After John Ford's Point, the guide took us on several looping routes; at first we passed by Rain God Mesa and Thunderbird Mesa; The Hub is across from Thunderbird Mesa and looks like a Mayan temple.
Hush now and don't make a sound, or wake the Sleeping Dragon and consider yourself lunch. Remember, you are crunchy and good with ketchup when it comes to dragon food.
Looping around the Sleeping Dragon, the guided tour will bring you to an area with a large sand dune that you can climb up to an arch, the Ear of the Wind. There is also a climb you can make up to a dead cottonwood tree that gives a full view of the area.
|Ear of the Wind|
|The Bird, Hand of the God|
|Eye of the Sun|
Now here comes the really tricky part, trying to get photos of the arches in the next area. We did stop at the Big Hogan, but raced past Eye of the Sun and Moccasin Arch; luckily we had to stop to wait for another tour vehicle to go by, so I was able to get some what decent shots of those two.
The three hour tour was coming to an end and we needed to get back to Goulding's Lodge to have lunch at the Stagecoach Dining Room (good food too, so try it out). Racing around the small "lake" that had formed due to the torrential rain the night before, we stopped to glance at petroglyphs on the rock face.
Blurry as this next photo is, I consider myself very lucky I got this shot of Donut Arch; the guide definitely had the pedal to the metal.
We did once last loop before getting to the main thoroughfare and I was able to capture The Thumb and Cly Butte.
Now remember, part one and two of this story I've told is only about a typical three hour tour; imagine what you'll see on the all day tours - more wonderous formations, arches, petroglyphs and ancient ruin sites!
I've also mentioned that Monument Valley is dramatic no matter what time of day you go, or what the weather is. Here are a few random shots I took at sunset, with a storm approaching:
...and this is what it is like to be in Monument Valley on a very dark and stormy September night, with the lightning coming down around you.
Well folks, that is the end of the two part tour of the Monument Valley tour I was so very lucky to be on. Afterwards, I was sore and bone tired, but I would not have missed this for the world! I hope you enjoyed the ride as much as I did.
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