Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Navajo National Monument

The Navajo National Monument was a magical place for me.  It was small as monuments and campgrounds go. We drove around to get our bearings and to see what we wanted to do the next morning.  We talked with the rangers and decided to take an early morning walk on Sandal Trail.
 Both campgrounds had open spaces for camping and on this trip that was unusual and welcome.  We arrived early evening and were able to take a short walk.  There were beautiful blooming bushes, a few birds and sunset! 




After making ‘camp’ in the back of the truck and setting out dinner, I even had time to sit and enjoy the sounds and smells of the forest.
Sandal Trail is a paved trail from the visitor center that ends at Betatakin Overlook.  I stood looking out at a breathtaking cross-canyon vista and then looking down at what is left of an ancient village framed by a sandstone arch while time stood still.  I could almost see the children playing on the upper ledge; hear the women weaving and preparing meals.  I could imagine the hunter/gatherers following trails along the river. 
Cross-Canyon Vista
Ancient Puebloans lived here from about 1250 to 1300.  This location was undoubtedly chosen for the community because it is so well protected and was deep enough for the approximately 135 rooms.  The sandstone kept the heat in the winter and cooled the area in the summer making it pleasant for a people who spent most of their time outside.   There are three cliff dwellings that survive in the monument today. 
Looking down from the Betatakin Overlook

The Ruins - imagine the amount of activity at one time


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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Navajo National Monument

The Navajo National Monument was a magical place for me.  It was small as monuments and campgrounds go. We drove around to get our bearings and to see what we wanted to do the next morning.  We talked with the rangers and decided to take an early morning walk on Sandal Trail.
 Both campgrounds had open spaces for camping and on this trip that was unusual and welcome.  We arrived early evening and were able to take a short walk.  There were beautiful blooming bushes, a few birds and sunset! 




After making ‘camp’ in the back of the truck and setting out dinner, I even had time to sit and enjoy the sounds and smells of the forest.
Sandal Trail is a paved trail from the visitor center that ends at Betatakin Overlook.  I stood looking out at a breathtaking cross-canyon vista and then looking down at what is left of an ancient village framed by a sandstone arch while time stood still.  I could almost see the children playing on the upper ledge; hear the women weaving and preparing meals.  I could imagine the hunter/gatherers following trails along the river. 
Cross-Canyon Vista
Ancient Puebloans lived here from about 1250 to 1300.  This location was undoubtedly chosen for the community because it is so well protected and was deep enough for the approximately 135 rooms.  The sandstone kept the heat in the winter and cooled the area in the summer making it pleasant for a people who spent most of their time outside.   There are three cliff dwellings that survive in the monument today. 
Looking down from the Betatakin Overlook

The Ruins - imagine the amount of activity at one time


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