March 26, 2009

Monument Valley = American icon

Majestic sleepover in Monument Valley, Utah

In Monument Valley, there's finally a hotel as sublime as the landscape. The Navajo-run View is hip and family friendly, and did we mention the scenery?

By Mark Vanhoenacker
Forrest Gump stopped running here; Thelma and Louise did not. Half a century ago, when advertisers conjured up the Marlboro Man as the personification of the American West's folklore of freedom and rugged individualism, Monument Valley was already the perfect stage.

No traveler's wanderings across the U.S. are complete without a trip to this isolated plateau. The shimmering red-rock buttes rising from the mile-high valley floor form a skyline as unique and memorable as that of Manhattan. And just like New York, images of Monument Valley stand at the center of American iconography and culture.
Comment:  Good point about the importance of Monument Valley as an American icon. If you had to pick one image from the Western United States to represent the Wild or Old West, what would it be?

The Grand Canyon? Maybe, but that says "West" to me, not "Wild" or "Old." No, an image of the Mitten Buttes of Monument Valley is probably the best one to choose.

We could prove this with a national or international test. Take a dozen photos of the American West, including one of Monument Valley, and show them to people. Ask them to pick one they think is the American West. See which photo gets chosen most often.

For more on the subject, see Navajo View Hotel Opens and Monument Valley Lore.

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