Sunday, May 04, 2014

Monument Valley

We drove from Flagstaff towards Mesa Verde National Park via the scenic route: Monument Valley, partly in Utah, partly in Arizona. This is some of the most spectacular scenery in the world, comparable to the other national parks in Utah & Arizona that we've seen -- Bryce, Zion, Arches, Grand Canyon, Canyonlands. It's very dry and the atmosphere is quite dusty, but nevertheless magnificent.

Thinking of Tony Hillerman's wonderful detective stories all the way across the Navaho Nation's lands, when we got to the visitor center I couldn't resist saying I was looking for Jim Chee (meaning Hillerman's policeman, only symbolically). The information desk staff woman said with a puzzled look, "He's in a meeting." My mistake -- that's a normal Navaho name, and Hillerman's work is NOT the first thing on anyone else's mind. She had vaguely heard of Hillerman, actually.

Viewpoint on the way to Far View Lodge, Mesa Verde
The lodge in Mesa Verde is a vast improvement over last night's tacky motel -- instead of freight trains we have a stunning view across the valley, with lots of birds in the trees and low bushes outside.

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