down in the canyon

Can’t actually go down into the canyon bottom without a permit and a Navajo guide. I like it that way since it’s likely to help to keep some of the ancient remains of the cliff dwellings intact.CDC-6815

Entering the canyon driving through Chinle Wash (literally). We hadn’t gone far before the thunder started crashing. It made for some terrific skies.

Our Navajo guide pointed out plenty of petroglyphs (carved or pecked into an exposed rock surface) and pictographs (painted onto the surfaces). He also explained the meaning of many of them. He grew up in the canyon and told some great stories.
(click image for a closer view)


The one above was called ‘Newspaper’ Rock for the abundant drawings.

The shapes sculpted into the rocks are amazing and fascinating. With a bit of imagination one can make out faces and animals easily enough.

Cliff dwellings left by the Pueblo, Hopi and Navajo Indians were built into the alcoves of the cliffs for protection from the elements and enemies. Now they’re protected by the Navajo.


We got into some tight spots.

About the time when we started heading back, it started to rain and the creek started to rise. The colors of the canyon walls turned darker, almost a dark blue/purple shade. Some trickles of water seemingly coming from holes in the cliff walls began to form little waterfalls.CDC-0726

The end…

When the last living thing
Has died on account of us,
How poetical it would be
If Earth could say,
In a voice floating up
From the floor
Of the Grand Canyon,
“It is done.”
People did not like it here. 
Kurt Vonnegut

I suppose I need to change themes since this one isn’t built for the small screens. Have NO idea how long that’ll take, but I guess I’ll suspend posting this trip until I conquer that challenge.


39 thoughts on “down in the canyon

  1. Great post, Gunta! I’m so glad you went. I found it difficult to photograph the cliffs, but you did a great job. I’m just trying to catch up with you…having been away…


    • We had deChelly on our wish list even before you posted your visit. It was incredibly gorgeous. I think it takes a bit of a wide angle to get those cliffs. Do I remember right that it wasn’t too long ago that you got one and it was taking some getting used to it?


      • I just looked through again, with Joe – we’re both amazed at how different it is in these photos, with the water and cloudy skies – very nice! Great photos – makes me wish it was closer because it would be so interesting to visit in different conditions.


        • Oh, the lens – it seems along time ago now, but I did get a 20mm fixed lens not super wide, but I LOVE that lens – it’s a very good one, very sharp and very bright, and image stabilized for people like me who get too excited.


  2. Wonderful to see pictures from the Canyon again and read about your great adventures there.
    Also wonderful is seeing and reading about those various Mexican foods tried while there. my mouth is watering…


  3. Oh Gunta I really enjoyed visiting Canyon de Chelly with you, thanks so much for providing these wonderful photos. The petroglyphs are fascinating, and how wonderful to have the expertise of a guide.


  4. I do hope there’s more!!! I am so enjoying “our” trip through the canyon. I love all these photos, and I love the Vonnegut quote. I love the red-brown colors of the canyon, and the muddy water, and the green trees, and the waterfall. More please.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Truly amazing and you captured the various rock formations and ruins perfectly to share with us.

    Changing WordPress themes or templates takes 2 seconds. I have changed several times. Just do a preview first (before you activate it) to ensure it gives you whatever headers, footers, backgrounds, side columns and can display any widgets you use. I decided to go with a paid theme to give me full page width for photography, because that’s what I mainly post. I’ve never got around to exploring what else my Theme can do. I just use the basics. When I feel like a change, I go through the old fashioned way of 1. My sites at the top of the screen – (I have 3) 2. WP Admin 3. Appearance 4. Themes. Then it comes up with all the themes with the most popular at the top. I usually preview about a dozen different ones in which I like the headers which show in the theme list. All in all, I look at about 10-12 in preview mode to see how they look with my style of posts, then when I’ve decide on one, I still do a preview first. After you ‘activate’ it, you can still change it back to your original theme in seconds if you change your mind. It may take a further 20-30 minutes to decide on your background colour, pattern, widget placement etc. But once you’ve done it all a few times, you’ll find it easy to ‘change’, customise or rearrange widgets at leisure.

    Personally, I don’t like the newer way of using WordPress. I still use the old way of uploading or editing posts (or pages). or changing themes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So do I! We were really lucky to catch that storm when we did. That evening it started snowing pretty hard and continued into the next day. I’m not sure they were doing the tours in the floor of the canyon then. We had hoped to do Chaco Canyon the next day, but the dirt road into it was so soupy we gave it up for another time.


  6. I like the idea that you have to have a guide accompany visitors to these places as well. It means that the spectacular scenery and the the historic nature of the area will be preserved forever!

    It looks like you made it out of the canyon just in time from the looks of the road.

    I hope that you don’t suspend the posts from this trip, these are all places that I’d like to visit in the future. Maybe you can move the widgets to the bottom of your posts to open up the photo area?


    • I’m very happy about the guides and the price it took to get down in the canyon. Otherwise I suspect that those ancient ruins would be, well…. ruined. There were some spots where graffiti had been left in earlier times. It’s such a shame.

      That Jeep crossed the creek a lot and drove along it quite a few times without a hitch. I was just told it wasn’t a great time to stop for a photo op when we were plowing through water. 😉 I did get a tad nervous as the water level was visibly rising, but the guide told one story of a group where a woman refused to go through some water up to the hood. I’m not sure how exaggerated the tale was, but he did say one of the women (82 years old, no less) in the group climbed up out of the canyon taking 3 hours to do it. Not sure I could do it and I’m a decade younger. I did trust our guide implicitly since he had grown up in the canyon and guiding tours since 1981. He totally knew what he was doing.

      I’m seriously reconsidering updating to a newer theme for the iPads and smart phones out there. I doubt I would have the time or the patience to tackle it at this time.

      Liked by 1 person

    • That wasn’t the sort of “small” screen I was referring to. Apparently things don’t show up quite right on the iPads or smart phones. But it’s such a bother to change themes that I’ll probably wait some more before I attempt it. Glad you liked the tour!


    • You could say it was mind blowing. Wish I could provide the sounds and the smells which all added to the experience. Not to mention the added joy of hearing the guide speak of his days living in the canyon and other stories. One of my favorites was the time a storm came in and the creek started to rise and one lady refused to have the Jeep drive through the river to the exit. They ended up climbing up the cliffs at one spot. There was an 82 year old woman with them and it took them 3 hours to get up out of the canyon. That must have been quite an experience. I’m ‘only’ 72, but not sure I could make the climb.

      Liked by 1 person

    • It was certainly an awe inspiring journey. I think I know the scene you mentioned. Perhaps the one with the Jeep on the other side of the river? I rather like that one, too.


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