Stone/Utesch 2010 Another Iowa Wedding travel blog

our new protector

sunset with 'ole red barn' in fore front

"pig dog"

We take to the road heading W. to Gallup. At Gallup we plan to head NW to Canyon De Chelly, pronounced Canyon Du Shay. We stop at the local Wal Mart; we get our cash there by using our credit card and being able to get 'cash back'. We arrive at the truck with our purchases to discover a flat tire on the rig. Lordy! This time it takes ~ an hr for Good Sam come to the rescue. We thought being in a town of 20,000, they would have come in minutes but seems there are no Good Sam contracts in Gallup. The good thing is it has happened at Wal Mart and they sell Good Year tires and have our size. While we wait, an airstream pulls next to us. They also have had a blow out which has damaged their frame and have just purchased the exact tire as us. We question whether we are meant to go to the Canyon and decide we'll head W. and if we find camping before Chambers, Ar., we'll stay and do a day trip to the Canyon. Just across the border is the welcome center and once again we get our usual guides and inquire about any camping just down the road. She informs us there is a spot at Sanders and thinks if we go into the Family Dollar store that they will be able to dial us in. We arrive in Sanders, unknown population after asking 3 natives-but small, and we see two areas where RV's are parked. We spot a sign saying for camping, inquire at the 'Ole Red Barn'. Across the street Chris goes to the Ole Red Barn. We are in Navajo Nation country. The Ole Red Barn is a liquor store where the purchase is made at a window, no going in and browsing, and if you don't have a ride, you can't purchase; walking up we can't purchase but if we drive our truck across the street we'll be allowed to buy alcohol. Chris informs her we are inquiring about the camping not alcohol. She says we can choose any site and it will be $20. Chris asks if we could have an enclosed campfire and she says she doesn't know-no one as ever asked before but since it's next to the fire station she thinks it won't be a problem. We choose a site and walk to the community establishments; namely the Family Dollar, the Conoco and the Rt. '66 Diner which is closed. They also have a post office. We are at 6000' and the temp is 35 degrees cooler than 2 days ago. Chris is delighted and Peg once again is sporting the layer look. Chris prepares her gourmet spaghetti and a very fabulous salad. There clearly is no pet leash laws here and we soon acquire a new friend/protector and also have other visitors that Chris feels looks like a "pig-dog" combo reminding us of home and Pig womans brood. We'd like to share some Navajo facts, things we/you may have already learned or known at some point maybe by reading Tony Hillerman novels but having brains with diminishing memory capabilities have forgotten. Among Navajos eye contact is considered impolite. The discovery of oil on Navajo Land in the early 1920's promoted the need for a more systematic form of government; a government that has evolved into the largest and most sophisticated form of Am. Indian government. Navajos are unsurpassed in creating exquisite multi-faceted art. They are taught to live in harmony with Mother Earth and Father Sky and the other elements-plants, man, animals and insects. The number '4' permeates their philosophy, 4 directions, 4 seasons, first 4 clans, 4 colors associated with 4 sacred mountains. We enjoyed the beautiful sunset followed by the rising of the sliver of a moon.

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