Thursday, October 8, 2009
Monument Valley, UT
By the time we packed up and started toward our next overnight, Monument Valley, the winds had picked up considerably once more. We made the 150-mile afternoon drive fighting 35-40 mph head and side winds with occasional gusts of 55 mph. Not terribly fun when pulling an RV! By the time we reached Monument Valley, the view was mostly blurred by dust kicked up by high winds and my arms ached. It made for a very white-knuckle driving day!
Our overnight was at the Goulding’s Lodge Campground. Since we would only spend one night we opted for a pull-through and did not unhook. Due to the winds it didn’t make much sense to try and get to Monument Valley that evening anyway. Besides, we had been told that an 11-mile loop drive was paved so the next morning on our way out we shouldn’t have any problem pulling our RV through a section of the park.
Link to a list of films shot in the area via a search result at the IMDB)
The museum was well worth the trip. They even offered free showings of some of the Duke’s films that had been shot in the area. We mused about the valley and the Navajo’s economic exposure to Hollywood while John Wayne was busy shooting them (cinematically speaking). That evening we availed ourselves of the Stagecoach Dining Room – the prickly pear cactus ice tea was a favorite along with Navajo fry bread.
The next morning we set out for a drive through Monument Valley. The winds had subsided and the view was sunny and clear. We passed through the main gate and paid our entrance fee only to discover that while the road through the monument was open, it was in fact not paved. We retraced our route back to the gate, received a refund and headed toward Arizona. Perhaps next time?