The entire Navajo reservation covers one third of the 130,000 square mile Colorado Plateau. The dry desert climate has all four seasons. On this day we could see traces of snow and the skys were mostly cloudy.
The park was established in 1958 as a preserved environment by the Navajo Nation Council. It is truly pristine. They do not allow motorcycles, mountain bikes or hiking. The people that actually live inside the park, or the valley within the rock as it is called in Navajo: "Tsé Bii’Ndzisgaii" have long sustained life through simple living. They have underground aquifers which provide moisture to the crops and adequate grazing for their livestock.
We spent a good part of our day driving the Valley Road. There were very few people and many were choosing to pay for a guided tour which took them to different parts of the park. We had the place to ourselves and could take in all the beauty and quiet splendor.
The mesas and buttes are surrounded by sandy desert and have been filmed and photographed many times over the years. The colors are stunning depending on the time of day and the amount of sunshine. It is a desolate landscape with amazing rock formations rising hundreds of feet. They are the last remnants of the sandstone layers that once covered this entire region.
|“Those who tell the stories, rule the people.”|
When the tour vans and buses pulled up to this lookout area, this guy got on his horse and rode out to the point. It's kind of kitschy but I love it just the same. Prior to this we had this little stop all to ourselves and walked out on that point to see a fantastic view.
|"Be still and the earth will speak to you"|
"Coyote is always out there waiting, and Coyote is always hungry.”
photos: (c)b.steichen 2019
quotes: attributed to Navajo sayings