Monday, April 4, 2011

Homeward bound through the canyonlands

We are heading home.  While I am full, to the very top, with impressions, with history, with nature and with casual conversations with other travelers...I'd like to stay just a little bit more here.

distant monuments in the Navaho Tribal Park


Look at this!  Monument Valley is famous for being the site of many westerns, especially those with John Wayne.  It's true, I am a cowgirl at heart but today I was more intrigued with the play of sun and shadow on the rocks, and the distances which drew my eye forward.  It is difficult to find words to describe my experience...let me share some photos instead. Ross reminds me that photos fall short also and says "You just had to be there".  

 The following three photos are all of the same area but taken from different angles and with different natural  light.

Though it is possible to drive into Monument Valley in your own car or truck, I wouldn't advise it.  The road was rough and not graded for cars.  We chose to take a tour in a "jitney", which is a nice name for an open flatbed truck (though we did have upholestered bench seats and a step up when entering/exiting).   Our tour guide was great, and answered questions about the geology, the history and the Navaho Nation. 

This is good country for me to travel through at this time.  I am grieving the loss of my stepmother-she passed away at the end of March.  We were able to backtrack to Phoenix twice-once so I could spend some time with her and then again to return for the funeral.  Somehow this country with it's emptiness and strong geology is heartening to me.  Life continues. 


  1. This sounds like the kind of trip I would love...some history, nature, and just separating from the daily routine. It's interesting the way the sun can "change" the colors in your landscapes. I hope you'll post more (even if you wait til you return home.)
    My condolences on the loss of your loved one.

  2. Breathtaking. Thank-you for the pictorial tour.

  3. Beautifuul country - I'd love to visit it sometime.

    Sorry to hear about your mother-in-law. I'm glad you were able to get back in time to see her.

  4. Thanks for visiting and sorry about your loss.
    I visited Albuquerque on a shoot several years ago and found the painted desert breathtaking, but we only had a few hours to look around unfortunately. At the moment I'm obsessing over turquoise jewellery so I'd love to be able to go and explore the markets/artisan shops in the area! Oh, and when I was on the shoot, we stayed in a hotel where the western movie stars used to stay - I had Alan Ladd's room (didn't mean much to me!) and my boss had Ronald Reagan's suite!!!

  5. Aloha Mary,

    The pictures are so beautiful, I can only imagine how much more breath-taking this area is in real life. I'm sorry to hear of your loss. So good you found some comfort in the land as you grieved. Thanks for popping in and saying hello on my blog. I really had fun making gifts for the Pay It Forward Challenge. I have been swamped with other things lately. My personal sewing is down right now, but I look forward to having several things buttoned up by this weekend so I can get back at it! Take care, Shannon

  6. Welcome back, you were missed, dear Mary!
    I'm so sorry you lost you stepmother, and glad that you were able to spend some time with here at the end. Like you, I believe too that the sheer beauty of an area like this provokes a strong visual and emotional reaction, which aids and abets grieving.
    Best wishes, Carolyn

  7. "her" not "here", ... and "your" not "you"
    Sorry about the awful typos in my last comment

  8. Mary, it is so wonderful to see the gorgeous photos of your travels. Welcome home!!


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