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Canyon de Chelly 5th April

April 9, 2018

Lake Wheatfield Arizona 5.4.18


Canyon de Chelly (Pron: d’Shay) was an impressive opener to the National Parks in the South West. It is mainly a drive along both rims of the canyon. The height of the sandstone walls at the start are no more than 100 feet but by the time you get to the highest point the drop is something like a 1000. Most of it vertical with a palette of colours on its slope. The Navaho still farm in the bottom of the canyon and, unless you are on a tour with a local guide, the only place the public can descend is at the White House Trail. The White house named after the colour of the render the Senasi, who built the structure before the Navaho came on the scene, applied.

There was a pleasant breeze, the sun was sheltered by high cloud so decided to do the 4km trail to the bottom. We took our time with a few stops but still did the walk in the time allocated. Bit sore afterward but it was the highlight of the day.

In 1862 Kit Carson lead an army detachment to capture the local inhabitants in the canyon. They were being rounded up to take part in ‘The Long March’ I mentioned earlier. They started at the mouth then pushed Indians higher and higher until they were trapped at the start of it. Any who tried to escape were shot.

Tonight we are wild camping or as they say, boondocking, tonight alongside Lake Wheatfield. Very quiet. The rubbish bins here have an elongated mouth where you throw the trash. The idea is to stop bears getting at it. Haven’t seen any yet but did burn the campfire brightly before going inside.


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