September 30, 2021

Monument Valley

This was our longest travel day of the trip.  We drove from Moab, down through Blanding with a visit to the Edge of the Cedars Museum, through Monument Valley and on to Page and Lake Powell. 

The Edge of the Cedars Museum has a very fine exhibit of Ancestral Puebloan artifacts in addition to a reconstructed pueblo behind the museum. 

There was a woman showing her pet educational turkey outside the front of the building.  Anyone could pet him.  He was very tame! 

Our next stop was off of the main road to the Goosenecks State Park.  This is a very small park with areas for camping, hiking along the rim, and an overlook area to view the meanderings of the San Juan River. 

On to the fabulous Monument Valley.  The photo at the top is the much photographed eastern approach to this area.  The state line between Arizona and Utah goes right through Monument Valley, and the bulk of monument is located on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona. 

We had lunch at Goulding’s Lodge.

From the Gouldings web site:  “Goulding’s Lodge has been synonymous with Monument Valley for nearly a century. Harry and Leone (aka “Mike”) Goulding purchased land and started Goulding’s Trading Post in the 1920s. During the Great Depression, they saw an opportunity to bolster the local Navajo economy by bringing in movie production companies looking to film in the Southwest. Harry met with director John Ford, the wheels were immediately set in motion, and the film Stagecoach started production in Monument Valley soon after.”

“Since then, Goulding’s has hosted films crews, photographers, artists and tourists from around the world. The trading post has expanded to include a lodge, campsite, tour operation, restaurant, convenience store, and a private airstrip. The LaFont family bought Goulding’s Lodge in 1981 and continues to keep the amenities modern while honoring the rich American and Navajo history surrounded by iconic landmarks.”

John Wayne starred in “Stagecoach” and here is his cabin.

After lunch, we drove across the highway to the tribal park and visitor center.  Here are some photos of the views from that location.

Before checking into our resort on the shore of Lake Powell in Page, Arizona, we stopped at the Glen Canyon Dam to have a look.  Note the very low level of Lake Powell as evidenced by the broad white area around the shore. 

A bit of the lake from our hotel.  Time to relax after a long days drive. 

September 29, 2021



Arches National Park can be a very busy place during most of the year.  Because of this, we got up for an early breakfast so that we could get to the park before the crowds.  The day was spent visiting many of the most popular arches.

North window.

South window.

Both windows.

Turret Arch.

Double arch.

Instead of doing the very strenuous hike up to the Delicate Arch, we viewed the arch from below.  (Delicate arch is on the license plates for Utah)  The first photo for this post is of the arch as seen from the top of the strenuous hike that I took on a previous trip.

Another very famous arch is the Landscape Arch.  It is anticipated that because of the very thin area on the arch, it will totally collapse sometime in the future. 

On the way to the next arch. Note the green! 

Pine Tree Arch.

Our guide Darrell playing dead on the ground.

What a full morning!  After having our box lunch, we hiked Park Avenue before leaving the park.


We finished up with a quick stop to view several rock art panels along the Colorado River north of Moab.  This area was clearly a gathering place for travelers.  The petroglyphs were located high up on the side of the rock walls.  How did they get there?  Darrell explained that there was undoubtedly a lot of scree piled up that was created over many years by falling rocks from above.  The rock artists stood on the scree.  Those piles are no longer there, either swept away by the river’s floods, or removed to create the road that goes along the river.  Here is a small sampling of the petroglyphs.

Also, a very rare depiction of a bear.

Colorado River across from the petroglyphs. 

September 28, 2021

On to Moab

We left the delightful Capitol Reef area to drive NW to Moab for our time at Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.  There were several stops on our way there.  The first part of our journey took us out of the lush canyon of Capitol Reef to expanses of sandy territory.  We drove through the tiny town of Hanksville at 4300’ in elevation.  South of Hanksville, one can access the northern end of Lake Powell to launch boats.  This area also had extensive damage from flooding due to the heavy monsoon rains this past summer. 

Past Hanksville is the Goblin Valley State Park.  What an interesting place!  There were some families with children there that day, and the kids were having a blast.

After lunch in Green River and a brief visit to the John Wesley Powell Museum, our bus driver took us down a dirt road and through an old mostly abandoned mining town to a special place called Sego Canyon.  This is one of the most important rock art sites in the whole state.  For a complete explanation of this site, click here.

The oldest rock art is the Barrier Canyon Style that was created  between 6000BC to 100 BC.

Next, we have the Fremont Indian style  600 AD to 1250 AD.

Lastly, the Ute Indians created their art from 1300 AD and 1880 AD.

This last photo is of the Barrier Canyon Style of rock art on nearby private property that we did not visit.  It gives an idea of the large size of the figures.

Before arriving at our hotel in Moab, we spent the afternoon enjoying the beautiful vistas from Dead Horse Point State Park, and then on to the Island in the Sky section of Canyonlands.  Canyonlands is the largest national park in Utah. 

This is another area that was unusually lush and green because of the heavy monsoon rains that we had this past summer.  This is a view from our bus.