Monument Valley is one of those iconic places I “knew” from seeing pictures of it in print and in films. It wasn’t until I’d actually been there and experienced its vastness, emptiness, sandiness, dust and heat that its rugged beauty really hit me.
I knew that the director, John Ford, used it as a location for several of his films, the classic Stagecoach being one of them. There is an area in Monument Valley named “John Ford Point” and it overlooks where some very familiar scenes in westerns were filmed by him. There is a plaque commemorating this spot and the Stars and Stripes flies alongside.
Nearby are horses for tourists to hire for rides in the valley. Imagine my delight when one of the cowboys working with the horses obligingly rode out to the overhang and stayed there for a while – see the first picture. Now, he may have been posing (note his bright red jacket which shows up nicely) but the dramatic overall effect was pure bonus!