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  • Writer's pictureLuca

Have you ever seen the rain?

Updated: Apr 21, 2023

Monument Valley, Arizona/Utah, USA

11 August 2015

"Turn left on Highway 163 Scenic Byway, 22 miles to go," says the GPS voice as we approach Monument Valley, the most iconic cluster of rocks in the United States on the Utah-Arizona border, in the middle of the Navajo Reservation.

It is the last stop on a day tour that began early in the morning when my family and I left the Grand Canyon behind to reach Antelope Canyon and the adjacent Glen Canyon Dam, built to control the flow of water from the Colorado River.

The afternoon program was simple: cross the Utah border to the point where Forrest Gump suddenly ended his run (coordinates 37°06'09.5′N 109°59'21.1′W) and replicate the scene from the movie. Then the way back to enter Monument Valley Park and just hang around to wait for the twilight. Easy peasy.

Hundreds of people gather every day during sunset to witness the magic of the sky changing colour as the sun disappears behind the main backdrop, an atmosphere worthy of the best Hollywood masterpieces, a natural painting to be immortalized in memories forever.

"Ten miles to go," the landscape outside the car window is an expanse of reddish earth, dried out by the scorching sun, not surprising given that we are driving through Arizona in the middle of an August drought. The three scenic foothills of Monument Valley, however, appear under a strange shadow, overlaid by black clouds.

"Destination reached," raindrops fall on the windshield of the car, with perfect timing, and this heavy rain will stay with us throughout our stay. Perhaps the Navajo performed the rain dance to solve the drought problem.

The initial disappointment paved the way for positive excitement, having the unique opportunity to visit the natural reserve in this condition, I mean, when will it happen again?

I get out of the car and walk to the viewpoint because I still want to capture this moment in my memories.

A famous song starts playing in my ears:

"I wanna know, have you ever seen the rain?"

I smile, sarcastically.

Yes, many times, but I never imagined I would be standing right here!

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