Friday, April 9, 2010

Monumental Ride ... Monument Valley UT that is!

Yá’át’ééh (Navajo Greeting)

Merrick Butte-Monument Valley UT ... photo: myshilohranch

After our delicious brunch of a fresh Navajo taco (yu-um!) and hamburgers at the Stagecoach Dining Room; we checked out of Goulding's Lodge, and mosied across the highway. Can one actually "mosey" in a car???

We leisurely drove out to the Monument Valley NavajoTribal Park; which is part of the Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation. Note: See the website for hours, entry fees and details.

First we checked out the beautiful, recently opened hotel, The View at Monument Valley. These are the only accommodations on the edge of the Valley itself. The View is a peaceful, fully appointed 5 Star hotel with unsurpassed views from every room. It is very popular, book reservations well ahead of your travels! The View experience would definitely be worth the splurge! Next visit, for us ... Lord willing.

Btw: this area is a paradise for photographers, painters, artists and stargazers from all over the world. World class pros to amateur beginners and hobbyists.

Then we browsed the small Museum/Visitor Center and the huge Trading Post adjoining the hotel. Both were wonderful. The Trading Post has the most beautiful collection of authentic Navajo handmade jewelry I have ever seen! WHOA! Much better than Disneyland for me! Bring your AmEx and your bib (for the drooling)! Speaking of drooling ... The View Restaurant boasts a 5 Star Chef.!

Outside there are many different outfits offering guided tours of the Valley - jeep, horseback, walking, hiking, bed and breakfast in a Hogan, or custom arrangements.

We signed up with "Black's Tours" for a 2 hour ride into cowboy/girl heaven.

Let's see, this is KJ's mount, looking at the camera.

The guy in the white hat is "calming down" my horse,Sam, on the far left. Click on pictures: they're all falling asleep! *snicker* Above: CJ is up and getting her stirrups adjusted: she is lovin' it already.

The Navajo guides hooked us up with Charley, Shadow, and ... Sam.

Sam was the slowest old thing on four legs ... my horse, of course! Somehow fitting ....
Or, as my dear daughter remarked, "they gave the old horse to the old lady." ... hrmph ...

Actually, Sam was a great mount for the "photographer." Slow, steady, consistent ... I could drop the reins and shoot, at will. He wasn't goin' anywhere in any hurry.

Praising GOD for His AWESOME creations!! This valley, the colors, textures, plants, rock formations, history ... everything is absolutely wonder-full!
Here we are: The Three Amigas!
We are some HAPPY chicas!!! Will Rogers once said, "The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man." This applies to women too; we can vouch for that!

CJ says she will have her own horse one day .... sounds familiar ...
This is the very same ground that John Wayne and many other stars rode on, in multitudes of movies! Many of my Western Cowboy heroes shot films out here.

Riding a horse on this land was one of my dreams come true! Red dirt is definitely what my dreams are made of! I will scratch this off of my "bucket" list ... but,
I would love one more ride ...

Next time, however, we may use a different outfit.
These horses were very well broke, but in very shaggy and some in shabby condition. The poor cayuse I was riding, wheezed with any extra exertion; poor guy. I was still wheezy from Cali, so we were a great pair! hahaha
My mare Julie sure would have loved this country ... she was the same color as this dirt! She loved the wide open spaces as much as I do! Ahh ... Miss Julie, I miss you my friend.

Some areas were a little steep for our taste ...

We know ... we are sissy girls ... but we are getting braver! Hey, some of those trails up there are narrow!
I can almost hear cowboys begin to sing and strum their guitars ...
So peaceful and relaxed ... I SO needed this!
As we ride off into the sunset ... the credits begin to roll ...
... and the old Republic film flickers to a stop!

Happy Trails, Saddle Pals!

Until we meet again!


Stark Raving Zen said...

WOW. This is beautiful. Thank you for commenting on my blog because I know I'm going to thoroughly enjoy yours from here on out... :) Have a wonderful day.



WOW I am so jealous! That is one place I have always wanted to ride/camp. On my own horse of course. Do let you do that? Love how your blog is coming along. Enjoyed the read immensely.

;) Susan