Archive for May, 2008

Camping in Monument Valley, Utah (Part 1)

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

Has been always on my mind to spend at least one night at the campground in Monument Valley experiencing what they call in photography the "Golden Hours"! One in the morning and one in the evening. I actually would not call it a campground as a Motel is being built at its previous location, but just a more or less flat piece of dusty land at the overnight cost of $10 not including the $5 entry fee (per day) and no facilities besides some potty boxes with no toilet paper. I was not looking forward besides "our mission" to camp there amongst the Rv’s and everyone piled up on the one ledge toward the best view, leaving 90% of the "camping space" empty, but you know, it is what you always make of it… we had first row seat arriving early in the day and after all… after meeting many foreigners, listening to their own stories and the usual chat, we end up having a great time!

MV campsite 1 A Gd

Not bad!… A copy of this picture has been my screen saver for so long, way back even before we left, now I have my own to contemplate for years to come. The weather has been perfect, we would probably call Earth "Paradise" if every day was as the day we left early morning, T shirt and riding jacket, my funny helmet and goggles, taking our time to get there. A bit nostalgic, we even stopped at the San Juan Sand Flats campground, our first stomping grounds here, where the ramp is constantly in use by the boaters on their way to Mexican Hat and beyond for durations of up to 10 days.

San Juan 2 A Gd  

San Juan A Gd

It is becoming very harsh trying to take any pictures during the day, accentuated by the haze due to no rain in a while, everything is either too bright or too dark as the contrasts between shades and lighted areas are greater than ever. The river is moving pretty fast, a boater told me up to 10mph, would love to take that ride some day, unfortunately Spirit cannot go, just something on my mind.

road to Mexican Hat 1 A Gd

  road to Mexican Hat 2 A Gd

To tell you the truth, I am noticing the lack of traffic, specially for a Friday and it does not surprise me that the majority of the visitors are foreigners. The Euro hovering at $1.55 (today) makes it a bargain for them to be around, even if the fuel prices for myself are starting to be a real concern even just filling up "Old Faithful"! "White Elephant" has not moved since we have been in Bluff… at $45 every 100 miles… it is not even thinkable! A round trip to Moab?… $100! It is one think for vacationers, Rally goers to add a bit to the cost of the vacation, it is a totally unexpected turn of events for anyone living on the road. We are very fortunate to be for right now in a such central location, in the middle of the "Big Circle", will be helping out for the opening of Leah’s brand new Restaurant soon a couple days a week and that will able us to feed "Old Faithful" to continue our Journey.

Fuel pump A Gd  

Welcome to Shell! Thanks!!! Passed Mexican Hat familiar images started to form, the approach to Monument Valley…

MV approach 1 A Gd

  MV aproach A Gd

It was still early in the day and after these couple shots decided to check out the Oljato Trading Post hoping it would be open for a visit.

  Oljato A Gd

"The Oljato Trading Post was built in 1921 by Navajo leader, Hashkenijni. Today the Trading Post is considered the neighborhood store and hasn’t changed much in the past 77 years. Oljato trading Post is located in the northwestern part of the Navajo Nation, 14 miles west of Monument Valley. The Trading Post contains a museum where you can view vintage photographs, rug weaving supplies, and traditional clothing. Many customers and employees of the trading post still speak in the Navajo language, and still use their bartering skills. When visiting the Oljato Trading Post you will find groceries, Native American arts and crafts, and general merchandise."

Oljato 1 A Gd

Oljato 2 A Gd  

But the Trading Post is closed. As I returned to an Internet connection I have been doing some checking, I am reading an article from the actual owner that is trying to promote it and at the same time their web site says "closed"… I could only take some outside shots as I will continue checking on its status. Nice ride however…

Oljato 3 A Gd

Oljato 4 A Gd Oljato 5 A Gd

It was by then early afternoon, and time to get back to the few miles to Monument Valley and set up camp… an easy task specially when I don’t forget something! Between Mother Nature and the other campers there was not a dull moment… even time to read a bit… More next time. Not without a photo of the sunset… of course!!!

sunset 1 A Gd

Be well, always.

Have you checked the T-shirts? "Throw the Dog a Bone!"… T-shirtsMouse padsPhotography we have been getting great feedbacks.

We are always under deep appreciation toward the readers that have send in a contribution helping this website’s expenditures. For those who have not, continue enjoying the site, pictures, recipes, and if you feel it’s worth $1 a month, the contribution button is above, snail mail is below…

Ara Gureghian   853 Vanderbilt Beach Rd #245   Naples, Fl 34108

Ara & Spirit



Visits To Date