Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam
Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Travels with Flat Stanley: Part II

Then on to Chinle, Arizona where we spent the night in preparation for a visit to Canyon de Chelly. Visitors may only visit the canyon floor when accompanied by a Navajo guide, so when we arrived we negotiated with a Navajo entrepeneur in the lobby of the Best Western hotel where we stayed to arrange for a five-hour Mother's Day jeep tour of the canyon the following morning.

Canyon de Chelly is a canyon walled with red rock with lots of beautiful rock formations. The Navajo indians have summer homes in the canyon bottom, and the land is used for agriculture.

The Anasazi indians inhabited the canyon in the 13th century, and left many pictographs and petroglyhps which can be seen throughout the canyon.

The remains of their dwellings can be found all along the canyon walls.

We spent a second night in Chinle, then headed north into Utah for Monument Valley. We stopped in the roaring metropolis of Mexican Hat, Utah, to take a look at the rock that gave the town its name.

The morning we left Chinle, we encountered gale-force winds, which accompanied us all the way to San Diego county. Monument Valley was beautiful with amazing rock formations and buttes.

We didn't spend as long there as we might have, due to being sandblasted, sand in our eyes, noses, between our teeth, covering the interior of the car with a fine grit. Hiking was out of the question.

We left Monument Valley, and headed for Cameron, Arizona, on the rim of the Colorado River gorge east of the Grand Canyon.

We visited the Grand Canyon, always spectacular, the first time the kids have been there. Doug and I haven't been there at all since we were married, it has changed, the roads blocked off for shuttle use only.

Although the majesty of that vast canyon can hardly fail to take our breath away, the number of visitors gave us the feeling of being "herded", a little bit of that Disneyland feel. We hope to return when we can visit the North Rim, which is far more isolated and has much fewere visitors.

Then, the final push to get home. We ate lunch at the El Tovar hotel on the canyon rim, then left for San Diego around 3:00 pm.

The grand moment when we finally entered California just east of Blythe happened around 8:00 pm on May 11. It was too dark for a photo or to use the flash, but somehow we had to try, the terrible photo above is the result.

We got home a little after midnight on May 12, and we've been on a whirlwind ride ever since.

We are proud to announce our new address and phone are:
3968 Via Cangrejo
San Diego, CA 92130

More later...

-- Kathleen

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