Monument Valley With Patsy the School Bus Driver
Trip Start May 19, 2009
11Trip End Jun 06, 2009
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Another beautiful, sunny day in the desert. We had a guided tour of Monument Valley on the Navajo Reservation today. Our guide for the day wore a red western style shirt with 'Patsy' embroidered on the pocket. She drove us around in an open sided canopy bus, very expertly, I might add. She told us later that she was a school bus driver during the winter, and just did the tours in the summer.
We started with a trail that she called 'Mystery Valley'. It was a very bumpy ride through some very muddy roads, but the scenery was exquisite. We were driving right into the mesas and buttes. Fantastic formations, beautiful colors and still more interesting archaeological sites. There were so many site that I can't keep them all straight - some were just pictograph sites, some were small cliff dwelling sites, and some were ground level ruins
Had lunch in the shade of a canyon wall - BBQ burgers with all the fixins that Patsy and another guide cooked up on the spot! Very good! Then we crossed the highway to Monument Valley - an area famous for it's use as a movie set: old classics like 'Stagecoach' & 'Fort Apache' & 'Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid' and more modern movies like 'City Slickers', Thelma & Louise', 'Back to the Future'. And a variety of commercials for cars and beer and IBM - even the Marlborough man. The landscape in Monument Valley was even more rugged and spectacular, with mesas and buttes fading off into the distance. I took way too many pictures! We also saw one more pictograph site before heading home. On the way home Patsy told us about some of the Navajo traditions and modern ways of life, and how the two interacted. She even sang a few Navajo songs.
Long day, but a great day!