Monuments for the Masses

4 10 2010

What a crazy weekend, and what a great way to end it.

Yesterday, I drove up about 2 hours into the state of Utah to visit some of the best places in this country. My first stop was through an area known as “The Valley of the Gods.” This area is a lot like monument valley (I’ll talk about that in a bit), but instead of being has commercialized, crowded, and limited in interaction, The Valley of the Gods is pure. To get there you drive down a road that has amazing scenery but is dead in terms of travel. Since this area is not on reservation land, the BLM (Bureau of Land Management). Because it is public land it is completely open, no fences, few restrictions. The government was kind enough to put a dirty road through the area. The loop is about 30 miles long and it takes you throughout the area. What is even more awesome, I ran into about 2-3 other cars the entire trip. It is so serene an peaceful. At any given point you can hop out of your car and just wander around. If I wasn’t alone I would have done much more of that. Take a look a some of my favorite pictures, you can view the rest in the album at the bottom.


From Valley of the Gods, Natrual Bridges, and Monument Valley

 


After finishing up the Valley I made the decision to go to Natural Bridges National Monument, being that it was only about 30 or so miles away. Well, the first mile requires going up a mesa on a narrow, two way, dirt road, full of switch backs. In fact, this road had ZERO rails and a wrong turn would mean plummeting down at least 700 feet. That was quite adventurous. After that you end up going through an area that is “primitive area” basically it is the same idea as the valley of the gods: a MASSSIVE open space to do whatever you want in.

Natural bridges was pretty amazing. I took a video where I sounded like the double rainbow guy (google it if you don’t know what that means). I hiked down to 2 of the bridges. The first hike was pretty incredible. Pretty much a straight shot down including crawling on your hands and knees and log ladders that weren’t as sturdy as you would want. Getting down was pretty crazy because at times the trail was so ambiguous that you would loose it. When you finally make it down you stand below this giant arch that you swore wasn’t that big. Then you had to climb back up the 500 feet. Not too bad. I then took a look at the other bridge, another shirt hike, and then I was on my way.

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From Valley of the Gods, Natrual Bridges, and Monument Valley

 

At this point I could have gone home It would have only been about 1.5 hours, but where’s the fun in that? I decided to take a detour and go to Monument Valley (my original plan for the day). It worked out perfect! I ended up there at sunset, too bad the clouds blocked most of the beautiful light. Monument Valley is, of course, absolutely impressive, minus the dozens and dozens of people. There is something about the familiarity of the shapes that makes you view in awe. If you have seen some of the popular westerns shot in the US then you have seen these fantastic structures.

From Valley of the Gods, Natrual Bridges, and Monument Valley

 

At this point it was getting dark and I needed to get the 2 or so hours home. That was probably the most nerve racking thing of the day. By 7 or so, it was pitch black. I was driving down roads where no one else was, no street lamps, no moon, no stars just black. I could only see as far as my headlights would go. Which didn’t seem far enough, especially when you are driving up and down mesas that have stone walls on either side of you, and it’s an area you have never driven before. Oh well. All safe.

I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Valley of the Gods, Natrual Bridges, and Monument Valley
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2 responses

5 10 2010
Jessica

again, amazing pictures 🙂

6 10 2010
DestinationPharmD

Thanks Jess! How is everything?

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