Today our adventures took us out of New Mexico again to Arizona. We spent the day at Canyon de Chelly National Monument. It is run by both the US National park Service and the Navajo Nation. Sadly they have a HUGE trash problem. But they are working to help curb the issue by asking visitors, especially Junior Rangers, to pick up a bag of trash. This week is Earth Day so we pithed in and cleaned a median along the road.
I didn’t want to pick up trash with my bare hands so Mom gave me a paper towel and then I got to work.
Canyon de Chelly was the former home of a cliff dwelling group on Ancestral Pueblo. It is a beautiful canyon with a river running through the middle. We stopped along a lot of overlooks and little trails.
Mom got a bit nervous standing on the staircase. Thankfully we weren’t allowed to go past the point she was standing.
We saw the beautiful river and decided that we should try to hike into the canyon.
We surveyed the hike and felt we were prepared but the weather was warming up. I have been obsessed with making sure we have food, water and a plan when we hike. I am learning hiking safety.
We headed down into the canyon. It wasn’t too bad heading down but after walking about 30 minutes we were all second guessing our commitment to this White House Trail.
I know walking up the hill is harder. The elevation change is really hard to get used to. A vertical height change of 500 feet didn’t seem like a lot going down. I got tired and my ankle was hurting. My ankle has hurt on and off since I was jumping off boulders the other day.
Mom sat with me on a bench while Dad and B hiked further down. They soon turned around too. Oh well, we are working up to this big hikes. We can go for miles on flat land!
We drove to the far back of the area and hiked a shorted less speed trail out to see Spider Rock. It is a huge spire over 700 feet tall in the middle of the canyon. No human interference only erosion has caused this beauty.
After we finished exploring Canyon de Chelly we stopped at the Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site. We learned about how the Americans and the Navajo had a strong trading post in the 18 and 1900s. We saw the stables, school, hogan, and the trading post itself.
I loved looking at all of the Navajo handwoven rugs. They were so pretty.
Here is a picture of some of the pages and patches that we have earned so far on this trip. The patches are usually harder to earn. You either have to complete your entire book or do a special activity to earn them. Homeschooling on the road with the National Parks is pretty fun!