Red. Under my feet red, fine sand. That’s how I imagine Mars. It feels like red powder under my hands. A little bit remains on my hands, if I let it slowly trickle to the ground. In front of me is one of them. He rises 261 meters ahead of me. As tall as the Eiffel Tower or twice as big as St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna. Of course, in red. In the evening sun, this rock seems to claim all the reds for itself. From Vermilion to purple to merlot to ruby and a little currant. A spectacle of nature. This and his two brothers make up “The Mitten Butte” of Monument Valley. Butte comes from the French and means something like “little hill”. Austrians would say mesa. It is a commonly used word for such sandstone rock, in the western United States.
I stand between these two natural wonders and marvel at the age and beauty of these impressive sandstone mountains in the middle of the Navajo Nation Reserve – on the only trail to which one can get closer to the sanctuaries of Navajo without a guide. In just 2 hours you can circle one of the “butts” from the campsite.
So we are in Monument Valley. The post about Oregon, the second part of our trip on the West Coast follows – I promised ?
Monument Valley, the Navajo call it “Valley of the Rocks”, is a region of the Colorado Plateau known for its characteristic sandstone buttes. It is located on the Arizona / Utah border near the Four Corner region. In about 7 hours by car from Las Vegas or 10 hours from Los Angeles, you can reach this remote area. We stay overnight at the “The View” campground next to the hotel of the same name. From all rooms, as well as from our motorhome, we see directly on the “Mitten Buttes”. Experience sunsets and sunrise from our living room.
Monument Valley’s isolated rock formations are eroded remains of their Rocky Mountain ancestors, formed by sandstone deposits and geologic uplift and then shaped by wind and water. So they are old – Really old ;-). The scenery looks like “photoshopped”.
Of course we knew the Monument Valley of pictures and movies. Old Western or 2001 Space Odyssey or, of course, Forrest Gump as he finishes his 2.5 year run. Just being here and experiencing it was so different than expected. Unfortunately, we can not offer you more than our pictures and this post.
It was pleasure meeting you two at the campground in Las Vegas. Can't wait to see you here in Denver visiting us soon. - Olga & Dmitry R.