April 25th --The Monument Valley--

Although the Monument Valley is not so far from Flagstaff, I was in a hurry. That may be because I was so tired that I wanted to get to today's destination as soon as possible. I finished my report in the morning and left the motel at 11:00. I took the State-89 to north. On the way, there is Sunset Crater and Wupatki Ruin. I took a loop way to Sunset Crater. I was ignorant enough to expect a great crater below the overlook point. Of course, the crater is made by volcano, so the crater must be at high above the mountain. I gave up to see the hole and headed to the ruin. The rocks are all in red, so the ruins are also red. This seems to me the only different point from the Tudigoot. I returned to the State-89 and hurried my way. On the way, I got a jam. I could see a several cars parking on the road. There must be an accident just a several cars ahead. The road was closed. I expected a long delay, but I didn't want to stop. Then, I found a sports utility came out of the shoulder and went into a desert. I decided to follow him. I didn't want to see it but I saw a woman lying on the road and a truck heavily damaged. I got to a byway and the way soon returned to the highway.

After two or three hours, I got to Kayenta. The Monument Valley was just ahead of me. On the way, I saw many towers in red. I supposed to drop by the visitor center, but I missed it. I passed all the monuments and drove until Mexican Hat. As I didn't get any information on Mexican Hat, I didn't know what this name of place means. I got to a small town, crossed the San Juan river, and drove for a while expecting something interesting. Oh, that should be! I found an interesting rock far on the mountain. I took an unpaved road and went closer to the rock. This must be the Mexican Hat. Yes, it is.

I returned the way, got to the visitor center of the Monument Valley. I took some pictures of red towers in the evening sun. I went into the building to get a brochure. At the counter, some Germans were making a registration for camping. Oh, camping, what a good idea! I also got registered. The monument valley was all in red in the evening. And the color turned into blue gray to invite stars. This is the first time to see beautiful stars in this journey.

Evening in the Monument Valley

Sunset Crater is on the top

Wupatki Ruin

Towers in the Monument Valley

Cherokee with the Mexican Hat on top

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Copyright (C) Tadao Hashimoto