Today, it struck me that no series of blogs about the Southwest during Coronavirus would be complete without a mention of the Navajo. I love the Navajo culture – it makes my trips to the Southwest take on a cultural feel that is humbling. I have so much to be grateful for in life. And, I do envy their sense of family and community.
I was wondering if we could trace the boundaries of the Navajo Nation from various road trips. So, last year, we traced the New Mexico side starting at the Shiprock and down through the Bisti Badlands.
If we were to have headed due east after the Bisti Badlands the way the crow flies, would would trace the Navajo Nation boundary to Window Rock (the capitol of the Navajo Nation) and Fort Defiance. These are absolutely some of my favorite stops in Navajoland. I like to spend the night in Window Rock so I can spend the whole day taking in the scenery.
Then we would turn due south – if we were tracing the boundary. That would take us just south of Route 66.
And, then we trace west to the Northern Border of the Painted Desert at Petrified Forest National Park.
From there, you head due west, almost to Flagstaff. Then it is a turn to the North through Cameron up to Page – just east of the Grand Canyon.
You end up almost to Utah, at Page, AZ. That was a strange stop the year we went because they weren’t on rez time, even though everything surrounding the city was an hour later. We visited the famous Horse Shoe Bend near Page.
Then, you are up in Utah at the Glen Canyon Dam area – a favorite stop on our road trips!
Then, it is pretty much due east to Mexican Hat, UT. Very iconic Utah.
And then a bit further to Bluff, UT – we camped here last summer. It was a fun (but hot) spot to explore.
We approach home as we get to Hovenweep National Monument on the Colorado Border – this is absolutely a favorite spot and a place I plan to go camping as soon as we can travel more than 10 miles, again.
From there, the boundary heads South to Teec Nos Pos, AZ. They have a great trading post there.
And, we are almost back to Shiprock, where we started. I wish I could end the story here, but there are a few other favorite places that are internal to the Navajo Nation that we must visit. First, the infamous Monument Valley. This is just south of the Mexican Hat.
And, Navajo National Monument has great free camping and some very spiritual ruins.
The other route we frequent is 191 South – This is a good route to the Senora through the Four Corners area. I absolutely love Canyon de Chelly – it has the best red rock of any canyon I have visited.
With a stop at the Hubbell Trading Post on the way to Petrified Forest.
Sadly, Coronavirus has hit the Navajo Nation hard. As of tonight (5/9) they have nearly 3,000 cases and nearly 100 deaths. So, this blog is my tribute to this nation that is feeling the grip of COVID-19.
OK, back to the daylily blog. Here are my Navajo named daylilies. (I have a few, I wonder why?)
With this, I live vicariously through my daylilies while I stay safe at home. It is not the time to travel to Navajoland – but my heart goes there often. Now, I think of the reservation. I think of the poverty and the hardship that these people know. They lived a less hurried life, they honor their ancestors. I learn so much from my visits. With this, I send heartfelt thoughts of hope and healing to this spiritual land.
PS – This was fun, although a bit time consuming – I never really thought about tracing the border of the Navajo Nation through my trip photos.