Friday, July 11, 2014

Monument Valley Tour & Vision Quest Video - Indian Summer Series

Monument Valley is one of my picks for 9 Wonders of the World -- something everyone should see. And it's in our own backyard here in the West. But if you can't make it to the magical Canyon Lands, then just sit back and watch the video at the end of this blog post. Allow me to be your Cheap$kate Chaperone - no admission charge necessary for this awesome tour.

The beginning of this video starts with a Sunset Tour (5:30 - 8:30pm) of Monument Valley for $80 per person - click here to read about Navajo Spirit Tours. Entering Monument Valley costs $20 per car, but the ticket is good for four days. My wife arranged it all, and also found the best Navajo Spiritual Guide we could have booked. His name is Don Mose and he draws from a deep knowledge of Navajo culture.

I could tell he was an experienced lecturer and teacher by his smooth and engaging delivery. He fed our heads with Indian lore and took us to the coolest landmarks, even where to stand for the best camera angle.

Our Navajo Spirit Guide, Don Mose

And he fearlessly steered our tour tram over unpaved and bumpy dirt roads. At one memorable stop he even sang a melodious Indian song, cappella. You can hear it during my Vision Quest video sequence. He also has a good sense of humor - just watch him volley back any impertinent question I lobbed his way.

There is too much of Don Mose to fit in this video. So if you enjoy his stories, then be sure to check back, as I will put together more of his words of wisdom in another video to share with you, including a lesson using local herbs as organic medicine, plus a tour of Male and Female Hogan living quarters -- totally fascinating.

Indian Petroglyphs

You could skip a guided tour, as you are allowed to tour Monument Valley on your own. But you'll want to read up on it so you don't just drive past the many amazing landmarks.

Can you see the head of Sleeping Dragon Rock?

The third video in my Indian Summer Vacation Series starts straightforward enough, with typical tourist scenes and the prerequisite 99 Cent Chef's hijinks. But by the time you're a minute past the halfway mark...well, get ready for The Vacationing Chef's outlandish Vision Quest.

I knew it would be cool to make something out of our tour of a Sweat Lodge. So when I shot some video, I had no idea what to do with it. Could I have bitten off more than I could chew once again? But the next day during a lunch picnic, I found a bleached-white bone. Suddenly I had a real Vision Quest involving the bone and a talking coyote. Well, you'll have to watch the video to experience it.

Sweat Lodge  - The start of my Vision Quest

You can take The Chef out of Hollywood, but you can't take Hollywood out of the Cinematic Cook. To fully appreciate my Vision Quest you need to have seen the opening scene from Stanley Kubrick's mind-blowing movie "2001- a space odyssey." You remember it don't you? It's the Dawn of Man scene were a large upright black monolith slab (planted by extraterrestrials) triggers our ape/humanoid ancestors use of weaponry. Just watch the film clip first, for the setup to my Vision Quest. My ripoff (I mean homage) begins about 5 minutes, 30 seconds in, but the whole 9 minute, 33 second clip is worth a gander (especially the bone toss at the end.)

Dawn of Man movie still, from 2001: a space odyssey.

Of course you can skip the 2001 clip and just go right to my video below and take in my Indian Vision Quest. It stands on it's own. Anyway, the opening clip to "200l: a space odyssey" is a click away here.

My latest Indian Summer Vacation video has it all: breathtaking photography, skillfully told Navajo knowledge, a hallucinatory Vision Quest and a bit of comedy. And check back as there's a lot to come - I haven't even got to awe-inspiring Arches National Park, or a delish Frybread Taco Recipe.

Monument Valley Tour & Vision Quest - Video #3

Play it here, video runs 7 minutes, 37 seconds.

My YouTube video link for viewing or embedding, just click here.

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