Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park is known for its cluster of red sandstone buttes and mesas jutting up from the valley floor. You will also recognize it as the place Forrest Gump stopped running. I had reserved a cabin on the tribal park lands for one night, followed by a jeep tour the next morning to view the iconic formations.
We made a few stops on the way to Monument Valley, including one quick but amazing stop at Goosenecks State Park in Utah. Not much to do but what a view it was. Nature is amazing.
We had booked a cabin with a view of some of the Monuments, and wow, was it spectacular! The cabins were small, but very nice and new. They had huge picture windows – who needs a tv when this is the view out your window?
When I booked the cabin, I made a little fib, and booked one for four people with and unobstructed view, instead of a cabin for 5 people with an obstructed view. I’m not sorry I did that (and it wasn’t me who had to sleep on the floor 😉 )
It was very hot when we arrived late afternoon, but by the time the boys went to bed and the sun started setting, the weather was fantastic for sitting on the porch.
A insisted that he couldn’t sleep because…hmm, can’t really remember that night’s excuse, but basically we let him fall asleep in the big bed so he would leave us in peace to enjoy the views. So, C jammed into one of the bunk beds, and N slept on the floor. I was reading my Kindle before going to bed when I heard this noise that sounded like it was coming from a connected room. But there was no connected room….?? Then suddenly, a huge cockroach dropped from the wall onto my shoulder!! I managed not to scream but flicked it on the floor. A few minutes later, I felt a bug on my Kindle-holding finger and threw it. I recovered the Kindle but didn’t see the bug. Then, a few minutes after that I saw a spider walking across the sheets. I also flicked it onto the floor. Now I was starting to get paranoid that the place was just CRAWLING with bugs and those 2 or 3 I saw were just the tip of the iceberg. Then, I realized I flicked all of those bugs onto the floor where my 4 year old was sleeping. So I went and got a sleeping N off the floor and jammed him into the bed with A and me, and managed to eventually fall asleep despite obsessing about the number of bugs that may be crawling around the cabin. Ugh. Still – totally worth staying there! Here is the view I woke up to:
We had scheduled an 8am jeep tour of Monument Valley, given by a Navajo-owned company, which meant we would get to see areas that were not open to non-tour taking visitors. We turned out to have the tour to ourselves, and though the “jeep” was more like a truck with some seats bolted on the back, it was a fun trip!
The views as we drove around were fantastic, and even kept the boys attention – which is hard to do on a 2.5 hour tour.
Our tour guide was less than enthusiastic, but a nice enough guy. His best performance of the day was when he took us to cave which had hole in the ceiling, and had us lay against the sandstone and relax while he played music on a recorder that echoed through the cave. Awesome moment.
We also got to climb up and run down a huge sand dune to look at another arch.
It was an amazing place, and we are really glad we took the trip down to see it – despite the cockroach, it was one of the highlights of our trip so far!