After leaving the North Rim of the Grand Canyon I found myself in Tuba City, Arizona again looking at my maps and trying to decide where to go next. There are so many beautiful places out here that choosing what to see next takes long than I thought. Tuba City is located in the Navajo Nation Indian Reservation and is part of the most beautiful land that I have ever seen.
As I was looking at my maps a Navajo woman approached me and asked me if I was lost. After explaining that I wasn’t lost, just trying to decide where to go next, she offered her advice and assistance. Since local advise has proven to be the best, I accepted her offer. “Don’t take the 264 it goes through the Hopi Reservation, they have tough speed limits. All the cops have unmarked cars and if they catch you speeding they take you to Jeddito and you spend the night in jail.” Given my history with speeding I quickly ruled out highway 264. She continued with her advice. “There is a dirt road you could take across to Chinle, but you would need a Navajo guide to get across.” A dirt road sounded like fun but needing an Indian guide sounded a bit too John Wayne and I thought something was up. I thought it might be a pitch for guide services or a Navajo pick-up line; it was neither, just truthful advice. Then she gave me the best advice ever, she told me I could reach Monument Valley by sunset, without speeding.
Heading north along highway 160 I started to regret my choice, the scenery was boring and the highway was long and straight, until I turned at Kayenta and headed for Monument Valley. Once I made the turn the scenery immediately changed to amazing. As I approached the gate to Monument Valley I found it empty, nobody there to take my entrance fee, what a shame. I arrived just in time to watch the sunset.
Since the View Hotel was full, I was directed to a campground within the park and was told it was a perfect place to watch the sunrise. I arrived at the campground to find the gates locked, it was closed for the night. It’s a good thing I am comfortable taking my motorcycle off road, I drove around the gate, through the desert and was setting up my tent in no time. My neighbors at the campground offered me a cold beer and great conversation. I slept with the flaps of my tent open so I would not miss a moment of the sunrise, and I didn’t.
I was the first to ride the Monument Valley loop that morning.
Monument Valley http://monumentvalley.org/
SPOT Adventures – follow my recent adventure here http://www.spotadventures.com/trip/view/?trip_id=279391