Monday, April 28, 2008

Canyon De Chelly, The North Rim

Ya'aah'eeh. On Wednesday we left Holbrook headed toward Canyon De Chelly. The road , north of the interstate, turned into the worst road we have traveled on. When we arrived at the monument we went straight to the campground and fo9und a really good spot. Large enough, that we could park next to the fiver, allowing us to plug into our portable generator. The best thing about the campground is it is free, along with the monument. This is because it’s part of the Navajo Nation.
We rested the rest of the day, our usual routine after traveling. However we did attend a program at the campground amphitheater. There a ranger and a Navajo Musician entertained us with guitar and drum music songs and dance. It was really neat as they also interspersed their songs with stories and language of the Navajo.
The next day we got up and drove the North Rim Drive. The Canyon is actually two, Canyon De Muerto and Canyon De Chelly, which join at the park enterance. The North Rim trail has three turnoffs for viewing cliff dwellings and historic points. The Canyons starts shallow, but the walls rise quickly to over 1000 feet high. The first turnoff was closed but we were able to view the Antelope House Overlook. The second turnoff viewed Mummy Cave and Massacre Cave.
Antelope House if the biggest ruins in the park. It has about 100 rooms and kivas and was abandoned due to flash flooding, it’s pretty much at the bottom of the Canyon. Mummy cave is more spectacular and is named for the mummies found eroding from the ground beneath the ruins. It is pictured above.
Massacre Cave got its name from the massacre of 100 women and children, some older men also, who huddled in the cave as the Spanish fired round and round ricocheting them into the place where the people hid. The place is called Where Two Fell, by the Navajo. This name was given to honor the Indian Woman who grabbed a Spanish soldier and then hurling herself and him down the canyon.
We also visited the visitor center where a Hogan is constructed, that allows you to view the construction methods and the interior of an actual Hogan. They are really large and look quite comfortable! Maybe someday we will build one! Clear skies.

No comments: