Day 29: A little off-roading around some buttes...
Trip Start Jun 01, 2010
51Trip End Jul 29, 2010
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Kilometres: 363 Km
Since our yurt had its typical circle opening (of glass) at the very top, needless to say we were up with the sun shining through this morning! We hit the road back to Monument Valley, and the views were still as breathtaking as the day before (and even slightly different with the change in time). We drove into the official Navajo Reservation of Monument Valley, and were happy to pay our $10 entry and be given a map that took us on a dirt road tour of all the different sites (many of them also known as 'buttes') within the valley. After a quick look at the touristy gift shop of all the John Wayne memorabilia (lots of westerns were filmed in this valley, plus it’s on a Led Zeppelin album cover, so you’ve probably seen it before!), we hit the dirt for a little off-roading..
We could go on about all the different formations, and just how cool each of them was, but it’d get a little tedious – it was just one of those drives that exceeded expectations (that were already high) and that every corner you turned was just ‘wow’. We hope that the pictures can do justice to this really fantastic area. Some of the highlights of the drive were getting Cam on a horse for some typical western shots (yes, he got to hold a gun too), and getting to do some good off-roading in the CRV (and getting a good collection of the red dust all over the car). Must admit we had a good chuckle at some people who were also driving this road – like the massive Ford truck who was barely hitting 5mph, and the Toyota Prius who was seriously fish-tailing it back up to the main road (not that we didn’t gun it past him or anything...). All in all a spectacular drive, and highly recommended.
Just a couple hours later of driving and we were at the doorstep of another National Park – the Grand Canyon! We entered the park from the East side, so we were able to catch the cool viewpoint at Desert View (and the ‘watchtower’, that’s actually a gift shop and doesn’t really serve any other purpose) plus a couple others before checking into our campsite at Mather Campground. Figuring we had all the next day to explore the canyon, we set up camp (including a proper tarp over this time – the 20% chance of thunderstorms weren’t going to get us this time!), had some kai, and called it a night.