Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Back in Navajo country

We had breakfast then went to the Wells Fargo in Tuba City. Jean got some cash, and I wrote her a check for $300 to cash, since we were both completely tapped out after Monument Valley.
Leaving Tuba City, our route took us through the Hopi Reservation, which is completely surrounded by the Navajo Nation. We stopped for a short nap and lunch at Second Mesa. The Navajos observe Daylight time, but the Hopis and the rest of Arizona don’t. So it is hard to tell what time it is when you are traveling around. I guess it depends on whether you consult your phone or the GPS. Which is the only explanation I can give for the log entry which shows that after a nap, lunch, and looking around in a trading post, we left Second Mesa ten minutes before we arrived.
Back on Navajo time, we went to Canyon de Chelly and checked in at the park campground.
There were a few sprinkles during breakfast, but nothing more. The real problem was the quart of milk we bought in Tuba City. We were totally unable to get the cap off. After half an hour of struggle I gave up and just cut a hole in the cap with my knife. After that we had to milk it like a cow to put milk on our cereal.
About 11:00 we left the campground to drive the “loop” road on the South Rim. The canyon varies from 30 feet deep to about 1,000 feet.

There are a number of small dwellings located in the cliffs.

The third outlook we visited was for Sliding House. This is for a cliff dwelling that was built on a sloping rock and ended up tumbling down.

 There is a short trail to the canyon edge. After returning to the Roadtrek, my heart was pounding. The trail was only about a quarter mile, with a climb of perhaps 40 feet.
When the heart rate didn’t come down after several minutes I took a Metoprolol. When things settled down somewhat, I continued to drive. We went back to the Visitor Center and I laid down with moderate pain in my chest and jaw.  I took a baby aspirin. After about an hour the pain went away and left me tired but otherwise okay.
At that point we headed out for Window Rock. We were driving in sun and cloud with a heavy storm off to the left. Eventually, after we turned east, we ran into rain, in and out. When we were out we saw a broad rainbow against the black clouds.
In Window Rock, we stopped at McDonald’s, where Jean got on and paid her BP bill. After that we went on to Gallup where we checked in to a campground for two nights. It turned out to be the same one we stayed in in early October of 2012.
In the morning we drove to Walmart for some prescriptions, etc. Then back to Window Rock to go to the Navajo market. It was cloudy with some rain; also there was a Navajo Fair in Tuba City, so there were very few vendors. Jean bought two butterfly necklaces at very reasonable prices.
Window Rock is the capital of the Navajo Nation. It is named for an arch next to the administrative buildings.

Navajo Nation Council Chamber building

Back at the campground, we did the laundry and spent some time in the office. Jean bought a ring and the clerk gave me a basic map of Route 66, which we hope to follow (as much as practical) on the way home.

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