Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Canyon de Chelly National Monument

We hoped to be able to visit Canyon de Chelly (pronounced Canyon dah Shay) this trip but with the federal government shut down we weren't sure that was going to happen.  Cathy, Mary's long-time girlfriend and our tour guide on this expedition, was sure that it was because there is no entrance fee and it is on a highway.  She was right.  The Visitor Center was closed but the roads were all open.

Navajo people were selling their art everywhere in the park
I loved this guy's stuff and almost bought something but living in our fifth wheel keeps me from shopping a lot! 


Canyon de Chelly National Monument is located within the boundaries of the Navajo Nation.  There are ruins of early indigenous tribes that once lived in the area including the ancient Pueblo Peoples (Anasazi) and the Navajo.  The National Monument was established on April 1, 1931 as a unit of the National Park Service although none of the land is federally owned.

Mary and Cathy at one of the overlooks

Spider Rock
Spider Woman is the Navajo Diety that brought weaving to the native peoples.  This monolith was named for her.  It would make a beautiful tapestry!  This is a place that is sacred to the Navajo people.  It is a place of purity and strength.

We are standing at Spider Rock

Mary and Lee at Spider Rock

Cathy at Spider Rock




The Three Musketeers, Mary, Lee and Cathy

The White House Ruins
The White House Ruins are one of the best known and most dramatic of the Anasazi cliff dwellings.

Navajo Churro Sheep on top of a monolith
The Navajo-Churro rams can have two, four, six, or more horns. They also come in a variety of colors, including reds, browns, black, white, and mixes, and the color may change with age.  The sheep may also have different color patterns, such as eye patches and hip spots. 

Closeup of the Churro Sheep

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