I went to the info desk to enquire about hotels along the route to Monument Valley as I pretty much decided that I need to extend my trip by at least a week. The lady was very helpful & suggested a hotel in Tuba City instead of Cameron.
I spent a little time catching up on the blog (I am at least a week behind!!) and then I had a wander in the car to a couple of the look-outs. After that I made my way out of the park to the village of Tusayan from where I take the helicopter. The lady made me stand on the scales - YIKES!!!! I have put on over a stone!!! Well certainly no more crisps, M&M's or any other rubbish that these Yanks seem to love so much. Anyway, after the shock, the other passengers turned up... ladies of a certain age... all American - loud & kind of sweet. Our pilot is Jason, a 28 year old lad with a ginger beard (why oh why???!).
I do not believe I have ever been in a helicopter before & this was probably the best experience I have EVER had. I was positioned in the front right-hand side so had a fantastic view. We went over the forests of the south rim to start with, and then suddenly we flew over the edge & those trees that had been 900 feet below disappeared & there was nothing... but a one mile (give or take) drop onto the canyon floor.... Fantastic!! We were flying at roughly 130 mph, but when flying over the canyon, it appeared as though we were not even moving. This was probably the highlight of my trip - I thought it was spectacular and the only way to really see & experience the size of the canyon. Totally amazing and I was sad when it ended.
I drove back into the park & took the Desert View drive. After driving out of the east side of the park on the 64, I drove to Cameron and then north on the 89. From the 160 junction, it is only 10 miles to Tuba City where I had decided to stay.
I checked into the Quality Inn & ate at the adjoining restaurant. This appears to be a town full of Indians & also appears to be a pretty poor area. The roads were especially bad and some were even untarred.