Day 971, Flying Monument Valley, Visiting Hovenweep NM and Valley of the Ancients MN

I got up this morning and reached the airport before dawn:

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The air was variable and chaotic at the airport.  I did manage to take off, and found that once I climbed above the mesa to the south of the airport, the air became smooth.  Despite a weather report showing winds from the south at 4MPH, it turns out the wind was more like 11MPH from the south.  The airport was engulfed in rotor from the mesa.

I flew east towards the monuments:

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In light of the strong winds, I decided to stay high to avoid rotor from the monuments.  I also avoided flying over the monuments, as some members of Navajo law enforcement erroneously believe that Indian sovereignty extends to the air above their land, and that Monument Valley Tribal Park is a “no fly zone”.  The reality is that the FAA has sole authority over US airspace, but that’s of little comfort when Indians illegally confiscate one’s RV and paramotor.  I didn’t want that to happen to me, so I stayed away:

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I came back to land, having to re-enter the rotor coming off the mesa above the airstrip:

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The landing was dicey and I ended up not quite sticking the landing, but I was fine and so was my gear.  Here’s the flight track:

This video shows this morning’s flight, as well as yesterday’s two flights:

Back at the RV, M was photographing his R/C car:

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On our way north out of Monument Valley, we stopped to photograph the monuments:

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We again photographed Monument Valley from the northern approach:

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Continuing east, we crossed from Utah into Colorado and visited Hovenweep National Monument, another Ancestral Puebloan ruins site:

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We hiked out to view the ruins:

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The ruins here were built between 1150 and 1350:

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Hovenweep features square towers, a feature not found at other Ancestral Puebloan sites:

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The kids completed their Junior Ranger workbooks and received their badges:

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We continued east to visit the Anasazi Heritage Center, the visitor center for Canyons of the Ancients National Monument:

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The museum was very impressive:

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M used the loom:

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The basket collection was extensive:

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This basket is 800 years old:

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This basket is estimated to be over 6,000 years old:

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The kids completed their Junior Ranger workbooks and received their pins:

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We continued east into the foothills of the Rockies:

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We continued east to overnight at the Walmart of Alamosa, Colorado.  See the trip map for today’s drive and our current location.

Day 970: Flying Goosnecks, Valley of the gods, and Monument Valley
Day 972: Capulin Volcano National Monument

2 thoughts on “Day 971, Flying Monument Valley, Visiting Hovenweep NM and Valley of the Ancients MN

  1. Hey Ben.
    Amazing pictures as always. We have been wanting to see some of Utah ourselves, though in general I am no fan of the desert. We’ll be doing some RVing in California and seeing our daughter this summer in LA for a spell. We’ve been tentatively shopping for a camper ourselves, though we want something a lot less involved. Problem is how am I going to tow my sailboat, motorcycle, AND the camper with my Fiat 500? Guess I need a truck too. Tsk.

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