Day 5 (May 23): Meteor Crater, Hopi Country, Canyon De Chelly
We began the day a bit late, but my traveling partner was feeling much better, and I was not feeling significantly the worse. Yet.
We headed off towards Second Mesa, and made an unplanned but fruitful (and much-needed, due to biological concerns) stop at Meteor Crater, which, as its name suggests, is in fact a Meteor Crater. A very, very large meteor crater. After taking a few photos and nearly being blown off the rim by the winds, we checked out the museum, which had a lot of information about meteors and a Subway.
We reached Second Mesa around 2:00pm, and stopped at one of the many art shops that we could not afford to patronize, what with being broke recent college grads. The lady inside was very nice, however, and very knowledgeable about both the wares she sold and the region, and directed us to the Sipaulovi (Mosquito, named for the malarial outbreak that pushed its founders onto the mesa in the first place) village visitor center. The village was small, but the views from the mesa were spectacular, and though the administrator of the visitor center recommended we not make the walking tour due to high winds that day, she did show us an informational video on the history of the Sun Forehead Clan (formerly the Eagle Clan) who settled in Sipaulovi.
We then took our leave for Canyon De Chelly (pronounced “De Shay”). For about an hour, we toured around the rim of the canyon, since going inside requires a guide so that your car does not end up sinking into the muck (yes, this happens). The canyon was a sliver of green cutting through the red rock, and is still inhabited. Even with its relatively more verdant surroundings, apparently Canyon De
Chelly is still very much a marginal environment like the dry lands around it, and the farming within is mostly done at a subsistence level.
We stopped at an A&W’s, which, as my traveling partner pointed out no less than four times during the meal, no longer has Corn Dog Bites. This is a big deal, or so he says.
After a bit of confusion on the way to Mexican Hat, we finally used a map, found our own asses, and got on the right road, checking in to the San Juan Inn and getting their last open room.
Then Wakfu, followed by much-needed sleep.