Today was a good, but rough day. Due to a huge error on my part, we ran out of time and got in to Cortez, Colorado pretty late. I’m fairly unhappy with myself over this. Anyway, at least the day started well enough.
Thinking we had a short day, we wandered around Price, Utah for a bit. There, you’ve got to worry about sharing the road with people in wheel chairs, apparently.
Smartz found a new friend in a stray kitty running around the streets of Price.
Near Ferron, we stumbled upon some UFO-inspired sculptures. The place was pretty wild, with old cars, rusted boilers, a strange rest area and lots of sculptures.
Our biggest problem was getting sidetracked on back roads. We found a dusty, unmarked road towards Lookout Point and took it. It would be hard to say that it wasn’t worth it.
The interstate had to creep into our day for a bit, but only forty or so miles. Still, it passed by Eagle Canyon, home of such peaks and rocks as Joe and His Dog. This is a place we both would love to explore.
Due to visiting Nine Mile Canyon yesterday, we were able to add Goblin Valley today. We’re both really happy that we did.
Goblin Valley is filled with boulders held up by layers of hardened mud and earth that have mostly eroded away.
The results area really surreal.
Especially considering the size.
Here I am standing next to a typically-sized goblin.
Near Goblin Valley is Temple Rock, which looks a lot like the Mormon Temple in SLC.
Today was a Smartz day. It was her good idea to see Goblin Valley. She wanted to make sure we saw Monument Valley. And she also insisted we fill up at Hanksville, home of the Hollow Mountain service station. It’s built right into the side of a mountain and how could you not stop?
After a bit more travel, we crossed the Colorado River. We knew that we’d be hitting some places that we’ve seen before, but this was a surprise return. This is near Hite, which was destroyed when Glen Canyon was flooded to make Powell Lake.
Soon, however, we were on new roads. We saw signs for a steep grade and some tight turns, but had no idea what fun we were getting into. Look at this road!
That twisty bit of awesome delivered us to Valley of the Gods. Due to time, we shouldn’t have done it, but I think we’re both glad we did. It ate up about an hour, but it was a great prelude to Monument Valley.
The road was dirt, but well kept. And the sights were breath taking.
Most folks see Monument Valley from the paved US Route that runs near it. We decided that wasn’t good enough.
The Navaho Tribe runs Monument Valley Park. It’s pretty much like a state park. The roads, however, are probably the worst that we’ve ever been on (and that’s saying a LOT).
The tribe offers guided tours and that’s probably what most folks should do.
But no matter how you do it, you really should make a point to see Monument Valley this way. From the US Route, you don’t see nearly as much as you should.
And when you get to John Ford Point – where a ton of Westerns were filmed, maybe you can see girls jumping for no reason at all. These jumping ladies made me nervous.
Finally, with time running out, we had to say good-bye to Monument Valley and hello to a 120 mile, high-speed run to Cortez, Colorado.
We both really hate arriving at our camp after dark. I feel pretty horrible that I messed up the routing and times. Hopefully the scenery made up for it.