Wednesday, 14 August 2013

212 Monumment Valley

Tuesday 13th August Miles Today 237  Total 17,216

Today  we set off for Monument Valley. It is the place where many cowboy films are made. The whole area is on an Navajo Indian reservation. We could not help thinking that the Indians got as seriously raw deal when the land was divided up. No fertile land, just desert and scrub.
The first half of the journey there was scenic but it was nothing compared to what was to come. 

Whilst we were taking the photo above, we were overtaken by a house being moved by road and as we set off we met a similar thing coming the other way. There were in the middle of the desert and stuck in a traffic jam. You couldn't make it up.

Then we came across a smoke plume in the distance. Karen said "I wonder what that is". I replied, "I thought phones had taken over". It took about 10 seconds but she got it in the end. I then got a slap on the back of my helmet. I know she loves me when she does that.

Send more beer........the Brits are invading........Over.
This is a typical Indian Village. They all have big 4x4s and most are single story houses. One sad feature of the reservations, that we have seen, is that the roadsides are littered with beer bottles and rubbish. It is such a shame as it spoils an otherwise beautiful area.

We took this picture of a church in one of their villages. We thought this a bit odd but later research shows that in the early 1900s many of their children were taken away by government officials and placed in boarding schools and taught Christianity with their own language and religion being banned.
A surprising (to us) christian church.

The traditional spiritual house is called a Hogan. This not our photo but we did see them without realising what they were. The door always faces East to welcome the sun at the start of a new day.

A Hogun spiritual house made of sticks and mud.

 We were then confronted with this beast accompanied by a small police force who decided we would look better in the ditch.

 The rest of the journey arounf the South of Monument Valley was like this:

 We arrived at a small town called Kayenta and decided to pull in for fuel. We spotted a bike at the pumps with British number plates so I pulled alongside and it turns out to be a guy we knew called Nick Sanders. He did not know us despite the fact that we have spoken several times over the years. He is a crazy biker who earns his living by getting sponsorship to ride around the world as fast as possible and is currently the world record holder (unless it has been broken recently). We had met him several times at bike shows in the UK. 
Nick, who was with his Doctor girlfriend, Caroline, was on another Super Tenere, just like Wallace. He was currently escorting a group of Europeans on a whistlestop tour of the good bits of the USA.
In 2011 he was given the bike by Yamaha to ride from Ushuaia, the bottom  at  of South America, to Prudhoe Bay, at the top of North America, then back down to Ushuaia and then back up to Prudhoe. A journey of 51 thousand miles in 4 months. He liked the bike so much he kept it !

Nick Sanders and Caroline.
We set off a short while later and were immediately immersed in some amasing scenery. Pure cowboy country.

This video is a bit shaky but you will get the idea.

Mexican Hat Rock at er......Mexican Hat.

After leaving the Valley, we headed North and straight into a near vertical wall of rock. Fortunately there was a dirt road that snaked up the side of it.

The dirt road up the side of the wall.

The view from the top of the wall was breathtaking.

The view over the edge of the wall

With the interesting (relatively) bits over with we set off at a hot pace to a small town called Blanding. There are several places to stay and we selected one on the edge of town beside a restaurant. After settling in we went for some grub and once sat down, asked for a beer to go with it. Sorry sir, this is a dry town. We forgot, we were back in Utah. This whole town has no alcohol whatsoever. Oh my God what are we going to do. Oh well, I suppose we will have to drink our own supplies. He he....

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