Tuesday, November 4, 2014

If It was Tuesday ...

Like the 1969 movie - "If This Is Tuesday It Must Be Belgium", I find myself remembering our trip in that daily way.  Being Tuesday,  we were in the Navajo National Monument Park and Monumnet Valley.
The Navajo NMP is where one can see a 'cliff dwelling'.  I was  very interested in seeing one of these dwellings 'for real' as I remember seeing them in the western movies, years ago and wondering how one could live on the side of a mountain.  Of course the movies usually depicted the dweller as a lone, forlorn female.  In truth the dwellings were little communities.  The one we saw, shown below,  was 400 feet across 300 feet deep and held 25 homes with 100 - 125 people.

The photo is taken from quite a distance as the park keeps visitors on a trail and offers binoculars to get better views of the dewlling.  The little boxes you see inside the  cliff opening are actually individual houses.

The dwelling itself might have seemed confining, but the scenerey just 'out the front door' was anything but.

From the cliff dwelling we drove on to Monumnet Valley.  Think John Wayne  movies here.  Iconi, monolithic outcroppings seen in many westerns,  went on  for miles through this valley. 

The landscaping  reminded me of childhood,  Saturday-afternoon, matinee  scenes where we were kept on the edge of our seat, wondering if the parched, barely-alive, horse rider, desparate for water, would come to  an oasis or would it be another mirage. 

For the entire day last Tuesday, all of what we saw and drove through  was in Navajo Nation.  The largest First Nations area in North America.  From what we saw, the Navajo seem to be an industrious people.  Our hotel was Navajo run.  As was the restaurant where we ate dinner and all staff in the local grocery store.  When we stopped for gas, a flyer announced a Bingo evening.  First prize was 10 bales of hay.  Seeing the extreme dessert conditions, I can imagine that prize attracting a full house.

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