P1030254.JPGSTANDING ON A CORNER IN WINSLOW ARIZONA (such a fine sight to see?)

After leaving Payson, we drove northeast into the giant Navajo Reservation. As every Baby Boomer knows, Winslow is the town The Eagles made famous in their song, Takin’ It Easy.

“Well I’m standin’ on a corner
In Winslow Arizona.
Such a fine sight to see
It’s a girl, my lord
In a flatbed Ford
Slowin’ down to take a look at me”

I can only imagine that guy (the songwriter) was eager to get a ride out of Winslow because there isn’t much there that I could see. Except, that is, that unusual little car behind me in the photo. That’s a Crosley. Never heard of it? Neither had I. I looked it up and they were built from 1939 – 1952. The first model sold for $250! Crosley was allowed to build them during WWII when the other car manufacturers had to switch to military vehicles because this car got 50 mpg and there was a gasoline shortage nationwide.

From Winslow we went north to Canyon de Chelly National Monument which I have always wanted to see but because it is so off the beaten path, I’d never been willing to make the effort. We’re glad we went. Look at these photos:

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I can’t get enough of the reddish sandstone canyons of Arizona and Utah. Canyon de Chelly is beautiful enough but my complaint is that the Park Service only allows you to see it from the rim. In order to enter the canyon you have to hire a Navajo guide. The one exception is a single 1.5-mile trail when enabled me to get the above photos of Mary (or should I say Bright Eyes? In accordance with Navajo tradition, Mary and I have adopted descriptive names while we’re on the Rez. I am known as Farts Like a Horse.)

P1030267.JPGFARTS LIKE A HORSE AND BRIGHT EYES

We drove the North Rim the first afternoon at Canyon de Chelly. Next day we drove the South Rim but we were pressed for time because checkout time at the campground was noon. This resulted in us swerving into each of the five overlooks, taking a quick look, and racing to the next one – sometimes a little sooner than Mary would have liked:

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I don’t know how anyone can drive through the Navajo Reservation and not be struck by the poverty. At least I imagine poverty is responsible for the dilapidated state of housing here. We have seen thousands of homes as we pass through the reservation and not a single one, not a single one can be described as anything but a shanty – not a blade of grass, not one rose bush – nothing but dirt and peeling paint. And the most remarkable thing is that the run-down nature of the houses is across-the-board. Apparently there are no rich Navajos – everyone is poor. The only buildings on the reservation that look halfway decent are the schools. The schools could pass for schools anywhere in America. It is truly bizarre.

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