Monday, February 9, 2009

Chinle (Canyon de Chelly), AZ

We had quite a day today! Although there were periods of snow, we got to see a lot of amazing sights.

We started out at the Grand Canyon, where it was snowing. The snow and fog cleared for a little while and we did get a good view.

But then a blizzard set in and the driving was pretty scary. It was a sheet of ice. But as the elevation began to decline, the snow stopped and the views were even more amazing:

We then headed to Kenyatta for lunch where we ate at The Blue Coffee Pot (a local diner). Then we went to Four Corners, which is where four states join up in one spot: Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Colorado. Here's Jim, standing on four states:

After that, we decided to drive to Canyon de Chelly, which is where we're spending the night. The sights here are amazing. We drove through red rock formations and desert with tumbleweed. We ate dinner just now, and it started snowing hard while we were eating. So I think we're in for the night.

We are technically staying in the town of Chinle. It is quite amazing how desolate and poor this area is. There are trailers everywhere, with very few houses. The school looks like a prison. A lot of the schools we've seen around here are just a bunch of trailers clustered together. It makes you wonder how kids can get an education with such poor resources. Along the side of the road, we saw a lot of huts and stands where the native Americans are selling jewelery and pottery. This whole area is an Indian Reservation. It is so desolate - there are no trees, no farming, just desert. I wonder if the native Americans had a choice about going here, or if this is one of the circumstances where the U.S. Government decided to find the most barren part of the country and forced them to live here. I don't understand how they live. They can't even farm out here.

Anyway, the scenery is unlike anything we've ever seen before. It's amazing to us that we're still in the same country as the Northeast.

So we don't regret staying with our original plan and driving this way. Tomorrow we will drive up to Utah via Monument Valley.

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