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We get up and walk the 2 miles into Painted Hand Pueblo.


This is a site with many petrographs. While walking down the road I notice that Sherman is a little on edge. As we’re walking I notice that the bushes growing along the road are mostly blocking his view of anything in the distance, so his other senses are on high alert. I wonder what it looks like from his view, so I hold by phone down at arms length. This is not as close to the ground as his eyes, but about a foot higher at my knee level. So… here’s an approximation of Sherman’s walk on this road.

We’re walking along the cliff feeling that we’re getting close…

We’re now in the pueblo space and the first visible tower.

The tower from below. A living space was also built under the supporting rock.

Another angle.

I follow a trail sign pointing down the hill toward the pictographs. Never did find them…

This and following photos of ruins along the trail.

I really like the energy of this place. Very inviting and warm. Beautiful rocky terrain covered in low brush with many trees. There is at least one good year round water source nearby. Lovely places to hang out and rest with fabulous views.

Sherman’s breakfast awaits his interest to turn from possible critter movement to his stomach when we’re back at the van.

I walk around in the brush near the van and discover early cactus blooms.

Around 10am it’s time to head out and drive to Hovenweep National Monument in Utah .

I go in the Visitor’s Center for a map. Turns out the 2 mile loop around the site is dog friendly. So Sherman and I get another good workout. This is going to loop around the canyon and then traverse the canyon back to our starting point.

The amazing thing here is that it’s a dispersed village. No large central buildings, but dwellings built within eye, ear, throat distance of each other. Some are totally unique building designs. The masonry of all of them is superb. No hastily thrown up buildings here. This is a community that cares about it’s craftsmanship.

There are frequently buildings across the canyon from each other.

I love this one. Hey honey, let’s live inside that hollowed out rock. What do you say?

This is the most photographed structure here. What’s still standing is 4 stories high. So, it was originally how high?

From Hovenweep, we’re headed to Monument Valley. I wanted to come here in 2000 when my parents were out in their RV with my then 12 year old son. A combination of unhealthy family dynamics prevented that from happening. Monument Valley has been on my want to be there list for 30 years. So, I’m looking forward to it.

There’s no good place to camp near Monument Valley, so I start looking in the area and see this state park on the map. I drive in and am stunned to silence by the place.Goosenecks State Park. It’s dispersed camping along a road that follows the cliff to the left in this photo.

From the picnic area.

Out at the end of the road with a few Monument Valley style red rock sandstone forms in the distance.

No trees for shade. But it’s late in the day and the van provides shelter from the very hot sun.

The mountains really are this color. It’s like looking at a huge watercolor.

Sunset is beginning…

End of a long day. Monument Valley tomorrow!