2012Hot2Cold travel blog

an unusual camper in the visitor center parking lot

one of the more famous formations in Monument Valley

you can see a lot from the visitor center without going out...

monuments, rocks and a road between them



age and beauty - beauty and age!


just as glad we didn't go down there and get in the...

the Monument Valley Visitor Center

the road off across the valley

a lot of bikers visiting today

one of the tour buses

there's that icon again

with homes in the shadow of it

lonely out there

but surrounded by ageless beauty



a museum exhibit devoted to the 'code talkers'

the original 29

off to boot camp

in combat

there are some fine native artists at work today



some interesting statistics on the Navajo people



the museum has exhibits of traditional clothing, tools and utensils




a moving sentiment

with photos of five wise grandmothers

a lifetime of experience



no wonder they are considered the 'glue' that holds the nation together

in the parking lot this very pregnant dog

she just waits with patience for her time

cone shaped 'man's' hogan - named that because it is easy to...


a round 'woman's' hogan - harder to build but more stable

inside woman's hogan construction

entrance to the Navajo National Monument

another beautiful canyon among many

driving west toward Page


a fossil fuel plant


John's that is

From our campground it was a short drive to the Monument Valley Visitor Center. There is a five dollar per person charge, and for that you can drive into the valley in your own vehicle if you wish, but they do not recommend it for RV’s because the road is very rough. After 225 miles of unpaved road in Labrador I think we probably could have made it OK, but we could see enough monuments from the Visitor Center overlook to satisfy our minimum daily monument requirement.

This park is famous for it's use in movies, and especially a lot of westerns starring John Wayne. For a fee they will even take you to see the cabin he used while he was here. I guess to Arizonans and folks from Orange County, California that would be quite a draw, but to us it was not a reason to take the time or to part with our money. Oh well, as the Duke liked to say, "A man's got to do what a man's got to do!" Whatever that means.

We elected to take some pictures and visit their small but interesting museum instead. The museum has an exhibit on the Navajo code talkers of WW2 fame, and after meeting the last surviving one of them a few weeks ago I found it especially interesting. After the museum we took a walk outside to see an exhibit of traditional hogans that was nice. There is a slightly commercial atmosphere to this place, but the setting is memorable and it is not too overdone.

We got back on the road, crossed and re-crossed the state lines between Arizona and Utah a couple more times, and we headed for the town of Page, which is on Lake Powell. The drive was uneventful except for one stop to visit the Navajo National Monument. The monument is a canyon, which is quite colorful and (I hate this word) picturesque, but it is neither as deep nor as grand as Canyon de Chelly. The monument is supposed to have three of the best preserved ruins in the southwest, but it was a half mile walk and we decided to leave them for another visit. One is called Betatakin which in Navajo means ‘Ledge House’, and from the pictures in the park brochure they look quite fascinating.

We reached Page by mid afternoon, and settled into a campsite in a nice Navajo RV park. Tomorrow we will push on to the Grand Canyon where we want to visit the north rim this time. The season is winding down and most of the things there are closed, but as long as it doesn’t snow we should be able to see the canyon. And it doesn’t feel like snow - yet.

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