Thursday, July 12, 2018

From Canyon to Canyon

Canyon de Chelly Overlook
We started our summer road trip at the Grand Canyon and finished at the Canyon de Chelly.  While not as magnificent or as well known as the Grand Canyon, the Canyon de Chelly has an interesting human history.  It is currently home to the Navajo Indians and a National Monument.  It's steep sandstone walls hide a river bed that is often dry, but is still farmed by Navajos.  If you look closely at the photo, you can see rows of crops as well as cattle wandering up the canyon.  The canyon has been one of the longest continuously inhabited landscapes in the U.S.  It is home to rock art and Ancient Puebloan ruins. 

The gateway to the monument is the town of Chinle, where we stopped and Dwight enjoyed a Navajo taco.  Canyon de Chelly National Monument is located entirely within the boundaries of the Navajo reservation and its operation is a joint venture between the U.S. Park Service the tribe.  To access the Canyon you must be accompanied by a Park Ranger or a Navajo guide; however, one foot trail from the rim into the canyon which visits the "White House" ruins is open to the unaccompanied public.   The highways which run along both the north and south sides of the canyon have overlooks, only one of which we found that was accessible.  Dessert landscape surrounds the canyon. 

We were in touch with the man tiling our floor as we progressed through Arizona and were finally given permission to go home.  We arrived to a new floor, some of which was taped off because it was still drying, and a living room full of  stacked and covered furniture.  It would be awhile before our lives could get back in order, but it was good to be home in spite of the smoke which filled the Animas Valley and our house in the early morning.  The good news was the coming of rain which has continued and finally begun quenching the fire.  The first sign of the impending rain was a long line of dark cloud exuding moisture.  I've been told that the Hopi Indians call this walking rain.  Nothing could provide a better welcome home from our summer road trip! 

Walking rain over the 416 fire

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