Camping in the Snowies

Camping in the Snowies

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Hubbell Trading Post and on Home

After visiting Canyon de Chelly, a stop at the Hubbell Trading Post is a must. The post was crucial to the Navajo return to the area. It was established in 1902 by John Lorenzo Hubbell. 

The trading post served as a community gathering spot where news was shared, goods traded, letters posted, etc. Hubbell assisted the Native People in writing letters, settling quarrels and acting as go between with them and the government. He opened his post to everyone as a hospital when the smallpox epidemic hit the reservation.  Hubbell encouraged the native weavers and silversmiths in their crafts giving them fair prices for their goods. The Hubbell Trading Post was made a National Historic Site in 1965 with the understanding that it would remain a working trading post. 

 The post itself is a large compound including the trading post, the Hubbell home, a warehouse, barn, corrals, sheds, coops for chickens, guest housing, gardens and orchards. Now the compound includes National Park Service administration offices and a visitor center.

 The trading area includes a bullpen where gossip and staples were exchanged. People can still shop there for household goods. There is a jewelry room displaying handcrafted Navajo jewelry. While we were there the trader got a phone call from someone with goods to sell. He bantered with him establishing a time when the man could come to trade. Before ringing off, the trader cajoled the man to bring a special item that he knew the man had made. Also in the jewelry room were Navajo made baskets. A separate room held blankets, rugs and wall hangings of all designs. Many had tags specifying who the maker was and where she lived. All were expensive on first glance but then we began to understand that these took hours and hours to hand make. Price per hour spent in producing the item made the cost less shocking. 

 The trading post is restored to the condition that it might have been seen as of 125 years ago. However a large white tent was being erected that would house an annual market where traders from all over would come to bid on Navajo handicrafts on auction. This auction helps the native people and the trading post financially and keeps native art in museums and peoples homes. 

This is a small wallhanging that I bought. It is made with the corn stalk symbolizing the tree of life and it remains so today in Navajo culture. The cornstalk is standing in a Navajo basket. The weavers today usually do not spin and dye their wool as the process is too labor intensive and takes too long to complete. Using this wall hanging as an example, the weaver would have to do a lot of dyes to make this little rug. 

Heading home from Navajo country straight south to Interstate 40, you go right through the Painted Desert and just north of the Petrified Forest. Dave had never stopped to see it and we had time so made a quick swing through both. I had seen it before and had stopped to read all the signs and take numerous pictures with Sandy and Robb when we came down a few years ago. There is lots to see but we were a bit pressed for time. Needless to say, beautiful vistas, petroglyphs, petrified wood, dinosaur bones all there to see. It is worth a longer look but here are a couple of photos that I took. 

 No shade. It would be miserable here in summer. 
We stopped in Holbrook for lunch and decided that we had a bit of time to stop and see what Walnut Canyon near Flagstaff was all about. 

 Walnut Canyon is also a National Monument. It is very near Flagstaff just off Interstate 40. It is a beautiful canyon with dwellings made by the Sinagua people in the shelter of overhanging cliffs 800 years ago. These people hunted and farmed and gathered useful plants and also traded with neighbors. They were able to farm in that time of more abundant rainfall but there is evidence of water conservation techniques. The Sinagua left the area and may have assimilated with the Hopi according to the literature we got at the Visitor Center. There are lovely trails and access to 25 dwelling rooms but the trail decends 240 steps and my knee was having none of it on that day. So we will return on another day to see these cliff dwellings and enjoy the different plant life zones along the trail. 
Instead, we decided the more sedate 0.7 mile Rim Trail was more our speed that day. It was a nice day and the Rim Trail was delightful. An interesting arachnoid caught my eye as we were walking. My first glimpse of a Tarantula in the wild!

 He/it was just crossing the path, minding his own business. We did not disturb it but did bring attention to it to others who were walking the trail. 

 There is a dwelling in there somewhere, I think. 

 The trail down into the canyon winds around and around. It will be fun to explore on another day. My knee is feeling much better. 

So that is the last of the summer excursions of Dave and myself and without Luci the Airstream. With 2017 upon us, we are anticipating camping in the desert with our friends this Christmas and then a round of fiddle contests and bluegrass festivals with camping at each. Be prepared for more Travels with Luci and have a Merry Christmas!

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly has been on our must see list since moving to Arizona. We intended to include it on our northward journey in June 2016 but the brutal heat put that side trip off. So in early October as the temperatures cooled, we took a road trip without the trailer. North on Interstate 17 to Flagstaff for a good lunch at the Northern Pines resturant. East on Interstate 40 to Holbrook and up through Navajo land to Chinle and the Holiday Inn.

         Wide open road with buttes here and there. 

Chinle is not a pretty place but the Holiday Inn was a pretty spot. It was an unusual adobe style construction. Here are some photos from our room. 

We made reservations for a canyon trip through Antelope House tours for first thing the next morning. 
Our tour guide, Ben, had a truck that held 15 or so people in the open air. There were eight of us on board that chilly morning. 
The resturant at the Holiday Inn had a good breakfast buffet that we enjoyed before meeting our Navajo guide in the parking lot. Several guide services are available taking motorized tours, horseback and camping trips into the National Monument. Canyon de Chelly was established in 1931 to preserve it as a record of human history. The canyon has been occupied for 5,000 years according to the park literature. The first inhabitants built camps and etched or painted their stories on the canyon walls. A later group now called the Basketmakers, built on the canyon ledges for housing and storage. They hunted and grew corn and beans. They also made wall paintings. The ancient
 followed the Basketmakers. These Anasazi or ancient ones built the multistoried villages and kivas with decorated walls. This group moved on for the most part around 700 years ago. After that the Hopi people migrated here and used the canyon in the summer hunting and farming. Finally the Navajo came, built homes and added their own designs to the canyon walls.
The sandstone walls were carved out over time by rivers and streams. Walls of 30 feet begin near Chinle and rise to over 1,000 feet deep into the canyons. 
We begin our tour by registering at the Visitor Center. Nearby is a campground with mature trees. The paved road stops here. Only four wheeled drive vehicles can navigate the stream beds that serve as roads into the monument.

        Dave in the open air truck. The extra pads were necessary as was holding on!

The snowmelt river cuts close here in spring. 

 Ledge community. No one is allowed access to these nowadays. 

Horses roam free and Navajo families have small farms that grow corn, beans and squash. Peach orchards are also planted. 
This is Antelope House, so named by the wall paintings of Antelope that still can be found here. Our guides family has a summer house and concession stand nearby selling Navajo crafts and sandwiches. No electricity or septic systems here. Pit toilets have been installed by the Park Service. 

The White House as seen from the overlook drive above the canyon. 

There are many etchings and wall paintings in the canyon. 

Another look into the canyon from above. We see evidence of small farms as we peek over the rim. 

Paved roads skirt the monument above the canyon with overlooks built to see some of the cliff dwellings. There is a Trail to the White House that the public can take without a guide. You are cautioned to lock your car and take plenty of water along if you take the hike down into the canyon. 

As settlers moved west and land and water and minerals beckoned the white people, the Navajo or Dine as they refer to their people came into conflict with them. Conflicts escalated ending in a forced evacuation of the Dine to a reservation at Fort Sumner in New Mexico that they call the Long Walk. 
The Navajo returned and rebuilt their lives, farms and sheep herds. They began trading their baskets, jewelry and rugs for staples. Trading posts brought news and cash money into the Navajo way of life, adding to their culture and disseminating their beautiful craft work that is sought after to this day. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Road Scholar Trip Continued: Peggy's Cove, Historic Lunenburg

Halifax NS, Wednesday August 10th

On the bus at nine this morning, I'm glad not to have to drive or navigate. I can just appreciate the scenery. There are no straight roads if you are going to the coast. Vegetation presses in closely at times but at other times there is a hay pasture opening the vista. We pass small farms with small tractors and "haylage" in white plastic tubes or round bales. There seem to be few new homes right here, most look to be built in 50's to 70's. The lawns are well kept and the Canadian flag is displayed. Laundry is seen on clothes lines fitted with pulleys. These clothes lines are stretched from the kitchen door to a pole in the yard so the dry pieces can be hauled in and folded one by one. South of Halifax near the coast are hills and beautiful coves. As we pass through older towns, the houses and businesses press close to the road. Nearing Peggy's cove the vegetation clears and bare knobs with stunted pines are seen. It is a beautiful sunny day almost calm. We are warned to stay off the black rocks near the water which are very slippery. If you slip you will be in the water and waves. 

This is a video Dave took at Peggy's Cove

The lighthouse at the cove. A woman was playing an accordion, adding to the quaintness of the cove. 

               You can see some black rock to beware of in this picture. 

         There are waves at low tide, too, but mostly the sea was calm. 

  You can tell that I'm enjoying this trip. 

    Some kind of flower was blooming profusely. 

   Day trippers gather smaller rocks and build these cairns. 

   Another flower umbrel gone to seed. 

There are 60 full time residents of Peggy's Cove. In summer 1-3 tour buses arrive at the cove every hour. Dave and I enjoyed espresso and a Cherry Mash candy bar from the concession stand/boutique.  
Waiting for the bus to load for the trip down to Lunenburg, I snap a few more license plates in the parking area. 

            It must be a long trip from Florida to Nova Scotia. 

  A very long trip from British Columbia, too. 

One of the many coves in St. Margaret's Bay as the bus navigates the curves and hills over to and around Mahone Bay and through the quaint town of Mahone Bay. 
As we reach our destination of Old Town Lunenburg (a UNESCO world heritage site) we are reminded that we are to lunch on our own. Dave and I find good eats at Grand Banker Seafood Bar and Grill. 

          Our restaurant for lunch. 

Inside the busy restaurant, we take a booth rather than wait for a table near the window as time is an issue. I had a tasty lobster roll and Dave opted for fish cakes which were white fish mixed with mashed potatoes and fried crispy. Cider for me and a beer for Dave. We were hungry and thirsty. 

Outside the resturant, this man was playing in a maritime style. Dave visited with him a bit and recognized some of the tunes he was playing. 
Soon we were on a field trip concentrating on historic Lunenburg, walking the hills and lanes with a local historian.  

The tour started here at the Academy on a hill above the harbor where a fortress originally stood which protected the settlement in early days. This academy was the first school in the area and is a point of pride. Restorations are ongoing and the building continues to be used for music festivals. 

                    Across from the school is an historic cemetery. 

   A fancy house in pink with the Lunenburg "bump" dormers on the upper floors. These are five sided and seem to be a feature that sets Lunenburg architecture apart. 

   Settlement was encouraged with the government giving land to each man, wife and each child as well as lumber and nails to build a house, seeds for a garden and provisions for the family for a year. The houses were built in the town and the land for farming was located outside of the town. The problem was that arable farmland was scarce so some farmers learned to fish and do other things so the town gradually expanded. 

 I think this house was actually new construction but a city ordinance permits only construction in a way that fits in with the community. 
 I like the flower beds. I notice blue hydrangeas in several beds. 

   Quaint looking house. 

  Shingle style house. 

As we get closer to town center and the harbor, larger houses appear along with churches. 

             A large house now used as an inn or B and B. 
  Here is a pulley clothes line and a wood pile. Getting ready for winter here.

The first church we enter is Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church. 

    Canada's oldest continuing Lutheran congregation. This "Little Dutch Church" was founded in Halifax. In 1753, 1453 German, Swiss and French settled in Lunenburg. The French turned to the Anglican Church where they could worship in French. This fellowship waited nineteen years for an ordained minister, meeting in homes until this church was built and dedicated in 1772.  Services were in German until mid-1800's. 

This Casavant pipe organ made in Nova Scotia, installed in 1903 and was originally driven by a water powered motor. 
During WWII many Norwegians were stationed in Lunenburg and worshipped at Zion. 

The Anglican Church sits on a square. It burned to the ground as a result of a Halloween prank. It was rebuilt exactly as it was originally. 

The Anglican Church was able to be reconstructed from plans and photos of the original. Research was done on the star scene above the alter and it was found to represent the night sky as it is seen above Lunenberg. Our guide/ historian seemed regretful that not many people attend church regularly these days. 
                  The Bank of Montreal

   Beautifully "bumped" and painted house near the wharf. Our guide remarked that people of the town complained when bright colors appeared on houses in recent years after being uniformly white. Now the colors are accepted and not noticed except by tourists. 

      Colorful houses and flowers. 
Unique fish ornaments hanging from brackets in downtown Lunenburg. 

  The day is no longer sunny and the wind is coming up. 

Our guide finishes up his presentation and leaves us at the harbor. We have a few minutes to shop.

     An historic Jeep parked in historic Lunenburg. 

We have time to get an ice cream treat before the bus leaves. Then the long ride back to Halifax. 
A farewell dinner is held at the hotel that evening. We shared our email addresses to keep in touch. Tomorrow morning the group members all head home. 

Thursday August 11, Atlantica Hotel Halifax
Our airport ride isn't scheduled until late morning. With bags packed, we walk in the neighborhood down to the public gardens. It is a cool, misty day, perfect for looking at flowers. 

    This garden has fountains and ponds with ship replicas floating. 

     Beautiful flowers and a dahlia exhibit in large beds. 

        Happy to have been able to take this trip. Hoping for more!