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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Driving To Tuba City and The Navajo Nation

March 16, 2013 Room 330 Hampton Inn Kayenta, Az 2:54 pm ( Back to the loss of an hour--I'm going crazy with this constant change--I haven't a clue what time it really is, anymore!)

This is a catch -up on yesterday's activities. The days have been so full lately, warm, oxygen deprived and active. As a result, I've been a bit tired at the end of them. Hopefully, with the slight respite we've planned for today and tomorrow, I'll be up to date after tomorrow.

At any rate, we slept in a bit yesterday and had a late breakfast just as the morning's train was departing for the rim. So, we became part of the professional waver contingent and sent them on their way. Bill had an freshly made omelet, but since I don't care for eggs I stuck with my bacon, muffin, OJ and coffee--I also found a small danish which I hate at breakfast and a wonderful spice muffin that I ate mid morning on our drive. While Bill got the car I zipped into the Depot Gift Shop to pick up the book Rails to Rim, which AR had recommended when I asked more info about the Miller's Wash accident. She said the author used to stand on the platform when the train arrived back from the Rim, about ten years ago, waving the book and saying " Only $10!".  Amazingly, it is still $9.99!

We stopped at the ATM once more where we came across a young man driving a eye-pleasing 1969 Chevy truck painted pale blue and white. Complimented the young man on it and he said he's been saving to do some more work on it. He said he had an '84 Chevy at home, too. I kind of chuckled to myself since I'm sure he considers them very old, as the young girl at Poncho's considered Midnight Runner " VERY old"!  It was made in 1988, about the time she was born. Wonder if she considers herself " VERY old"?  LOL

We took a last spin around Williams to take pictures of some of the old Rte 66 buildings and the statue of Old Bill Williams, the mountain man who settled the area. I love the Grand Canyon Hotel--rooms $3.50 and up. Indeed! Hop Sing Chinese Restaurant--who remembers Hop Sing????

After crossing the tracks and joining I 40 once more we have turned Eastward. Williams our most westward point on this trip. Once more the San Francisco Peaks--four peaks --fractured from one by violent volcanic activity. These ever present monumental mountains are one more of the four sacred mountains of the Navajo--the Dine as the prefer to be called--along with Mt Taylor. At Flagstaff we headed north toward Page. The road is closed above our turn off to Tuba City as the result of a large mud slide three days ago. After passing a rather curious accident and another interesting well protected tree--do you see what it is?--we came to the turnoff for Sunset Crater Volcano and Wupatki  National Monument.

We took the 34 mile loop through the two areas back to 89. At the start the road circles Sunset cinder cone and the various others that formed during this massive volcanic event about 1,000 years ago. ( Amy, did you take the sunset cruise to see the lava flow into the ocean in Hawaii? ) Here we transversed massive lava flows and cinder fields. Little can grow in this soil. The visitors' center had several pieces of lava in which there are fossils of ears of corn. It is thought that the Natives in the area tried to appease the gods with corn offerings. Bill has been reading the Pueblo Revolt and in that book it is told that the Indians from further south gave up their gods and adopted those of this northern region, since they seemed far more powerful.

This country is so unpredictable--turn a corner and the view totally changes. This area was no different--after descending through an incredibly large lava area we took a turn and there laid out before us--The Painted Desert! As we drew nearer we entered the Wupatki portion of the loop. Here dwelled the Dine in stone houses that are now in ruins. The story told in the Visitors' center of their removal from this area breaks my heart. We are so superior about Hitler and Mussolini and their persecution of the Jews etc and our own history teems with the destruction of the culture and homes of our Native People. I won't even go into the eugenics movement at UVM that sterilized Abneki females considered to be simple minded or the syphilis testing on the black people of Tuskegee. Hitler had nothing on us--his horror was masses destroyed at one stroke--we did it more slowly, fewer at a time. Hateful! Not much taught about these things in our schools---but we are all aware of the treatment of our Black Americans--even a holiday for MLK--where is a National holiday to commemorate these people? Look at the dates on the removal of them from their native homes and the reasons why they were forced across the Little Colorado and then note the ranch run by the Bobbitt Bros and its location. Ah, white and monied, the Bobbitt's. I get really upset about the treatment of these people--but I'll get off the soap box now.

When I was in Yuma several years ago, you may remember that a lady at the old territorial penitentiary recommended a book called Vanishing Arizona by a Boston lady who married a cavalry officer and was stationed in Yuma in the late 19th-early 20th C. I loved the book and here, I found another of similar ilk. This is by the wife of the second NP ranger to be stationed here in the '40's. His name, Davy Jones and he was single when he arrived. He sent Corky a sketch of the floor plan of the Wupatki building, the second floor of which was his quarters, along with a marriage proposal. She accepted and came to live here with him for many years. The young ranger who checked me out now lives in the Ranger quarters next to the ruins. I said she should write a book about current conditions and she laughed and said that amazingly, it really hadn't changed all that much. Now, I really can't wait to read the book! After passing several more ruins we were back to Rte 89 and on our way to Cameron, the first town on the Navajo Nation.

After Cameron we found ourselves in the Painted Desert--I was amazed to discover just how much territory this desert covers.  160 is the Tuba City cut over and this also is the detour to Page, hence the influx of traffic. After ten more miles through the PD we arrived at out destination--Tuba City, Az

I stayed in while Bill went to dinner at the Hogan Restaurant. Opened the first of the six bottles of wine I'd packed in Vt and had a glass with cheese and apple slices for dinner. Followed by an O Henry. Totally fit my needs and mood. A little Hawaii Five-0 and Blue Bloods and I was ready for bed!!!

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