Travel

Monument Valley

“Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children.”

With anticipation and excitement we arrived in Monument Valley after a long day of exploring 3 states.  I was once again awestruck by the landscape before me. Before this, I had only seen Monument Valley in the iconic John Ford westerns that my parents loved to watch. It took my mind a moment to register that I was seeing this familiar landscape live.

Our home base for the night was The View Hotel. A 96 room hotel leased by a Navajo owned company and located within the 26,000-square-mile Navajo reservation.  I reserved our room almost a year in advance to ensure a reservation and to get a room with a view of the Mittens. The hotel was a little shabby in some areas and frankly the food left a lot to be desired.  

One of the gift center employees told us that the local Navajo who still live in the area do not have running water or electricity. We were fascinated by the simple homes and simplicity in the way the Navajo live. There is so much to learn about the rich Navajo history.  The visitor center has interesting exhibits and information on local history. I highly recommend this 5-minute read from Smithsonian magazine:

“The Navajo lived in an area today known as the Four Corners, where Utah, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico meet. They called Monument Valley Tsé Bii Ndzisgaii, or “Clearing Among the Rock,” and regarded it as an enormous hogan, or dwelling, with the two isolated stone pinnacles to the north—now known as Gray Whiskers and Sentinel—as its door posts. They considered the two soaring buttes known as the Mittens to be the hands of a deity.”

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/behind-the-scenes-in-monument-valley-4791660/#bl1hHq9qg1MbHT1m.99

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The majestic and expansive view of the Mittens and Merrick Butte from The View Hotel in Monument Valley.

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As the sun started to set, the rocks turned a brilliant orange. Even our skin glowed!

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