Home Button Places Button Theme Park Button Other Stuff Button Video Button Wallpaper Button

2008 West Vacation - Southern Utah and Colorado, Part 7


My 2008 West Vacation. 16 days, 4596.3 miles.
Day 11, Grand Canyon National Park to Monument Valley, UT

Day 11. End of day miles: 2724.5. Hotel: Gouldings Lodge, Monument Valley, Utah.

Grand Canyon National Park, Day 2 - September 22

We check-out of Maswik Lodge at about 7:00am local time, we want to be in Monument Valley for the 1pm 1/2-day Monument Valley tour at Gouldings Lodge. (The tour actually didn't start until 4pm, but we didn't know that. :-))

We stopped at a couple of viewpoints on the way out, and they were all pretty much empty. On the other hand, the sun isn't high enough to really light the canyon yet. About half-way out of the park, the sun starts to illuminated the peaks in the canyon. We actually find a place we had taken pictures in 1997, and took one to see if it looks similar. We then boogied out of the park.

First stop, Cameron, AZ, to get gas at the Shell station. I have enough gas to get to Gouldings Lodge, but gasoline isn't something you take for granted out here. So I fill the tank. Take a walk over to the gift shop, mainly to use the bathroom. They have a HUGE gift shop, we cover maybe 1/3 to 1/2 before we leave. We're in a hurry. And we didn't have to be, but we didn't know that. :-)

Grand Canyon National Park, Day 2
200809SW_21722174P22091 200809SW_21772182P22092 200809SW_21832190P22092 200809SW_2192P22092 200809SW_2193P22092 200809SW_2195P22094 200809SW_21962205P22094 200809SW_22062208P22094 200809SW_2209P22094 200809SW_22152218P22094 200809SW_2220P22094 200809SW_2222P22104 200809SW_2223P22111 200809SW_2224P22111
Back to Top

US-160 / US-163 - September 22

Stop in the Tuba City McDonalds for a bite to eat. We assume they're making breakfast, it's 9:30 am. So I get a #1, a Egg McMuffin, but much to my surprise, they were actually serving lunch, and got a Big Mac.

The Painted Desert moves by quickly, and we're soon at Kayenta. Turn left on US-163 and about a half-hour later, we're at the Utah border, where we suddenly lose an hour as we get back on daylight savings time.

US-160 & US-163
200809SW_2226P22113 200809SW_2227P22113 200809SW_2228P22120 200809SW_2231P22123 200809SW_2232P22123 200809SW_2234P22124 200809SW_2235P22124 200809SW_2236P22124 200809SW_2240P22125 200809SW_2241P22125 200809SW_2242P22125 200809SW_2243P22125 200809SW_2245P22131 200809SW_2246P22131 200809SW_2247P22131
Back to Top

Gouldings Lodge
View of Monument Valley from Gouldings Lodge.

Gouldings Lodge, Monument Valley, Utah - September 22

Get to Gouldings, check in, make reservations for the (now known) 4pm Monument Valley tour, which leaves us plenty of time to explore the Resort. The room is nice, on the 1st floor, where your car trunk is 6 feet from your door.

The views from the front door as you unload the car are cool, but the views from your balcony are amazing, John Fordian views. They stagger the heights of the hotel rooms so each has an unobstructed view of the Valley.

First things first. Check e-mail. Goulding's wireless is very good, at least where I was. (And I was in the middle of nowhere.) We are finally out of the water we brought from home, and they have a grocery store here...

Alton Brown Fans: If you've seen the Bonus disc from Feasting on Asphalt (the original), the place where he's at a grocery store, where he bought the mutton, etc. for the Navajo dinner, that's Gouldings Grocery Store. But I didn't know it at the time. Oh bother.

So we drive down to the store, and are amazed at how well stocked it is. I buy a piece of strawberry whipped cream cake that flies out of the refrigerator case into my arms and tells me that I have to buy it or hundreds will die tonight. Okay, maybe that didn't happen, but I still buy it.

Take a tour of the museum, which was actually the Goulding's residence. It has some very cool Duke/Ford photos, as well as a map of where all the films have been made, from the Ford pictures to Back to the Future III... Got a shot glass at the Trading Post, and then have some lunch at the restaurant, which is right across the street and up some stairs. The way the place is laid out on the side of a hill, it seems there are stairs whenever you cross the street. More Navajo Tacos. Chili instead of beans. Still very good (I really like the fry bread), and the tour trucks are open to the air...

Gouldings Lodge, Monument Valley, Utah - September 22
200809SW_2248P22131 200809SW_2249P22131 200809SW_2250P22132 200809SW_2251P22132 200809SW_22522257P22132 200809SW_2258P22132 200809SW_2259P22135 200809SW_2261P22135 200809SW_2262P22144 200809SW_2263P22145 200809SW_2264P22150 200809SW_2265P22150 200809SW_2266P22150 200809SW_2267P22150 200809SW_2268P22150 200809SW_2269P22150 200809SW_2270P22150 200809SW_2271P22150 200809SW_2272P22150 200809SW_2273P22150 200809SW_2274P22150 200809SW_2275P22150 200809SW_2276P22150 200809SW_2277P22150 200809SW_2278P22154 200809SW_2279P22154 200809SW_2280P22163
Back to Top

Monument Valley Tour, Part 1 - September 22

The tour turns out to be about 3 1/2 hours. It's a very good tour, but the dust is terrible. It's not really dust, but very fine sand, even finer than the stuff we ran into at Coral Pink Sand Dunes. The auto lens cover on my G9 started sticking, maybe it'll fix itself. I'm worried for my equipment.

If you ever take this tour, bring along a paper bag or well worn plastic bag to protect your equipment. (A new plastic bag will generate static electricity and attract the dust.) If you think you're going to take video or pictures from the truck while it's moving, think again. A "road" out here is a relative thing.

If you've got a 4x4, you might be able to do the 14-mile tour, but I wouldn't try it in a car. Not only is the road not really a road, but there are places that would have bottomed out my car. I suspect it's kept that way on purpose, so you'll be inclined to take one of the Navajo tours, using someone else's vehicle.

The iconic red towers of rock made famous by Hollywood are stunning against the blue skies. On the other hand, this place is a desert, and you can see for miles, and the stone monuments are larger than you think (some are over a thousand feet), so your sense of scale is a bit off.

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park Tour - Part 1
200809SW_2283P22173 200809SW_2284P22173 200809SW_2285P22173 200809SW_2286P22173 200809SW_2287P22173 200809SW_2288P22174 200809SW_2289P22174 200809SW_2290P22174 200809SW_2291P22174 200809SW_2292P22174 200809SW_22932304P22174 200809SW_23052312P22174 200809SW_2313P22175 200809SW_2314P22175 200809SW_2315P22175 200809SW_2316P22180 200809SW_2319P22180 200809SW_23202331P22180 200809SW_2332P22181 200809SW_2335P22181 200809SW_2337P22181 200809SW_2339P22182 200809SW_2341P22182 200809SW_2342P22182 200809SW_2343P22183 200809SW_2344P22183 200809SW_2345P22183
Back to Top

Monument Valley Tour, Part 2

Many of the extended/extra-charge tours takes you off the 14-mile main loop, to areas still private on the reservation, such as the arches, pictographs and petroglyphs.

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park Tour - Part 2
200809SW_2346P22183 200809SW_2347P22183 200809SW_2348P22183 200809SW_2349P22183 200809SW_2352P22183 200809SW_2353P22183 200809SW_2355P22184 200809SW_2360P22184 200809SW_2361P22184 200809SW_2363D22184 200809SW_23662368P22184 200809SW_2369P22184 200809SW_2370P22184 200809SW_2371P22184 200809SW_2372P22184 200809SW_2373P22184 200809SW_2374P22185 200809SW_23752378P22185 200809SW_2379P22185 200809SW_2380P22185 200809SW_2381P22185 200809SW_2384P22185 200809SW_2385P22185 200809SW_2386P22185 200809SW_2387P22190 200809SW_2388P22190 200809SW_2390P22190 200809SW_2392P22190 200809SW_2393P22190 200809SW_2394P22190 200809SW_2395P22190 200809SW_2396P22190
Back to Top

Monument Valley Tour, Part 3

We're starting to get that warm afternoon sunlight that lights up the red sandstone. At some point, we rejoin the 14-mile public tour loop.

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park Tour - Part 3
200809SW_2397P22191 200809SW_2398P22191 200809SW_2399P22191 200809SW_2402P22191 200809SW_24032407P22191 200809SW_2408P22191 200809SW_2409P22191 200809SW_2410P22191 200809SW_2411P22191 200809SW_2412P22191 200809SW_2413P22191 200809SW_2414P22191 200809SW_2415P22191 200809SW_2416P22191 200809SW_2417P22192 200809SW_2418P22192 200809SW_2419P22192 200809SW_2420P22192 200809SW_2421P22192 200809SW_2424P22192 200809SW_2426P22193 200809SW_2427P22193 200809SW_24282433P22193
Back to Top

Monument Valley Tour, Part 4

Our tour vehicle gets a flat 3/4 of the way through the tour, and if anything the replacement vehicle has a crappier suspension. If possible.

The tour guide was okay, but talked in this monotone, droning voice, which got more irritating the more PC he got. We couldn't hear him in the second vehicle, and I'm not sure anyone was upset.

We get back to the lodge after dark. I wipe my face, and the washcloth turns orange. Jo asks why my face is so dirty, I tell her to do the same, and her washcloth turns orange. She decides she has to wash her hair that night. Socks (where exposed) are orange, shoe laces (once pink) are orange, even Jo's q-tips after she cleans her ears are orange.

Jo checks her e-mail and I lie down for a couple of minutes. Jo later tells me I zonked out for 20 minutes, but I think she's lying. We split that strawberry whipped cream cake we bought at the grocery store, and call it a night.

Yes, the Monument Valley dust sucks. But I wouldn't let it stop me from taking the tour...

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park Tour - Part 4
200809SW_2435P22193 200809SW_2436P22193 200809SW_2437P22193 200809SW_2438P22193 200809SW_2440P22193 200809SW_2441P22193 200809SW_2443P22194 200809SW_2444P22194 200809SW_2446P22194 200809SW_2447P22194 200809SW_2448P22194 200809SW_2449P22194 200809SW_2451P22194 200809SW_2452P22194 200809SW_24532457P22194 200809SW_24582464P22194 200809SW_2466P22194 200809SW_2467P22194 200809SW_2469P22194 200809SW_2470P22195 200809SW_2471P22195 200809SW_2472P22195 200809SW_2475P22195 200809SW_2478P22200 200809SW_2479P22200 200809SW_2480P22200 200809SW_2481P22200 200809SW_2484P22200 200809SW_2486P22200 200809SW_2487P22200 200809SW_2497P22202
Back to Top

End 2008 Southwest Vacation - Part 7.

Jump to: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9 Part 10

  • 02/25/2009 - Initial Deployment
  • 08/15/2013 - Update to v3.11
  • 08/31/2014 - Update to v3.2