Canyon de Chelly and Utah!

We left Albuquerque about mid-day on Tuesday heading to Canyon de Chelly in the northeast corner of Arizona. Canyon de Chelly, on the Navajo reservation, was the most-mentioned must-visit destination at our going away parties last month. It is a national monument run by the Navajo nation, who operate a campground and guided tours along the valley floor. I have posted some pictures from observation points along the south rim and our descent to the White House on the canyon floor. Thanks to all our friends who suggested we visit!

Tuesday evening brought the first test of our commitment to sleeping in a tent most nights. Dark storm clouds arrived with us at the campground, and a drenching rain began even before we got out of our truck. So we didn’t. We sat and read until the rain let up after about 45 minutes. Then we got out and pitched our tent. Not 30 minutes later, we felt very smug about our decision as the late afternoon sky turned blue. We should have taken that opportunity to set up our screen tent over the picnic table, however, because the weather changed again just as we were cooking dinner, and we had to learn how to set it up in a windy rain. Next time, we’ll know…

Leaving Canyon de Chelly Wednesday afternoon, and heading northwest in the general direction of Zion national park, we decided to follow the dotted scenic routes marked on our map. These brought us into Utah just east of Monument Valley. This was my first time in Utah, and the scenery didn’t disappoint! We took a further detour down a dirt Bureau of Land Management road leading towards some buttes and mesas marked “Valley of the Gods.” Fantastic! And here we learned another lesson – always carry a few extra gallons of water. Not because we were thirsty and ran out, but because we could have pitch the tent anywhere and spent the night among the gods.

Instead, we continued south through the town of Mexican Hat, named, it seems, for a rock just north of town that looks like a Mexican sombrero. I didn’t take a picture, but there are many online. Then we drove into Monument Valley on the Arizona-Utah border, and again pitched our tent in a Navajo campground. I snapped a picture from the door of our tent and posted it on our site.

Many people have told us how great our website looks. Thanks! But let me share the credit. I purchased our snazzy domain name ( from GoDaddy, along with WordPress website management software. It was relatively easy for me to do the basic layout by myself by editing one of the standard templates. But uploading photos from our Instagram account and including a map where I could track our progress was a different matter, as was setting up a scrapbook page that could accept multi-media files. I clearly needed some expert help…. Fortunately, Elise’s boyfriend Hans is a webdesigner: It would have been much easier for Hans to listen to what I wanted and do it himself, but I wanted to learn. So Hans patiently (incredibly patient, really!) talked me through “short-code,” “plug-ins,” “Google maps,” “SoundCloud,” and “essential grid.” And voilá! Any imperfections on our site are mine, as Hans does great work. Thanks Hans!

8 thoughts on “Canyon de Chelly and Utah!”

  1. I am impressed to say the least. Way to go on web site. It’s great to be able to down load pictures of your trip and to see the USA with you both from my living room with love from Angie and your brother Steven.

    1. Hi Steven. I’m glad you’re enjoying our posts and pictures. Setting up our tent and cooking area makes me think of our family camping trips 25 years ago! The scenery is a bit different than what we saw on the east coast….

      1. Yes I agree but I am sure without the Kaplan 5 and others your having a much better enjoyable time with your wife and friends. I still think your time now will be ever remembered and thought of only love for each other.

  2. Thank you Bob for the generous mention! I’m happy to help with the site!

    It was great hiking, biking, farming, eating and drinking the best of Albuquerque with you and Lorrie! Elise is a five star travel guide 🙂

  3. This is from MOM, WOW!! To think we missed Canyon de Chelly. We loved Zion but I see by camping you see and enjoy that much more. Oh well, too late for the old folks. With oddles of love XXXOOO

    1. You and dad did pretty well, visiting every continent in almost seven decades together! Lorrie and I are just trying to follow your excellent example.

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