Well, southeast Utah. We'd left the utterly forgettable town of Blanding Utah, turned right where the map indicated "picturesque", and had enjoyed a very nice drive through one of the many unknown massive vast valleys in which this part of the country specializes. Then, back to rather bland, flat, high chaparral. Thinking we'd seen what there was to see and on to Monument Valley. Driving the speed limit: 65 m.p.h. on a paved two lane road. Miles and miles of this. Suddenly, a non sequitur: signs warning us the speed ahead was 35; the road itself turning to gravel. Too weird; not possible! Suddenly, we flamed out onto this precipice. It doesn't matter the speed you are going, if you are unprepared for the earth to immediately fall away a thousand feet at your feet, it is hair-raising. Gasps from everyone in the car, including hizzoner the driver.
It is called the Valley of the Gods.
There are these ghostly stone monuments, themselves a thousand feet tall, scattered throughout a 25 mile valley as far as eye can see.
The hairpins were paved; the rest was dirt.
Looking back to where we'd just come.
Monument Valley, which I had come to know about through the novels of Tony Hillerman, was spectacular, but really. How much eye candy can one mere Midwesterner ingest in one day's drive?
The photos, of course, do not do justice to the view.