Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Southwest Tour, Friday

Gallup is in in heart of Navajo Nation territory. The land is dry, rocky, dusty, and sad looking, although the rocks and vistas and mesas have a beauty of their own. Lots of movies made in and around this area. One motel was home to John Wayne and others while they made movies in this Route 66 town. We wew warned when we checked in that the Navajo Fair would start on the weekend at Window Rock and the area would be a boiling pit of people.

I had been in Gallup before and knew I wanted to eat breakfast the next day at Earl’s, a going restaurant since the 1930s. Here Indian vendors are allowed to sell outside but also inside. They bring around trays of jewelry or arms of pottery while you eat. It might get annoying if you were a local who ate there frequently, but it was fun to us. The breakfast was wonderful.

After a visit to the old train station known for its Harvey Girls and Harvey House Restaurants during the old days, we pushed on towards Canyon de Chelly. We stopped at Hubbell’s Trading  on the way. Very interesting place that is now a National Historic Site and still operates as a trading post. They were willing to trade of my money for some of their turquoise!

Then it was the Visitors Center for the canyon. I did not find the operators of the center very friendly or helpful. There was not a warm feeling here. We choose to do the North Rim and the canyon was amazingly deep, hard to imagine how people got to the bottom to the rich land for farming. Also hard to imagine how the ancient cliff dwelling people got down to those rock homes in the face of canyon. I read that at some places the old people had log hand holds that they pulled out and up as they went. They allowed them to move down into the valley but did not allow anyone to follow them back up. Hard living for sure.

That is DH out on the edge listening to the canyon winds.

At this point, we made a decision. We were only about four hours or so from the edge of the Grand Canyon. DH asked me what I wanted to do, but he had to make this decision. I had seen the Grand Canyon 20 years ago and enjoyed it. He never had seen it, but at this point he was really weary of desert. He said he longed for mountains, trees and running water. We differ a little on this, but since I had been pretty sick by this point, I was also ready for a change.

                              Navajo Hogan, very cool inside even on 92 degree day

So for the next several hours we pushed across the Navajo Reservation, passed Shiprock, did not stop at Four Corners, and pulled into Cortez, Colorado for a bit of a collapse and re-energizing.


Lisa Ricard Claro said...

The West has a stark beauty uniquely its own. Sunset over the desert is spectacular. And can you believe it? I lived in Nevada for six years and never visited the Grand Canyon. That's one of those things I'll regret forever.

Linda O'Connell said...

Oh your trip sounds incredible and memorable. A real hogan. I tell my students about this type of home. Thanks for the photo trip.

Donna Volkenannt said...

Lovely photos. Your journey must've been amazing. Words can't describe the beauty of that part of the country. Makes me want to go back.