Friday, June 2, 2017

Monument Valley and The Goosenecks (mostly pictures)

Location: Mountain View RV Park (el 7,000 ft); Monticello, Utah

All pictures taken with Nokia Lumia Icon 929 Cell Phone.

current location 

I left Page this morning around 9:00. Instead of emptying my tanks I added a half bottle of Dawn to each tank and used the travel day as an agitator. I'll empty tanks before leaving here. I do this every now and then. I would prefer to use Calgon and Dawn but I seem to never be able to find Calgon in the stores. I also added some Pine Sol to take care of some sewer gnats that I picked up somewhere along the way.

The trip took me through the Navajo Nation and Monument Valley. I also made a short detour to see The Goosenecks of the San Juan River. I first saw a picture of them on some blog many years ago. Ever since then, they have been on my list of things to see. 

I'm a little tired so I'll just post the pictures with captions. Here we go:
Sunset over Page on the last night. It was appropriate to include the electrical transmission tower. Without the dam, there would be no electricity or city. Page was constructed for the construction workers on the dam. Other than the dam, there is no reason for a city the size of Page to be in this location. When you hear people talk about infrastructure and public work projects, think of Glen Canyon Dam. The electricity produced, water management and recreational benefits have paid for the work many, many times over and will continue for decades to come with very little maintenance cost.

The three smokestacks belong to the Navajo Nation coal fired powerplant. It and the Kayenta coal mine, located about 60 miles away employ thousands of Navajo Indians. It is the major source of revenue for the tribe. But even with it, the Navajo people are still very poor. But things are going to get worse. The plant is due to close in 2019 because natural gas fired powerplants are cheaper and burn cleaner. The glut of natural gas produced with fracing will put this plant out of business. They will be applying for federal subsidizes to allow the plan to continue, but hopefully, that won't happen. This is free enterprise in action. Something better and cheaper has come along and older methods will have to give way. This is a lesson for the people going crazy about Trump getting out of the Paris Agreement. They make it sound like everything is going to go back to some point in the past. This coal fired plant will shut down and thereby reduce the carbon put into the air. This is due to frac'ing which the environmentalists disagree with. It's like a vicious circle, but in the end, Capitalism and Free Enterprise makes it work. 

This is the typical land in the northwest corner of the Navajo Nation.

I was able to see this mountain for a long time. That cloud just got bigger and bigger. It never moved in the 45 minutes I was able to see it. It was as if the mountain itself was creating it. I guess that is possible if the mountain is giving off extra heat, then the moisture in the air is being converted to making a cloud. It did look weird though. Not as weird as the swirling cloud around Devils Tower though. Now that was weird. I also wanted to show the electrical lines above the train tracks. The train delivers the coal to the powerplant using an electrical power engine. Pretty neat.

The landscape changed a little with this row of hills.

You top out a hill and you can see in the distance buttes and spires. The next picture is a close up of the spire on the left of the road.

I had to take this one over my shoulder a little bit, but I wanted to get the "face-like" part of the stone. 

Monument Valley in the distance. The location for several movies, specifically John Wayne's. 

Road cuts and barren land

If this looks familiar, it means you watched the movie Forrest Gump. The state created a pull-off for people to take a picture. I pulled Freedom and Liberty over and temporarily blocked a car from leaving. I was only going to be there less than a minute to take a couple of pictures. The couple got "horsey" and developed an attitude. Oh well, I waved to them as I left. I hope they had a great day. 

This is from the next pull-off. I got a wider look at the valley.

With no cars coming, I quickly took one from the centerline of the road.

The sky added to beauty with the blue sky and puffy clouds. They didn't stick around though.

The Goosenecks of the San Juan River. The river was muddy looking so I guess it had rained upstream. I waited a long time to see this but things never worked out during the times I was in this part of the country. The buttes in the upper left are part of Monument Valley 

This was a panoramic view. If you look closely on the right, you can see a group of rafter/tubers floating down the river. 

Nothing special other than it looked neat.

This stretch of road came as a surprise. Those trees on the right were the only ones during the whole trip. They came out of no where and lasted for about 2 or 3 miles. Nice change in scenery. 

Those white puffy clouds gave way to this rain storm. I saw no lightening nor did I hear and thunder. Just large drops of rain and a quick drop in temperature. Freedom has a read out of the outside temperature and when I entered the storm it was 83 degrees. Within 2 to 3 minutes, it had dropped to 50 degrees. A 33 degree drop in such a short time. I have been in storms where it dropped but never that much and that quickly. It was something else.

I couldn't decide between the two storm pictures so I included both. 

The storm only lasted about 10 to 15 miles, then it cleared. It was kind of refreshing. I couldn't remember the last good rain I had been in.

Clear sailing after the storm.

This is the campsite. I will be here for three days while visiting the southern part of Canyonlands National Park.
Note: I'm too tired to proof read this post so if you find something that you can't decipher, leave a comment and I'll try to clear it up for you. 

Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road.


  1. Hello Darrell
    Glad to see you safe and traveling again. I enjoy your blog and have plans for us to travel back west this fall. I did want to make one opposing comment. As someone who worked over 38 years in the power industry, what many people don't realize is the difference between base load and peak power generation. The cost of natural gas production is usually quoted from peaking units which only run as needed. To my knowledge very few base load plants (large Megawatt continuous running units are gas fired. It will be a sorry day for this country when the past administrations policies force the closure of our base load plants.
    Didn't mean to vent but I am always concerned when comparing apples and oranges.

    1. Hello SR, thanks for your comment. I was speaking after newspaper articles and some of the Navajo I met. I hope the plant remains open without federal subsidies.

  2. I think we were in the same rainstorm as you. It was wonderful. Your Forrest Gump road pictures are much better than mine. Great job. Beautiful area the Navajo Nation.