Before I talk about Monument Valley, I would like to take a minute to talk about blogging while doing a jammed packed cross country RV trip. It is not easy. Most of the locations that we are in are remote with little or no Internet. This makes uploading stories and especially pictures and video very tough. As I type this it is 6 AM which is usually my only free time. I am in the tracker parked on the edge of Lake Powell watching an amazing lightening storm approach from the East. I wish I could adequately describe the sound of the thunder echoing through the mountains and canyons. One lone crack can last for 10 seconds as the sound bounces off the cliffs of redrock. The early morning hours are “daddy time”. I let the crew sleep in and either go explore the area or find a good spot like this to sit and write. Writing the blog is the easy part. Uploading the pictures and video is the hard part. I have been known on occasion to “borrow” an open network of a nearby ranch, farm, or local hotel. Even then, the connection is usually slow and the pics take forever to upload. Video is a whole other story.
We have shot so much great video on this trip using our new GoPro POV video camera. Unfortunately I have not had the bandwidth to upload most of it. Hopefully when we reached our final destination in San Diego, I will be able to update the entries with these little gems. With all that said, I apologize for the spelling, grammatical and other mistakes that you will come across in many of my entries. I am not good at self-editing to start with and I rarely have time for it anyway. Think of it as the true flavor of blogging on the road. Bruises and all….
Monument Valley was a last minute change to our plans. I always build in some fluff time to these trips in order to make adjustments en route. It was not far off the route and we decided to stop and camp here for a day. Goulding’s campground sat just a few miles from the entrance to Monument Valley. The view from the camper was simply amazing. Definitely a top 10 campsite. After we settled in, Colby and I decided to stretch our legs with a little hike into the redrock bluffs and buttes. Less than ¼ of a mile in we came across a huge sandstone arch on an unmarked trail. Anywhere else and this would be a destination onto itself, but here in Monument Valley it was just another rock formation. We continued our climb which began to get a little technical. I thought of turning back, but Colby seemed sure footed so we continued to monkey our way up the rocks.
In all reality Colby was doing better than Dad who was sucking air in a big way. After a lot of foot and hand holds, we climbed our way to the top of giant butte overlooking the campground on one side and monument valley on the other. Without hesitation, Colby perched himself on the precipice jutting out from the top and whipped out his flute. He began playing the most beautiful Indian music. I quickly hit record on the gopro mounted on my head and successfully captured the moment. The hypnotic music caught the attention of many campers in the distance and they began to point and listened to the little white boy on the mountaintop. It was a moment to be remembered. Hopefully I will be able to upload it soon. The rest of the day we grilled and relaxed in the redrock cocoon that surrounded us. At about 5 AM the following morning a brilliant idea hit me . I thought to myself wouldn’t it be amazing to see the sunrise in the middle of monument valley. So I hoped out of bed and headed for the tracker. I drove about 7 miles into the park where I found a crowd of other pilgrims gathering waiting to watch the sunrise over Elephant Butte. Normally I avoid crowds of tourists like this, but this crowd was different. They were silent and reverent as the sun began to light up the valley. This was a spiritual moment and everybody including the Japanese tourists understood that. Below is a picture of a young Asian girl abandoning the ever-present ipad to simply stand with arms stretched wide in an effort to soak in the power of the moment as the sun began to rise. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words and this is one of them. The magic lasted for only a few minutes until the whole place was bright with the desert sun. We returned later in the morning to drive the Monument Valley loop and then said goodbye to this very cool place.