Monument Valley Trip
It all started last year when a couple of RVers decided it would be fun to do a overnight trip to Monument Valley and put out an email on the AZ and Socal RV list to see if anyone else was interested. The runway at Monument Valley is hidden on the north side of a 1000 ft vertical bluff and is hard to see from the air as you approach. The runway is 4200 feet long and only the last 900 ft is paved. The other 3000 ft is dirt and blends into the surround terrain when you are several thousand feet in the air. You land uphill going south. Go arounds are not encouraged.
The Arizona contingent arrived around 10am Saturday morning. Since the runway goes uphill and is dirt, is you land early and have to taxi up the runway, it takes a lot more power that you are expecting to get you to the end.
A van came down from the lodge and picked us up.
Gouldings trading post was established in the 1920s by Harry and his wife "Mike" Goulding.
The group gets together for a dinner at the restaurant at Gouldings. The food and service was excellent as was the view. Larry H and his friend arrived Saturday afternoon from SoCal and joined the Arizona group partway through dinner. The hotel was booked up because of a big jeep tour event that was going on the same weekend.
Looking back at the strip from the hotel, you can see the whole runway. The dirt portion is actually about 3 times as long as the asphalt.
Another view of the runway and rvs from the hotel.
Our limo awaits us for our afternoon tour of Monument Valley. Billy is our chauffeur and told us a lot of the history of Monument Valley.
The first stop is at the museum at the entrance to Monument Valley.
The gang poses for a group photo. The wind was really blowing here.
The first stop on the tour was at an outdoor jewelry exhibit. The prices seemed really reasonable.
The group checks out the different tables of jewelry.
Kings throne butte is in the center.
The three nuns
These buttes were named after three soldiers who were part of the group of soldiers who rounded up the Navajo tribe and escorted them to a confinement camp where the Navajos were held for several years before being released. The soldiers eventually left the service and came to Monument Valley to prospect. Billy our guide told us that the Navajos named these buttes after the three soldiers. What he left out is that all three soldiers were killed by the Navajos after they recognized them.
Left Hand and Right Hand buttes
Dave and Ann pose in front of the buttes
The butte in the background is called government bute.
Wagon Wheel butte
Eagle Butte. Can you see the eagle?
Our first arch. We ended up seeing several arches on the tour.
If you look hard, some idiot is inside the cave supporting himself between the rocks.
Tom is busted
Some petroglyphs on the walls. The consensus was that these were drawings of mountain goats.
Tom and Katie pose in front of "Ear of the Wind" arch.
The is a long sand dune you have to climb up to get to the top where this picture of the arch and Ann was taken. A dare was made and most of the group sprinted down the dunes.
Eiger rock is the left most rock. This is the rock that was made famous in the Clint Eastwood movie "The Eiger Sanction".
From the air, its easy to see that Eiger rock is the last part of a long chain of eroded rock.
The sun is setting on the return trip and Billy stops the limo so we can take pictures of the sunset.
Left Hand Butte and Right Hand Butte again with the sun setting on them.
Dave and Ann pose for the camera.
Larry H did a really nice paint job on his RV.
Randy M arrived from San Jose on Sunday morning and got these pictures as some of us departed homeward. Dave and Ann on the takeoff roll.
Gary G is right behind them. Everyone was able to lift off on
the 900 ft asphalt easily.
Monument Valley from the air.
This isolated rock looks like the famous Shiprock but is not. Shiprock is about 120 miles east of here.
We had a great time on this trip and look forward to many more with our RV friends. The about photo were taken by Gary G, Randy M, Dave B, and Tom and Katie V.