|Brrrrr! It's only 50 in the rig this morn and we contemplate putting on the furnace! Think we are at 6000'. We get an early start for our big day and head No. First stop the Hubbell Trading Post in Ganado. This is the oldest continuously operating trading Post in Navajo Nation. It is now run by the Nat'l Parks but was built by John Lorenzo Hubbell and from the age of 25 until his death he lived, ran and raised his family here. We got to tour the house and grounds. Gorgeous collection of rugs, hand woven by the Natives. Yesterday on NPR we had heard a story about the churro sheep and the Natives and today they are right here in the field next to us. Continuing N. to Chinle we stop at the visitors center and watch a film about the Canyon and the Navajo culture in this area. Off we go to explore both the N. and S. rims. Already we are so-so glad we decided to do this, hard to find adjectives to describe the beauty of what we see. There is only one public trail into the Canyon otherwise the exploration must be done with a Native guide. There are still ~ 50 families who habitate the Canyon for the summer growing their crops, taking advantage of the monsoonal rains, and escaping the summer heat. Unsure if there are any other Nat'l Parks where people are still allowed to co-exist; but we are actually in the places they call home. We stop at all of the overlooks on both rims and at all but Spider Rock (it's considered very sacred and spiritual) there are vendors trying to sell their art work. We speak to all of these locals trying to get a feel for their culture, traditions and laws. They are all very friendly and happy to converse, even though we have read it impolite to have eye contact, we don't find this to be the case. At one stop, a rock artist asks if we could give him a ride. He stashes his artwork in the pinion pines leaving it behind and hops in. He will be a senior next yr with aspirations of going to college in Chicago. Peg wants to do the trail at White House Ruins into the canyon; Chris has forgotten to take her am drugs and is hurting which being the driver today isn't helping so she stays on top. The ranger had told us it was a 2hr hike and Peg tells Chris she'll be back in one hour. Peg ends up making it all the way to the bottom to the ruins. Heading back up, she passes folks she had passed on the way down-they are still coming down-and want to know if she's training for a marathon. It was very beautiful and amazing to feel the spirit and energy of the peoples during 900AD-1200AD that lived in this canyon. Nearing the top, she encounters a family of Navajo including a very elderly woman with her walking stick. She greets them and inquires (hopefully not offending) how old the woman is-88! The woman only speaks Navojo and the family interprets my questions. Her sheep have gone missing and she thinks they may have gone into the canyon in search of water although I've seen no sheep on my hike. I ask if I might take her pic and she says for money. I inform her I've brought no money on the hike with me but offer her a drink of water. She allows me not only to take her pic but to also give her a big hug as we part ways. I arrive at the top 5min late and Chris had encountered this very same family as they searched the area for evidence of sheep dung. Chris ended up do some of the trail as well. One thing we are very curious about is the fact that we see a Mormon church in Ganado. The religious philosophies are soo soo different between the 2 sects of people. In the Navajo culture, the woman is the dominate family force and that's certainly not the way the Mormons believe. And although we know the Mormon's migrated to the No. of here and their missionaries have gone everywhere we find it to be curious.