I quickly brushed my hair and strapped on my shoes as I stepped outside the car to greet the morning sun. My back was horribly sore from our night spent inside our vehicle, but I didn’t care. My heart was fluttering at the overwhelming beauty of Monument Valley. Such saturated colors and rhythmic wind can be felt nowhere else in the world but right here.
The impressive sandstone formations: buttes, spires, and towers - the geological monuments that gave Monument Valley its name - are the result of centuries and millennia of erosion and uplift. Red sandstone cliffs and spires are predominantly made of Cutler Formation sandstone from the Permian period of around 160 million years ago.
Monument Valley is more than just a park or nature preserve; it is home to Navajo people who have preserved their traditions, their language, their art forms, their pastoral sheep-herding way of life, and their relation of harmony and respect with the land. Today, Monument Valley is protected as a Navajo Tribal Park. Today, the Navajo Nation is striving to sustain a viable economy for an ever increasing population that now surpasses 250,000.
How lucky am I to have such beautifully vast landscapes just a couple hundred miles from my backyard? This place is what dreams are made of. Wild, crazy, unforgettable dreams.