Janet & Steve's Sunshine Tour 08 travel blog

Me, at Antelope Ruins Overlook, 700 feet above! The wind still hasn't...

Antelope ruins from canyon floor. Anasazi always built a kiva apart from...

Ledge ruins continue for the length of this huge ledge. The Anasazi...

White House ruin was several stories high. The 4-pointed figure is an...

Shallow water under 700 ft canyon walls. Snow melt runs through most...

I'm learning to read Navajo. Some fat guy ate an antelope all...

Gorgeous view from Spider Rock overlook.

Spider Rock seems to grow up from the canyon floor.


Chinle, Arizona is the closest town to Canyon de Chely National Monument. The canyon stretches out 30 miles in 2 directions. The North rim ends at Mummy Cave. The South rim ends at Monument Canyon with Spider Rock, named for Spider Woman who taught the people how to weave. The place is huge, to say the least. We took a group tour, 14 of us on the back of an army truck. We sat on benches facing front, no roof. We saw everything, and it was incredible. The truck sloshed through water most of the time. Twice, we had to tow the other group's truck out of the knee deep water. In other places, the water was really shallow. Modern-day Navajo Indians still farm the canyon floor, and cattle and horses roam freely all over the Navajo Nation. Fruit trees grow along the shady canyon walls, where petroglyphs, pictographs, ruins, hogans and modern buildings mark the passage of time. We stayed at Cottonwood campground, run by the National Parks Service, but the Indians run all the tourist trade. Jewelry and pottery are available at every parking area at the rim, and a few hang out by White House ruin, where modern Navajo also live in a neat red house. We had no Internet service while we were in Northern Arizona. We just arrived in Blanding, Utah. It is warm and sunny, and there is no wind to speak of. I think I'll go comb my hair.

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