Published: April 12th 2010April 11th 2010
Sunday 11th April Capitol Reef National Park to Monument Valley
Yeeeeehaaaaaa, wild west country here we come! Monument Valley has been the backdrop for Hollywood movies since 1924. The film buffs among you may recognise the scenery in the photo's from such classics as The Searchers, Fort Apache (John Wayne), My Darling Clementine (Henry Fonda), Easy Rider (Peter Fonda), Back To The Future III (Michael J Fox) and Forest Gump (Tom Hanks).
It was a long journey getting here. We set off early after stocking up on pie, scones and coffee from the Gifford Farmhouse (see yesterday's entry) in Capitol Reef and headed out along our planned route. However, the Moki Dugway and a conversation with a Park Ranger made us reconsider. Imagine the scene, you're driving along a regular Highway, 261 in particular, and you come across a sign saying narrow gravel road ahead not suitable for heavy or oversized vehicles. You continue driving but thoughts are running through your head, 'are we heavy, do we count as oversized, will we make it through'? Thank goodness for the friendly rangers at Kane Gulch Ranger Station - whose exact words were "I wouldn't if I were you!" I'm sure
a google images search of Moki Dugway will explain better than I can here!
So followed a detour to the town of Blanding for lunch and then onward to Gouldings campground in Monument Valley. The Gouldings here seem to be like the local mafia, they have everything sewn up. Not only do they own and run the local campground, there's the supermarket, the lodge, the laundromat, the car wash, the gas station, the church, the other supermarket, the museum and the theatre (showing nightly John Wayne films). There's also an airport here but I'm not yet sure whether that comes under the Gouldings dynasty!
We did have a minor panic when we arrived, Jonathan went to get a beer from the fridge and discovered there was only one Miller Light left - being on an indian reservation, no alchohol is served. Thank goodness for the emergency stash of Bud Light with Lime in one of the lockers below!
Well, that's all for tonight. We're heading to the Grand Canyon tomorrow, apparently it's a mile deep. I'm quite pleased we've been doing some hill work over the past couple of days!
There are more photos below