19 October 2010

Those Who Came Before

"My father was born here, in America. His father before him and his father before him and his father before him. Now which one of us is American?"

-- Navajo's Land

Welcome to my final travel post of the year [...well, as far as I know].

I have actually visited these places before; however, my brother Steve and his friend Chad had not. They mentioned it to me and I was totally on board.

Our first stop would be the Hubbell Trading post in the town of Ganado, a remote area of north eastern Arizona.

[For my original post on the history of Hubbell Trading Post see my earlier blog entry at www.gmcbuddlowdown.blogspot.com/2010/04/hubbells_20

Hubbell Trading Post is the oldest continuously in use trading post in the US. It was established by John Lorenzo Hubbell in 1878.

Today the trading post continues to sell Native American jewelry, rugs, arts and crafts as well as general store goods and food.

From Ganado Arizona we headed north to Chinle, Az and Canyon de Chelly [pronounced 'shay'] , an amazing canyon...sort of Little Grand Canyon.

Canyon De Chelly is home to the Navajo today; however, it was first settled centuries ago by the Ancient Ones also known as the Anasazi.

It is the home of Barboncito, the Navajo ruler who led the tribe on the Long Walk to Bosque Redondo, the reservation the Navajo's were put on when their lands were conquered. [See previous posts to right]

It was an awesome day for a hike, around 70, light breeze, gorgeous!

The hike down takes about thirty minutes...an hour coming back up. We definitely had to take a few breaks as it got a little steeper towards the top.

The layers on the side of the canyon pillars tell it's geological history.

When I was here last spring, a river flowed along the bottom of the canyon. I guess it has been a dry summer as the river was dry this time. There were also no horses running wild as last time [see my original post on Canyon De Chelly, link at right].

The White House Ruins, left by the Ancient Ones aka Anasazi.

This is an awesome hike and highly recommended. Keep in mind it is a strenuous hike and the elevation ranges from 5000 to 6000 feet, so you folks from sea level need to think about this.

We stayed at the Canyon De Chelly Best Western Inn, just outside the park in Chinle, AZ. It was a very nice, safe, clean hotel. The beds were very comfy after a long day hiking.

We had breakfast at the Junction Restaurant [closes at 7pm on Sundays] attached to the hotel, quite good [biscuits made from scratch!].

The town of Chinle closes up early on Sundays and the only places open serving food past seven are fast food joints like BK and A&W.

There is a Bashas [AZ chain] supermarket next door to BK.

Canyon De Chelly is easily accessible from Albuquerque.

Albuquerque to Gallup via I-40 [2 hrs] - Gallup NM to Window Rock, AZ via NM 491 to Ganado, AZ via AZ 264 to Chinle, AZ via AZ 191 [also 2 hrs -- 4hrs total.

Up next a visit to the largest adobe/mortar building in the US.

I'm out.

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