Conference and holiday in Colorado

On Saturday 18th October 2008, I went to Colorado for a software conference, where I gave a few talks. Colorado Software Summit if you're interested - sadly 2008 was the last of these excellent conferences. I managed to get a couple of extra weeks of holiday after the conference, and did a little bit of mountain walking, along with a trip to Arizona to see the sights, even skipping briefly into Utah.

Monument Valley - Tuesday 4th November

On Tuesday, I again got up early, and was picked up by the same tour guide, this time to visit Monument Valley. It was a long drive - Google puts it down as 175 miles. On the way, we saw Indian landmarks, and a group of Indians riding horses to their voting stations carrying Obama/Biden flags. We were heading into Navajo land.
Indian signpost

Painted Desert

We stopped briefly by a couple of rock outcrops called the "Elephant's Feet". So many things I saw that day were very aptly named.
Elephants Feet

Habitable caves

Owl Rock and El Capitain/Agathla

Chaistla Butte

Finally we arrived at Gouldings Lodge, where I was handed over to a Navajo tour guide with a huge 4×4 truck. Harry Goulding was a trader who established the lodge. He is apparently the only person to have ever been sold any land by the Navajo - all the rest is merely lent out to whoever uses it. He is also the person who brought the attention of Hollywood to Monument Valley, and made it a location for film-making.

Rock above Gouldings

Eagle Mesa

Dust storm

The Mitten Buttes and Merrick Butte

West Mitten Butte

Merrick and Elephant Buttes

the Sun Eye

The Totem Pole

The Totem Pole

Merrick and Mitten Buttes

Eagle Mesa