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Monument Valley

Lotsa Slots

              and a

                     Messa Mesas 

Mid March 2019 Debra and I traveled to the southwestern United States.  We flew to Alburqueque, rented a car and drove to Santa Fe, NM. There we reunited with our old friends John and Kathleen.  We spent several days visiting. A detailed photo book for that visit can be viewed 
From Santa Fe we drove westward, stopping at several very interesting sites including:  Ship Rock, Goosenecks State Park and Horseshoe Bend. 
Our next major stop was at Monument Valley which strattles the Utah / Arizona state line. From Monument Valley we ventured further west to explore the numerous slot canyons of Page AZ.  Both sites are found within Navajo Reservation lands.
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Monument Valley

First Stop : Forrest Gump Point

     To paraphrase the Eagles song: "On a dark desert highway, with a cold wind in the air." Debra and I arrived at this site at 4:30 am, an hour before sunrise.  We were not the first to arrive!  Each year 1000's of people make the pilgrimage to this spot where, in the movie, Forrest Gump ended his 3 years of running "against the wind".  Many come to collect a selfie, do professional fashion shots, pay homage to Forrest, even propose marriage.  Deb and I chose to attempt re-enactments of the scene filmed here.
     The reviews of my performance have been somewhat forgiving, with praise for the earnest effort.  Critics have, however, harshly panned Debra's performance as lacking effort, dreadfully understated and completely lacking commitment.  Speaking for myself,  I think she's cute!  View the videos and decide for yourself.
     Also take time to click on the photos.  You will clearly see the role lighting plays in landscape photography.
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Forrest Gump Point
The view from Forrest Gump Point just after sunrise. Mile marker 13 just north of Monument Valley in Utah.
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Forrest Gump Point
Forrest Gump Point
A rustic sign marks the location
The view from Forrest Gump Point as the sun was setting. Mile marker13 just north of Monument Valley in Utah.
Some classic Monument Valley scenes
Three Sisters
The Three Sisters
The Totem Pole
The Totem Pole
Pre - Dawn
John Ford Point
John Ford's Point
The Navajo cowboy collects $5 donations to pose for photos.
Ear of the Wind Arch
Ear of the Wind Arch
The Totem Pole
The Totem Pole
The Totem Pole
The Totem Pole
Mid- Day
(Different perspective)
North Window LR.jpgThe North Window Monument Valley
The North Window
Artist Point Monument Valley
The Pancakes Monument Valley
The View From Artist's Point
Deb at The Pancakes
The Jeep trial in here
was the sketchiest
I have ever been on!
Tear Drop Arch
Tear Drop Arch
Tear Drop Arch
Deb at Tear Drop Arch
Deb at Tear Drop
The Mittens - (with Remmick Butte on the right)
The Mittens
The Mittens at sunrise
from our hotel balcony
THe MIttens
The Mittens at mid-day
The Mittens
The Mittens at sunset
Hunt's Mesa
We planned to tent camp overnight on Hunts Mesa, however, on our reserved date, a harsh polar vortex swept the U. S. southwest with strong winds, temps in the teens, and snow. Fortunately we were able to reschedule for the following week.
Our excursion involved a two hour 4-wheel ride over some very rough trails.  While Deb and I ventured out to a rocky point to photograph the sunset landscape, our Navajo guide, set up our tent, started a fire and prepared hamburgers for dinner. As the warm sunshine faded toward dark the temps dropped!  We were well supplied with a comfortable tent but by morning it was 23 F degrees!  Hard to crawl out of a warm bag and dress in the pre-dawn darkness, but we wanted to be ready to photo shoot the sunrise. This was a rugged camp but worth the effort. Click on the photos below for an enlarged view.
Hunt's Mesa Sunrise
The view from Hunts Mesa at sunrise
Hunts Mesa
The view from Hunts Mesa at sunset
I really enjoyed photographing these remarkable landscape features!
Thanks for viewing.
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