Over our 2,000+ mile journey this was probably my favorite 24 hours. People always ask, “where was your favorite place?” That’s a really hard question to answer and it may change day to day, but this little corner of the country is often the answer to that question and will always have a very special space in my heart.
After leaving Aztec, New Mexico we headed to Monument Valley, a beautiful 17 million acre park in the middle of nowhere on the Arizona/Utah boarder. As we drove past reservation land and beautiful land formations we really felt the freedom of the road on this drive, we left the crowds and strip malls and busy roads all behind. There’s a nice cafe, overlook, and visitor center that goes through the history of the land, from the Natives who still call it home to the John Wayne westerns shot on location in the valley. Monument Valley has some pretty rough roads and you can opt to take a guided tour, but we drove it ourselves. There’s a stop along the way where you can take a picture on horseback on a spot called John Wayne point. At this point there is also a small fried bread stand and 2 small gift shops.
After our adventures in Monument Valley we realized the sun was setting quickly and we needed to find a place to spend the night. We were in the middle of nowhere and had no data service to google anything or pull up our maps on our cell phones. So, we called my brother and told him we saw a campground on our paper map and asked him to check it out and see if we could get the trailer into a spot down there. After being on the phone for awhile and burning more sunlight we all agreed we’d make it down the road to Gooseneck State Park.
Gooseneck State Park. was probably my favorite camp spot. After driving down a dirt road we passed the entrance of the park passing a sign that read, “Tent Camping not recommended (high winds on the canyon’s edge).” Along with us there were only 2 other people camping, both in tents (thrill seekers). There were no hookups, just picnic tables and a few vault toilets at the park. We pulled right up to the edge of a canyon and spent the entire night watching the most beautiful meteor showers. It was exciting to wake up and get a good look into the canyon the next morning and a look at where we were.