Friday, July 20, 2012

Canyon de Chelly

The day after visiting the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest, we moved on to the Canyon de Chelly National Monument.  Pronounced de Shay.  In addition to the beauty of these several canyons, we learned of the historical significance of this area to the Navajo Nation.

This settlement, seen from Mummy Cave Overlook, was occupied to about 1300 AD.

Junction Ruin

From the Antelope House overlook

From the Junction overlook

Humans have lived in these canyons for 5,000 years. Must have signed a long term lease.  They moved away about 700 years ago, probably got tired of the commute up 1,000' walls.  The Navajo eventually settled here, and still farm the land in the canyon.

We met several of the local artisans at the various overlooks.  And bought these two lovely works painted on stones from the canyon.  The artist explained the significance of symbols.  In particular, he said that the larger figure is the Kopokelli who farms the land in the canyon.  You do not see him depicted outside the reservation.

Well worth a visit.

PS To see a full slideshow of the pics from this trip, including the prior day at the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest, click this link  Full slide show

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Painted Desert and Petrified Forest

In addition to the thrill of traveling for three days by car, we enjoyed our time at the Painted Desert National Park and Petrified Forest National Monument. 

Pretty rocks, colorful hills.

Fascinating petrified logs, including this Agate Bridge, a log suspended over this stream bed, transformed into agate.

Sad to learn how opportunists looted most of this site before, and even after, the federal government declared it a national monument.  I know we've seen petrified logs in private museums during our travels.  Now we know where they came from.

Then an overnight stay in Holbrook.


PS To see a full slideshow of the pics from this trip, including the next day at Canyon de Chelly, click this link  Full slide show

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Travel Unencumbered

We set out on our first excursion in five years in a car.  For that prior period of time, we traveled by RV. 

Going here and there with our "house" behind us.  Never stayed in a motel.  Never stopped anywhere on a whim, any more than a long haul trucker would take an impulsive turn up a road without prior plans.  Seldom drove more than 200 miles in a day, and never at night, before hauling up to an RV spot to deploy slides and connect sewer and water and electricity. 

Always filled up the fuel tank because you cannot count on a big enough fuel station once you leave the safety of the interstates, and you're guzzling a gallon of fuel every ten miles.

Not surprisingly, we liked the automotive life.  Comfortable and quiet, the miles flying by at unfamiliar [high] rates of speed. 

Hahaha!  Fastest on the highway, rather than slowest.  Don't even pay attention to warning signs about grades and curves and runaway truck lanes.

A Motel with a shower as big as our former bathroom.  And restaurants where they cook and wash your dishes for you.

Oh.  Where did we go?  Who cares?!  We're normal people now!!


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Election 2012 Update

This just in from our Washington DC bureau:

Blah...blah...blah...blah...cut taxes...blah...blah...failed presidency...blah...blah...blah.

Obama the rich...blah...blah...failed Romeny...blah...blah...blah.

Tea Party
Blah...blah...blah...He's a Nigerian...blah...blah...blah..back to 1776...blah...blah...blah.

Supreme Court
Blah...blah...blah...Corporations need love...blah...blah...blah...We're the deciders...blah...blah...blah.

Vote for Clancy!
Whose Paw Can You Trust on the Button?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Advice from Those Out of Power

Three days ago, we suddenly lost our electricity and cable service.  Then the Sheriff drove through, warning of a potential forest fire that would force us to evacuate.  Apparently a conflagration had erupted at the neighboring campground.  In the midst of a severe drought.

"Hey Bob.  I heard the Forest Service has warned of extreme fire danger right now.  They don't want us to burn anything at all."

"Get out of here.  I ain't listening to those extremists.  They can't take away my freedom.  I bet Obama can light a fire at the White House any time he wants.  Shoot, I saw a picture of him burning the Constitution..  He can't tell me what to do."

[True story.]

"Well, I don't know now.  Need any more gasoline?"

In a panic, we saw our possessions passing before our eyes.  As well as our insurance policies.  So we immediately starting packing up the car.

At times like these, you realize what really matters in life.  And you put it in the trunk.  As a public service, we list the contents of our vehicle, in order of priority.

1  Two six packs of Guinness beer.
2  Three T shirts each.
3  Two pairs of underwear...each.  You can rinse them out in the motel sink.
4  Our computers.
5  Clancy, his kennel, and his dog food.
6  Our own toilet seat [think motel again].
7  Motorcycle helmet, for the next bike.
8  Title to our RV.  Looked like we might need it again.
9  TV remote.  Motel6 charges extra for a remote.
10 And a partridge in a pear tree.