Eye popping. Heart stopping. Bone jarring. Hair-raising. Breathtaking. That was our morning in Canyon de Chelly.
You can only enter the canyon with a Navaho guide, so we hired one with an open Jeep Wrangler and headed in.
Imagine riding a raft through swift, shallow, rocky, red-muddy streams and flooded plains. Then imagine that instead of a raft, you’re riding a Jeep. That was us. Much to our surprise, we entered a water-world, where the only dry land was deep mud. Ah, the spring season. After a few oh shit! moments, we resigned ourselves to the skill of the driver. A big oh shit! came when the Jeep got caught up on a rock or something and would go no farther. But another, bigger SUV (with a woman driver) came right over. We hitched up and she towed us out. From then on she was our big boss, and our driver said, “Wherever she goes, we go!” From then on, we were cool.
And so, as we crashed down embankments, forded axle-high waters, and gunned our way back up to mere mud, we took in the massive, wind-carved cliffs & spires and viewed the ancient stone cliff dwellings of thousand-year-old civilizations. I’m anxious to see how our pictures turned out, though I was constantly sheltering my new camera from the mud splashes.
As we hit the dry road back to our motel, we encountered another Jeep with tourists — whose starter motor just conked out. So, as one good turn deserves another, we hitched up and towed them to the Holiday Inn.
After lunch (I’m in love with Navaho fry bread), we went back to the rim of the canyon for more photos.
What a day.