There are times when writing about our travels is so easy. When I recall the experience through Susan’s photography the words just seem to flow. In fact most often I have an idea of how I’ll write about what we’ve seen long before my fingers hit the keys! This is not one of those times.

So why was this place so different? Monument Valley Utah is one of those places that words can’t describe. Yes, it’s beautiful! Yes, it’s Awesome! But those descriptive adjectives don’t do it justice.

You’ve seen pictures of Monument Valley. It’s on calendars, postcards, travel brochures etc. It’s been the setting for several movies. Remember the running scene in “Forest Gump”? Not until you are standing in the valley with these giant monoliths can you appreciate the majesty of this place.

The Valley is technically located on the line between Utah and Arizona. However, it is on the Navaho reservation and they refer to it as the Navaho Nation. Should you ask which state you are in the response will be “Navaho Nation.”

Since it is on the reservation, and a major tourist attraction, the tribe has capitalized on it by offering guided tours, a lodge/hotel and of course, a casino! Entering the valley by car involves a fee and a high clearance four wheel drive vehicle is recommended.

There are a few Navaho families that call the valley home. They live modestly and make their living offering beautiful hand made jewelry and crafts.

A lone rider overlooks the valley

Our guide took us to places off limits to others who choose to just drive the approximate twenty mile loop road. We were treated to a wealth of local history, smells of the vegetation that excited the senses, and geological formations too huge to describe!

Our guide asked us to join him in a tribal dance while he sang a traditional Navaho song. A very spiritual experience!

Apparently this lady can’t dance!

The RV park was only a few miles from Monument Valley and was beautiful in its own right. Hiking here is a bit challenging (5800 ft. in elevation) for those of us who aren’t as young as we think we are!

The view from our coach window

Monument Valley has been on our bucket list since day one. And now we can add this to the many beautiful places we have seen and had the good fortune to have truly experienced.

Thats all for now. Thanks for coming along!

Leave Michigan…Turn Right!

It seems we like turning right and this year is no exception. This is going to be a fast trip with aggressive travel plans. You see, normally we just take our time and spend a week or more wherever we stop. Not this time.

Our plans call for moving to a different location just about every day. Our destination is in the Navaho Nation, Monument Valley, Utah. We were lucky to get a spot in the RV park there considering the park usually fills up a year in advance. Nineteen hundred miles! Ready? Let’s do it!

A quick stop is in order in Nappanee IN to visit with fellow RV friends. We make a quick visit and make our way to Effingham Ill and a delightful over night stay at Tuscan Hills Winery. Peaceful and the wine was fabulous! With the wine cabinet stocked were off!

Next stop is Marshfield , MO. Just a place to spend the night. Certainly nothing special. The next morning we’re moving on!

Since our route somewhat parallels our trip last year we were able to revisit some of our past nightly stays. One such stop was in Oklahoma which you might recall from a post last year was the scene of our mighty Dutch Star getting stuck while visiting an alpaca farm. We passed on the farm this time and chose instead to stay in the small town of Grove. Two nights here and we’re gone!

Sunset on Grand Lake, Grove OK.

Keeping up the pace, we make our way to Oklahoma City for an overnight. Blueberry muffins for breakfast, compliments of the park, and we are on the road. Next stop Amarillo, Texas!

A big draw in Amarillo is the Big Texan Steak House. If you can eat a 72 oz steak……with shrimp cocktail, baked potato, salad and roll all within an hour your meal is free! Was I up for the challenge? OH HELL NO! I had trouble eating all of the 12oz version.

The restaurant has a great deal in that they will pick you up at your RV, deliver you to the restaurant, and return you in a classic limo with what else?…. Horns on the hood!

Move’n on. Driving across the panhandle of Texas is just plain boring! Flat open prairie for as far as you can see. Come to think of it I didn’t hardly move the steering wheel in three hundred miles!

Albuquerque NM is our next stop. High Desert RV park located west of the metro area is as described…desert! And let’s not forget Albuquerque is home to the famous balloon festival.

After a long drive I need to stretch. You know, get the kinks out! So a stroll around the park is in order. Not paying much attention other than walking down the middle of the road I hear the sound guaranteed to send chills and fear right down to the bone …… RATTLESNAKE!

Two more steps and he would of had me! My heart pounding out of my chest I jumped sideways to stay out of reach. Susan called the park manager who asked us to keep an eye on it (SERIOUSLY?!) until the snake authority arrived!

Snake in the bucket..all is well! Notice who has the pole and who has the lid!

Subsequent walks around the park are hereby cancelled until further notice!

Enough excitement for one stop. Let’s keep going!

If you remember the song “Take it Easy” by The Eagles then you know you have to be “Stand’n on the corner in Winslow Arizona such a fine sight to see. It’s a girl my lord in a flatbed ford slow’n down to take a look at me.”

That song put Winslow back on the map as a tourist attraction as it once was back in the 1930’s.

Post depression saw a boom in travel and train travel was quite popular. A stop in Winslow meant a stay at the very upscale La Posada Hotel. The hotel hosted many past movie stars and flourished into the seventies.

Trains were replaced by air travel and the hotel closed and remained so until it was saved from the wrecking ball in the 90s.

Step off a train and you’re greeted by western motif, desert landscape, awesome restaurant, and comfortable accommodations. La Posada is a real gem in Winslow.

We’re within a days drive from Monument Valley. All most there!