Sunday, June 19, 2011

Day 13 - Ye'i Trail and Antelope House Ruins

Saturday, June 19, 2011, was a loooooong day for the members of the 2011 Navajo Oral History project.

The day started with a delicious breakfast of sausage, eggs and blue corn pancakes prepared by Flemen Nave and his daughter, Becky.

The group then hiked up Ye'i Trail: a trail that leads straight up the 350 foot high Canyon de Chelly canyon walls. The hikers used toe and hand holds carved in the rock hundreds of years ago, supplemented by bars and cables installed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

Thomas Litson, our Navajo guide, who grew up in the canyon told us many stories of how he and his relatives ran up and down this trail several times a day, carrying feed for livestock, firewood, etc. Most in our group had rubbery legs when they reached the top.

(Above six photos by Alex Fisher)

After a three-mile hike across the fields on the canyon rim, we descended the Antelope House trail, ending at the famous Antelope House ruins. They get their name from the well-preserved rock art above the ruins.

(Above two photos by Alex Fisher)

We had a nice picnic lunch there and returned to the Nave Family's land for an afternoon of rest.

Dinner was a delicious stew of ground beef, beans, corn, tomatoes, onions, potatoes, and carrots, handmade tortillas, and watermelon for dessert.

After Dinner, Lettie Nave, who grew up in Canyon de Chelly with her parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents and siblings, gave a presentation on Navajo culture including discussion of weaving, native plants and their use, basketry, pottery-making, spinning wool, traditional hair-tying.

Still tired from hiking, everyone crashed early Saturday night in their tents in Canyon de Chelly, with the sound of horses wandering by and cows mooing.

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