25. Apr, 2016

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MONDAY 12-05-08 

Parking in the truck (HGV) area meant that from time to time during the night they started their engines to keep either the cabs warm for the sleeping drivers or cold for their cargo. There was a particularly noisy truck which had chosen to park right next to us. 

This morning we went for the full works and had a lovely hot shower. I started the generator, the hot air central heating was on and we had more than enough water. Somehow the noise we created with our generator was not a fair payback to the still sleeping truckers for the much greater noise they had subjected us to all night. 

Most of the journey south towards Monument Valley could not be described as spectacular. Much of the time it was just a relentless grind up hill and down dale on a less than ideal road surface. We did pass through Moab which we will be visiting in its own right very soon. It seems silly to be passing through it and not stopping, but that’s what happens when you change a cunning plan. As we passed through town we saw the campground we have already reserved for our stay there, and potential car/jeep rental outlets. 

Comprising of mainly high desert, Monument Valley covers 2,000 square miles and sits on sacred Navajo Indian land. The Navajo name for the valley is Tsé Bii’ Ndzisgaii (Valley of the Rocks). The valley’s vivid red colour comes from iron oxide exposed in the stone and the darker, blue-grey rocks get their colour from manganese oxide. As we approached there was a sign telling us we were entering Navajo Indian territory and were subject to their laws (would scalping be a punishment?). 

The run in to the valley and our campground was very scenic, with lots of photo opportunities. My biggest disappointment was that I hadn’t seen anywhere to hire a car. Mexican Hat was the nearest town but I saw nothing there as we passed through. In my original email to the campground www.gouldings.com booking the pitch I did tell them I wanted to hire a car on arrival and the places I wanted to visit, but they didn’t have the courtesy to mention in their reply that we wouldn’t be able to. 

We now have to find a way of filling three days without a secondary means of transport other than our trusty bikes. There used to be horse rides from down the road here but no more it seems, not unless it’s only provided during peak season. It would have been great to have had a dude’s ride as this is the perfect location given that so many Western movies have been made here. 

Oh yes and the weather. Every picture I’ve ever seen of Monument Valley has shown cloudless blue skies, lovely weather to match lovely scenery. Soon after we arrived here there was a sandstorm, we couldn’t see down the valley and our engine compartment is now probably full of red sand. I felt sorry for those RV’ers who arrived much later than us and had driven in such strong cross winds with blowing sand reducing visibility. Then it started to rain, it’s still raining in fact which means that the lovely red sand will be red mud by tomorrow morning. 

There are organised trips we can go on from the campground. I might just go on the one to John Wayne’s cabin so that I can p**s on his front porch, just so that, if he’s up there, he’ll know just how I’m feeling right now. So it’s off to bed to the sound of heavy rain beating down on the roof. 

LOCATION TONIGHT: Gouldings Campground, 1000 Main Street Monument Valley, Utah (GPS: N37.006329 W110.215256)