After we finished our Antelope Canyon tours, it was time to check out of the hotel and start heading back home to Arkansas (only 1,270 miles away!). It would be a long drive, but there were a few iconic places that we would be passing by along the way. After a few hours of driving, we took a small detour and headed north into Utah and visited Monument Valley. Located on Navajo tribal land, Monument Valley is the famous collection of sandstone buttes that have been featured in countless films and been the subject of millions of pictures.
Once you look past the crowded parking lot and the RVs, it’s easy to feel like you’re on the set of a Western movie. John Wayne could easily trot by on a horse. I admit to doing some photoshop here to get rid of the graffiti on the rocks in the foreground, which were carved there by some idiots.
We headed out and trekked across Arizona, driving southeast. A few hours later, we drove by Canyon de Chelly National Monument, and made another short detour to visit the park. Canyon de Chelly is also part of the Navajo Nation, and a guide is required if you journey into the canyon. But there are a series of overlooks along the rim of the canyon that can be visited without a fee or guide. It was close to sunset, so we just barely had time to drive to the Spider Rock overlook before dark. This overlook provides a grand view of the Spider Rock, a tall 750 foot sandstone spire that rises from the canyon floor. Traditional Navajo belief is that the rock is home to the Spider Grandmother, the creator of the world.
We left the park as it was getting dark and continued on, eventually reaching our stop for the night in New Mexico. Early the next day we got up and drove all the way back home to Little Rock. It was a long day of driving, but we listened to the audio book of Ready Player One which really helped pass the time. That night, we finally arrived at the house, after driving a grand total of 3200.4 miles over the course of nine days. After unpacking, I started to look through all the pictures and then wished I could take another week off from work so I could work on them all.