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Monday, March 9, 2015

Lots of Traveling in The Past Week

Monday March 9, 2015 La Siesta Motel Cabin 17 Ajo,Arizona

While in Gallup made my annual visit to Perry Null Trading.  I had made a list of items in which I had some interest before going over there. The items were listed on their website and when I asked to see them, Angel and Mel told me that they were in a special mail order room and not in the display cases in the store. Well, who knew how easy that would make my shopping. Angel took me there and the young lady in charge just pulled the item up on the computer, went to a drawer and pulled it out. Eureka. I got Bets a birthday gift, a Christmas gift, got lapis earrings for me and a beautiful turquoise earring and necklace set. Then, returning to the showroom, I found a lovely lapis necklace, which completes my lapis set. Had Betsy’s birthday gift sent home and it arrived at our PO this morning, right on time. Of course, with the new reduced hours at the PO she probably won’t be able to get it until Saturday.

Needed something for Betsy’s gift so went to Thunderbird Supply on West Rte 66 but they didn’t have it. Found some copper beads that were so reasonable, I picked up a few for her to use when she makes earrings. Wish I could take her there, she’d find so many things she’d like. They have tubes of seed beads for $1 in just about any color you can imagine. If I did beading I’d get one of every color.

Continued out to Window Rock and the Navajo Nation Museum. I’ve wanted to go for years. It is laid out so beautifully. An art gallery , followed by a gallery devoted to the Long March of over 400 miles from Canyon de Chelly, where the Navajo tried to avoid the soldiers led by Kit Carson and sent by Andrew Jackson to round the up and move them to an area less desirable to the whites. Bosque Redondo at Fort Sumner in New Mexico is as different as desert and forest. There was no way for the Navajo to farm and when the soldiers provided them with bacon and flour they had no idea how to cook them so they mixed the flour with water and ate it that way and ate the bacon raw. As a result many got very sick and many died of starvation. That was of those that made it to Redondo, since many died making the trek,especially since Kit was brutal and vicious in the drive. In time, after many treaties the tribe, severely depleted, were allowed to return to the Canyon. The Navajo Nation is as large as Ct but still, much smaller than the original homeland. Kit Carson died one month before the signing of the treaty, which was administered by General Sherman.

The last area dealt with the Navajo who signed the treaty but by then, having read all of the displays, including those dealing with the effort to destroy the culture of the Navajo by sending their young men to boarding school in Carlisle Pa and forcing them to cut their hair and wear white men’s type clothing. The girls were kept in Arizona but they too went to the  BIA schools and learned how to be “ white young ladies” in dress and deportment. When Barb and I were at the Canyon last fall, Mr Henry said he went to the reservation school until high school and had never gone to school with white students nor had he ever seen a black person.

We headed back to Gallup from Window Rock and dinner at Applebee’s where we met Travis and Vera, descendants of the Chief. As Travis said, from one of his 13 wives!  We talked about many things including the name of sports teams that are reflective of Native Americans, such as the North Dakota Fighting Sioux, The Florida Seminoles, The Washington Redskins.Both of them said it is ridiculous to force the teams to change their names, since, in their opinion, the names were chosen to honor the Indian. Travis pointed out that the Redskins originated in Boston and chose the name to honor their coach, who was Native American. I, of course, have always objected to Notre Dame being called the Fighting Irish and told Travis that.

There was some discussion of the people who have a drop of Native blood being called Native. When a team of obviously primarily black heritage were to play in a Native tournament, he almost wanted to ask to see their CIP cards. The brother and sister spoke of their family and how close they are. We met two of their nieces and a new baby boy, a great nephew. All in all, we had a wonderful evening. When we were leaving, Vera asked where we were headed and we said back to our room. I think they were surprised but when I told them that we are old birds, they were even more amazed. LOL

On Friday there was a photo of Hilary taken before she retired from the office of Secretary of State—I’ll hand it to her—she used the past two years well in getting back into shape. Lost weight, redyed and restyled her hair, obviously had a face lift if not more work, bought new clothes and jewelry. She’s probably going to get after Billy Boy this year, too, or she’ll be sending him out of country on a charity tour for awhile. Now, if she can come up with explanations and revelations of secret emails and money from countries she won’t give special favors to as president, maybe she’ll run. Hopefully, she’ll have something more substantial to say than “ Isn’t it time we had a woman president?” It may be but I think her time is past, She’s too old and has too much baggage—unless she has convinced women in this country that the only important thing is to have a woman in the White House—stranger things have happened.

After getting past the thought of her as President we moved westward toward Arizona. Took the road to Holbrook through the beautiful Painted Desert. When the rest of the country was getting beaten with snow storm after snow storm the  West and Southwest received heavy rains. It certainly made a difference here, since things had greened up and flowers were scattered on the desert floor. Around Whipple Point, which I photographed from every angle for my friend Joyce, who is a Whipple, as opposed to a Whipple-Twing  ( do you remember that conversation when Bill and I were getting married, Joyce?), the first Petrified Tree logs begin to pepper the landscape.

The old Route 66 crosses the park and the indentation is still visible. That area is marked by an old car skeleton—took that shot for my friend, Glen, who loves old cars. Took a few pictures back in Alamogordo for him, too. The train tracks from Holbrook to Gallup also cross the park and I took that photo for my sister in law. Meg, who had taken the LA to Chicago train just a few days earlier.

In the front of the museum at the exit from the park there is a collection of petrified wood and so I took some shots of all the beautifully colorful minerals that replaced the cellulose of the wood over millennia while under mud and water. I have never seen any item made from the wood that has the colors found in these specimens.

As we pulled out of the lot we noticed Doug’s identical twin from California. Those people had taken their Corolla through some heavy duty mud. As we continued through Holbrook, hanging on desperately since 66 was bypassed by I 40 we broke open the Prickly Pear licorice I picked up in the gift shop.

Continued on to Winslow and Bank of the West where we got some more cash. Checked out the Winslow school built like a hogan and the Bulldog that is placed in the middle of a four way intersection like a war monument.  Then on to the motel and the restaurant there called DJ’s. Don’t know if that is where Bud and Gloria had the big hamburgers they told us of, but I’ll tell you—my hamburger was so big, I couldn’t finish my glass of beer I was so full. It was every much as large as the ones at The Owl, in San Antonio, NM.

Met yet another Navajo who chatted with us about his grandfather’s service as a Code Talker, his father’s service in Nam and his brother’s service in Iraq. He had a tattoo on his arm that had a feather for each of his family members who served. He did not mention his own service though he had been a city cop with rank of sergeant in Winslow. He also spoke of his two sons, one of whom is just finishing his degree in law enforcement, the other who is a freshman in high school and made varsity football team and his little girl who will dance in an event in Mesa. There is a great deal of family and closeness among these people. I finished the day by photographing my lapis jewelry—i think it is my favorite.

As we left Winslow The Sacramento Peaks which are the Western sacred mountains to the Dine looked so close. We’d seen them the day before 68 miles away from Flagstaff and they  seemed much closer than that. Now they were closer but still 47  miles away. The spaces here are so large it is difficult to just distance easily. Once we got to Flagstaff and went around he peaks, the bare desert area changed into a National Forest of large pines and ground covered with deep snow.

We descended partway into Williams but were still on the Coconino Plateau until we reached the sweeping descending curves to Ashfork. We followed an antique Ford Falcon for awhile but he kept it at about 50 so we blew by him. Looked at the driver, an old hippie, with white pony tail, probably the same vintage as his vehicle. Shortly after we departed the interstate for old Rte66 through Seligman etc  and on into Kingman.

Headed to the Dam Bar, had Ranchhand sirloins with Dam Red draft, jalapeño biscuits, rice and salad with bleu cheese dressing. Chatted with Mindy, the barmaid for a bit but talked mostly with Ken, who moved here in the 70’s. Told us about the old town before all the Californians, Chicagoites and New Yorkers, ( mostly jerks, says he) moved in. Told some fun stories about the Dam Bar, including the fact that he suggested the name to the owner who has since died. We gave him a Vt license plate and donated one for the bar’s wall—had to—there was already one from NH—couldn’t let that outdo Vermont!

Got back to the motel and there was a Coors Pole Car in a beautiful glass enclosed trailer but it was too dark to get a really good picture. Did photograph the turquoise set though and then to bed.

Speaking of which, I’m getting tired and haven’t eaten since lunch so think I’ll close and tell you about our California roaming tomorrow and about our return to Ajo then, also. So for tonight—goodnight, take care and talk with you tomorrow. The Two Traveling Peas, Kathy and Bill

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