Friday, October 15, 2010

Day 33: Monument Valley to Canyon de Chelly (“shay”), National Monument

Day 33: Monument Valley to Canyon de Chelly (“shay”), National Monument

The Giants were a good team, but our biggest enemy was said to be Candlestick Park.
Willie Stargell

Pics: THB as you know and love him in an encore shot, Spider Rock, Holiday Inn pool

Weather: GORGEOUS, mid 60s to low 70s, a breeze. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh....

Visit the fitness center, then breakfast buffet at View Lodge, $14 with $10 discount. Drive to Chinle, where Canyon de Chelly (pronounced “shay”) is located, around 2.5 hours. After checking in at the Visitor Center, we backtrack a few miles to scout out the Chinle weekly (flea) market. Carne asado burritos (no beans or rice!), a tamale, $9.

Then we do the south rim road which has the best views of the canyon, which is about ¼ to ½ mile wide, with trees and farms and cliff dwellings along with great rock formations. Back to check into the Holiday Inn, we’ve switched from the Thunderbird Lodge because we are now a day ahead of schedule and they couldn’t move us up. Works to our advantage, nice pool area and THB takes a dip and rests his eyes; meanwhile DB takes care of the laundry (free!) just down the hall from our room and we get a lot of red dirt shirts and pants washed. We inadvertently wash our extra car key, and some nice woman DB ran into in the laundry room leaves it on the top of the dryer AND sees us after dinner and lets us know it is there. A VERY NICE WOMAN!!

Rhetorical question of the day: How can the Holiday Inn be $100/night right outside a national monument and the View Lodge be $240/night right outside a tribal park? Yes, more demand at the Lodge, and it has spectacular views out the back. It doesn’t bother with service, has a lousy fitness center, lousy food, no wifi except in the lobby (where it is still damn slow), and you have to pay $3/person just to get to the Lodge because it is inside the park. Holiday Inn has strong free wifi in the rooms, free laundry, a very nice pool area, and is only minutes from the entrance to the Canyon (so no views). Oh, and the room at the Holiday Inn is nicer and better lit.

Dinner: There aren’t many choices, either here at Holiday Inn or at The Junction in the Best Western. We head to The Junction, just to get off campus. They are a Pizza Hut outlet as well, looks like many people are having deep dish and regular pizza. DB has Navajo Taco, THB opts for the Mexican combo of pork tamale, cheese enchilada and chile relleno. Waitress asked if I want red or green; hey, we’re near New Mexico! And, it comes with a sopapilla! And, a ton of cheese smothering everything. And, it comes with red salsa, even though THB opted for green. No alcohol again, we’re still in/on/near the reservation. Total, $29, and a dollar for junior mints as consolation for no alcohol.

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