|Scenic Drive||15.00 Miles|| || |
|594 ft AEG|| || || |
I headed up to Monument Valley for the 1st Annual Balloon Fest April 2-3. I had just heard about this the week before, so I wasn't able to get a room on Friday night, thus missing the Saturday morning launch, which did take place. I did manage a reservation for Saturday night at The View, the hotel built on a ridge overlooking the mittens and the rest of the valley. I've wanted to check this place out since I'd seen it reviewed in/on media.
Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate with the balloons. The wind started at 11:00 Saturday morning, and continued to build throughout the day, night and Sunday. The Saturday night glow was cancelled and the Sunday morning launch was cancelled, too. Big disappointment, but I hope they try again next year.
The wind also picked up the sand, resulting in nasty photography conditions: gusts so strong the tripod was blowing over, sand in the equipment, overall haze in the air and some downright sandstorm conditions out on Valley Drive.
Can you believe this is the first time I've been into Monument Valley after 35 years in AZ?! I'll definately be back. A word about The View: a very nice facility with a good restaurant featuring AZ/Navajo dishes. If you visit their website and are enticed by the "Star View" rooms on the top floor, be sure to request a room at the far end of the building, away from the lights of the restaurant and terraces. My room cut off the view of the west mitten and the lights ruined night photos.