Photography and commentary from John Fujimagari

Memory Lane – Oct 11, 2008


I’m reposting a day from my trip to Four Corners, from another blog, every Wednesday.

Day Four – Canyon de Chelly

The wind has been blowing ever since we got off the plane in Phoenix on Wednesday, but today things got more interesting. Between Gallup and Window Rock, we had clouds and a bit of spitty rain. The remnants of a tropical storm blew in by the time we got to Ganado and we got sandblasted walking from our car into the Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site. Hubbell is a neat place with creaky old wooden floors and tons of native artifacts and knick-knacks. They have a huge selection of handmade silver jewellery and top quality Navajo rugs. Their prices made me see what a good deal we got at the auction last night. When we left Hubbell, things got really interesting. Headed north to Chinle the road was obscured by sandstorms a few times and we were constantly racing or dodging tumbleweeds. Arriving in Chinle, the traffic light was out, foreboding things to come. We arrived on time at the Chinle Holiday Inn and were greeted by our tour guide Kristy. After a quick pit stop, I returned to the lobby and was informed by Kristy that the National Park Service had closed the Canyon deChelly canyon bottom road (accessible only by a licensed Navajo Guide) due to high winds and fallen/falling trees. Bummer! 😦 I decided to take the South Rim Road (accessible to the Public) on our own because I really wanted to see Spider Rock (part of the Navajo creation myth). We went right to the end to see Spider Rock first. With the wind and the dust in the air, the photography was really sucko, but the scenery was spectacular!

Hobie and Sherri @ Spider Rock, Canyon deChelly

That’s a 600′ drop behind the rail!!! We went on to Face Rock Overlook and the White House Ruin Overlook.

Duststorm over Spider Rock

The wind was blowing even more than before. I got a few pictures and maybe even a couple decent ones but by 3pm we decided to call it quits and head for town and find some lunch. I thought we’d check in and dump our luggage, and maybe the hotel people could recommend a good restaurant. Well… everyone was home but the lights were still out (remember the broken traffic light?). The nice lady behind the desk said there would probably NOT be any power before 2am!, and no phones, TV, heat or food. We were both sorry I had to cancel our reservations but she made a new one down the road 150 miles away in Farmington, NM. Two and a half hours later, we arrived at the Best Western Farmington. I’m down for the count now, Later…

White House Raven

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