soutWhile we visited Oklahoma and Arkansas, time went by in a blur, but we saw gorgeous scenery and on the way back home, drove through classic Southwest sights and scenery.
I really wanted to visit Tulsa and see the Art Deco architecture, but it was not to be this visit. Mostly we went antiquing (and I found a delicious Brexton picnic hamper that I fell in love with), visiting an animal park, and taking in the nature and sights of Oklahoma and Arkansas. Natural Falls stood out as my favorite. I drove by the sign on the highway for years, but finally took the move to visit. I’m so happy I finally opened my eyes to this gem. Before you know it, it was time to leave and see some gorgeous classic national parks and western vistas.
Route 66 and Canyon de Chelly
We got a late start and didn’t arrive in Gallup, New Mexico until midnight (yawn!), so we didn’t get to see much neon. We had breakfast at the El Rancho, which is where all of the old Hollywood celebrities stayed when they were making movies in the area. I liked seeing all of the signed photos upstairs.
Of course, my southwest Route 66 odyssey wouldn’t be complete without another fiberglass man to add to my collection (I just saw another today in Malibu, but I digress.)
We did a flyby visit to Canyon de Chelly National Monument
, which is one of the oldest continually inhabited places in North America. I wish I could say I was dazzled by the settlements, but they were so far away. The only way you could see them even remotely close was to go down into the canyon and take a guided jeep tour. While the photo looks close, it was with a big telephoto lens. You can see things much closer at Mesa Verde and Montezuma’s Castle. You would have to look and look and then you could determine that speck off across the way were the ruins.
We then continued our trip to Monument Valley
. We got to Monument Valley with a few hours to spare before sunset. It was gorgeous. The view from The View Hotel was spectacular. You just had to step out onto your balcony to see one of the best sights in Monument Valley. Right out of a John Wayne movie. The photos after dark and at sunrise were from our balcony – incredible! I just wish it wasn’t so cloudy on our return home. We didn’t get to capture the reds of the sandstone in our photos.
I took the opportunity to wear the skirt from my patio dress ensemble the next day. I felt weird if I were to wear the whole dress. Since patio dresses (some people call them squaw dresses) resemble Native American dress, it was disrespectful if I chose to wear it on a Navajo reservation.
Arches National Park
Then we high-tailed it up to Arches National Park
. If you can’t tell, I’m a nature and National Park kind of nerd, among my nerdy habits. It was gorgeous. We saw arches everywhere – I’ll only show you the most classic.
And that was it, the whole whirlwind of a vacation of Oklahoma and the Southwest. Hope you enjoyed.