We’ve been in the west a week now, and every post I do about our travels out here should be connected to Trent’s weekly smile post because there are smiles just about everywhere I look!
When I last left you we were in the painted desert which was beautiful in an entirely different way from the next places we visited. I don’t remember ever visiting Monument Valley before, so I was excited to see if it was as dramatic as they made it seem in all those old cowboy movies.
But first we happened on the Valley of the Gods, which is just a little dirt road off of Highway 163 in Bluff Utah. We missed the road the first time we went by. There’s just one little old faded sign with an arrow telling you to turn down a nondescript dirt road.
If you’re ever out in this part of the world, and you’re driving an SUV, not a low riding car, and it’s not raining, because the sign said the road was impassible if wet, then I highly recommend you take the hour or two or three it will take you to meander through this country.
There were huge towers of stone everywhere. It’s the kind of place that would make for wonderful night photography.
But it also might be kind of scary to be out there alone in the dark.
Going through the Valley of the Gods was so worth it, even if it did put us behind getting to Monument Valley.
We drove up to the gate about 4:00, and they ‘close’ at 5:00. The woman was glad to take our $20 though and said we had plenty of time to drive the loop, even if “we were headed back out by 5:30 the gate would still be open.”
We figured we’d start and see how far we got before we were kicked out. Plus the low sun made everything shine.
It’s about here that I lost my phone, getting in and out of the car to get pictures. But I didn’t realize it yet.
Around the next corner was a stone monument I call the ‘broken finger’ because it looks so much like my right hand with it’s broken (and sort of crooked now) little finger.
The light was starting to go, making everything even more dramatic.
When I got back in the car after that last shot I realized I didn’t have my phone. I started walking back along the road frantically looking. No luck. We tried to remember the last picture I had taken with the phone and narrowed it down to three stops where I might have lost it.
We drove around the last loop again, as fast as we could go over the rocky, bumpy, dusty road. No luck. My stomach hurt and I felt sick.
I didn’t feel like taking any more pictures. But my husband said, rightly so, we couldn’t change anything, so we should try to enjoy the last of the light.
And so we did, though my stomach still hurt and I was so sad that my phone was out there in the cold desert all alone. I know. That sounds silly. But that’s how I felt.
No one ever came by to ask us to leave and there were plenty of people still in the Valley even at 6 when the last bit of light left the sky.
In fact, up at the visitor center there were a couple dozen photographers with their fancy cameras and tripods waiting for that last purple light. We waited there with them.
And when the light was finally gone we drove the 4 miles to our hotel, and sitting in our room my husband, for whatever reason, called my phone. And someone answered it. Turns out the visitor center has a hotel and someone found my phone and turned it in to the front desk. And the front desk guy heard it ring and answered.
Happy dance! My husband drove right back over there and picked it up. I am so grateful to that anonymous couple, and don’t you just love a happy ending?
So where will we be next? You’ll have to wait and see. But I can tell you it is amazing. I don’t know if I’ll get it posted before we get home but it will be worth the wait.