Friday, September 11, 2015 : Canyon de Chelly, Hubbell, Petrified Forest


We have an appointment with a genuine Navajo guide, who knows Canyon de Chelly like the back of his hand.

 

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly

 

In his battered 4x4, he shows us the base of the canyon, much more interesting than the rims. It is an inhabited place, where more than 70 families still live.

 

The canyon has been settled by the Anasazi, the Hopi, and the Navajo. Our guide shows us the traces left by each tribe, mural carvings and ruins. He also tells us their daily life and their culture. It is a very interesting visit, that I recommend to anyone interested in pre-Columbian history.

 

We then visit Hubbell Trading Post, a trading shop set up by a white man to trade with the Navajo. Since today is 9/11, the Star-Spangled Banner logically floats at half-staff.

 

Pztrified Forest

Petrified Forest

 

Later in the afternoon, we visit Petrified Forest National Park, which also includes a significant part of Painted Desert.

 

This park must be visited with patience : petrified logs do not appear before half of the visit. But starting from there, you can see a great deal of them. It is hard to imagine a dense forest in a nowadays so hostile environment, but these trees really grew here.

 

After Petrified Forest, we cross Holbrook and drive on a short stretch of Route 66. Wigwam Motel, where each room has the shape of a tipi, really makes the miles worthwhile.