This trip has had several dimensions so far. The amazing beauty of Zion we found to be very spiritual. The unique rock formations, lights, and shadows of Antelope Canyon seemed mystical. Traveling through Monument Valley and environs with its huge iconic landscapes of the Old West could best be described as majestic.
We left Page, Arizona heading east. Driving through the vast ranges here (no gas station - or much of anything else - for over 100 miles!) truly makes one aware of the vastness of this country. It’s probably fitting to say that we easterners feel like we are in a different world. The dramatically different landscape, the wide open spaces, and the sparseness of population can be a bit unsettling.
We planned these days as a series of photo stops, as beyond the scenery, we did not find a lot of other areas of interest.
Monument Valley, Utah has been the location of many western movies - a number of John Wayne flicks and others were filmed in these environs. The rock formations that seemingly erupt out of nowhere - not just in Monument Valley, but throughout the region - make you want to reach for a camera constantly. Unfortunately a camera can never do them justice.
One photo stop that we made was at a site unofficially known as Forrest Gump Point. Just east of Monument Valley, it was a shot used in the movie and represents probably the most majestic view of the rock formations at Monument Valley.
It is located just outside the town of Mexican Hat, Utah. Why would anyone name their town that? This rock formation provides the answer:
Four Corners is, of course, the famous tourist stop on US Route 160 at the junction of Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado. Since we were going right by it on our way to Mesa Verde in Colorado, we had to make a stop. The monument is on Navajo land and there is a small admission charged. Various vendors have tables offering native jewelry, artwork, trinkets, and souvenirs as tourists wait for their chance to stand in four states simultaneously and take selfies or have their pictures taken by others in line. So here is ours:
Crossing into Colorado, we can already see the landscape changing. Onward to Mesa Verde.
Link to itinerary: