Monumental Monument Valley

If I was having a hard time finding superlatives for the Grand Canyon, it didn’t get much easier the next day. The Vermillion Cliffs (apparently a national “monument” according to cartographers) are such a striking surprise emerging from the Kaibab Forest. Photo after photo and nothing comes close to capturing the scale and expanse.

Good thing then that our destination was the very photogenic Monument Valley. It’s huge, serene, and utterly mesmerizing. Rising up from the red earth or carved away from it, buttes, mesas, and all manner of erosion mess with the human notions of physical and temporal scale. Little wonder it has been the the backdrop for countless films.

Waking up in this remote place is spectacular, with the rising sun showing off the mittens, castle, rabbit, bear and other formations to full effect. And we weren’t alone. Every visitor seemed to be stirring before sunrise – admiring the light and snapping photos. It’s not bad at sunset either.

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