.......... .. .. ........... "Once In A While You Get Shown The Light In The Strangest Of Places If You Look At It Right" :Robert Hunter

All of the music recordings on this site are recordings of independent origin (ROIOs) Music that has not been officially released. If you are an artist or a legal representative of an artist and you do not want your ROIO shared on my site for free among your fans (and creating new fans), just tell me in the comment area and I will remove them. By the way these recordings exist. They won't go away. All of them can be found at various places on line. Sharing just keeps the fans that support the artists from having to get ripped off by purchasing them on auction sites, and it also introduces music to people who would never have known the artist, creating a stronger fan base.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Canyon De Chelly National Monument, Arizona

Most people that come to Arizona go to the Grand Canyon and Sedona, and perhaps Lake Powell as the pass through or maybe even Monument Valley but up in the remote northeast corner of the state in an out of the way location is a gem of a spot called Canyon De Chelly National Monument. Canyon De Chelly is on the Navajo reservation and Navajos call themselves Diné (sometimes spelled in English as Dineh) which means "The People" in the Navajo language. In this canyon there are people living in traditional hogans with no running water and farming the land just as their ancestors did. And minding their sheep and crops as the tourist take pictures. The Diné are also not shy about trying to make a buck off the tourist by selling jewlery, rugs and tours.The canyon is very beautiful with smooth sandstone wall as high as 1000 feet in some places. And along with seeing the Diné people living in this beautiful place there are also some very well preserved cliff dwellings of the long past Anasazi culture. Canyon De Chelly National Monument is really made up of two twin canyons, Canyon Del Muerto and Canyon De Chelly, that come together at a junction. The canyons can be explored in three main ways. By looking down into the canyon from the rim from the many senic overlooks (this you do by driving your own car), by walking down into the canyon by trail to the White House Ruin (the only trail into the canyon open to the public), or buy truck with a Diné guide or escort to see the rest of the interior of the canyon and it's numerous ruins.There is a small stream or wash that runs through the bottom of the canyon called Chinle Wash. The stream forms from many tributaries flowing down out of the Chuska Mountains, passing through the twin canyons. Chinle Wash can be just a muddy trickle of water or a wide flowing river depending on the season (and if they are releasing water upstream at a dam). And the jeep or truck tours just drive right up the wash. When it is dry this is no big deal but when in flood stage the large army troop transport trucks can even have problems, as was the case on my trip there. When we were taking the tour we spent as much time watching them try to pull trucks out of the river as we did taking the tour. We also found a ruin that was off the beaten path from the main canyon called Three Turkey Ruin. This was seen from a overlook of a side canyon and was not in the main National Monument. There are actually many canyons here but the two main ones (and most accessible)are Canyon del Muerto and Canyon de Chelly. These many canyons and ravines branch out eastwards from Chinle into the Defiance Plateau.

Most of it may be reached only at rim level via rough, unpaved jeep tracks. Only the northernmost and southernmost edges are accessible from paved roads. The North Rim Drive (Indian Reservation 64) links Chinle with the north-south route IR 12 and passes several overlooks. The short hike down to the White House Ruin is well worth the effort. The trail is very well maintained and is only a few miles long. There is some effort due to you have to climb several hundred feet of elevation on the way back up and out of the canyon. The White House Ruin is very well preserved and in a spectacular location in an alcove at the base of a beautiful and dramatic cliff. Even if the ruin were not there the hike would be worth it to see the canyon bottom with it's trees and small stream and to look up at the majestic sandstone cliffs with desert varnish streaks.

The South Rim Drive is an out and back but offers more dramatic vistas then the north road, and ends at the most spectacular viewpoint, the overlook of Spider Rock. Spider rock is a free standing forked spire rising up 800 feet above the canyon floor. The rock is of special significance for the Diné and according to Diné legend, the Spider Woman lives on top and keeps the bones of her victims there.
If you plan on going I recommend you make reservations for the truck or jeep tour in advance. And if you want to stay in the lodge I'm sure it would be wise to plan in advance. To get there from I-40: Take exit 333 onto US 191 north. Follow US 191 north 60 miles to Chinle, then turn east (right) toward the Canyon de Chelly entrance. This drive takes about 1.5 hours.

No comments:

Post a Comment