We spent the night in the town of Flagstaff, it’s time to move on. Today, long journeys await us again: first to the famous Monument Valley, and then to the equally famous Horseshoe – an extremely picturesque bend of the Colorado River. Well, you have to travel, because the United States is really rich in natural attractions.
01. We spent the night at the Snow Peak Motel. If you are passing through Flagstaff, do not stop there. Save yourself a lot of nerves.
02. It’s hard to believe, but in America almost every piece of land, even these lifeless rocks, is actually someone’s private property (look at the photo and you will see a small fence).
03. Views of Arizona. Here, unlike in Nevada, shrubs and small trees grow, since the climate is not so harsh, and the temperature rarely exceeds 40 ° C.
04. After 4 hours of driving, mountain ranges began to appear, very similar to those same monuments.
05. And here is the border of the states of Arizona and Utah. The state of Utah is notable mainly for the fact that Mormons live there, adherents of an extremely strange direction in Christianity. But we’ll talk about this some other time, and now Utah interests us only because Monument Valley is located just on its border with Arizona.
06. At the entrance to the park itself, a slightly unpleasant surprise awaited us: since this territory was given by the state to the Navajo Indians, the pass to the US national parks is not valid here, and for Monument Valley you need to buy a separate ticket for $ 20.
07. Here, finally, is Monument Valley itself. Looks impressive!
08. You can move around the park both by your own car and by a sightseeing bus. For this, of course, you will have to buy a tour. You will be taken by bus, then they will show you the dwellings of local residents and ask you to buy a couple of Indian amulets.
09. It was somehow more familiar to us by car. True, the interior of our Nissan very quickly became covered with orange dust. We were able to clean it only before handing over the car to the distributor with great difficulty.
10. It is curious that almost all the monuments have been assigned individual names by human fantasy. This one, for example, is called an elephant.
11. Does it look like it to you?
12. And these are three sisters. But, judging by the state of the middle sister, soon there will be only two of them.
13. What kind of natural phenomenon is behind the formation of the Monument Valley with its bizarre vertical hills – outliers?
14. I remember in “Heads and Tails” in the issue about Arizona, the presenter told a beautiful version of the formation of monuments. Like, we will pour a pile of sand, pour a little water on top, blow on the hill to remove all the dry sand, and now a small monument will appear in front of us!
Of course, this version has nothing to do with the real state of affairs.
15. And the reason is this: many millions of years ago, this territory was under the water column of the ancient tropical seas. For many years, small particles of destroyed rocks (in other words, sand) settled to the bottom and solidified there. Hundreds of millions of years passed, the seas left, and the hardened sand – sandstone, appeared on the surface and began to be influenced by winds and precipitation.
16. Soft sedimentary rocks quickly weathered, and those that turned out to be harder still remain. Just in the form of those same monuments.
17. But, unfortunately, Monument Valley will not last forever, because red sandstone, although hard, is still subject to destruction.
18. This is clearly visible if you look closely at the foot of each monument, which will be strewn with its own stones. And the process of destruction continues slowly but surely.
19. And precisely for this reason it is forbidden to climb the monuments, and indeed to leave the tourist trail. In addition to the road, there is only one trail that you can walk.
20. In general, after a few thousand years, Monument Valley will cease to exist.
As they say, hurry up to see!
21. Another part of earning is the sale of amulets.
22. Hogan – this was the name of the houses in which the Navajo Indians lived. Now, of course, no one lives in such dugouts.
23. Finally, we stopped at the main observation deck, which offers a good view of the valley.
24. Admired, it’s time to move on! Monument Valley is an interesting place, but in my opinion it is not a must see. It is definitely worth a visit, but only if it fits neatly into your itinerary.
25. Another 2 hours behind the wheel … But thanks to the gorgeous views from the window, driving fatigue is easier to bear.
26. And here is the Horseshoe, in English Horseshoe Bend.
27. What can you say here? Fascinating beauty …
28. Most of all, it is surprising how nature creates such magnificent places without any intention!
29. I just want to sit closer to the cliff, and then go deep into my thoughts.
30. Only now it will not work, since the Horseshoe is too popular among tourists.
31. Look, even the Mormons came to make a couple of shots.
32. Like the Grand Canyon, the Horseshoe was made possible by the penetrating power of the Colorado River.
33. A slightly drunk guy jumps between crevices on a bet.
In general, there are ominous rumors about Horseshoe. They say that people get euphoria from being here, they lose a sense of danger. They start bouncing over the rocks, and eventually they go down. In fact, only 2-3 people per year die at Horseshoe. Basically, they are thrown off slippery rocks through carelessness. Moreover, in the Grand Canyon, the death rate is about 12 people per year, but for some reason no one talks about this.
34. The sun, as elsewhere in America, set very quickly. Although it seemed that we only stayed here for a few minutes, it really took about 3 hours. About Horseshoe, unlike Monument Valley, we can say that you definitely need to allocate time to visit it, even if it does not fit into your plans.
35. We return to the car. It’s already late, which means it’s time to look for a place to sleep.
36. And then there was an unexpected system failure. It turned out that all the hotels near the town of Page are occupied, or they are too expensive for our wallet. Of course, this situation was easily predictable, and in such a case we had the option to find the Rest Area and spend the night there in the car.
37. But this option didn’t work either. Firstly, it got dark very quickly and we simply could not find a single decent recreation area. Secondly, those that we did manage to find were filled with some kind of muddy types, next to which we did not want to fall asleep in a rented car.
38. So we circled along the roads of Arizona for several hours with absolutely no idea where to stick to. But then, all of a sudden, we came across a sign “Camping”. Just what we need!
39. Around the darkness, even gouge out the eye. We absolutely found the entrance by touch. Somehow we figured out how and what. We found an empty seat, put the money in an envelope for payment, and began to get ready to sleep. We didn’t have a tent, so the only option was to spend the night in the car. Already prepared for bed, and there …
Milky Way. For the sake of this it is worth enduring an uncomfortable overnight stay.
40. These locations are ideal for photographing stellar scenes. Unfortunately, good technique is required for acceptable photos (at least a few minutes exposure). We don’t have one, so the pictures are of a shitty quality. But it all looked great live!
Spending the night in the car turned out to be extremely uncomfortable: it is crowded inside, with closed windows it is stuffy, with open – mosquitoes fly in. However, there is something very romantic in it, something primitive … It’s like you are an ancient Viking who accidentally discovered a new continent 2,000 years ago and decided to camp around strange mountain formations. In any case, I would forget the night in a comfortable hotel the next day, but the night here will be remembered for a lifetime.
Travel notes from USA travel: