Tuesday, March 22, 2011

OUR FIRST LOOK AT CANYON DE CHELLY

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The sound of sleet has a sharper sound on the rig’s roof than rain does & it was a sleeting sound I heard off & on during the night.  At first light I could see patches of white ground outside.  We had got ourselves some snow.

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It felt sooooo good to see the sun rising through the trees of the campground.  Shafts of light beamed through our windshield lifting our spirits & immediately began a warming process in the rig.  The temps outside were totally freezing & made worse by a stiff breeze.  But, no matter, we could see sunshine & that was good enough to motivate us out the door by 9 & into the Jeep.  We headed off on the North rim drive of the CANYON DE CHELLY NATIONAL PARK.  A canyon that after being here for a few days we hadn’t even seen yet.

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Noticed there was an increasing amount of snow on the ground as we gained altitude to our first stop, Antelope House Ruins.  I won’t give you the histories of the stops we made because all that can be found on line if anyone is interested.  What I will give you are my thoughts, feelings & some photos of the Canyon.

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KELLY STOPS TO CHAT WITH A COUPLE ALONG ONE OF THE WALKWAYS

It was brutally cold & windy as we stepped out of the Jeep & headed for the Canyon rim.  Even if there wasn’t a Canyon here, the landscape was a work of art all on it’s own.  Mother Nature’s wintery hand had touched the shrubs & rocks with skiffs of snow.  A blue sky laced with white puffy clouds had turned the land into a picture post card photographer’s dream.

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My first gaze into the Canyon was like no other because I realized right away this Canyon was like no other I had seen before.  The height from the edge of the accessible rocky ledge to the Canyon floor far below was dizzying.  Cows looked like ants.  The colors & morning hues were overwhelming as the sun cast slow moving cloud shadows across the greening valley floor.  Towering sandstone cliffs caught the sun’s rays to bathe themselves in unending colors.  Never had I seen a place like this before.

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Our time at the rim was marred only by the biting cold winds which seemed to go right through us.  Had forgot my mitts, winter hat & had not thought to wear my lined winter pants.  Kelly’s nose was running & my fingers were froze with each photo I took.  Would have loved to stay there & relish in the beauty & history before us but we had no choice but to retreat to the warmth of the Jeep’s heater.

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If I were to describe every stop we made along that north rim this morning & try to describe what we saw I would be sitting here at the keyboard all night.  I can tell you that we we spent a couple hours seeing everything we could before returning to the rig for a break.

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An hour later we were back into the Jeep again & off to do the South rim of Canyon De Chelly.  We made the last stop at the end of the road, our first stop.  This is where I finally got to see…..Spider Rock.  When you think of Canyon De Chelly you probably think of Spider Rock because it is the most identified & photographed feature here in the Park & with today’s lighting conditions it was looking especially beautiful.

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THE TALL SPIRES OF SPIDER ROCK ARE IN THE CENTER

We stopped into all the other overlooks on the way back to the rig including the White House Ruins location.  We will return there in the morning & descend a mile & a half into the Canyon itself.  It is the only place where people are allowed to hike in Canyon De Chelly. 

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Now, I have two problems tonight.  I have completely overwhelmed myself with 264 photos today & have not yet begun to edit them.  Second, our internet connection is very poor & Monday night’s blog took 73 minutes to Publish.  If I load this post up with photos I could be here for days waiting for it to publish.  So, I will add a few pics & go with that.  Again, when we get home with a proper high speed connection I will put together a complete photo album on Canyon De Chelly. 

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Since going with a Verizon Air Card a couple years ago I think this is only the second time we’ve been in a dead zone for coverage. 

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Like most other RV’ers out here I grew up in the late 40’s & early 50’s listening to radio in the days before television.  We had a big old floor model & a couple counter top ones & I have many memories of endless hours listening to those great old radio shows.   For anyone out here with an interest in those old radios, check out ERIK'S RV BLOG for a trip down Memory Lane:))

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THIS FELLOW ASKED KELLY TO TAKE A PICTURE OF HIM AT ONE OF THE OUTLOOKS

GROANER’S CORNER:((   You might be a redneck if your Jeep Pickup truck has a new sunroof because the shotgun fell off the rack when you slammed the door.

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The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...... AL.

19 comments:

  1. Some think Canyon de Chelly is even more beautiful than the Grand Canyon. From the pictures you posted, I believe it!

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  2. To bad about the snow, that canyon is really something, you made a great choice, when you picked that out.Hope it warms up for your hike, be safe out there. Sam & Donna.....

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  3. Beautiful pics, as usual. The scattered white snow makes them unique and accentuates the canyon's beauty but sorry you were so cold! I look forward to your posts every morning, thanks for all the effort you put into your exceptional blog.

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  4. Your photos were fabulous...I would have been in "History Heaven"...I put Canyon de Chelly on our "do it damnit" list..Thanks for sharing.

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  5. Thank you so much for your post, even if it took 73 minutes! The canyon now moves way up high on our list. Look up - awaaayyyy up! Amazing place. Good luck today on your further look.

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  6. Al, you did it again--those photos are simply spectacular! Have a great time today!

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  7. Isn't that a special place? Enjoy your hike - I hope it isn't too icy to be safe. We have some very fond memories of that area. If the Hubble Trading Post is on your route, be sure to stop for a real step back in time.

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  8. As a fellow shutterbug, I don't feel sorry for you at all about the snow. What a beautiful opportunity! :)

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  9. Absolutely gorgeous, I can't wait to experience the beauty of this Canyon myself. Truly is God's country!
    Thanks for taking us with you on your trip.

    Rick & Kathy

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  10. Al & Kelly,
    You are in one of our favorite places. We love Northern AZ-Southern Utah-SouthWestern Colo.
    I also agree that Canyon de Chelly is more specitacular than the Grand Canyon, but I love both.
    Are you going to Monument Valley next?
    Be safe, and keep those pics cominging :)
    phxmtngirl

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  11. We need to go there. Can you believe we have spent two winters in AZ and haven't made it yet! This year is going to be different. I promised myself it would be. But we won't be going until it's a little warmer up that way. I don't do cold well at all. Absolutely beautiful pictures.

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  12. Reminds me a lot of Gooseneck SP,just North of Monument Valley. Except you can boondock right on the edge of the rim........
    In 2 month's (little less) we will be headed North.....Great Pictures!

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  13. As we said (was it only yesterday?) Canyon de Chelly is a place we must go back to! And your pictures just strengthen that need!

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  14. Great shots Al, and I am with Judy here. The cold and the snow added so much to the scene that I am jealous of your luck, while sitting down here in the valley at a balmy 70F.

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  15. Beautiful pictures as always - definitely one to put on our to do list. Just wondering about the pronunciation though - are you sure it's not Canyon de CHILLY?? :)) Hope it warms up for you so you can really get out there and enjoy yourselves.

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  16. What a beautiful place! Great pictures show it off very well. Will definitely add to our bucket list.

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  17. Hope you have a chance to get back there when the weather is a bit more mild. But I bet in high summer it is way to hot!

    Gotta take a chance on Spring and fall!

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  18. once again another 'bayfield great'!..thanks for the spectacular tour..all the photos are breathtaking!!!

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  19. WOW... looks like you two had a great day... another item on our bucket list...

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