USA Adventures of Steve & Bronni 2008 travel blog

Iceberg formed under the hose from dripping water













Native Indian Lounge






Happy hour at Navajo National Monument

Day 13 Friday 25th April, Navajo National Monument (pg 8 B10)

-10c Yep that was the low over night outside temp we experienced, inside was a low of 0c at Grand Canyon, thank goodness once again for the good heater. We forgot to disconnect the water hose – yeah that’s right, it froze. We were able to use the water in onboard tank for our requirements. Well, must remember to drain and disconnect the night before next time.

Today we bid farewell to the Grand Canyon and headed east but still on the south rim, stopping frequently to take in as much as possible of this awesome sight. One of the stops (Desert View) was to a 70’ tall Watchtower perched on the very edge of the rim. It was built in 1932, designed by Mary Elizabeth Colter and constructed by the Santa Fe Railroad. In days gone by, towers such as this one were used for storage and protection from not only the elements, but other waring tribes.

Inside the Watchtower there were many murals. Its colours represent directions of the world, red the South, white the East, green the West, black the “above” and brown the “below”. Many of these murals obviously told different tribal stories.

The top of the Watchtower has been designed as an observatory. With the help of binoculars it’s easy to see the mighty Colorado River below.

Another interesting stop was the Tusayan Ruins, where you were able to see the remnants of stone housing structures built by early native tribes.

Exiting the Grand Canyon took most of the morning, descending 2000’ to the lower plateau (still 5,000’ above sea level) and low scrub – mostly desert plants such as sage bush, creosote bush and Morman Tea. Lunch was at Little Colorado River Gorge; the gorge was still a 1,000’, however even at this time of the year, all the water had dried up. The gorge gave you a glimpse of how the Grand Canyon commenced and may have looked many millions of years ago.

Heading further east along route 163 towards Monument Valley, the country side is flat and desolate. There was still the Redwall sandstone on the escarpments; however the small hills had a unique greyness about them.

Tonight we are camped at Navajo National Monument. We have a magnificent site looking westward and have enjoyed a nice happy hour and watching the sun set. Moreover, the site is a freebie. The Tsegi view point gave us a great view of the valley, with the valley walls gleaming in the afternoon sun.

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