To maintain one's mental and emotional health, it is important to learn or experience something new everyday. I would like to share with you some of the things we learned from our Navajo guide, Perry.
1). There are over 40 remaining cliff dwellings in the Canyon de Chelly.
2). Cliff dwellers or Anasazi, a Navajo word meaning "ancient ones" built their dwellings on the cliffs facing South to take advantage of the sun. They also made dwelling on the opposite side for storing corn and other grains.
3). Canyon de Chelly and Canyon-del Muerto are interconnected. The Spanish word, Muerto meaning death because Anasazi used to bury their deceased in this part of the canyon.
4). This is considered sacred ground requiring a Navajo guide for entry.
5). Ancient pictographs and hieroglyphs are beautifully preserved within Canyon de Chelly including amazing stories of hunts and celebrations.
6). Navajo hunters did not kill their games with bows and arrows, but rather got them tired out. This is because they did not want to have the hides damaged.
7). National Park Services planted Russian Olive Trees to prevent erosion. However these trees replaced the indigenous plants and used so much water. Today, the National Park Service is removing the olive trees and other invasive foreign plants to restore the canyons to its original splendor dating back more than 4,000 years.
Enjoyment of our 3 hours jeep tour was enhanced by Sandy and Gene making up our foursome.
Tonight, J.J. and I are staying at the Thunderbird Lodge. Enchanting double rainbows as we returned from our afternoon's drive was a perfect way to end a perfect day!
Aloha -- Cathi