FST II : Day Seven – Down Day

After being treated to another stunning sunrise this morning, Becky and I decided we’d visit the local Navajo arts and crafts market, as well as visiting Goulding’s.

The arts and crafts market was a nice setup. There were four buildings, with about ten separate rooms apiece, each room with its own front door for customers and garage door for loading and unloading. The weather was very cold and windy, so not too many of the artisans were in residence at the arts and crafts market.

We wandered around the open shops, and stumbled upon an artisan, Wilbert “Keeyazhi” Collins, creating carvings in sandstone. He was working on a sandstone piece called “Father Sky” that contained many astronomical elements, making it was impossible for us to avoid picking it up. A few minutes later, he had the finishing touches on the piece, and we took our new object d’art back to the Acadia.

Goulding’s sits across Highway 163 from The View, and has been the lodging for many Hollywood films made in Monument Valley. At the recommendation of Ron yesterday, we ate lunch there. I had a “Navajo Taco”, which was chili along with vegetables, sitting atop a large piece of fry bread. My goodness was that huge!

We took the self-guided tour through the small museum, and saw many photos from film production over the last eight decades or so. We also saw a boatload of photos and stories of the creators of Goulding’s. It was really a nice stop.

There’s an interesting contrast between the two sides of the highway. At The View, the focus is really on the Navajo experience in the valley. At Goulding’s, however, it’s John Wayne and the movie industry that’s memorialized. Much like the whole Native American experience within the US, these two differing views point to a very different view of the land and its use.