Friday, September 3, 2010


Returning from the humid north country, we entered the heat of Arizona again. After a few days of getting the car cleaned, oil changed and new tires installed, Mom and I grew bored with sitting inside watching the temperature climb. I watched movies on TV....including some John Wayne/John Wayne filmed in Monument Valley. I checked the temps up there (on the northeast border of the state), and discovered the temps would be in the 80's.

Didn't take much to convince Mom to take a road trip, so Wylee was back in his crate in the back seat, and we were off! We stayed at Gouldman's Lodge, and there learned that it was Larry Gouldman who founded the trading post there in 1924 who had introduced John Ford to Monument Valley. Mr. Ford fell in love with the area and filmed his newest western, "Stagecoach" there with a new young actor named John Wayne. The area continued to be used for film for years, right up to Windtalkers" and "Thelma and Louise". Many of the buildings around the lodge were used in the films, including the cabin that was the barracks for John Wayne's character "Nathan Brittles" in the film "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon". We went through the film sets, then took a tour the next day. A native Navaho took us on the tour on the rough dirt road John Ford had made in the '40's. She told stories of their culture and of the films that were made there. The monuments, spirals, petroglyphs and ruins were spectacular!
On the way home, we decided to make a side trip to the Grand Canyon, and stay in the sunny cool 80 degrees a bit longer. We stayed over at the Holiday Inn in Williams, where we enjoy an evening and morning swim at the heated indoor pool and whirlpool. It felt soooo relaxing!
On the way home we stopped at the casino in Prescott for an hour, and both came out ahead a few dollars. Lunch was at the Palace Hotel on Whiskey Row, and even Wylee was made welcome and allowed to join us on the patio, where they even served him a bowl of ice water and piece of grilled bacon. Very pet friendly town!