Thursday, 24th July 2014
Thompson, UT – Monument Valley, UT
approx. 300 kilometers
Fun night. Lorries kept on coming and leaving and pointed their lights straight in my face. However, after this short night and a good and loyal Red Bull for breakfast, I was ready to smash the day. I knew there would be so much to see. In fact … wow, what a trip!
It took us about five hours to drive 300 kilometers and get from Thompson (UT) to Monument Valley (UT). It was definitely worth it. We stopped quite often to admire the stunning countryside. There are really no words to describe how lovely the scenery is. Every 100 kilometers we drove, it changed completely. We started off with sandy/rocky beach colored hills with a lot of vegetation, which then turned into red rock mountains with no green at all, and then finally, after passing over a mountain, we had the most breathtaking view in front of us. There was nothing around, except for red landscape, where at the very far end, tall and mountainous pointy red rocks were spiking out: the Monument Valley.
We parked our camper at the Goulding’s, and were given a ride to the museum area, where they showed us a 20 minute documentary.
About 2000 indigenous people, the Navajo, still live in the area. They are scattered around the place so that their livestock have enough land to graze. It can get up to 45° degrees Celsius and they all wear long sleeves to protect themselves from the scorching sun. People here, who are originally Indian, reminded me of South Americans who are very dark skinned and wear ponchos. In fact, before getting on the shuttle to go to to the movie, I asked the driver whether he was Mexican, he literally scrutinized me and replied with a dry: “No. I live 20 miles south from here.” Ok, after the documentary I understood why he didn’t like my question. I basically insulted his culture … because of my ignorance.
What was interesting to learn is that John Wayne and many other famous actors such as John Ford shot films here. Monument Valley is the typical scenery of the cowboy movies.
In the evening, after a two-hour picture session in the Valley, and dark skies accompanying us, with a touch of sunlight that reflected on the Mountains, we headed back off to Goulding’s, ready for the next day.