Weekly Photo Challenge – Monument

Navajo Nation, AZ

This week we are challenged to share a photo featuring a monument. You can read the original challenge post here. The challenge focused upon man-made monuments, so of course, I decided to feature monuments of another kind. So where else would I go to focus on a monument? Monument Valley… where else? I submit for your monumental judgment a photo of three natural monuments; the Mittens and Merrick’s Butte.

This photo was taken from near the trailhead of the only hiking trail in the park that does not require being accompanied by a Navajo tour guide; the Wildcat Trail. We learned a lot about hiking on that trail. You can read the sordid details in a previous post if you click here.

The photo was taken in late morning on our way to a three mile walk around the closest “Mitten” in the photo. The harsh light of the midday sun did not flatter the monuments. Next time we will have to make this image during an early morning hike when the sun is very low behind the buttes, or late in the day when the sun is behind us.

This part of Arizona is iconic southwestern US desert. The favorite backdrop of John Ford for many of his motion pictures usually featuring John Wayne. The photogenic valley has been featured in films for many years. For a view of a 1964 Chevy commercial featuring another part of the valley, click here. Most recently, about a year ago, I saw these three buttes from almost the exact same vantage point in a Geico commercial featuring the company’s trademark Gekko.

John Steiner


8 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge – Monument

  1. My husband, architect’s fave spot in AZ. We went several times but didn’t hike. . . we are , indeed, city folks! We stayed in the hotel along the ridge and enjoyed the sunrise immensely.

    • Thanks for the comment. The hotel is a great place to stay. Next time we go, though, we will probably skip the hike and take a car tour. Not that we can’t “hack it”, but we would get to see the sites from a different viewpoint.

      • The first time we went, we stayed at a Holiday Inn in the small nearby town. We also went on a sunset tour with a Navajo guide which was amazing. He was on “Native time,” so we started late. We went off road to an amazing site with a huge dome rock. Under it was a man playing a flute with ethereal music bouncing off the rock. I will never forget it! We drove through the Valley with the night clouds approaching on the East and the vivid sunset on the west. Then a storm off in the distance with thunder and lightening. Amazing demonstration of nature, making us feel so small and insignificant.

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