Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Heading Off Into The Sunset From Monument Valley

Monument Valley is perhaps the most iconic natural formation that defined the world's image of the American West. And after years of seeing western classics on film and TV, I had to see the real thing. A six hour drive, one way, was no big deal. But Monument Valley was the real deal. 

With the GPS punched in and set, I start early for the six-hour drive (see more on Monument Valley on my other blog here at

The long drive presented contrasting terrain, from the mountains of Aspen to the flatlands of Utah. One final drive up the mountain road, and finally, I arrive at the Visitor Center. A cup of coffee comes in handy as I scan the map for some vantage points. From the Visitors Center, I head on one of the spots for a view of Monument Valley, and just sat there. It's easy to lose track of time with a view like this. Amazing how the afternoon light transforms the colors of the valley, transforming to a deeper shade of red late in the afternoon.

From the peak, you can see the winding mountain road leading to the plateau, and the long desert roads beyond. As the afternoon light started to fade, it was tome to head back and hit the road for the six hour drive back to Aspen. Seeing Monument Valley made me feel like a child again, as images of countless westerns flash back. This was the real deal. And just like so many western classics, I head off into the sunset, back on the road. 

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