Monument Valley Backcountry By: Izabella, Grace & Sydney

This is the first blog post we have all written together.  So, each Diva is writing in a different color.  Grace is in Blue, Izabella is in Orange, and Sydney is in Pink. What we write together is in Green.
Trip Data
Date: Aug. 27-19, 2010 3days Friday,Saturday,and Sunday
Location: Monument Valley, AZ/UT
Divas: Grace, Sydney, and Izabella
Diva Dogs: Jäger
Vehicles: 2 Dormobiles, 1 LR3, 4 Discos, and 1 Range Rover
Weather: Windy, Just Right, Cloudy, Warm, 72 º F
Activities: Uno, 4wd, playing in the hogans, running with the horses, playing with the dogs, running on the sand dunes.
Meals: Marsh-mellows, Izabella and Sydney:  Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo, Enchilada casserole.  All were in the dutch oven.  Grace:  Chili Mac, and Tacos
Animals Spotted/Animal Tracks:  Horses, Beetles, Lizards, Dogs

 

A Little History on The Navajo

 

The Navajo Nation is the biggest reservation in the United States.  It is 16,000,000 acres and mostly in Arizona.
The Navajo People call themselves “Dine” (Di-nay), which means “The People”.  The Navajo came to the southwest around 1400 AD.  They may have originally came across the land bridge that used to exist between Russia and Alaska, around 1200 BC.  When they reached the southwest the Anasazi  or Pueblo people taught them to farm corn and beans.  Spanish settlers later brought sheep (around the 1600’s).  They got wool from the sheep to make clothing, blankets and rugs.  They also used the meat from the lamb and mutton.  They used all the products from the sheep to trade for other goods.  Today they still harvest corn and beans, and raise sheep.  At the Cameron Trading Post you can see a woman making a very large rug on a loom.  We talked to the lady, she said it takes one year to make one large rug.



Our Wonderful Guides

 

 

These are our guides.  They were awesome!  We could not have asked for more. Valerie Dee grew up in Monument Valley and she arranged for us to stay at her family’s place in Monument Valley at the Hub.  Her Mom and Dad were our guides around the valley.

Day 1
The trip was at least 9 hours from Tucson, AZ to Monument Valley. As we were driving, the desert started to change.  It started by getting sandier, rockier(sandstone), then the color of our surroundings became a deep red rust color.  There was lots and lots of red sand on the ground.  There were a few trees and bushes scattered about, and finally we saw our first Monument it was sooooo pretty!!!!

From a distance the buttes and monuments looked purple but as we got closer they turned out to be red, orange, brown, and rust!  When we first got there we were still on the main loop when we stopped to get some awesome pictures of the divas at the 2 mittens!  Like always if Jäger is in a picture it is mighty adorable!

The Three Sisters – This is on the way to the campsite.
The Campsite was at the Hub.
We had two female hogans, one male hogan, and a sweatlodge and spectacular views on all side! 

When we first got to the campground we saw 3 Hogans 2 large ones and 1 medium and a tiny one!!!  We were all going to sleep in the largest one, the one in the middle, but we were all to tired, so we decided to sleep with our parents instead.

This is our group from the AZLRO

Hogans are made of wood, bark and mud.  The hogan has log wood walls and a dome ceiling.  They cover the wood with mud.  It makes the Hogan look round.  The hogans have dirt floors, and only one room.  The door to the Hogan face east, so they can get sun in the morning, and help them wake up.  There is a woman’s hogan and a man’s hogan.  The woman’s Hogan is bigger and more decorated then the man’s hogan.

Female Hogan


Male Hogan

 

Sweatlodge or Dog Hogan?

Here we are playing at the campsite!
Three Divas on the Dormobile at camp


Izabella and Sydney’s Pop-up camper at camp
Sydney and Grace went to bed earlier than I did so they did not get a chance to see the moon come out. I had to stay up late so that I could work on my moon journal, how cool is that?!!!  The moon looked as if it was going to be huge from the size of it’s glare, but it was just normal size.  We had marshmallows but no skewers so I took a fork and knife and put them together with a hair tie.  I broke off the two middle spikes,too.  The marshmallows were delicious!!!! Then I had finished up about 4-5 marshmallows.   It was time for bed!!!

 

 

A  Little Geology

 

Monument Valley used to be a 100 foot piece of sandstone.  Most of the sandstone has eroded away but some still stands, and is beautiful.
An arch is formed in four steps:
1. It starts as a sandstone block.
2. Then some of  the stone erodes away from rain.
3. The wind blows the rock.
4. The wind breaks the rock and you have a arch.
Monument Valley is great for this because there is a lot of wind.

 

Day 2 

In the morning we saw the free roaming horses. They were so close that they could hear us whistle. When we whistled they perked up their heads.

After we saw the horses, the rover divas went to the middle Hogan and played UNO for a little while. Then all of a sudden in the middle of our game my mom called me out to  see the horses, again. They were so close to our campsite.  I almost got to pet the foal, but didn’t since he  was too mouthy like Jäger. The mother was a dark brown with a black mane and tail; the father(stallion)was white with a white mane and tail.  His mane and tail were actually  orange because of the red dirt in monument valley. The foal was a red roan (a red/orange color)with a orange mane and tail. They were the perfect family!!!!! We finished up our UNO game quickly and then we set off with the group to go on a 4wd trip to see more of Monument Valley.

On day 2 we bought from inside the hogan.  Valerie’s Family sells to tourists they have made.


Hogan Repair Shop in the morning of Day 2


Then we drove around one of the buttes and saw a flowing river, approximately a foot deep, and muddy.  It was so muddy that our leader got stuck so we had to go a different way.



We drove some more to a rock with a large window called “Ear of the Wind”.

Ear of the Wind Arch

I tried to make a sand angel, but I just got dirty!!

Sand dunes are steep, but lots of fun to run down!

 

This is the Big Hogan!

 

Aren’t we cute!!
Day 3
Mystery Valley
Two Divas at the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park sign

 

We stopped at a ruin in Mystery Valley, and my dad and I climbed up the steep, steep rock hill.  On top was 3 pools of water.  The water was from rain and was very clean.  I touched the water and it was too cold to swim.  Maybe it could be used to take a bath in the summer.  We did not stay on top too long, it was way too windy.  I felt like I would blow away!

 

Anasazi Ruins in Mystery Valley
Checking out shards of pottery and we found some old corn cobs.
Bighorn Petroglyph
Divas in arch
This is in the arch and there are two circular rooms.  Probably for storage in the old’n days.  There was a bunch of packrat evidence.
Girls with Pictographs
Free roaming horses galloping through the canyon.  Awesome!!
On the way home we had fun playing Uno in the car.
Sydney cleaning up the red dirt!

 


AZLRO Rally 2010: Trail pre-run Temporal Gulch near Patagonia, Arizona

 

By:  Izabella

Two Discoveries went on this trip to check out trail conditions before the rally.

Divas on this trip:  Samantha, Izabella, Sophia and Sydney

A quick  Diva lunch break

Samantha and I enjoying some cold fried chicken .
Sydney and Sophia had fun climbing In and out of

Samantha’s roof top tent.


After lunch Samantha and I decided to explore the area and play in the cold water.

 

We are on the road again!! (sort of anyway)

Samantha and Sophia’s Disco (Sally) avoiding a deep spot!!

 

Possible lunch site for the rally next week!

This is the small canyon

behind the lunch site.   It is a great place to play.

Here we also saw a pair of real working cowboys.
 

This is the entrance of the second mine we came to.  They mined copper here.   Copper is Arizona’s main mineral.


On the inside we
found Chrysocolla on the walls.  Chrysocolla looks alot like
turquoise.  We picked up a few pretty pieces.  It is found wherever
there is copper.

This is one
of the small,  but
very pretty waterfalls
we saw.  We had a lot of rain this year in Arizona.  Most canyons had waterfalls, this was one of them.  We also counted 25 water crossings this trip.

The End!!!



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