Anne & Tom's Southwest Adventure travel blog

We chose the Sacred Monument Tour

Leroy was our guide

The clouds kept changing from puffy white to dark gray

We walked to our first goal - the Teardrop. On the way...

Utah on one side and Arizona on the other

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There was a climb

A formation along the way

The Teardrop - not on most tours. We were welcome since Louise...

Leroy and Anne at the Teardrop

This is a famous scene

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Hiking back

Now into the sand dunes area

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Dunes are the start of sandstone

Ripples

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The photographer

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Shifting sands

Anne

Anne

High dune

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Brightly lighted against a dark sky

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Back

A "Struggle Tree" - Leroy's term for these trees that fight for...

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Long shadows

A campground in the valley

The Mittens

A dead tree frames the scenery

Red sand at sunset

As the sun sets

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A really fun afternoon

The last glow of light

Back to our vehicle

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Leroy is a great guide

Utah sunset

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Very last rays

Leroy had to herd his cattle off the main road before taking...


Next morning, we awoke to snow on the ground. We departed for Monument Valley and took a scenic and paved shortcut that was great. We arrived at our destination, Gouldings, by lunchtime, and were a bit put off by the RV park and associated lodge's open vehicles that held up to a dozen(?) people on benches for the tour of Monument Valley. Some of the staff were a little rude as well as some of the campers, which we rarely enounter. The weather forecast was waffling on the next days's weather too. So we had a big "discussion" together about what to do. Anne did some Googling and guide book reading as well as consulting the online TripAdvisor site. This all came down to calling a company called Sacred Monument Tours. Tom spoke about what he wanted - late day shadows, etc for good photographs, so the operator, Leroy, said "How about right now? I can pick you up at the campground at 5:00 and take you to some special spots. It turned out phenomenal! Leroy and his assistant Louise came right on time and off we went to a place called "Teardop" which only Louise has rights to go to since her Navajo family has grazing rights in that area! We then trekked around some fresh sand dunes and got some gorgeous pictures of the rock formations, etc. Finally we went over to the mitten formations for sunset. Leroy was full of local stories and the Navajo version of history rather than the whitewashed story, as well as a Navajo perspective on the Tony Hillerman books. We got back to the RV for a very late dinner and were feeling quite high. What serendipity!

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