Most everyone is familiar with the iconic Monument Valley view. You know, the one we showed you yesterday from mile marker 13 on Route 163? But the lower valley area is breathtaking in it’s beauty and rich in the cultural heritage of the Navajo people. To experience both we highly recommend taking a guided tour with Monument Valley Safaris.
We chose a sunset tour that would show us not only the best natural spots, but would help us learn a little history. Our guide, Shay, is a Navajo and grew up in the valley. My kids got a better and more colorful education from Shay than they ever could hope for from a textbook. We learned Navajo words, greetings, and saw a traditional home. We learned the uses of what seemed like every plant we saw. The treat was a music performance by Ranch Redhouse. Let me tell you, I could die happy to the sound of Native American flute music. Shay is the great-grandson of Navajo matriarch Susie Yazzie (click here) and we would have normally stopped by her home for a visit, but unfortunately she passed away last month. I believe she was at least 100.
Maybe it was for the best, as I might have melted in a puddle upon meeting such a legend as Susie was. Instead, we saw more of the valley including the spot where Johnny Depp recently was tossed from his horse while filming the new Lone Ranger and Tonto movie. But I am kind of more of a scenery girl and I enjoyed the opportunities to shoot some more cool red rocks.
Unrelated to the tour, the next morning we drove out to mile marker 13 again for sunrise. On our way back we found something odd and slightly disturbing. Have you ever wondered why wild west scenes so often depict a cow skull minus the rest of it’s skeleton? Ever wondered, like Dr. Doofenschmirz, “Did the rest of it die someplace else?” Perhaps we found the answer. I give you the skeleton, this time it’s missing the skull.