Tag Archive | Thunderbird Lodge

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.


Related posts:
Search ‘Chelly’ & ‘Navajo’.


by Anura Guruge

Four Impressive (3 Very Good Looking) Diné (Navajo) Folks From Our Stay In The Navajo Nation.

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:Canyon de Chelly by Anura Guruge
a. Northern Arizona’s Top 5 
b.
Canyon de Chelly revisited, 2015.

c.
 Grand Canyon experience, 2013.

++++ Search on ‘Arizona‘ for some other posts >>>>


Click to ENLARGE.

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He was a vendor at ‘Four Corners’. We didn’t buy anything from him, but did so, from his niece, in the stall next door. As soon as I saw him I thought he looked like a movie star Navajo. He agreed, quite graciously, to be photographed. I think he has some classic features.

She worked as a cashier at the “Thunderbird Cafe”, at “Sacred Canyon Lodge”, Canyon de Chelly. I was struck by her looks. Alas most of the Navajo women do not look like this, So she stuck out even more. Even Deanna commented on how pretty she was. She too let me take her picture. She thought it was funny. But she also admitted that people would often comment on her looks. That is good.

Antonio Carroll, Canyon de Chelly — artist, raconteur and ambassador. We met him at the first outlook, on Day 1. He engaged us in a conversation as soon as we stepped out of the car. Very nice guy, very talented. There was no way Deanna was leaving without buying one of his pieces. We ended up with two because he took a liking to Deanna and gave her an offer that even I could not refuse.

Very nice, jewelry maker, who we met on our third day, while touring the northern rim of Canyon de Chelly. Yes, Deanna bought jewelry for herself and the girls from him. He insisted on having his picture taken with us.


The Diné. Lovely people. ‘Navajo’, as at least three of them pointed out to us, quite forcibly, is the ‘Spanish’ or ‘white’ name. They like to be called Diné.

I started spending time in the Indian reservations in Arizona from my very first visit in 1980. When I was 30 pounds heavier than I now am I looked like a Navajo. The first time I visited Canyon de Chelly, in 1986, the locals would often talk to me in Navajo and be surprised when I could not talk back.

Lovely people. I am very fond of them. Deanna took an instant shining to them. We spent a lot of time chatting with them on this trip. We gave rides, on two separate days, to two different female hitchhikers, one old, one young. They hitchhike a lot because many don’t own any transport. In the case of the latter we drove 22 miles out of our way! It was 2pm, it was hot and she was, at best, in her late teens. She didn’t say much. The older lady, a mother of eight, talked non-stop. Told us all sorts of things including stories about rattlers and how one of her sons got bitten by one on a fishing trip.

Just wanted to share these pictures with YOU. Enjoy.


Northern Arizona’s Top 5 Tourist Destinations.

Canyon de Chelly by Anura Guruge.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
a. Canyon de Chelly revisited, 2015.
b.
  Grand Canyon experience, 2013.

++++ Search on ‘Arizona‘ for some other posts >>>>


1. Petrified Forest National Park.
2. Canyon de Chelly National Monument.
3. Four Corners (Navajo) Monument.
4. Monument Valley (Navajo) Monument.
5. Grand Canyon National Park.

Click to ENLARGE.
[These are RESIZED 396 KB images.]

Petrified Forest, Monday, April 27, 2015.

Canyon de Chelly, Tuesday, April 28, 2015.

Four Corners, Wednesday, April 29, 2015.

Monument Valley, Wednesday, April 29, 2015.

Grand Canyon, Friday, May 1, 2015.


This was Devanee’s (14) trip and she wanted to go to Canyon de Chelly, Four Corners and Monument Valley. Petrified Forest, basically on the way to Canyon de Chelly, was a bonus. The Grand Canyon, which we had visited, for 4 days in 2013, was a surprise. I had it all planned but I never let on. Deanna and the kids had no idea until I pulled up at the entrance to the Park. They were delighted.

Though I had driven by it multiple times I had never been to the Petrified Forest National Park. Glad we went. Definitely worth going. We only spent 2 hours but saw most of the ‘landmark’ logs and sights. Got some great pictures.

We stayed at Canyon de Chelly, at the ‘Sacred Canyon Lodge‘ (née ‘Thunderbird Lodge‘), which is inside the ‘Park’, for 4 nights. That was our base for this trip. What can I say about Canyon de Chelly other than that it is my favorite place in the whole wide World! Canyon de Chelly is just magical.

I had never been to Four Corners and doubt whether I will ever go back. It really is in the middle of nowhere. Long, long drive through vast, barren, desolate landscape. I did NOT like it! The spot itself is hemmed in on all four sides by ‘cheap’ concrete vendor stalls — that look like bunkers. It makes the whole place feel cheap and tatty. ‘They’, the Navajo Nation, charges $20 entrance. I do NOT have a problem with that. I also have NO problem with them trying to sell their wares — and we, at various places, including Four Corners, bought a far amount of stuff (as is our wont). I am happy for the Navajo to make as much money as they can. They are entitled. I just wish that they had done this Monument with a bit more decorum and taste. C’est la vie. I will not hold it against them. They are entitled.

I have been to Monument Valley before; definitely once, possibly twice. The first time, in 1986, which was also when I discovered and fell in love with Canyon de Chelly, and I remember, vividly, that I was in a yellow rented Camaro — which was not the best car to drive through the sandy roads at the Valley. But I managed. This time, just because I knew we were going to visit Monument Valley, I rented a SUV — a Chevy Captiva (which was OK, but really was ‘gutless’). I would never buy ‘that’. It was way too underpowered and poorly-geared for my taste (and driving). Monument Valley is monumental. Striking. But it was PACKED. Liked going to Disney World — and this was still April, i.e., not prime season.

The Grand. It was at least my 8th or 9th trip. The second for Deanna and the kids. They just love the Grand. They were so excited, especially since it was a total surprise. The Grand is like no other. It is magnificent. As I was telling a Park Ranger, there were more people at any given stop (on the South Rim) than we encountered during a whole day at Canyon de Chelly. I don’t think we ever encountered more than 24 people at any one spot at de Chelly. Most of the time the car parks were empty or just had one or two Navajo vendors. That is very much a part of the attraction for me. The solitude and serenity. I gather it is ‘packed’ in June and July.

So that was our 5 days in Northern Arizona. 1,409 miles on the Chevy Captiva (from Enterprise), 2 hours on horseback and 4-5 miles of hiking.


Two bonus pictures.

The kids at Spider Rock lookout at sunset on Thursday, April 30, 2015 at Canyon de Chelly.

Anura Guruge April 2015 in his latest headgear.

I am always in the market for new headgear to cover my receding toupée. This might work. At the Grand Canyon.


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