Saturday, September 24, 2011


I am in love...with Canyon de Chelly (pronounced de-shay).  This has to be the best place we've been to yet.

One morning at the beginning of our journey, I heard a young local man say that we had to see Canyon de Chelly.  It was the most wonderful place, he said.  And with some wonder in his voice, he explained that it 'made you feel so small'.

I can tell you that it does do that.  The rocks that we drove under , through and beside were huge.  They went straight up from the canyon floor.

It's not all huge rocks, though.  Nature, beauty and hard work come together on this Rocky Mountain  Bee-balm. I think this might be representative of the people who live and work here.

There is so much variety here.  Huge rock formations, desert, green trees and sweet flowers.There are Navajo families living here amid this grandeur, growing corn, squash and beans much as their ancestors had done. They raise horses and cattle under these cliffs. 

This is part of the roadway that we drove along.  The overhang was very low and our truck was very big.  Not the biggest but still pretty big.  Private vehicles are not allowed in the canyon.  Nor are you allowed to hike or ride horses without a guide.  But I think those would be excellent ways to experience this beautiful canyon land.

One of the canyon dwellers: a Western Whiptail lizard.   We have seen a lot of lizards this trip - as you would imagine in this climate.  This fellow is one of the best.

The solidity of this rock wall soars up and up to that glorious blue sky.  It's so hard to capture the colors and sense of proportion. How could any people not be in awe of this?

But maybe this shot will help.  We are now standing on the south rim high above where we have been earlier in the day.  When I turned the corner on the lookout path, my jaw did really drop.  In the center are two enormous spires of rock - Spider Rock.  To the left of these two towers, you can see a thin trail which had two vehicles on it which gives you an idea of the scale.  What looks like a path down the middle is really an almost dry riverbed.  There was rain three or four days ago.

If I had seen nothing else this trip,  it would still have been worthwhile. But I did see so much more.  With another day to come.  Hard to believe that it's almost over.


Ginny said...

Oh my gosh, these pictures are amazing and awe inspiring! I wish these posts would never end! Why do they call it Spider Rock?

EmptyNester said...

Wow. I never thought the desert is a place I would enjoy visiting. But I have certainly enjoyed your photos! Except for the lizards that is. LOL

My Kid's Mom said...

Amazing pictures - hope you're making lots of good memories.

Mimi said...

I am captivated too, Stephanie.
The beauty and scale of this wonder is spiritual, I feel.
Love the 2nd last photo, what a rockface!
This is trivial, but I keep imagining cowboys riding through the canyon..watched too many of those movies as a child!!
Enjoy the last day, and thanks for nringing us along with you.

Farm Girl said...

It is so beautiful, I have always wanted to go there. I love Arizona because the whole place makes me feel good.
Like no place I have ever been before.
I will need to go there someday.
Have fun I am really enjoying your pictures.

Rudee said...

It's so pretty.

Michelle Teacress said...

Beautiful. Places like this are unforgettable, aren't they?

Joanna said...

OK, for sure we are going to visit this place. YOur photos are enchanting.

Lindy MacDuff said...

I'm glad to hear you love Canyon de Chelly. I actually like it better than the Grand Canyon (but I like the GC, too.)

All of these are stunning; makes me feel like I'm right there.


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