Past the "No Public Allowed" signs, our Navajo guide granted us special permission to access the backcountry of the Navajo Nation reservation in Monument Valley, Utah. This access afforded us beautiful views that are rarely seen by the general public. Above, is a temporary lake near the cave called Big Hogan. The red clay desert becomes a shallow lake for a few weeks after a recent rainstorm. The red clay is non-porous creating a flat lakebed of shimmering quality at day's end.
That night, we slept in sleeping bags inside a traditional Navajo mud hut, called a hogan. Outside we watched million of stars on display as they circled the earth. A simple campfire. The scents and sounds of wild horses, big horn sheep, and scattering field mice dancing around the snake holes kept us close to the fire's warmth.