It was 9 AM when we left for Monument Valley. We have 135 miles to go today, so it will be a fairly easy drive. Since leaving the campground, we were on a continual climb through mostly sagebrush lands and uninhabited hillsides.
We climbed to 6000 ft. and more. The topography changed quickly to rocky hillsides lined by buttes and mesas.
We pulled off at a scenic overlook to take a bathroom break in the trailer. Stationed at the overlook were 6 tables of Navajo ladies selling their wares. While I was in the trailer, Bob went to look at what they were selling. He came back with something, but wouldn’t show me what it was.
We could see wild horses wandering around on the prairie.
There were also quite a few herds of sheep being supervised by a sheep dog with no man in sight.
We reached the summit at 6680 ft. and the land changed to mountains and rock formations. Here are some of the cooler ones!
We came out into a valley where we could see for miles.
Yesterday, our guide, Armondo, told us to look for the coal train that travels near Monument Valley. We first saw the track and after awhile we saw the electric train. It wasn’t moving, but waiting to be loaded with coal.
This coal conveyor system passed over the road coming from the mine to the valley floor and the train depot.
The road paralleled this huge mesa for many miles.
We passed through two small towns on Highway 98 and 160 that were barely there. There was hardly any traffic on 98, but 160 was quite busy. From there, we stopped to get gas in the bigger town of Kayenta and took Highway 163 to Monument Valley.
I could see those famous monoliths from all those Western movies in the distance. I was getting excited now.
We crossed over into Utah. Our campground was right over the border.
This was a B & B we passed that had teepees as part of their lodging.
We were staying at Gouldings Campground for 2 nights. The road to the campground took us way back into the canyon and the campground was tucked in between the rocks.
Gouldings has an indoor pool and some hiking trails from the campground into the rocks. We’ll try and check out the hike to the arch tomorrow.
We arrived at 1:00, so after we set up, we had time to walk around the campground to see who was here. The place was pretty full. Later, I did a major cleaning of the camper. After all the sand and dust we’ve accumulated the last two weeks, it was pretty dirty. We had dinner and took Auggie for his nightly walk. The sun was setting, casting shadows on the rocks and the wind was whipping around in the canyon.
It was quite chilly. When the sun finally set behind the rocks, it was quite dark. We relaxed with some TV and look forward to exploring more of Monument Valley tomorrow.