Tour of Monument Valley

Well, it's been almost two weeks since we were in Monument Valley.  How quickly time goes by!  As expected, I fell behind in posting about our trip to the desert southwest.  With being so busy every day out shooting and with limited internet access where we were staying, there was just no way to keep up.  Now that I'm back home, my plan is to slowly make my way through all the images, selecting my favorites to process and share with you here.  Post-processing is part of the fun of photography, and gives you an opportunity to express yourself artistically.  

For our second day in Monument Valley, we had booked a guide to drive us to some of the more remote areas of the park.  Since the park is located on Navajo reservation land, most of it is inaccessible to the public without a guide.  So Wednesday morning, we met Harry of Navajo Spirit Tours in the hotel lobby, piled our gear into his Suburban, and began our journey into the backcountry.  There is so much to see here that there is no way to do it all in one day, but we would do our best to take in as much as possible.  The image below was taken from my hotel room balcony just before sunrise.  With views like this, it's pretty easy to get inspired.  

Monument Valley Sunrise

There is a 17 mile dirt road through the park that visitors can travel on their own.  We started our tour on this road, stopping along the way for some iconic views and to make some images.  Even if you've never been to Monument Valley, it may still look like a familiar place.  That's because of the large number of movies that have been filmed here.  These sandstone rock formations may be some of the most recognizable in the world, made famous by so many movie sets that have used them as a backdrop.  The opening scene of Mission Impossible II, with Tom Cruise scaling a sandstone wall, was filmed here.  Indians on horseback chased Marty McFly in Doc's souped up DeLorean time machine in Back to the Future III here.  And who can forget Clark Griswold wandering through the desert after his unfortunate accident in National Lampoon's Vacation.  That was here too.  We set off in our own version of a 'family truckster' to see the sights.   

Monument Valley Tour

The Mittens and Merrick Butte

Mitchell Mesa and Sand Ripples

The weather was perfect for the day.  A few high clouds, lots of sunshine, and lots of photos captured of this amazing place.

It turned out to be a long day, with the tour starting at about 9 AM and staying out until well after sunset.  But what an awesome experience it was.  There are so many more images of the wonderful places we visited, and I will be posting them here as I get to them.  Check back for more...