Saturday, October 11, 2014

Days 9-12 Chelley, Winslow and Sexy Sedona

It has  been so beautiful and overwhelmingly peaceful in Monument Valley that Thelma and I couldn't bring ourselves to leave.  

We were again so fortunate, 
we were able to book another room for 50% less - without a view this time.  
We spoke to some British guests who said they had tried over 6 months ago to get a room here and were not able to...
and we managed it two nights in a row.
  According to the front desk Johnny Depp
 once tried to get a room - and he was refused because they were also so booked.
Boohoo  Johnny D!


We rose to the sun rise, and snapped a few photos from our terasse we didn't make it any further than that,
 but we were up pretty early - for me anyway 7:30 AM.  It was breath taking.  Maria's birthday today, so another reason to do something terrific.

There are tours along the 17 mile loops around the fantastic peaks - 
you can do it yourself,
 but we opted for off the beaten path tour with a guide,
 and so we could take some photos from 'routes that we couldn't go on ' ourselves'. 

Anywhere on the reservations alcohol is not sold or allowed .
  The view without booze is still well worth it.

The dream catchers are everywhere..
this child was there selling jewelry with his Dad for the day.

We opted for a 4X4 tour with an excellent guide, and it was well worth it.  We saw some petroglyphs.  
We did the same for him and his family, drawings in the stone that dated to 1300 apparently. 
 Also some Navajo history from the guide himself, who grew up on the reservation.  He had a little bit of a Scooby Doo amigo look. 


I tell you there is some really
lovely energy on this trip.

This is John Wayne Point you can see just i front of the jewelery being sold by Navajo people on the reservation.  
The Navajo people are gentle, kind, patient and from what we have seen quite poor. 
 It is truly sad.  This land was theirs, is theirs and many live below the poverty line. 

Maria and I raced on over to the point, 
you can see us below, and had a tourist snap for us.  

After a full day almost on the reservation - we sadly bid adieu - and decided to venture further westward with an overnight in Chinle. 
 Prior to that however we made a little detour.

The 4 corners are the only place in the U.S where four state intersect.  
Colorado, Utah Arizona and New Mexico.  
Apparently it's just for a photo op. 
 But how many times in one life will you ever be in four state at the same time?

Once in a lifetime.

After a few more hours we were back in Arizona, feeding stray dogs and of course me in tears, 
not to mention us giving away more of our food.  

We were so quiet on the rest of the drive thinking of the scrawny puppy and what we could do to save him.

We decided to ride some horses in the Canyon de Chelley - pronounced Shay.  
Our guide was slow, perhaps from too much drug abuse.  
He was kind and patient and bid us adieu with a Navajo hug...."goodbye sister" he said.  
Calm and sweet.  
He lives on the land, in a relic of a shack, 
living on 15$ per hour for each person he takes out. 
 Another person owns the horses, he just treats them as his children he says.  

We did attempt - feebly - a drive around he Canyon- 
but were both canyoned out...
so we hightailed it to Sedona via a 4 hour drive.

Oddly and again serendipitously enough,
 I looked up a town we were driving through, 
Winslow and its' claim to fame was an old, now refurbished, 
great hotel by the name of La Posada,
 designed by Mary Colter, 
who had also designed the Grand Canyon's El Tovar lodge in the 1800's.

  The reviews for the food were phenomenal, and the likes of Einstein, John Wayne, and Howard Hughes had overnighted there, 
so I didn't have to do much arm twisting.

We were so delighted.  
We had excellent blood orange margaritas in the 
Turquoise Room bar and 
two appetizers each. 

 A black bean and corn chowder soup which was outstanding and each of us 
oohed and aahed about that.

A snapshot of the La Posada hotel in Winslow.  Worth a detour!
The gentleman next to us asked us some questions and suggested we take a tour of the famed hotel, it housed a new sitting area, where there used to be  a ballroom, a fantastic shop and book store and some of the most unconventional artwork painted by the owner's wife.  A little macabre, but none the less it made his newly refurbished hotel on Route 66 a great destination.  I even managed to bump into an old Iowan gentleman who was driving  through Arizona on his own, and also suggested we just say at La Posada and how did we manage to miss it?  

Artwork by the owner's wife.

We couldn't bring ourselves to leave this lovely oasis, and finally the good food. 
 It was after 9 pm when we left that lobby to head to our own luxurious digs 
in what is called upper Sedona. 

 The Amara hotel lodged just below the canyons - where you can still see plenty of red rock, where the service and food is outstanding, and we are back in some sort of an urban oasis...something like what I  always imagined this area would be.

The view from our room, on our first cloudy day.

Enjoying some RnR.  This morning up at 7:15 for a 7:30 AM yoga class....yes that was me  and Maria....followed by a great hammam and more RnR.  
We bought some funky glasses a cowboy  hat and an American flag scarf.
  I look very patriotic.....wrong country.

         Maria - asleep on the beds by the grand pool. 
 After 1600 miles of travel, I figure she's entitled!

Lovely Navajo baskets in the lobby.

We have been taking the yoga classes daily, early in the morning to get the most out of our day. 
 Yesterday we went to see the Chapel of the holy cross Church - carved out of a mountain, designed by students of Frank Lloyd Wright.  

Another visit to a ghost town named Jerome
 brought back memories of the towns high in the mountains on the islands of Greece. 

 Just an old sleepy mining town with some unusual shops and restaurants and haunted tours.  The view from way up there at 5500 feet was amazing.  

We snagged a last minute seat by the window at sunset  at an old hospital now transformed into a restaurant and hotel called The Asylum.

Both of us were discussing how we were so pleasantly surprised by the trip and how things just fit into place without any forcing or anxiety, and how this Thelma and Louise trip has really been the trip we both unexpectedly have fallen in love with.

Every step of the way there was a new highlight.  
We loved Arizona and its Navajo, the Utah short stay and so many other things like he delicious food and weather!

Neither of us wants to leave.

I know we will be back.