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Tag Archive | Chinle

‘Canyon de Chelly’ — The (Bovine) Cows You Meet (This One In Chinle).

by Anura Guruge


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Saw number of cows walking around, merrily, in Chinle. One, however, and rather distressingly, had a very bad foot. Not sure it got hit. Nobody seemed to care. We saw it lying by the side of the road, alive, many hours after we had first seen it crossing the road, dragging its leg. Sad. But, locals were just going about as if all was well. Not much we could have done. I still think about it.


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by Anura Guruge

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‘Canyon de Chelly’ — The National Monument Visitor Center From Above.

by Anura Guruge


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Canyon de Chelly visitor center Anura Guruge


From the same vantage point, i.e., the supposed ‘Navajo Long Walk’ memorial, as my last two Canyon de Chelly posts. The red structure, with the model hogan to its left is the Visitor Center. It has some interesting exhibits, is very welcoming and offers free Indian tea. The road to Chinle is to the right. Left is the way to the ‘Thunderbird Lodge‘ and the South Rim. The three cars you see, at the Stop sign, are on the North Rim road.


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by Anura Guruge

Our Famous Navajo Friend Does V. Good In The ‘Miss Central Navajo Teen’ Pageant, In Chinle, Arizona.

by Anura Guruge


Yes, the same sisters in the ‘National Geographic’ ‘Canyon Song‘.


She competes in this Teen Pageant every year.

This year she won 3rd runner up as well as being crowned
Miss Photogenic & Best Essay Winner.


She told us about the Pageant when we met her last month in Chinle. She was excited and was already working on her essay.

So, this is GREAT news. We are very pleased and happy and send our congratulations to her Dad, Daniel Draper, and, of course, the daughter.



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by Anura Guruge

Canyon de Chelly: Where To Eat In Chinle, Arizona.

by Anura Guruge


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Mutton sandwich in Fried Bread at ‘The Junction’.



I am no stranger to Canyon de Chelly & Chinle, AZ. I have been there a total of four times, spanning 33-years.

33 years ago there was really ONLY one place to eat ‘Thunderbird Lodge Cafeteria‘ — and it WAS GOOD.

19 years ago you had the option of eating at the ‘Holiday Inn’ restaurant as well — BUT, the ‘Thunderbird Lodge Cafeteria’ was still the best.

3 years ago ‘Thunderbird Lodge Cafeteria’ (then called ‘The Sacred Lodge Cafeteria’) still rocked.

Not anymore. The ‘Thunderbird Lodge Cafeteria’, under new management (as of 18-months ago), SUCKS and sucks badly. The quality of food as plummeted.

Luckily there is the NEW ‘The Junction‘ attached to the ‘Best Western’ Hotel. ‘The Junction’ is GOOD. Very good and furthermore offers everything on the menu at the ‘Thunderbird’ and more. Yes, the common items between the two menus are typically $3 more expensive at ‘The Junction’, but that is well worth it since the quality and service is so much better. Plus ‘The Junction’ is full-service.

There is also a new “Denny’s” and a “Burger King” — the latter offering the ONLY reliable Wi-Fi in town.

“Denny’s” was OK. We had breakfast their once. Service was a tad slow but the food was OK.

We ate three nights in a row at ‘The Junction’ and even took some new Navajo friends there for dinner. They told us that they go there too — rather than the ‘Thunderbird’.

So, DEFINITELY recommend ‘The Junction’.

I personally also like “Church’s Chicken” and we have eaten there twice. It is fun and good.

Also do NOT forget the outstanding ‘Bashas’ supermarket with their deli that has an extensive range of hot food — including LOTS of great mutton. Their pot roast is very good.

So, my recommendations (at least for 2018): ‘The Junction’, “Church’s Chicken”, ‘Bashas’ supermarket, “Denny’s” & “Burger King”.


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by Anura Guruge

Canyon de Chelly Facebook Page.

by Anura Guruge


Click image to access the Facebook ‘Canyon de Chelly’ page.


There is now a Facebook page dedicated to all things ‘Canyon de Chelly‘.

The goal of this page is to celebrate, promote & support ‘Canyon de Chelly’ in Chinle, Arizona — in the heart of the Navajo Nation.

There is already a fair amount of content and a ton of pictures. You should check it out. I think you will like what you see. I will be working on this page over the coming days.


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by Anura Guruge

Navajo Morning Prayer Song YouTube Video — From Canyon de Chelly.

by Anura Guruge




This was rather special — even if it was filmed in ‘Best Western’ Hotel car park. Two rather amazing Navajo sisters; 15 & 13. They literally sang for their dinner — though, of course, they didn’t have to.

I had met their father 6-hours earlier. He took Teischan & I on a 4-hour, 6-wheeler ‘jeep’ tour of the Canyon — both the North & South sides. Though we hadn’t booked it as such, we lucked out and it proved to be a private tour — just the two of us. It was a great tour.

The tour finished around 7:50pm. We had already planned to go to “The Junction”, at the ‘Best Western’, for dinner, as we had done the last two-nights. We invited ‘Daniel’ to join us for dinner. He had told us about his two youngest daughters and how talented they were. He had even shown us a video of the oldest (15) singing. I told him to bring them along.

At 8:40pm we were having dinner. It was great. We all had a great time. We were the last to leave the restaurant.

This was when we got outside. The father asked them to sing for us. He is, understandably, very proud of their talents. They did NOT need any coaxing. They sang three songs for us. This was the last. I will post the other two soon.

Enjoy.


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by Anura Guruge

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