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The Madera Tribune

Monument Valley -- Where the old west was made-up

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webmaster | 05/25/13

My own desert hideaways in the Northern Mojave were becoming a little hot, and I had given the last of my desert tours for the spring season. It was time to head to slightly cooler temperatures and the magical monoliths of Monument Valley, where the old west (mostly fictional) was filmed.

Before heading into southern Utah to see where they filmed some of the best of the western movies and more we stayed at a Best Western (there’s a pun!) in Kayenta, Ariz. In the lobby the motel had three clocks showing standard time, daylight-saving time and reservation time. We here in California “sprung forward” in March, but Arizona does not -- except for the Navajo Reservation which does.

Confused, I just looked at the beautiful sunset after dinner and decided it was time to get some shut-eye before tomorrow’s journey into history.

The next morning my gal (yawning) and me (driving) were on the road at sunrise. It was not very far before we crossed the state line into Utah and immediately entered into Monument Valley. We’ve all heard of places being called “a wide spot in the road,” and as it turns out Monument Valley is not really a valley, but a really wide, flat landscape. And it is more than a spot, with towering, colorful red spires and buttes of sandstone entirely inside the Navajo Reservation. The elevation is 5,500 feet and receives an average rainfall of a little over 8 inches...


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