Chairman Bao is a Shih Tzu. We travel a lot. I drive. He watches. We've logged at least 10,000 miles and he's never once said, Sweetheart, don't you think you should stop and ask someone?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bao and I, in the depths of Canyon de Chelly.
This was different. Canyon de Chelly (in northeast Arizona) is very spectacular, but it's not exactly a canyon. It's more like a long, wide valley flanked by sheer, thousand-foot-high cliffs. Centuries ago, the Anasazi build homes into the sides of the cliffs, and you can still see some of the remains. After the Anasazi came the Hopi, and after them, the Navajo.
Bao -- as usual -- was unimpressed. With Bao, it's all about sniffing and peeing. But since pets aren't allowed in Canyon de Chelly, there was nothing interesting to sniff at, and no place worthy of a pee. At least, it was cooler than it is in Scottsdale at the moment. He liked that. So did I.
The valley itself is watered by several dozen streams and is very fertile. Navajo still live there, raising sheep and planting crops and popping out at intervals to sell necklaces to the tourists who come through twice a day on flat-bed trucks with seats bolted to them. You drive into the mouth of the canyon and then follow one of the water-courses -- it's a very bumpy ride.
The Navajo Reservation is a separate, sovereign nation. They have their own schools, and their own police force, and their own language. (English is a second language) Being there is rather disconcerting. You think you're in the United States, but you're not. And the Navajo neveer let you forget it.


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