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Magnificent Monument Valley

by eddiego65 on 07/10/11 at 12:38 am

Towering buttes dot the desert in a setting that exemplifies the stark beauty of the old Southwest.

Monument Valley, astride the border between northeastern Arizona and southeastern Utah of the United States, is a broad expanse of flatlands punctuated by hundreds of towering sandstone pillars, spires and buttes.  Rising to elevation of 1,000 feet (300 meters) and more, some of the massive eroded monoliths look like crumbling castles, ancient temples, and tall skyscrapers, bearing such descriptive names as Castle Rock and the Alhambra. 

(East Mitten and West Mitten Buttes at sunset) Image source

(The Setting Hen) Image source

(The Hand) Image source

Other formations have more fantastic but equally fitting names, such as the Mittens, the Setting Hen, and the Bear’s Ears.  And still others are associated with the local folklore, including Merrick Butte and Michelle Butte, named for the two prospectors who were killed there searching for a silver mine. 

(The Three Sisters) Image source

(Ear of the Wind) Image source

(Totem Pole) Image source

Ultimately the monoliths may be leveled by erosion, leaving nothing but a flat plain.  In the meantime, its austere beauty continues to symbolize the universal image of the great Southwest.  (The famous John Wayne 1939 movie Stagecoach was filmed in Monument Valley.)  Seeming to glow in full sunlight, then standing out in stark silhouette as evening shadows creep across the valley floor, the monuments inspire a sense of awe in all who see them.

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Socorro Lawas

Oct 7th, 2011

Spectacular sights wonderfully illustrated in your photos!


Oct 7th, 2011

That really is an exceptional place.


Oct 7th, 2011

Ed, you have here amazing photos!

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