.All Trips / Arizona / North America / Southwestern USA / Utah

Monument Valley, Arizona/Utah

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Monument Valley has been featured many times in classic western movies, especially those starring John Wayne and directed by John Ford.  Ford loved the beautiful scenery of Monument Valley and perhaps more than anyone helped put it on the tourist map.  The valley floor is not that large — around a half dozen square miles — but it’s been filmed from so many angles you’ve likely come to think of it as being representative of the entire American West.

You’ll have seen Monument Valley in the movie Stagecoach, this photo including the Three Sisters rock formation….

Stagecoach, 1939, with the Three Sisters formation.

Stagecoach, 1939, with the Three Sisters formation.

And in the classic film, The Searchers…..

The Searchers, 1956

The Searchers, 1956

Henry Fonda’s “My Darling Clementine” (a screening of which my father-in-law told me was the first date he and my …

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.All Trips / Central USA / North America / Utah

Dinosaur National Monument — Fossil Bone Quarry, Utah

12 Dinosaur National Monument.  Fossil Bone quarry site

Situated in a remote region of northwestern Colorado and extending into eastern Utah, you’ll find Dinosaur National Monument.  This is Green River country, the river winding through memorable rock formations and desert landscapes.  But the real treasure of the region is what’s beneath the ground.  You’ll find some of the world’s largest deposits of dinosaur bones in Dinosaur National Monument.  Our visit today is to the monument’s Fossil Bone Quarry.

In 1909 paleontologist Earl Douglass, working for the Carnegie Museum, discovered plant and animal fossils at this site.  A quarry was established revealing rich deposits of Jurassic-era dinosaur bones.  Dinosaur National Monument was created in 1915, initially protecting 80 acres in the quarry area but now expanded to 210,844 …

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“Pic of the Week”, February 20, 2015: Monument Valley, Utah

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The dramatic eroded landscapes of Monument Valley have been immortalized — largely because of John Wayne.  You read that correctly, actor John Wayne.  It was in this valley that director John Ford filmed the young movie star in a series of Westerns, the drama and action framed against Monument Valley, scenes that for many people around the world defined what the American West was like.

Monument Valley is fairly high altitude, around a mile above sea level (1500-1800 m).  It’s landscapes are characterized by colorful sandstone buttes, banded and eroded.  Monument Valley is close to the Four Corners region and is a park within the Navajo Nation.

I’ve only been to Monument Valley once, and that was on a gray drizzly day.  …

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Karl on | Comments Off on “Pic of the Week”, February 20, 2015: Monument Valley, Utah
.All Trips / Central USA / Colorado / North America / Utah

One of the Most Scenic Road Trips in America! The Grand Army of the Republic Highway (Hwy I-70).

024 I-70 roadtrip heading east.  Spotted Wolf Canyon

The United States has some of the planet’s finest scenery and boasts dozens of great drives.  From the California’s Pacific Coast Highway, to Montana’s Going to the Sun Road, to Newfound Gap Road in the Smoky Mountains, there’s scenic drives in almost all parts of the country.  But I think this highway is one of the best.  As it winds through eastern Utah and western Colorado, you see varied scenery including desert with memorable and colorful rock monoliths, the Colorado River, canyons and the lush forested Colorado Rocky Mountains.

The road I’m referring to is the I-70 freeway and particularly the stretch between Salina, Utah to just before Denver, Colorado.  As it is a freeway, the highway is well maintained although …

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“Pic of the Week”. May 17, 2013. Canyonlands National Park. View through Mesa Arch

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Perhaps the world’s best picture is framed by the bottom of this arch.  A storm was blowing through the Utah desert and enhanced our view with a nice pattern of light.

The view says it all, doesn’t it?  Nothing more I can add to that.

Karl on | Comments Off on “Pic of the Week”. May 17, 2013. Canyonlands National Park. View through Mesa Arch
.All Trips / Central USA / North America / Utah

Arches National Park — One of America’s Finest

Skyline Arch — Arches National Park

The United States is blessed with some beautiful geography — perhaps more varied than that of any other land. Utah especially has some extremely unusual geology and is home to 5 National Parks, surpassed only by Alaska and California. There is perhaps no more beautiful area in Utah than that around small city of Moab, adjacent to which Arches National Park is located.

Arches National Park is situated in the “high desert,” around a mile above sea level, and has very hot summers, cold winters and little rainfall (though lots of wind). Arches is easily accessible and frequently visited — around 1,000,000 people come here each year. Most come in the peak summer season for …

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