Saturday, July 31, 2010

Monument Valley

Welcome to Monument Valley! Situated within the Navajo Nation Reserve, and spanning Utah and Arizona, Monument Valley is home to spectacular and iconic red sandstone buttes. They stab up dramatically from the desert floor in heights of 400 to 1000 feet, yielding some of the most memorable geologic formations in the world.

The red sandstone landscape becomes magical in times of transitional lighting, like sunrise and sunset. I was fortunate enough to time my visit with the late evening sun, with a weather front moving in simultaneously. Wow, was it beautiful!

Unfortunately, there were no hiking trails to explore the land on foot, but there was a driving loop which hit most of the highlights of the valley. It was a dirt road, rutted and soft sanded indiscriminately, so I recommend not attempting this drive with a low-clearance vehicle.

The formation below is known as the Mittens. I wonder why? ;-)

The elongated shadows and the red hues made this an unforgettable experience.

Below are the Three Sisters. Back-lit by the sun, they make an impressive profile.

It was one of those times when the lighting and the clouds made it good photography a no-brainer.

I forget what they called this one, but it is still pretty cool.

Below is the Totem Pole. Everywhere you looked was a new focal point to draw you in.

Light. Dark. Red. Green. Black. White. Wicked. Good!

As I rounded the driving loop, the weather front pushed through, stirring up the wind and darkening the sky, but that just added a new dimension of beauty.

It was amazing that with just a slight change in angle, a whole new perspective of beauty was visible. I caught myself looking at the same things I had just looked at many, many times; each time finding something new.

With the sun setting, I had to make my way back out of the park, just like the care in front of me. Until next time, journey on!