Saturday, June 6, 2009

Camping in the Chuska Mountains

NEW UPDATE (Sunday 3 p.m.)

We're all back from the Mountains to Diné College, some tired people (Me included) have been napping for a couple hours. It's 3 p.m. and we're heading to dinner -- they have a different schedule here on Sundays.

Tonight, expect a new update with few words, and many great images!

Quick Update: Our group had a very cool, but strenuous hike into Canyon Del Muerto on Friday. This is the northern fork of Canyon de Chelly. Our hike was about 4 miles, but included about 1,000 foot descent into the Canyon, and the requisite climb back up. While in the Canyon we saw a Star-Ceiling Cave that was once home to Anasazi (or Ancestral Puebloan) people. We also saw petroglyphs and pictographs, rock art from the Anasazi, and from early Navajo settlers to the area.

Everyone did fine during that rigorous hike. There are some aching muscles and bones today.
Last night we had Navajo Tacos around the campfire near Cove, Arizona, in the Chuska Moutains, while our host, Navajo Cultural Specialist Harry Walters told us stories and explained much about Navajo culture for several hours. Everyone listened intently. What an honor to be able to sit and listen to such a wise man.

There's no Internet or Phone service at the camp. So, how is this blog being updated you might ask? One of the vans had some odd shimmying in the front end while driving down the mountain through Buffalo pass. It was serious enough that I thought it needed to be checked. So, while everyone else is hiking today, following the route of a Mexican-Navajo battle, I drove to Farmington, New Mexico, and spent $120 to have the brakes checked and rotors turned. All is well now, and I'm heading back so I can make it in time for Mutton Stew for supper.

The next update will probably not come until Sunday evening. No pictures today since, I'm borrowing Internet access from the parking lot of a local motel.
I'll write again soon.

-- Tom Grier