What springs to mind when you think of that great American frontier, the Wild West? Probably gunslingers, gold prospectors, cowboys and cattle drivers, all riding off into a desert sunset. And what do you picture as the backdrop for just about every one of these scenes? I’m guessing something like this:
After our gallivant through Lower Antelope Canyon, we had a long haul through mostly-empty Arizona desert. Even though it wasn’t nearly as eventful as some other bits, this was one of my favorite stretches of driving because it was so quintessential to our roadtrip. Sometimes it seems like the world is so small now and just about every corner of it is filled in, built up, and populated. It was incredible to witness firsthand the fact that there are still vast stretches of wilderness where you can drive for hours without passing another car.
This was also the ideal southwest that I was hoping to see, and which had previously been so foreign to me. We actually saw tumbleweeds blowing across our path, and even a huge bleached animal skeleton laying next to the road!
Monument Valley, a stretch of desert that straddles the border between Utah and Arizona, is basically the poster for every Western movie you’ve ever seen. “This town ain’t big enough for the two of us” and all that.
Like Antelope Canyon, Monument Valley is situated on Navajo Tribal Park land and contains some of the most beautiful and iconic geographical features in the southwest.
We went for the true roadtrip option and just took our time on the scenic drive through the valley, although you can also stop to explore hiking trails in the area or even have a tour guide take you offroading in a Jeep right up next to the buttes and mesas (now that’s something to go back for!).
This twenty-mile stretch of open road was just a blip on our overall route. However, it was one of those moments where I just thought, “Yep. This is exactly what I was going for.” All those months (years, honestly) of daydreaming about someday taking on the Great American Roadtrip – this is the kind of place and the kind of feeling I was chasing.
Kokapelli thought it was pretty cool, too, so we just had to send you these postcards!