Tuesday night we were watching the Navajo Informational Channel in our R-Pod and it made brief mention of the road into Monument Valley being a rutted and rough unpaved road. Since our checkout time from Goulding’s RV Park wasn’t’ until 11am we decided to get up early and head into Monument Valley in the early morning without the trailer.
At 6am we woke and prepared to head into the park. By 7am – just after sunrise – we were in the park and bouncing along the rugged 17 mile loop road into Monument Valley run by the Navajo Nation. We were SO glad we didn’t bring the trailer in tow. The road was a brutal 17 miles that took nearly 90 minutes to drive. But the views were unbelievable. You could see scenes from John Ford, John Wayne, and countless other Western movies that have been made here. The colors are beyond description. During the monsoon season (apparently July/August – which was news to me) the skies are punctuated by puffy thunderheads, the mesas, buttes, and spires glisten with fresh rain, and the desert is a fresh shade of desperate desert greenery. If you’ve not been to Monument Valley, I highly recommend. It was experience of overwhelming natural beauty.
From Monument Valley we drove a little over 100 miles of basically empty Navajo Reservation to Four Corners (where Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado meet).
We drove on from Four Corners and decided to scrap the 90+ minute detour to Shiprock, although we could see it in the distance. We continued on to Cortez and ultimately our camp ground for the night in Dolores, Colorado – The Delores River RV and Campground. This was place under new (and very nice) management with a couple of late thirty-something sales reps to decided to give up the rat race and buy a campground. They work 6 months out of the year and are raising their family here. They have a very nice facility and I recommend it for anybody going to Mesa Verde.
We spent the afternoon fishing in the fishing pond, but with no luck – although Clara did catch a rock.