|With the shutdown affecting the parks, and our campground in Moab full with no chance of us extending our stay, we decided to go on down to Blanding, 70 miles South of Moab. Blanding was to be the hub for going to Mesa Verde, Natural Bridge, Canyons of the Ancients, and Hovenweep NPs. Oh well, we made it to Goosenecks State Park (not much of a state park but beautiful bends in the San Juan River (river makes 4 - 180 degree bends right below an overlook), Mexican Hat (just a balanced rock), Bluff Fort (if I were fighting Indians from this fort I would just pitch my weapons and give up, not very impressive nor worth a picture), Valley of the Gods (did not go into the Valley because of dirt entrance), and Monument Valley. Monument Valley is in the Navajo Indian Reservation and operated by them, so it was open. Nice road going up to the main lookout and the hotel (The View Hotel) and then the world changed. Dirt road going down to the valley, about 300 or 400 foot down some switchbacks, was really just a rock washboard, flat for maybe 1 feet between washboards. We did not make it down, turned around and went back to the pavement , afraid we would come out with front end all messed up. There were a bunch of cars on that road though, and I mean cars that definitely were not made for offroading. Got to see several of the monuments though and also got to see the Gouldings Lodge, Trading Post, Campground, Museum, Restaurant. This is where most of the movies that were made in this area were headquartered. Original trading post and home still there as a museum now and have a place they call John Wayne's cabin, it really is the building where John Wayne's character's office was, in "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon". Several of the buildings in this area were buildings in several of the movies.