Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Day 19 - Horseback Riding in Canyon De Chelly National Monument

Another amazing day as our three-week adventure nears its end. Today, we drove to Chinle, Arizona, to the mouth of Canyon de Chelly, and the headquarters of Canyon de Chelly National Monument. 

The whole canyon complex is located within the Navajo Nation and include the main north fork of the canyon known as Canyon Del Muerto, and the south fork: Canyon de Chelly (pronounced: duh-SHAY).  Many Navajo families live and farm on the floor of the canyon. 

To enter the canyon, you must have a Navajo guide. Ten members of our group took a four-hour horseback ride through a portion of the north fork of the Canyon. Our guides, Terrell and James, showed us many Anasazi ruins that cannot be seen from the overlooks off the road around the canyon. We saw petroglyphs, pictographs, and -- as usual -- beautiful red rock formations.

(Above six photos by Cindy Killion)

(Above two photos by Cory Hinz)

(Above two photos by Sarah Botzek)

Here's a photo of JoJo, by Kim Streblow. After riding JoJo for four hours, Kim decided JoJo may have been possessed, schizophrenic, or just plain ornery.

We all had a great time and enjoyed the experience. In the evening, around the fire at the center of our dorm hogan, there were lots of "sore butt" comments. 

(This photo, of Pete applying some padding to a sore spot on his inner thigh, by Andrew Neumann.)

Pete Swanson shot some video while on horseback and loaded the video to YouTube. Here's two links to check out Pete's videos:


Jessica, Katie and Cindy chose to not ride the horses and instead visited a gift shop and drove around to the very south eastern end of Canyon de Chelly to view the dramatic Spider Rock from an overlook.

(Above two photos by Katie Boone)

(Above two photos by Jessica Larsen)

Back at the dorm on the Diné College campus, we had a little birthday celebration for Sarah Botzek who turned 23 today. Happy Birthday Sarah! Look at that smile!

(Photo by Andrew Neumann)

(Photo by Andrew Neumann)


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  2. Horse riding this is an amazing activity for families to enjoy together, and for all ages and abilities providing the horse is matched to the ability of the rider.

    Horse Rides Zion National Park