We drove up the eastside of Arizona through Oracle, Globe landing in Holbrook, Arizona, late in afternoon. Found an RV park where we could get the Verizon mifi working "ok" so could check email and catch up on Monday business. Nice to have easy drive but some personal business things kept us busy, so no blogging.
Wind had whipped up during our trip north the next day from Holbrook to Chinle on the Navajo Nation. Beautiful trip through stark red rock washes. Glad it was behind us most of the way. Arriving in Chinle, we drove over to the campground near the visitor's center. Canyon de Chelly National Monument was established and seems to be maintained by the Park service, however the visitor center, and campgrounds seem to be run by local Navajo natives. Anyone can drive along the north and south roads which overlook the 2 main canyons running east/west to form a "Y" at the western end just outside Chinle.
Once camped, we braved the howling 40 mph winds to drive along the south rim with 7 overlooks. Dust had really kicked up by now which made the canyon look almost ethereal.
With Brandon as our guide we set off into the canyon right down through the running creek bed. He was a little like a riverboat pilot navigating the sandbars and quicksand. I would have been stuck in 5 minutes without him. Glad he was there.
|Entering a river crossing. road to left of tree|
The Spanish arrived and saw the beautiful walls of the buildings built up in the rocks that were coated with "gold-like" mixture which they thought was gold. Such a fixation they had for gold so they raided the people and caused all kinds of issues. Anyway, the natives have been farming this land for 100's if not 1000's of years which was obvious from the many ruins high up on the cliffs. These ruins age ranged from 500-1000 yrs depending on how high up the cliff's. The water had carved out the canyon since thereby lowering the canyon floor. Water had moved the sand/silt down river so more often than not, the canyon walls went right down to the canyon floor.
All in all, it was a very fun long day. I drove about 30 miles through the canyon floor with 45 river crossings. more pix here
|Digging out from sand. took about 30 minutes|
Now onto SE Utah