Utah, part 2 (Be Here Now)

Before I write about Monument Valley….


I feel the need to say some things about the horrific Vegas Massacre.  I unexpectedly have tv where I’m staying this week, and I’ve been watching the news.  It’s beyond imaginable.  The survivors speaking on camera this morning are breaking my heart.

“I probably walked past people who didn’t know they were going to die.”

” Tomorrow is not promised.”

“Love your loved ones and be the best person you can be.”

“I feel guilty.  Why did I live and so many younger people had to die?  I can go back to my daughter in LA this morning, but they can never go home.”…..this last said by a man…a lawyer  with tears running down his face.

These survivors haven’t really had time to process all this yet, that may take weeks or months, but one thing is for sure, all of the 22 or 23 thousand people there Sunday night have had their lives changed forever.

I try not to take life for granted…even tomorrow.  It’s why I write things like ‘the plan is….’ or ‘if things work out….’ or ‘I hope to….’.   Because I just never know.

I just never know.

But this is a wake up call that brings the tenacity of life into better (and shocking) perspective.  We…none of us…know if we have tomorrow.

Be in this moment.  Be Here Now.  I remind myself to live this day as if it were my last day on this beautiful earth.  I hope you will to.


And now to Monument Valley.

I continue driving down the eastern part of Utah,  past the red rocks and walls of Arches National Park and Moab (went to those places last time I was here), almost to the boarder of Arizona.  There are so many bucket-list-worthy places in Utah.  If you come here you can easily spend 6 months!

Monument Valley is …I don’t know….I continue to search for words to describe this place, which is one of the reasons it’s taken me so long to write this blog.  I still don’t have the right words.  Oh I can tell you the physical attributes and show you pictures, but those things don’t do it justice.


Physically it’s red buttes, rising straight out of the red earth as high as 1000 feet, shaped over time by sun, wind, rain, ice, heat and cold.  The Navajo park covers about 5 square miles, though the buttes are scattered through a much larger area than this.  Depending on how the light plays on the, they look different.


For me the area is special in a mystical sort of way, related to an experience I had here many years ago.

It’s so much more than ‘awe-inspiring’ or ‘beautiful’ or ‘amazing’.  It reaches out to me on a spiritual level and I just can’t explain or describe the feelings that I have as I stare off at these odd formations.  Mere words seem blunt and stiff and useless here.


The concentrated area is a Navajo Tribal Park, and it will cost you $20 to drive through it.  A Senior Pass will not decrease the price here.  The road is terrible, and I mean REALLY terrible.  There is a museum, a gift shop, and a hotel here now too.  A better idea might be to take a tour of the place, rather than drive your own vehicle through it.  Also this way you can learn so much from the tour guide.


The unassuming grocery store.  It looks so tiny.


The airport and a hogan….and a lot of open space in muted colors.


We camped at a brand new campground, not even finished yet.  It’s called Monument Valley Camp Park, and has views all around, but nothing fancy in the campground.


Horses (cows and sheep as well) are allowed to run free in the Navajo Nation, including on the road, so be careful.  Here they are in the RV park enjoying the rare grass.


But then, someone comes to round them up…..


On a motorbike!

I hope you are able to come to this very special place someday.  Spend a little time, not just looking, but contemplating too.  You won’t be disappointed.


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12 Responses to Utah, part 2 (Be Here Now)

  1. Reine in Plano (when not camping) says:

    Great pictures. On Las Vegas, we are all survivors as well. 9-11 changed us. This changes us. We are reminded that none of us are promised tomorrow so be sure to take the time to tell those you love that they are special. Hug your kids. Hug your friends. Share the joy of today. Thanks for your thoughts.

  2. Heart-wrenching. Absolutely heart-wrenching.
    And your “feeling” about what lies in your vision…I’ve felt that…and there are no words, just simply stunned in a spiritual moment.

  3. BadgerRickInWis says:

    Thank you. This was just what I needed tonight.

  4. Kathleen says:

    Wonderful pictures and such a beautiful place
    I can’t believe we missed you by a week
    We stayed at the same campgrounds
    Heard of sheep right outside our door in the morning

  5. einercnm says:

    Again,I’m so impressed with your wonderful photos! The art of rendering the beauty of your surroundings is a wonderful gift. Thank you.

  6. dawnkinster says:

    Such a wonderful place. I remember it from a trip the family made when we were kids. I’d love to go back. Your pictures and words remind me to put this place on my list.

    The Vegas event is also indescribable. Heartbreaking. And frustrating too.

    • Hi Dawn, when I read your comment I thought about what beauty and what ugliness I put in one post.
      I do hope you go back. The thing is there is so much nearby… the beautiful parks of Utah and the Grand Canyon too.

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