Short on time to post or load photos as I'm frantically researching to maximize our experience her during the day. With the benefit of hindsight I can see mistakes but I had to do it and learn for myself as I'd have never accepted advice on it. I should have dropped the meteor and the petrified forrest from my trip and continued up from the GC straight to monument valley. The petrified forrest was a bit depressing to see how much it has been raided by fossil collectors. The stores on the way to the southern park entrance had fields of fossil trunks though it's all claimed to come from private land.
Shooting Monument Valley from Kayenta was a challenge. I tried turning off the main rd on the only bitumised cross road to get close to the rocks and ended up in peoples front yards with dirt roads as the only branches. It felt safe close amongst these people but they were certainly operating on a different socioeconomic scale from me so I didn't want to push it. While I was pulled over a couple cop cars drove past and pulled in 200m up the road to attend what looked like a domestic disturbance.
The shop selling petrified wood scene is frame 1 of a 5 shot pano (I'll stitch back home) !
The museum display of a Smilosuchus skull is noteworthy because you could buy teeth from it for $24 each at the store!
Lumps of petrified wood in the National Park
More petroglyphs in the park
What was the rail telegraph next to route 66 (everything else has been removed but a plaque)
Views around Kayenta
DPR, I hope you realise how much pleasure you're giving to the rest of us stuck home, crouching over our computers. I can imagine how much of a drag it must be downloading the photos and posting every night, but believe me, we really appreciate it.
Love the photo of the decommissioned telegraph poles stretching into the distance..... the very essence of loneliness.
I imagine that for the next stretch you have needed to assemble a motivational music play list for the long drive.
I certainly second Les's enthusiasm. This is truly an event as it is rare for someone to take 5 weeks to cross the USA, and document it, with images (!). Years from now you will look back fondly on the entire trip. There really are no mistakes in this sort of undertaking. Only the next turn in the road.
In September 2001 my wife, youngest son, and I were on vacation in Virginia and New York. The final day was Washington DC on 9-11. Flights cancelled, we drove cross country (DC to San Jose) in 4 days. Even with the horrific event of that time, we still talk about that trip.
I would love to cross the country again, but for now your trip will fill the gap.
Thanks for taking us along.
AS a youth I took a couple of car trips to Colorado, with my mother, sister and other relatives. Highlight of one trip was the drive to the top of Pikes Peak, a scary trip for an acrophobe.
We had gone to visit an uncle, brother of my mother, who lived in the Northwest corner of the state, the high plateau semi-desert section near the Utah border.
Today's whistle-stop tour of the US was a drive up Hwy 163 from Kayenta through Monument Valley which was pretty.
I'll confess I know I was tired because I drove the wrong way from the hotel and didn't realise for 20 minutes (my sat nav doesn't simply tell me to do U-turns it want's me to drive to the next cross road). The 45 minute detour was alright though - even though it cost me sunrise photos over monument valley because I got a sunrise photo of a modern Indian house and barn complete with horses with some lovely crinkly rock gullies behind it. What is it with US horses, especially the Indian ones that are so small.
We continued up Hwy 163 to Gooseneck State Park where I took a pano of the 4 river branches fonding back on themselves.
Up Hwy 191 to Blanding where we did the superb "Edge of Cedars State Park". It was a small museum of local Pueblo Indian finds from about 1,000 years ago with a small pueblo behind it. They had reconstructed the roof and ladder to the pueblo and allowed tourists to climb into the K.... which helped me understand what I'd seen over the last couple days.
We skipped a few other highly renowned local state parks like Arches, Dead Horse and Greens but stopped on the roadside of Hwy 70 for an easily accessible climb up to an arch.
We're now in a pleasant hotel in Price after a humorous MacDonald's Meal where the kid behind the counter just plain couldn't understand my speech. We may all speak English but I'm finding there's definately Australian English and American English. Thank goodness I speak the queens English and not strine or struth I'd be stuffed gettn tucker mate :)
We pretty much had beautiful looking cliffs on the roadside the whole day. It's amazing country and makes me wonder why Monument Valley gets so much hype when there's hundreds of miles of unique cliff eroded badlands scenery.
Photo's tomorrow as I'm shagged now. The trip computer tells me we've now done 3,000 miles (5,000km) and we've not properly started the long haul East, that starts in 2 days time.
Photos added 23/5/2013
There are about 50 variations of US English to contend with as well and you will strike many of them as you venture through the middle of the country.
Yup and we all declare that ours is the only correct way to speak 'American'.
From Northern Virginia: "Y'all meen upin th' droooid heeils? "Tr; "you mean up in the druid hills"? My mother, who was Pennsylvania Dutch, just looked at this lady in utter bafflement.
Too bad you missed Arches as it really is an impressive collection of its namesake. Our horses are not big and fat unless they are headed to Europe.
... Or head down to Bayou country where English and French are combined with a southern drawl (rent Beasts Of The Southern Wild). Being in port with the Ausies was always a treat, especially when we were all pissed mate.
Sounds like you are finally out of the primary touristy spots. Kens right, Arches is pretty spectacular.
The horses in the west were used for ranching (cattle) where fast, compact, and nimble were the goals. The Indians needed horses that could chase down buffalo with a rider on board as well. A lot of the Indian ponies came from the original Spanish conquistadors, as horses were no longer present (indigenous breeds died out about 13,000 years ago) in North America. The Clydesdale's and Percheron's and other draft and plow horses are more of an Eastern U.S. thing (brought in by English, German, and Dutch settlers) where freight wagons and farming required towing/plowing power.
Looking forward to your next photo layout. :)