up close

Right 'mitten' butte up close

TLE with our tour guide, Carol....full blood Navajo

By the time we were dropped off back at Gouldings Campground  around 7:30 pm we were quite cold (all available clothing was being worn), but thankful we took the 'Deluxe' 3.5 hours it was just the perfect length, and the knowledge we gained from Carol's narration was priceless.  You can take all day tours, but I think that would have been overkill for us.

Thanks for stopping by! 

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