After some showers and food and cards and a good night’s sleep, imagine our surprise to see that it had snowed overnight.
Undaunted, we were up and on the road but this time headed north from Flagstaff to Page and the Navajo Nation. Zach had arranged for us to tour a pocket canyon and the day provided one beautiful vista after another.
Grab a coffee or tea or whatever your sipping and consider this one of those old fashioned slide shows at the neighbor’s house after they returned from vacation. Sorry, not sorry…
The miles revealed such a variety of changes in land forms and ground cover. We had a good two and half hour drive that morning and found we were finding shapes in the clouds and in the land forms.
Russ found this big fella…we saw a gorilla…how about you?
This one seemed like a giant lizard or maybe a panther on the run…
As we entered the Navajo Nation, the land changed again and we discovered with broken hearts that this area designated to Native Americans, while very beautiful, is also very hard and difficult to live and make a living on.
The more we drove toward the pocket canyon, the more red the dirt became and the less signs of plant life or water sources.
We arrived at the check in point and were led back through the red clay path by a lead car. We parked and were divided into smaller groups and met our tour guide Jordan. He was so kind and gracious as he led us down into the deep canyon.
We went down almost into a cave like setting as the pocket canyons have been carved deep through rocks by the only rain they receive each year – typically seven inches in a three week period – which because of the rocky land swirls through the canyons and out. The wind also plays a roll in breaking crevices that have created the deep walls over time.
Cracks like this fill with broken peoples and stones that push against each other, eventually creating greater openings.
We walked through paths that had been cut by wind and water through such beauty it is hard to describe.
The canyon we explored is called Canyon X and Jordan made sure we got pictures under the way the rocks formed and X thus giving the Canyon its name.
You may notice we were wearing masks despite being in Arizona and outside.
We learned that in the Navajo Nation, Covid hit particularly hard and they lost a lot of people. Their leaders decided that the best thing they could do was vaccinate and continue wearing masks as people come in for these tours. We were more than happy to respect their rules.
Another interesting fact we learned is that the all of Arizona is on Mountain time, but Navajo Nation observes Daylight Savings Time while the rest of the state does not. This proved slightly confusing, but added some humor and excitement to our day as we tried to figure what time our tour was!
Also, as we finished making our way through various nooks and crannies and were leaving the last cave like path, I found this….
and right next to it was a grabber like tool that I assume is used to…never mind… I can’t even form the words.
As I hyperventilated, my family informed me that these boxes were strategically located throughout the entire tour…they had been creatively blocking them with their bodies so I couldn’t see them in those tight caverns.
Safe to say the Navajo were spared me seeing a snake and we all lived to die another day.
As we made our way back to the cars, a slight rain started and continued as we made a trip to Page, Arizona to grab some food and see the dam over the Colorado River.
Our John called right as we were crossing so he got to see it too…
We made the eight mile trek to the state line so the kids could say they saw Utah and then headed the cars back towards Flagstaff.
In the mist, Rachel texted and asked if we wanted to try and see Horseshoe Canyon or should we pass since it was misting.
No way Jose…
We paid the fee to park and headed up the trail to take in yet another wonder of this surprise-filled state.
I thought we could not possibly see anything more amazing that day but then I made Russ pull off the highway at an overlook because….
It was just one incredible mountain formation after another into infinity and beyond.
So we piled back into the car with hearts and minds full…with a promise to read with our grands about this land and the Navajo Nation and all the questions and thoughts that came up that day. Except the snake box…cause the snake box needs to stay where we found it.
And as the sun was setting, God went and added this little cloud show as a grand finale…
and who but He can make a mountain chain out of water and air?
Best. Day. Ever.