While on a business trip to northeastern Arizona this past week, we took a side trip to Monument Valley, an area the straddles the Arizona-Utah border. Wholly encompassed in the Navajo Indian Reservation, this is an area immortalized in many old western movies as well as numerous more contemporary films, and of course the scenery is unmistakenly "western".
The formations, which started out as mesas, transitioning into buttes and eventually into spires through the patient but relentless work of wind and water, were originally formed when the Earth heaved and tilted the former seabed thousands of feet higher. The rocks show the layers of sediments and conglomerates, each with their own erosive characteristics that over the millennia form the striking formations now before us.
|Sun-splashed rocks with endless sagebrush in the foreground|
|This formation is named Yei-bi-chai, and tallest spire on the right is the Totem.|
|The Totem, as the sun slowly sets and now bathed in moonlight|
|Even in the gathering darkness the moon casts an eerie glow, giving an ethereal presence that makes one understand the close spiritual ties one can have with this landscape.|