Sunday, February 12, 2012

Monument Valley, Lake Powell, Rainbow Arch

Aug 31, 2012
Flying from Kayenta, Arizona.

Kayenta airfield just across the border in Arizona, is an excellent base to use to access Monument Valley.  It's mostly deserted, without even a gate, just drive in from Hwy 160 over the cattle guard.  The golden arches and other food is visible from the field.

Flew to Monument Valley across spectacular rock formations
 just as good as the formal Monument Valley.

Near Kayenta

Flew low around the formations this time.  On the last visit I obeyed the request to fly 1500ft above ground level, but this time there was no one on the ground this time of morning, so not interfering with anyone.

The Indian hogan with a classic view of the iconic Monument Valley.
Now abandoned, with an old fridge in the doorway.....

The sun finally came out for a moment.

Then flew west over scenic canyons and rock formations toward Lake Powell.

Endless variety in the rock formations down there.

Very rough country down there for the last miles to the Rainbow Bridge arch.  I'm not at all comfortable over that terrain.......  No safe place to land and no possible road access for assistance.

Lake Powell is created by the Glen Canyon dam

 Lake Powell is in a very deep canyon, with vertical walls, and much is quite narrow, so it must be very impressive from the boats on the water.
 That's the wake of a speedboat way down there.

The only access to the Rainbow Arch is by boat up a very narrow and deep gorge to a landing, and then a short walk.
 The landing to visit the Rainbow Arch is at far left center.

Unfortunate the arch is down in a narrow gorge, 
so I couldn't get down low for a good photo.  
Viewing from the ground level is definitely the better way to go.

But I got down as close as I could.  Didn't fly all that way for nothing...

The flight back home around the south side of Ute Mtn is shorter,
 but just as savage rough rock country, 
so another tense time.......

So it's a real relief to finally find these clearings with Navajo homesteads.

This is a particularly neat homestead.  
Note the traditional Hogan in the foreground.

Most have a large collection of broken down cars.
What else can you do with a broken car this far from facilities.

I wanted to refuel and fly to the nearby Keet Seel cliff dwellings, but the sky was very threatening with dark clouds that could develop into thunderstorms, and big dust devils moving around.  So loaded aircraft in the trailer, just in time before a wild whirlwind shook the trailer.

Hot and humid, so hunted out a tree with some shade in the shopping center parking lot.

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