Farmington NM to Chinle AZ

I’m calling this a blessing day… and the kind of day that turns car trips into adventures. We have entered Navaholand via the long lonesome highways of northern New Mexico and Arizona.

The scenery of course is mind-boggling — beyond words, and beyond snapshots. The road can be treacherous and mesmerizing… so let’s just say we had a bit of a zigzagging adrenaline rush at the outset of a rainstorm… after which we stopped at a trading post for an injection of coffee and chocolate. The cashier said, “Enjoy your rainy day.” I must have grimaced because he went on to say that the land was as parched as he’s ever seen it in his 17 years here and that the rain was a blessing. Who can argue with that?

The main event here in Chinle is Canyon de Chelly — considered the deep heart of Navaholand — sacred territory, bloody historical crossroads, and a sight to behold. We were bummed out on our first attempt to look into the canyon along the south rim road — snow! A heavy, blinding snow squall. Damn. So we got our hotel room, pouted a little, made reservations for a jeep tour tomorrow — then the sky suddenly cleared. Back in the car we got and hightailed it to the farthest, highest observation point: Spider Rock. We were utterly blown away, utterly utterly utterly. I know I haven’t seen Grand Canyon yet, but this was transplendant.

The snow squalls have returned. We are eating leftovers out of our cooler for dinner. But I feel totally blessed.

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