After Arches we headed out to Monument valley, here the group would split up for the day, most people chose to do the jeep ride around the monuments while four of us opted to ride horses. We arrived at the meeting place amidst a howling windstorm that raised huge clouds of sand. From here we all rode in open trucks to the Navajo reservation, between the already raging wind, sand and the fast moving trucks it was almost impossible to see or hear anything. Of the four of us who chose to ride horses, Russel, Matt and Myself had done some riding before. For Kim it was a whole new experience and naturally enough she was a little nervous. They saddled up “Harry” for her, a gentle horse that we were assured often carried small children without incident. Soon we were all following our guide on a tour of the monuments. He told us about the over 300 movies that had been filmed in the area and his grandfathers role in one of those. He also told us about Navajo plant use such as digging up yucca root for making soap and shampoo, some farming techniques and showed us some of the traditional houses or Hogans and the significance of their different shapes and sizes.
Much too soon our time on the horses was over and it was time to load back up in the trucks for the ride back to the bus. Here we were able to browse some shops and I purchased delicious fry bread with Navajo tea as a snack while we waited for the jeep riders to return. Next we were headed for a quick swim at lake Powel before having dinner at Page and heading towards the Grand Canyon.