Day 5 Replay
*Horseshoe bend – Sunrise hike, get there early to avoid crowds. We left at 7 am, and the tourist busses were pulling in 4 at a time when we were pulling out. Early, we had very few people to share the view with and actually enjoyed some yoga and peace at the over look points.
*Walmart – I stocked up the cooler and washed the car while the kids were back at the Hotel enjoying their free breakfasts and showering.
*Glen Canyon – the Lake Powell Dam – We drove up, got out, looked around, checked out some of the engineering factors, and were back on our way in no time. Cool stop can be as long or as short as you make it!
*The Navajo Reservation – Driving through was curious, and we were looking at the land around us and evidence of neighborhoods wondering with so many questions about the history of the people.
*The Navajo Monument and Visitor Center – An excellent stop! History, relics, books, videos on replay, pottery, dinosaur footprints, and more interesting information!
*The Sandal Trail to Betatakin – A 1 mile trail filled with plants and herbs that are labeled and explained, and leads you right to a view point of the ancient native cliff dwelling. We LOVED all of the Hopi / Anasazi references and history.
*Checked into our Home for the night – the Kayente Inn, in Kayente. This was one of the more expensive stops for no breakfast, no microwave and no elevator. The price seems steep. It was however, very clean. The room was spacious, and very comfortable. The TV offered many channels and after I went to sleep the kids watched some movies they were happy about. We felt very safe here, and happy for the option to be closer to our attraction, yet not that Gouldings, which was THE MOST expensive option. We filled our cooler from the ice machine, used the microwave down in the kitchen, and even did some laundry before leaving the next day. It felt a little luxurious, and the pool was beautiful although again they didn’t swim. By the time we got back it was pretty late!
*Monument Valley Tour with Native Spirit Guides – and Larry was our eyes inside of this monumental place, took us back into the ceremonial areas of the sacred land that you must be with someone initiated to travel. There is a 17 miles off road loop that explores the rock structures, but it would be meaningless with out the words of Larry who made the place come to life and gave significance to what we were seeing. Also, we were able to add in some extras because of his knowledge and tribal affiliation, his family still lives on the land. A place that holds so much power and historical value.
*McDonalds for the kids, late night Dinner
Horseshoe bend - $10.00
Walmart - $60.00
Glen canyon dam - FREE
Navajo national monument – FREE
Kayente Inn - $202.00
Drive in to monument valley – $20.00/ car
Navajo spirit tours – 80 X 4 = $320.00 (one child was home sick)
McDonald’s - $50.00
Daily Cost: $680.00
Definitely the most expensive of our days. Thankfully, my oldest funded the tours, and the McDonalds, as his contribution to our family adventure. This made the day reasonable and kept the trip with in the budget restrictions. However I have to say – this tour was extremely valuable. Worth every penny. A priority.
Tips: *Book your tour with Larry @ Navajo Spirit Tours so you can see the other side of Monument Valley. He is so down to Earth and knowledgeable that it is a pleasure to be in his company.
*Get to Horseshoe bend early!!! I see people saying go at 12 noon when the sun is directly overhead so you don’t have the shadows in your pictures. There will be a huge traffic and crowd issue at that time. I say enjoy the silence, and the shadow.
*Navajo National Monument is a cultural wealth of knowledge. A very valuable stop.
*Meal planning – I am 100% sure if I wasn’t feeling so emotional I would have researched a better dinner option. My kids got the better of me on that one! There were many options in the area including Chinese, buffalo wild wings, pizza, and olive garden. We also could have gone to a food store, although I’m not sure they were open at 9:30 when we were arriving back in the Kayente area. Because I was in a state of amazement and figured I would decide later where to eat, we ended up with expensive fast food.
Pros: The flow of the day was magical. It all just worked, even without a prior concreted plan. I was blessed to have that tour work out for us! Another day of rich experiences that will be remembered forever. Family cooperation – my oldest son paying for the expenses at this juncture made it happen. I was trying to stick to a budget for a long trip and not run out of reserves before we were done. I did repay him later gratefully.
Cons: No microwave in the room, Expensive fast food, a kid who had an upset stomach.