Canyon de Chelly!

Wednesday, May 11

Early in the morning the crew and I pull out of the Wheatfields Lake camp.  Route 12 takes us northwest to Tsaile.

The map below is a photo of a page out of my Arizona Benchmark atlas. 

The purple area is Canyon de Chelly National Monument.  Route 12 is on the righthand side.  Tsaile is at the top, right of center.

P1110409-001At Tsaile we turn southwest on Route 64.

This route takes us along the north rim of the canyon.  We drive out to Massacre Cave Overlook.  The road is two-lane paved, ending in a large parking lot.

Good!  No tourists.

A Navajo woman and a boy are setting up a display of jewelry at the back of their pick-up truck.

I leave the crew in the Perfect Tow Vehicle and follow the paved walkway (wheelchair accessible) to the lookout point.

P1110287One needs a few moments to realize what one is seeing.  Oh my.

P1110288In order to gain a sense of how far down the canyon floor is from the lookout point, imagine there are black cows grazing by the trees below.  There ARE black cows grazing, barely visible while standing at the lookout and not visible in this photo.

P1110286-001A sign informs me that the Navajo call this Adah Aho’ doo’ or “The place where two fell off.”  To read about the origin of this name, as well as the massacre, follow this link.

P1110295Keep in mind that the photos here may not match the text.  It is difficult for me to recall which photos go with which lookout.

Here’s a closer look. See the tiny structure in the upper right?

P1110294Compare this next zoomed-in shot with the two photos above.

P1110296It’s easy to understand why the Navajo consider the canyon sacred!

I stand at the overlook for a long time, long enough to let the grim account of Massacre Cave recede from my consciousness.  I listen to the birds and feel the slight breeze.  I gaze at the light and shadow on the rocks and at the stream threading its way through the trees below. I imagine walking there or riding a horse.

It would be foolish for me to attempt to describe the aura of Canyon de Chelly. 

P1110297Remembering Bridget and Reggie wait in the PTV, I reluctantly turn away and return to the parking lot.

A short drive and we come to another parking lot, this one for the overlook for Mummy Cave.  Again, a pick-up truck.  A Navajo man is setting out his wares.  No one else around.

“You’re being such good puppies!” I praise the crew.  “I’ll be back in a little while.”

It is estimated that people have lived in Canyon de Chelly for 5,000 years. 

Look closely at the photo below to see the dwellings in the sandstone cliff.  They’re about 300 feet above the green area.

P1110298The photo below shows a closer view.

P1110300I’m not going to attempt to outline the history of the canyon on this here little ol’ blog. 

I encourage you to read this article (or any others you may find by searching) about the ancient peoples who lived here:  “Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Chinle, Arizona”

P1110304As the map shows in the first photo, Route 64 continues southwest to Chinle. 

The town is a-buzz as I stop for gas and a walk-about with the crew.  The contrast between the serene stillness of the canyon and the frenetic pace and raucous noise of cars and people is jarring.

To say the least!

I understand that the southern rim of the canyon — places like Spider Rock —  is absolutely astounding.  Even so, we don’t go there.  No, not this trip.

I’m satiated. 

Have you ever been guilty of this?  You look at something that deserves your time, reflection and respect.  Instead you go, “Okay, seen it.  Next!  Okay, seen that.  Next!  Okay, got it. Next!  What time is it?  Okay, one more.  Seen it.  Let’s go!”

When you’re done, you feel glutted.  You have a meaningless collection of photos and you’re dull-witted.

A zombie.

“Been there, done that” is not the way I want to remember magnificent, soul-stirring Canyon de Chelly.

P1110310No, I’ll “save” the south rim for another visit.  Besides, we need to find our camp for tonight.

“Settle in for a long ride, crew.  We’ve got some miles to go today!”



 Here are a few interesting  items recently purchased by readers:

Yeti Tundra 35 Quart Cooler
AIR LIFT Rear Air Spring Kit
Kirk’s Natural Shampoo Coco Castile
Arizona Benchmark Road & Recreation Atlas
UT Answer Cranberry Flavor, 4-Fluid Ounces
Nikon COOLPIX Digital Camera, 3x Zoom + 9pc Bundle 16GB Accessory Kit

P1110292A resident of Canyon de Chelly overlook who shared a few, quiet moments with me


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124 Responses to Canyon de Chelly!

  1. Dawn in NC says:


  2. Colleen from Alabama says:

    I was there 2 years ago. A beautiful place indeed. Your pictures catch that beauty. Thsnks.

  3. Pam N says:

    Beautiful scenery!

  4. Good morning Sue and Crew. Enjoying your post with first cup of coffer.

  5. Calvin R (still in Ohio) says:

    I read the whole thing and only two comments came in before I began typing.

  6. Calvin R (still in Ohio) says:

    The pictures are impressive. One of the things I enjoy about the Southwest is the sheer scale of the scenery. We have little or none of that in the Eastern US.

    I’m trying to remember what I’ve read about Canyon de Chelly, but I’ll have to look it up.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Try the links I posted. You’re right about the “scale of scenery.” It took me a while to feel comfortable with the vast expanses of the West after spending a lifetime east of the Mississippi. Now I’d probably feel cramped in the East.

      • DesertGinger says:

        One of the reasons I feel uncomfortable in the east is I feel claustrophobic. Everything is smaller and flatter. I was in Wisconsin, which is fairly flat and covered with trees, and felt like “I just need to be up on a hill so I can get my bearings”. Drive NY through forests on either side of the highway for miles and miles was really disorienting..,I had no perspective. But out here it is all about perspective..the long view. I love that.

  7. Velda says:

    Morning all! Boy you people are quick! Lol 9:14,15,16! Off to another good week. My hubby who has been in trenches with cancer 3 years next month just arrived home from his first drive without me in 3 years. (He has speech challenge from surgery so I’m translator and driver up till today). He drove alone 20 miles to VA for lab work and back alone and did fine. Yay. Progress.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, Velda! That’s more than progress; that’s an achievement! Great news!

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        Way to go Mel!

      • Velda in Roseville CA says:

        Thank you! It helps to hear that because I felt like both of us graduated this morning. It’s like letting your newly licensed teen driver drive out of the driveway for the first time. Nervous but relieved.

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      That is wonderful news! Hats off to you both! Whoo-Hoo, Mel!!! 🙂

    • Corkerinna620 (Mobile AL) says:

      Congrats to Velda’s DH.

  8. Pat from Mich. says:

    Wow! You’re getting in some dramatic country!

  9. Dave Stewart (in missouri for now) says:

    Another place on the bucket list, Sorry that the crew didn’t make it out of the PTV. Missed seeing them. When you are in a hurry to get to the next site, Gotta move fast. Enjoy your adventure! I am.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dave,

      Well, actually we didn’t move fast. Spent quite a bit of time at the overlooks. Knowing how slowly we travel, it was time to leave the area. Boondocking wherever wasn’t an option.

      I’m happy you are enjoying our “adventure.” 🙂

  10. Jo Wishnie says:

    Love your reflection on this incredible and beautiful place. It is indeed magical and sacred, and thankfully so far off the beaten path so as not to be crowded with insensitive tourists. Just hardy folks like yourself who take the time to make the journey. It was on my final bucket list for a while, along with Monument Valley and Mesa Verde, and we finally made it in September 2013. I don’t think I could have hung up the keys if I hadn’t gotten there.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jo,

      Nice hearing from you! I’m glad you made it to these outstanding areas of the Southwest before you “retired” from a life on the road.

  11. Pat from Mich. says:

    Your 9th photo looks like a giant face with two eyes, a nose and hair!

  12. kgdan from Wapato, WA says:

    I SO appreciated the map view you added! Beautiful photos— want to go see that. In due time.

    For now we are enjoying fresh strawberries from my little patch. My morning ritual is to take my stroll with the cats, pick my handful of strawberries, tour the rest of the backyard (which now is more like a park), then head inside for my cup of coffee with my strawberries.

    Trailer slide is fixed, new tires in place; Gil currently installing overhead racks on the Avalanche TV for his boat. Hope to be on our way camping & fishing in time for our 40th anniv. in a month. Looking for a nice lake in northern WA with camp sites close to shore. Any suggestions?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kathy and Gil!

      Your home place sounds idyllic. Thanks for sharing it with us.

      Blogorinos: Any suggestions on a “nice lake in northern WA with camp sites close to shore”?

      • Kitt, NW WA says:

        Yes, try Sullivan Lake near Metaline Falls, page 51 of your Benchmark. Lakeshore North Campground is closest to town and Noisy Creek is on the south end. We stayed at both and liked Noisy Creek better as it was less populated. You can make a loop drive out and around from Highway 31 using Sullivan Lake Road. If you go, check out LeClerc Creek Road on the east side of the Pend Orille River, it is a beautiful quiet drive down to Newport.

        Sue, a beautiful post. Like you said, the silence of wide open spaces is indescribable. Somehow they touch our souls. We will need to put this on the list of places to see. Thanks!


    • Velda in Roseville CA says:

      Ahaa another wedding class of 76! Congrats, we celebrated 40 this year as well!

  13. I’m going there in 2 weeks….taking a 4 hr. 4×4 tour. I can’t wait!

  14. Rover Ronda (WA) says:

    Good morning RVSue n crew?
    Beautiful pictures and thoughts, impressive country!

  15. Cynthia in San Clemente says:

    Those were absolutely stunning photos – I could feel the vastness and the stillness. I can’t imagine how people scaled those walls to build and live in those cave crevices. I do understand what you mean about experiencing an “overload” of such magnificent scenery. I felt that way when we packed in Bryce, Zion, and Arches National Parks in one trip.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cynthia,

      Thanks re the photos. I was disappointed in them because what I saw and experienced was much greater than what they show.

      Early morning is not the best time for photos of a very, very deep canyon from an overlook. Dark shadows spoiled several shots. I’m glad you liked what I posted.

      Bryce, Zion, and Arches — all in one trip? That is a lot!

  16. Renee Galligher - Idaho says:

    Stunning photos, Sue. The trees are a vivid green, as a watercolorist I would have to say they are a “permanent green light” kind of green. I’ll have to add this to my do someday travel spots. It’s just beautiful and knowing that you can stop along the way is very helpful to us as we travel with two dogs and we plan our sightseeing around them. I’m looking forward to seeing a report/photos of your camping spot. Take care.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I do love that bright, springtime green, also the light blue-green of the trees along the river.

      Yes, it’s easy to see the canyon from above when you have your canine crew along. The walk from the parking lot to the overlook is short, so you aren’t far from your pals.

      • Renee from Idaho says:

        Thank you! Years ago, we visited Natural Bridges National Monument. My husband hiked to the bottom of the canyon to take photos and I stayed behind with the dogs. Sometimes we make sacrifices for them, but to me it’s ok. It really is. I’d do anything to make my pals comfortable. After he hiked back up, we all had a picnic together and we walked the dogs, so it all ended well as it always does. At that time we had two Draathars – littermates, a male and female, and an 8 lb Maltese. As we walked them, people would often stop us to ask what kind the Draathars were, so my husband would tell them, and also tell them that they were littermates, then without skipping a beat, he would motion to Missy, our Maltese and say, “and that is their mother”. We always got a good laugh out of that because some people would laugh right away and others would first look stunned then catch on, and others wouldn’t catch on at all! Well, since then we’ve lost all three to either illness or old age, but we have two more just as precious.

  17. Terri From Texas says:

    We spent a couple of weeks there last year visiting my sister and brother-in-law who live about 1 mile, if that, from the Canyon and the campground. They are currently living on the rez working in the hospital and will probably be there another couple of years! It is definitely a different world there. My sister has to buy alot of her groceries online cause they simply don’t have much food in their grocery store. She couldn’t find any beef-just mutton. She convinced the guy at the store to order some fajitas and then she told him how to cook them! He gets them all the time now. We also took a Canyon tour in a suburban which was very interesting. There are alot of pictographs down there along the walls. The campground at Canyon de Chelly is adequate if you like camping off the grid-there is no electric or hookups, but it is a pretty campground.
    Thanks for the photos-the canyon is spectacular!

  18. cc and canine ( now in Damascus, Oregon) says:

    Ahhhhh……I can just feel the sense of peace and place. Your post brought back such sweet memories for me. A dozen years ago, when my mum was in her mid-80’s, she still had the urge to travel , and loved the SW. Every year in the spring, (after finishing her taxes), I would accompany her on an elderhostel (now Road Scholar). We loved the 5 days we spent at Canyon de Chelly….they had such interesting presentations given by the local people…..It is a fascinating place, especially as the families go back into the canyon to live in the summer, in keeping with tradition. Also really enjoyed the hike (w/o my Mum) into the canyon, with a Navaho guide. When we were there, I checked out Cottonwood c.g. for future visits….then it was lovely, empty and free!

    Thanks for bringing back these sweet memories…

  19. cc and canine ( now in Damascus, Oregon) says:

    P.S. Loved seeing the map in the post….my benchmark for AZ is still in storage in our POD….

  20. Andrea in Glendale says:

    Thanks for setting the mood for us..absolutely breath taking.

  21. Debra (CO) says:

    Hi Sue, I wondered if you were headed this way. Wow – photos are beautiful! This is one of the places I want to visit so enjoyed seeing the them. Makes me want to visit even more! Reading the story of Massacre Cave was so sad, why is it that humans have to be so cruel to one another? We are supposedly more civilized now, but really not that much has changed unfortunately.

    I see the road down in the canyon. I think it would be very interesting to take a tour of the canyon floor.

    I see the lows are still pretty cool in that area. Spring just doesn’t want to arrive this year LOL! It’s been cold here the last few days as well. The weekend was cool and dreary. So I decided to start the project of cleaning out my office and disposing of the 9 yrs of papers, etc that have accumulated. I’m going to go room by room and dispose of the items I am not going to keep. Down to 13.5 mos till full time. It seems like a long time, but I have a lot to do in that time.

    Have a wonderful day!

    PS – the link for the article about the canyon took me to the same page that was above about Massacre Cave.

  22. Martha in PA says:

    Oh Sue what a magical place Canyon de Chelly is. Thanks for posting! You can just feel the history seeping from the rocks.

  23. Wow. Just wow. Definitely on my “to see” list. Thanks for your posts.

  24. Lynn Brooks says:

    Thank you for sharing!!
    Lynn B. (Baltimore)

  25. Applegirl NY says:

    What dramatic pictures, and a dramatic post. Yes, I know exactly how you feel – we can only give something the attention that we have at that moment. Whether constrained by time, situation, distractions, patience, or emotions, it is what it is. Tomorrow is another day.

    Looking forward to your next camp!

  26. Jean in Southaven, MS says:

    I haven’ taken the time to read all the comments, but I have read this post. I love the pictures. It is beautiful. I have never heard of this canyon before. One more thing for my bucket list. I am going to have to live to be at least 200 to see everything on that list thanks to you. Thank you so much for taking us along. I have loved every minute of this journey so far.

  27. Kerry in UT says:

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful place! I’m just enchanted with the four-corners area and the ancient peoples that occupied that inhospitable landscape. Canyon de Chelly has been on my bucket list for a while now!

  28. Awe inspiring photos today, Sue. I think you took the right approach. Spend some time seeing parts of the monument rather than rush through it all. Hope your “miles to go” was easy for you and the crew.

  29. MelindaK (TX) says:

    Wow, beautiful photos! Can’t wait to see where you stopped. I liked the addition of the benchmark map.

  30. Utah Bonnie says:

    Sue, I sure understand the concept of visual overload when visiting remarkable places like this. My mind is always composing paintings from all this raw material then bang, overload kicks in and it’s time to call it good.
    Thank you for sharing this beautiful part of the southwest that has been on the bucket list for a long time.

  31. chas anderson says:

    The thing that I like most about this blog is that you continually try new spots that give me ideas.I have skirted Canyon de Chelly many times and cannot, for the life of me, understand why I haven’t gone there.

  32. Lee J in Northern California says:

    I was sleeping when you posted…slept in. One nice thing about being retired is if you have a rotten night, you can make up the zzzz’s later.

    But just wow! I have always wanted to visit the canyon, now you have inspired a lot of people to ‘just do it’. I had wanted to do one of the rides into the canyon, you used to be able to bring your own horse and join a native led ride..wonder if they still do that? It has been on my bucket list a long would be so neat to bring Meg and take that ride!

    I anticipate your next adventures this summer! I plan to do a solo trip this fall to Oregon, see what you started?

  33. kgdan from Wapato, WA says:

    Was wondering if Utah Penny (&Baja) still follows RV Sue. Thought they were going to Los Fragile, BCS last post.

  34. Rick & Brock the Dog, WA says:

    Hi Sue!
    All I can say is wow! Always wanted to visit that area of the country. So very happy you made it there even if in passing. It’s hard sometimes to soak it all in. Really enjoyed the pictures. They really thrilled me since they brought back great memories of other places I’ve traveled to in the Southwest.

    In your prior post you asked what kind of dog Brock is….he’s an AmStaff….American Staffordshire Terrier. About 70lbs and full brindle with lots of golden fur sprinkled from his head to his tail. Very handsome boy. In fact my apartment manager refers to him as “Mr. Handsome”. I was his dog walker for eight months at the animal shelter I was volunteering at. He came in with a fully blown ACL ligament in his left rear knee. They wouldn’t fix it and he couldn’t get adopted because of it. I was lucky enough (for both of us) to find an apartment that would let me have him. He was about 1 1/2 years old when I adopted him so I spent about $4,800 for his knee to be rebuilt so he could have a pain-free life. Brock now has his own Ford 3/4 ton 4×4 with a truck camper on the back for our camping trips. And he will soon own a 17B Escape RV that we’ll travel in. I am in the process of looking for a piece of property for us to retire to so he has a safe home to come back to after our RV travels.

    Speaking of travels….thanks so much for yours. I’m very grateful to gain so much knowledge and beauty through your blog. It’s a blessing.

  35. Dawn in MI says:

    My parents and I took our last ‘out west’ trip to Canyon de Chelly in 1989. I will always associate that place with them. Thanks for the memories.

  36. AlanOutandAbout - Pahrump, Pahrunp, Pahrump says:

    White House ruins is the most famous part of the canyon. You will see it when you go to the south rim. It is the only place you can hike down to without paying a fee,

  37. Larry in AR says:

    You look at something that deserves your time, reflection and respect. Instead you go, “Okay, seen it. Next! Okay, seen that. Next! Okay, got it. Next! What time is it? Okay, one more. Seen it. Let’s go!”

    This pretty much describes the way I saw the Grand Canyon. Tourist buses, van loads of kids; they all prevented me from getting a true appreciation. I mostly got that later when I was alone with my pictures and had time to reflect. I was able to experience Bear Butte in a different manner, standing and gazing, unencumbered by humans, and hearing great volumes of silence sent chills down my spine. There was a spiritual presence you could almost touch. You captured that at the Canyon, and I almost felt it again.

  38. Pat (Freespirit)-in Texas says:

    What an amazing journey you created for us today, Sue!! Thank you again for sharing.

  39. Retiredcajunlady 'N LA says:

    Oh my gosh, Sue! Looking at those gorgeous pictures brought a flood of thoughts swirling through my head…the beauty of the area, the history of the people who lived there in the past and the generations later who live there now, and what they have endured just to live in such a place. I can’t imagine the sense-overload, coupled with the knowledge of the history, you must have felt. Like a fine wine or chocolate, it is meant to be savored and enjoyed slowly to take in the full joys, beauty, and meaning the area has to offer! Truly a grand and remarkable post! Thank you so very much for sharing. Be well and safe in your travels.

  40. Linda Hughes- North Carolina says:

    Hey Rv Sue, wonderful pics! I looked at the benchmark page, are off roads on there where you find boondocking? Thanks for the reference pages, after reading the massacre information I thought about the horrible things that happened to those people, how sad! Great post, thanks as always for taking the time to share! Safe travels!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Linda,

      Yes, the type of roads that lead to boondocks are on the section of map shown in this post. Of course, this is Navajo Nation land, but for the sake of illustration — the dotted line roads are gravel or dirt and I’ve found boondocks along those kinds of roads. Also, all those hair-like, squiggly lines are one lane, dirt roads of questionable condition and they can lead to boondocks. If a road requires 4 WD, Benchmark maps indicate that.

  41. weather says:

    Gee, Sue, what a fascinating post this one is! I’m particularly pleased by the photos of your atlas page and the dwellings in the sandstone cliffs. I now have a much better understanding of the useful extra details Benchmark includes that others don’t. And as I’d recently spent time in thought about what I termed soil/rock sloping overhangs in cliffs as shelters, seeing those helped me continue that mental exploration. Thanks, too, for the links you included. I imagine besides physical battles, spiritual ones have been fought and won there. I admire the wisdom you showed in choosing to forego more sightseeing, instead letting the crew settle in for a long ride, and what you’d experienced settle inside you. Nice touch, for the post and your trip, to have that resident share a few quiet moments with you…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, weather, for suggesting I show what a Benchmark page looks like by taking a photograph and posting it. From the comments received, I see it was a great idea!

      • A gal in Maple Valley, WA says:

        Yes indeed … a wonderful idea. I hope you choose to incorporate them more often.

  42. MARK R WATSON Houston, Tx says:

    “Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Chine, Arizona” there is an “L” in Chinle.

  43. Nancy Klune says:

    Anyone besides me see a man’s face in the 9th photo? Hair, eyes and nose?

  44. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Amazing……….photos. The dwellings are very interesting!

    The markings on the squirrel (?)……never seen that!

  45. Canyon de Chelly is now officially on my list. A list, by the way, which is heavily dominated by campgrounds and other sites I’ve found here at rvsueandcrew.

  46. Rose in Houston says:

    Stirring photos. I admit I don’t know the history of this area….but in your 9th photo in this blog today, I see a weeping person. The areas that are dug out are the eyes and wisps of hair outline the forehead and cheek. The image is amazing…

  47. Hi Sue and Crew! I’m sitting on my bed getting ready to go to sleep, reading your blog, when I start to hear noises. Now the noises aren’t from me nor from my dog which only leaves one other option – some critter is doing whatever they are choosing to do either outside or inside my RV. I went outside once looking to figure out who and where this unknown critter is but it evaded me. I fear it is bigger than a mouse and the likely culprit is probably the raccoon that has been stealing seeds from my bird feeder (I have photographic proof!). Oh the craziness of living in THEIR world! The part that is scary to me is that I’d swear I hear wires moving, never a good thing! I just walked throughout the RV stomping my feet, hoping the sound would cause it to leave. No such luck. I suspect sleep will be avoiding me for a while now tonight. Hopefully it gives up and move on soon! Well this wasn’t what I planned on writing!

    Love the photos which bring back memories of my trip up there maybe 15 or so years ago. It had just rained and the lighting of the Canyon was lousy, all shrouded in shadows. While I took some shots of it because, well, it was there and so was I and it seemed like what you were supposed to do! But when we turned back around to walk toward the car I became fascinated with the reflections of the scrubby little bushes in the puddles and started to take some photos of them. Of course everyone else was taking shots of the canyon and there I was taking shots of these plan Jane, dead looking shrubs. Those reflection shots produced one of my very favorite film shots ever and somehow became Canyon de Chelly for me. The very last photo you took with the squirrel next to a small bush actually reminded me of that shot. Thank you for that memory jog!

  48. Hi Sue,
    Canyon de Chelly is one of my favorite places. I get emotional when I’m there…the beauty and the history…very soul stirring. MANY years ago I took a tour down in the canyon. It was part of a week long educational endeavor on the Navajo Rez with a group of nurses. It was a week I’ll always remember.

    Really nice that you were able to experience the canyon in a peaceful and quiet setting. It makes a big difference, having some quiet contemplation time, doesn’t it.

    I’m in the ‘home place’ now for a few weeks, staying with a friend. When I leave here next week I’ll be meandering up to Glacier National Park and meeting friends there. After a week we will all go on to Canada, where they live.

    Looking forward to lots of adventures this summer, as I’m sure you are!

    Loving this wandering life!

  49. Pookie in Todd Mission Tx says:

    Sue, you write so beautiful…..I could actually feel the breeze on my face when
    you were describing your pictures…….
    we have been to the grand canyon many times and each time I go there I get
    the feeling like I am so little and not worthy of looking at a wonderful place
    such as this…….

  50. Glenda in OZ! says:

    Simply awesome!

  51. Kay from KC, MO! says:

    The Canyon is simply beautiful…….we were there about 28 years ago and spent the night in Chinle. My imagination went softly wild thinking about the history. It’s a very solemn and magical place. Sue, as usual, wonderful pictures!

    Kay from KC, MO!

  52. MB from VA says:

    Oh how I love those haunting canyon lands! I can feel their energy from here. Have you ever read Louis L’Amour’s, The Haunted Mesa? Good read and after being in those areas, I can believe it! Not your typical LL western…… 😉 And I know what you mean about the feeling you get when you have to just move on from a place like that. The last time I was at Jenny Lake, I was with a group of friends…..and they wanted to continue on and go shopping in Jackson. I was almost in tears as I looked across the lake at the mountain and promised, “Next time I come here, I will sit with you as long as I like…..and leave when I am ready.” Someday soon, I plan to keep that promise. Enjoy your time in that most awesome part of our country!

  53. MB from VA says:

    Hello again. I saw this on a Facebook “poster” and thought of you……
    “Travel. It leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”

  54. Corkerinna620 (Mobile AL) says:

    Good morning Sue, crew and blogerinos! Love the photos of this area. Will go back and read post & comments.

    Going back to April 2011 with notebook in hand to make notes. I miss my daily reads when I was reading your archives before, so I plan on reading comments this time as I only sporadically read them before, trying to ‘catch up’. Curious what I missed. Lol. Curiouser and curiouser. 🙂

  55. It’s really worth the cost to pay a guide to take you into the canyon. I met one who can even arrange for non-Navajos to camp there.

  56. Shirlene (Huntington Beach, Ca) says:

    Hi Sue! I am back and happy to be here. I have not been able to keep up lately, so when I have time I will read back and try to catch up. Glad you are in those wonderful places and happy and healthy. I missed pictures of the pups on this post, but the pictures of the canyon were wonderful. Keep up the good work, it is fun traveling with you.

  57. Gingerita in NE Indiana ( for now) says:

    Majestic and magnificent! Thank you for sharing these beautiful photos and painting such amazing word pictures.

    You are right in thinking you would feel closed in if you returned east. When we moved from Tucson to Eastern Tennessee, I felt trapped, claustrophobic and depressed. Not everyone would feel that way, but I sure did.

    Hope you and the crew are enjoying a lovely day 🙂

  58. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    Thank you for sharing your photos and experience of such a beautiful, spiritual place. The benchmark map and the links that you provided make our enjoyment of this post even better, if that is possible. Overwhelmingly Beautiful….Magical….Spiritual… ***happy sigh***

    Sending you wishes for a cozy, warm night. I am looking forward to see where you landed to camp. Hugs to you, Bridget and Reggie are being sent from me and Gracie pup! Kisses on the head for the pups! 🙂

  59. Chuck Hajek says:

    This is one of our favorite places. There is a campground just behind the Visitor Center FYI. Your pictures are gorgeous and you did a good job of showing the size. Our blog shows our visits and you will be impressed with the southern side. If you go to it, you will two people doing what you should NOT DO!!! Stay Safe!

  60. bonnie,charlie & the "dovemobile"(texas) says:

    canyon de chilly is on our list of places to see, hopefully this year…if not this year then next…right now we are in Kansas in the land of Oz…planning to see the reproduction of the Ingalls cabin near Independence then up to Wamego to see the Oz Museum…after that not sure where to next…
    Sue the pictures of the canyon are fabulous and we’re looking forward to seeing some of the same spots…we both are interested in Native American life then and now…I am of European decent and am truly ashamed of the way the Indians were treated…unfortunately, although things have improved there are still injustices being done…yet they are resilient and continue to exist…

  61. Elaine in Colorado says:

    Absolutely gorgeous, Sue! Loved the pictures, description and the links! Thank you for those! Seems as though there were good places to see — I’d sit in my chair there for a long time! 🙂

  62. rvsueandcrew says:


    Your reactions to this post and its photos make me very happy. Thank you for writing. Know that I read every comment and appreciate every one of you, even though I didn’t respond individually to all the messages.

    I’m trying to come up with a post for today. This “living in the moment” makes it hard to write what happened days ago!

    Wherever you are, be well, be safe, be happy.

    Bye for now,

  63. Jolene/Iowa says:

    This is just beautiful Sue. I love seeing all of this as it is unlikely I will ever make it out that way.

    I have been busy with my RV group the last couple of days with an older couple who are fulltiming and going through a difficult time. Between 2 RV groups working together we helped them with a current crisis and are now kind of riding along with them as they are trying to get back to Seattle area for cancer treatment from GA. Some important information has come out of their experience but I will share it in your next post so that more people might see it. Important for RV’ers to know.

  64. Rhonda says:

    A belated “Thanks!” Sue for posting the picture of your Benchmark map. I hadn’t realized until I went back to order several of the maps that they were STATE maps. That accounts for the amount of detail that these maps can show. Wow! I’m impressed! I ordered Colorado, Utah, Oregon and Wyoming. Ca-ching, ca-ching–but I’m sure they will really help with my planning. I am drooling at the images from Canyon de Chelly and on into Utah! Can’t wait to hit the road again!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks loads, Rhonda, for those Benchmark orders! I saw them on the Amazon report. Some of that “Ca-ching” will come to me and the crew! 🙂

      I hope you find the atlases very helpful over the coming years.

  65. JazzLoverWMa says:

    Now I understand your fondness for the Benchmark Atlas maps Sue. Quite a difference from the regular Rand McNally maps I’ve always used for the past 50 years. Thank You for putting one in your blog so we can see what they are like. Of course as they don’t have them for the New England states we never knew what we were missing. Big difference. Beautiful, haunting pictures you have taken, Thank You for those as well.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, JazzLover,

      I don’t know why I didn’t think to show a page of the Benchmark sooner. weather is the one who suggested it. I appreciate you letting me know it showed the difference from Rand McNally. I’ll make the maps a frequent feature of my posts from now on.

      Thank you for the compliment on the photos. Great subject matter!

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