Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Early Morning, Monument Valley

After our 2 days camping at the Mather Campgrounds in the Grand Canyon, we headed up to Utah to stay at the Gouldings campground at Monument Valley, (a trading post dating back to the 1920's) . I loved the Grand Canyon, with its vast vistas and incredible sense of flying above those impossible depths, but I never really lost the sense that I was still surrounded, (if only at my back), by all the trappings of civilization...cars, busses, crowds, noise, restaurants, all of it.

Driving into the Navajo Monument Valley though, you can sense, often if you go really early or stay until the last minute, (which is tricky...in theory you can get locked in, tho there is a lesser known exit), that you are in an untouched place. The silence is so profound, and there are other vast vistas, but they are almost entirely 360 degree vistas. Of course as the day wears on, more and more vehicles come bumping along the really terrible roads. My little KIA could barely make 10 mph,  because of the huge potholes or boulders or giant ruts in the dirt roads that circle the valley. But even that was a little refreshing, after the programmed touring at the Grand Canyon.

One highlight of our stay there, was the tradition at Gouldings to screen the movie, "Stagecoach", with John Wayne, Claire Trevor, and many more wonderful actors. The still-to-this day unbelievably exciting race across the plains, was filmed there with no special effects. Incredible, incredible riding and filming! If you've never seen it, it's worth it just for that segment alone.

Anyway, our first morning there we managed to enter the scenic loop right at 8 am, and I was able to do two little paintings before we left around noon when the heat and the haze made it less wonderful to be there.

So, here is the first one. If you would like to bid on this painting, please click here.

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