I finally took the time to run out to Monument Valley which is only 3 hrs from home. I have driven past it many times on my way to Lake Powell but never actually drove into the park. I have seen many pictures and have flown over it several times in a private plane but actually seeing it at ground level in person was quite a sight. It has a certain beauty and mystic about it that makes it so timeless and unique.
We didn’t arrive until 2:00 pm so I had to hurry to find a location to set up for the evening shot. I met some Navajo Ranch hands who looked to be very knowledgeable about the area so I asked them if there was a sleeper spot close by that I could hike to. One of the men informed me about a place at the back side of one of the Mitten’s not too far from the entrance that had a remote trail. I exchanged a few words of limited Navajo with them I have learned over time which they quickly corrected if I wasn’t spot on. This is definitely a tough language to learn.
We took their advice and quickly hurried down the trail but ran into a group of Navajo’s who were celebrating an event. Out of respect, we didn’t want to interrupt them so we headed back and worked on plan B. I quickly found out that sunrise is the best option for a lot of features in the area so I left the park and headed for a vantage point where I could catch both saturation and a sunset. Unfortunately, there were no clouds out east so shooting west was my only option which meant no saturation on the mittens.
As sunset quickly approached, the clouds thickened on the horizon taking away a nice sunstar option. But then when all hope was fading away after the sun had already set, color started to appear on my right side which quickly spread across the entire horizon reflecting a beautiful warm light on the desert floor. I am definitely coming back soon for a sunrise!