|Hiking down into the Canyon de Chelly, Navajo Nation, Arizona|
|I guess being famous for something is better than being famous for nothing.|
Leaving Gallup the next day, we worked our way a couple of hours north to the town of Chinle, in the Navajo nation. This was to be our introduction to the famed Arizona canyon lands. We managed to check into our hotel early and grab some lunch. The Navajo nation has been a surprise to us. We have been impressed by how much of a nation it really seems to be. There are few non-native faces to be seen. Everyone working in our hotel and restaurant in Gallup was Navajo, and things were even more culturally concentrated in Chinle.
After lunch,we met up with our tour guide for a 3 hour jeep trip through Canyon de Chelly (pronounced, “de Shay”, which was the Spanish bastardization of the original Navajo word “Tseyi”).
|Jeep tour of the Canyon de Chelly. A great recommendation. Thanks Dave!|
|TJ, showing us some pictographs.|
|Ancient Anasazi ruins. This ruin is called the "White House", named for the whitish building in the middle of the rock shelf.|
|Petroglyph showing two horsemen chasing down a deer.|
|Pictographs, decorating what is thought to have possibly been a maternity chamber for the Anasazi (the Navajo's ancestors). The figure lying on his back playing the flute is Coco Pele, who is featured in a lot of Navajo art.|
|Can you see the cat? (This one is pretty obvious)...|
|... how about the St. Bernard...|
|... or the duck, lying on it's stomach...|
|... or my favorite, the two owls, with the blowing cottonwood seed looking like snow.|
|Spider rock, acting like a big sun dial.|
|Hiking down the steep cliffs into the canyon.|
|A good view of some of the fields being tended by Navajo who own land in the canyon.|