Days 21 and 22: The Monument Valley and Kayenta

The Monument Valley overlook seen from US 163 road. Arizona/Utah border.

The Monument Valley is truly a magical and serene place and one of the highlights of our trip. The first look at the Valley from the North ( above ) numbs you. Perhaps "numb" is not a good word, it is rather a mixture of surprise, joy, thrill, humbleness, eagerness for adventure, awe and something more. Located on the Arizona-Utah border under the jurisdiction of the Navaho Indian tribe the Valley is "not-from-this-world" scenery.

Driving through the Monument Valley is like being inside the opening scene of the good old Western movie where lone
John Wayne is riding his horse in the valley and from above the red mountain ridge the Indians are watching him closely. It is like going back to your childhood.

We have already visited the Monument Valley twice, in 2005 and 2007. This year it all happened somehow by accident. On the vast and deserted lands of Southern Utah it is hard to find a hotel. The only option we found that night was
Kayenta, a desert community Indian town in Northern Arizona with trailer-type homes, gas stations, burger emporia, horses hanging on the streets, dust, wind, some souvenirs stores and a Holiday Inn ( where we stayed at night, tasted a nice sweet Navajo bread and ate at Sonic drive through ).

So that night we had to make extra 50 miles South to get to Kayenta. But it was all worth it. The red flat landscape is dotted with majestic rectangular rocks with sharp blue sky above it. This is definitely one of the "must-see" places before you die.

Date: August 25th and 26th, 2010.