Sunday, November 13, 2011

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly (pronounced Canyon de Shay) is in the northeast part of Arizona and considered a center of the Navajo people. We found it interesting that the rangers and people at the visitor's center only talked about the place as being Navajo...nothing about the geology or how it was formed. But, you can see, there is a geological story here someplace.

There is a south road (where these photos were taken) and a north road. There are turnouts as well as side roads that lead down to the edge where you can look over into the canyon (very carefully).

They have jeep tours that go along the valley floor but we only stayed an afternoon and the next day until 2pm so we only viewed from the rim.

One of the highlights is the old buildings where peoples that pre-dated the Navajo lived. Here is a series of photos that start from the rim and then zoom in. Kim LOVED these! (More of these are upcoming when we get to Mesa Verde).
The buildings are between the trees across the valley.

...a bit closer...

...really zoomed in on the center buildings...they look like minature models.

We stayed at Cottonwood Park at the entrance. A free place surrounded by gorgeous fall colored cottonwood trees. We got rained on but a beautiful full rainbow came out for our enjoyment.

This was a spectacular canyon to view but, unfortunately, we had to go through the town of Chinle, which had some serious poverty-stricken homes along the road leading up to the park entrance. We weren't sure if we were on the right road. Very depressing. We read where the Navajo lives in what is considered poverty up to 50% of their people...yet they continue to live there. It's there land and their home I guess. No judgements,  just the place was a bit sad and seemed lacking in hope.

We posted all the photos here:

The next day, as it rained on us, we headed northwest to Monument Valley.

Kim and Steve

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