Saturday, December 22, 2012

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012 Canyon de Chelly

This morning we checked out of the Best Western in Chinle, Arizona and headed directly to Canyon de Chelley.  Upon arriving, we stopped at the Visitors Center for information.  Then we drove to several lookout points along the south rim.  After that we headed to the White House Trail Lookout Point.  We decided to take the hike down into the canyon (the one the girl at the Visitors Center is NOT strenuous).

The hike down was spectacular, but it really is strenuous. Here is Peggy in a short tunnel that is on the trail.   It is only a little more than a mile walk, I think, but it seems like much more, and I think it took us an hour and a half to get down to the bottom of the canyon. I was exhausted when we finally got there, but the walk was so scenic and the views into the canyon were so spectacular, that it was worth it.

At the bottom of the canyon we found restrooms, the White House Ruins and several indian vendors selling jewelry and painted rocks.  Our original plans had been to hike back up to where the car was parked, but I knew the hike up would be more strenuous and more time consuming, so I asked one of the women vendors if she would consider giving us a ride up to our car.  She agreed to do so after a certain jeep tour made a stop around noon.  In the meantime, Peg and I looked at the jewelry and both of us purchased several pieces. Here is Verlita making some turquoise bracelets for me.

Around 12:20 Cindy and Verlita packed up their wares and they, along with one of their male cousins (or some other relative) drove us up to our car.  Along the way, they stopped to show us several areas of petroglyphs and/or rock art.  I have to admit, both Peggy and I were a bit nervous about this ride.  When they stopped and suggested we get out of the truck to walk closer to a certain area, I was not sure we SHOULD get out..........what if they abandoned us there at the bottom of the canyon?  However, it all worked out well and after about a 45 minute ride/tour we indeed did end up at the parking area.  Peggy took Cindy's address so that she can send her a postcard of Niagara Falls.
Cindy and Peg at the TOP of the canyon

After that we headed back to Chinle and then headed towards Monument Valley.   We stopped in Kayenta, Arizona to see the Navajo Code Talkers Exhibit at the Burger King where we had a snack.  The drive through the Monument Valley area was quite nice although some areas were a bit hazy.   We didn't go to the scenic drive at the Navajo Tribal Park for two reasons 1. we probably did not have time and 2. we wer concerned that our rental car might not be suitable for that drive.    We stopped at a small indian jewelry store, I think it was very close to the entrance to the Tribal Park.  After crossing the Utah border we stopped near Mexican Hat to find a geocache.  It is hidden right near this huge rock formation that I believe is known as MEXICAN HAT !

And then it was on to Bluff where we had a room reserved at the RECAPTURE LODGE.  It was still light out, so we tried to find a geocache near a tourist attraction, something like a fort, but were not successful.  We checked into our room at the Recapture and then had supper at TWIN BLUFFS.   Our meal was very good and we shopped a bit in the gift store before heading back to our room.  I was able to go on the internet in the lodge lobby and log our geocache finds.  There were two German men who were having problems with their rental car, and further problems communicating the problem to the rental car agency over the phone.  I felt really bad for them.  We really liked the had the look and feel of a hostel, and offered a very good breakfast.

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