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Time Stands Still at Monument Valley

Our tour guide slash van driver, J.R., picked me up at the Grand Canyon International Hostel in Flagstaff at 7:15 in the morning. On the dot. He’s not your regular tour guide or driver. He’s a walking encyclopedia on the history and current events of the Navajo Nation. He’s well-versed on the sights that only, perhaps, can be answered by a geologist. He’s even married to a woman who grew up in the reservation area and had gone to school with Navajo Indians in his younger years. And not just that. His family had been in the movie-making business for years that he had his share of personal and working relationships with Jodi Foster, Mel Gibson, Tom Selleck, Will Smith, etc…

If you have a tour guide with that qualification and interesting life, the long journey to the Monument Valley from Sedona or Flagstaff would be one heck of a road trip, not a tour in itself.

So, how was our road trip to the Monument Valley? I’d give it a 10/10!

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The monuments of Monument Valley.

The monuments of Monument Valley.

Taking the Tour / Road Trip

Taking a tour via Angel’s Gate Tour is your best choice to visit the Monument Valley. They are highly recommended by CNN Money, Frommers and Discovery Channel. J.R., our tour guide, didn’t only bring us there safely but he lets us experience Monument Valley. He has interesting anecdotes and stories to tell about almost every sight we’ve to, came across / saw on or along the road. Not to mention the dinosaur toy he brought out as a prop to one of our photo sessions. 😀

He brought us to the perfect spots where postcard-perfect photos were taken. He volunteered to be our photographer. The photo below is a proof he’s got an eye for photography. 😉

John Ford's Point at the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park in Arizona.

John Ford’s Point at the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park in Arizona.

Cameron Trading Post

Our first stop was at the historic Cameron Trading Post. It’s here where the native Americans used to barter their goods. The bridge you see nearby is the first one over the gorge in Little Colorado River. Today, the Post has got a motel, a garden, a restaurant, a gift shop, a market and an art gallery.

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The Scenic Drive

As we move along the Colorado plateau, the views are surprising. The gothic-like rock spires and the badlands that were formed by fault lines and volcanoes long time ago left a scenery that shows the history of our planet. I couldn’t get my eyes off for a nap!

The Spanish skirt on our way back from Monument Valley.

The Spanish skirt on our way back from Monument Valley.

Meeting Agathola

It was a long but scenic journey to the Monument Valley. As we entered a town called Kayanta, we stopped at one of the biggest volcanic necks in the area, called Agathola.

Agathola is a volcanic neck. We stopped by here on out way to the Monument Valley.

Agathola is a volcanic neck. We stopped by here on out way to the Monument Valley.

Across the street, “El Capitan” (as the Whites call it) stands tall and proud. The Navajo Indians call it as the “Owl that Watches the Valley”. It really resembles an owl when you’re standing closer and in the right angle.

El Capitan resembles like that of an owl. Monument Valley

El Capitan resembles like that of an owl.

The Lunch

The delicious Navajo taco was more than enought to fill my grumbling stomach. It was everyone’s first try of such native American food—and it didn’t dissapoint us. And I, personally, love it! It’s made of a flat bread filled with beans, meat sauce and vegetables.

Navajo Taco was our lunch at the Monument Valley.

Navajo Taco was our lunch at the Monument Valley.

And guess, where we had our lunch? We were at the restaurant overlooking the sweeping panorama of Monument Valley. It was lunch with a stunning view!

View of the Monument Valley

View of the Monument Valley from the restaurant where we had our lunch.

And most of all, our lunch was at the same place (Goulding’s Lodge) where John Wayne made one of his movies. They kept the original cabin which the actor used in his film, “She Wore A Yellow Ribbon.” I didn’t grow up with John Wayne or watching Western movies, but the Visitor’s Center has a collection of movie posters which carries photos (or story lines) of the Monument Valley in movies like “Wild, Wild West”, “Thelma and Louise”“The Lone Ranger”, “Back to the Future III”, Forrest Gump, “National Lampoon’s Vacation”, etc.

This is John Wayne's cabin used for his movie SSHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON at Goulding's Lodge in Monument Valley.

This is John Wayne’s cabin used for his movie SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON at Goulding’s Lodge in Monument Valley.

Up Close With the Monuments of Monument Valley

As soon as we entered the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, we were welcomed by the towering heights of rocks that stood the test of time. It was like going back into the past when the earth was still young. It’s no wonder John Wayne called it as, “God’s Treasures.”

This is the East mitten. It really looks like a child’s right-hand mitten, eh?

at Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park.

The East Mitten at Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park.

And this is the West mitten.

The West mitten at Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park.

The West mitten at Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park.

Can you see Jesus Christ in this picture? They said it’s Jesus in a hood or the one that looks like Christ the Redeemer in Brazil, minus the extended arms. 😀

The West mitten at Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park.

The House of the Holy at Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park.

The Three Sisters resemble like that of a Catholic nun facing her two pupils.

Does this perfect view of John Ford’s Point look familiar? That’s because it’s used in the poster of Johnny Depp’s movie, “The Lone Ranger.”

John Ford's Point at the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park in Arizona.

John Ford’s Point at the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park in Arizona.

And oh, this is just me horsing around. 😀

Time stands still at Monument Valley.

Time stands still at Monument Valley. / Photo credit: J.R.

The Elephant Butte (left) and the Camel Butte (right). Can you figure them out? I think, I’m standing in the wrong angle. 😀

Elephant Butte at the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park in Arizona.

The Elephant Butte at the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park in Arizona.

The Totem Pole. Clint Eastwood once climbed this at the opening scene of his movie The Eiger Sanction. Nowadays, no one is allowed to climb it.   

The Totem Pole at the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park in Arizona.

The Totem Pole at the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park in Arizona.

The Window to the East.

The window to the East at the Monument Valley in Arizona.

The window to the East at the Monument Valley in Arizona.

The Thumb. Does it look like one?

The Thumb at the Monument Valley.

The Thumb at the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park.

The Cly Butte.

Cly Butte at the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park in Arizona.

Cly Butte at the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park in Arizona.

The Artist’s Point is a place where artists gather to create a landscape and bring them to life through their canvass or art.

The Artist's Point at the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park in Arizona.

The Artist’s Point at the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park in Arizona.

The Merrick Butte. 

Merick Butte at the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park in Arizona.

Merick Butte at the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park in Arizona.

We went inside the mud house at Hogan Village, too.

Hogan Village Mud House at Monument valley in Arizona.

Hogan Village Mud House at Monument valley in Arizona.

Now, that you have seen Monument Valley in pictures, you need to go and experience it! I guarantee that you’ll have your own awe moments and goosebumps you can’t explain. A visit to these monuments is worth more than what you learned in your geology class.

You can book your tours in Arizona via the following tour agents: Angel’s Gate Tours, Redstone Tours, Great Venture and Blue Feather.

Angel's Gate Tour van large windows and captain-styled chairs. There's enough room for everybody.

Angel’s Gate Tour van has large windows and captain-styled chairs. There’s enough room for everybody.


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