TRAVEL: Monument Valley

 Monument Valley 2012

What does 2001: A Space Odyssey, Easy Rider, Mission Impossible II and John Wayne have in common? All had scenes shot John Waynein Monument Valley (The footage for 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) is used as the surface of an alien planet to which protagonist Dave Bowman travels through a stargate; 1969’s counter-culture classic Easy Rider includes some footage of Monument Valley towards its beginning; opening shots of Mission: Impossible II (2000) feature Tom Cruise climbing in Monument Valley and many John Wayne westerns were filmed there).  In 2012, Jeff and I decided to take two weeks and visit the beautiful areas in Arizona, which lead us to Monument Valley. This was sort of an “add-on” to the trip but WOW, it was absolutely one of the top joys. It is located on the Arizona-Utah state line near the Four Corners area. The valley lies within the range of the Navajo Nation Reservation and is accessible from U.S. Highway 163. I recommend staying at Gouldings (http://www.gouldings.com/campground/). The RV sites are nestled between red rocks and is gorgeous. There is an indoor pool, grocery store, museum, and John Wayne movie every night. So charming.

Mittens

The Mittens at Dusk

 

Mud Huts

 Mexican Hat

Mexican Hat