The Sentinel

John Ford saw it, that’s for sure. Of course, many others well before him saw it also, but it was John Ford who saw it and said to himself that this would make a fine setting for a movie. John Wayne saw it, too, and agreed with that sentiment. In the end, John Ford went on to create seven movies that used Monument Valley, and this location in particular. Countless others have, too.

Today a lone sentinel stands there, watching the valley. He is patiently waiting for as long as it takes. Maybe he is looking for The Duke to come back and reprise his role in Stagecoach, which is arguably the first movie that used this setting. Or maybe Henry Fonda in Fort Apache. Or maybe, even, he is waiting for the Lone Ranger to round the butte and head his way. In any event, though, he is waiting, patiently, this sentinel of the valley.

The location is a favorite of mine, as well. I’ve visited it many times, and each time I find something new and previously unseen in the landscape. Perhaps it is the unique lighting and mood of each day; perhaps, just perhaps, it is the magic of Monument Valley. In any event, I resonate with the sentinel, and as he looks to the valley, so do I.

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