Canyon de Chelly Trip

Bob Mings

La Posada

Lecturer

Canyon de chelly Group 2009

On the morning of April 13, 2009, 30 plus ASURA members and guests boarded a bus at Tempe Library for a 3-day / 2-night adventure into the past, through visits to Canyon de Chelly in the Navajo nation and Pueblo Villages on Hopi lands. ASURA's partnership with the NAU Elderhostel program and the Hopi guide provided interesting, informative commentary, history, stories, and anecdotes as our comfortable bus carried us toward northeast Arizona.

First on our varied itinerary was lunch at the La Posada hotel in Winslow, with a brief tour of this former Harvey House, opened in 1929 and now tended by the Winslow Harvey Girls, who serve as greeters and guides. Next we had a break for shopping at the Hubble Trading Post at Ganado and then settled in for two nights at the Holiday Inn in Chinle. Following dinner each evening, we enjoyed an informative presentation with entertainment by a Navajo speaker-singer-dancer.

Next morning began our "Destination Tour" of Canyon de Chelly--"tseyi," in Navajo. We embarked on a bus tour of the south rim, with several stops at scenic overlooks, where we took many pictures of pueblo ruins in caves and crevices on the canyon walls, learned the stories of Face Rock, and viewed the 800-foot-tall monolith called Spider Rock. Our local guide kept us enlightened with fascinating explanations of Navajo history, culture, and lore. After a "traditional" Navajo lunch we spent the afternoon hours touring the floor of the canyons De Chelly and Del Muerto in comfortable, 16 passenger open trucks equipped to drive through the shallow river spreading through much of the Canyon. Informative explanations and interesting personal comments were provided by our local Navajo drivers as we viewed the many towering rock formations, ancient petroglyphs, pictographs, and prehistoric pueblo ruins, including Kokopelli Cave, First Ruin, Junction Ruin, and White House Ruin---evidence of human habitation in these canyons for several thousand years.

Norm Perrill Travel Committee
Photos by Joyce Hartmann Diaz