Monday, June 20, 2011

Day 14 - Breaking Camp

The 2011 Navajo Oral History project group spent 2.5 days camping with the Lettie and Flemen Nave family in Canyon de Chelly (June 17-19, 2011) and had a great time. We camped at the junction of Canyon Del Muerto and Canyon de Chelly at a place called "Dog Rock" because of the amazing rock formation that watches over the camp.

Lettie's family has lived on this property for many generations, traced back as far as the Treaty of 1868 following The Long Walk, and possibly even farther back.

The weekend with Lettie, Flemen, Becky, Rico, Thomas, and our whole gang of students and faculty was filled with good food, long hikes, interesting history, fun stories and lots of laughter.

Breakfast Sunday morning consisted of watermelon from the night before, and Becky's delicious Spam, Egg and Potato Burritos in handmade tortillas.

Lettie showed off her new earrings: beaded Green Bay Packer logos. This raised good feelings among several of our group who are Packer fans, and caused much laughter aimed at those of us who are Viking Fans.

(Above two photos by Alex Fisher)

After a Navajo prayer for safe travels and a round of hugs and a few tears, our group said goodbye to Lettie Nave and her family and headed back to the Diné College dorms.

The only casualty in the whole journey was one of the back windows of the Enterprise rental van.

Since it's not a 4-wheel drive, there's no way it could make it in and out of the canyon. It was parked overnight in the parking lot of the Thunderbird Lodge in Chinle, Arizona. When we returned to the vehicle, we found the back window busted, and found a small rock inside, probably launched at close range from a slingshot. Nothing was stolen, just a nuisance vandalism thing. We called the Navajo Police and filed a report, and called Enterprise to get their help with planning for a replacement window.

A couple of our journalism teams had planned to shoot B-roll in various locations Monday morning, including one stop in Gallup, New Mexico. We'll run by the Ford Dealer or a local auto glass place to try to have the window replaced before the long drive back to the Albuquerque airport on Tuesday, followed by the really long drive to Minnesota.

Overall, it was a great weekend. Everyone napped Sunday afternoon, then worked on their documentary projects in the evening. Most went to bed early to be bright and ready for the last day of interviews, video and still photography on Monday.

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