Thursday, July 28,2022
66 degrees at 6:00 am, high 89
We had scheduled a Jeep tour of the canyon with highly-touted Bobby Vanwinkle, but Chinle Wash was flooded and too high to cross into the canyon. Someone had tried, but his pickup truck remained stuck in the flooded stream. We drove the North Rim to view the overlooks. We talked with a nice lady selling jewelry and pottery she makes. Having lived here her whole life, she said she had never seen the creek so high. It turns out there are two canyons, both pretty, but the first one has a larger creek.
One overlook was called Massacre Canyon, where Kit Carson chased the Indians up the box canyon, trapping and killing many of them. The creek in this canyon is not as big, so there was less flooding.
“For nearly 5,000 years, people have lived in these canyons – longer than anyone has lived uninterrupted anywhere on the Colorado Plateau. In the place called Tsegi, their homes and images tell us their stories. Today, Navajo families make their homes, raise livestock, and farm the lands in the canyons. A place like no other, the park and Navajo Nation work together to manage the land’s resources.” From https://www.nps.gov/cach/index.htm
The Ancient Ones, from whom so many tribes descended, built incredible homes in alcoves, protected from rain, snow, sun and others. It is incredible how many perfectly-formed alcoves there are on the Colorado Plateau, but this canyon is pretty special.