Visit to Chinle

We're taking the opportunity while in Gallup to spend some concentrated time exploring the Great American Southwest. We've already checked out El Morro and Red Rock State Park, as well as Sedona and Walnut Canyon (from our time in Phoenix). There are plans in store for a visit to Moab and Four Corners as well. It's been awhile since we've explored an area so thoroughly (but what else have we to do?)!
This last weekend we had a chance to visit Chinle, on the Navajo Reservation. One of Eric's fellow residents is working at the Chinle Hospital (also part of the Indian Health Service) and we were able to stay with her and her husband. Chinle is right next to Canyon de Chelly (pronounced deh-shay), which is an absolutely gorgeous site to see. Above, Eric and Maggie are standing on the canyon rim. The canyon is sacred Navajo property, so most of it can only be explored through rim overlooks (which are still pretty cool) unless you have a Navajo guide with you. The one exception is a hike down to the canyon floor to see some ruins, which we did. Maggie held up remarkably well on the 2 hr roundtrip hike.
One of the highlights of the canyon, in our opinion, is a site called Spider Rock. You can see the top of it above, to the left of the picture, but a better view is below. The canyon walls must be about 500 feet high, and Spider Rock is an almost impossibly thin, freestanding rock that extends almost to the top of the canyon. Very cool. We thoroughly enjoyed our weekend, with a stop at Window Rock and several servings of frybread, as well as a Halloween party Saturday night thrown by one of Jen's coworkers. Thanks for your hospitality, Jen and Jerry!