Our next stop on our tour was Monument Valley which is on the border of Arizona and Utah. You probably recognize a lot of the views in the pictures as this area has been used as a backdrop for movies since 1930. A movie critic Keith Phipps said, “its five square miles have defined what decades of moviegoers think of when they imagine the American West.”
To get down amongst the buttes you have to drive on a “road” which is actually soft sand, rocks, holes and wash boards. Most of the time Don was driving about 5 miles an hour and we were bouncing all over. It was totally worth it though. Quick geology lesson – The floor is largely siltstone of the Cutler group, or sand derived from it, deposited by the meandering rivers that carved the valley. The valley’s vivid red color comes from iron oxide exposed in the weathered siltstone. The darker, blue-gray rocks in the valley get their color from manganese oxide.
We found out two things in the last two days. One, this kind of beauty is remote and internet signals are not strong (thus we had to wait to post). Two, the drives between these areas are also beautiful. We have no pictures of it though because there is really not a good place to stop along a two lane highway and take pictures.