Where were we last? Oh, Moab I think. I’ve been without cell or wifi signal for several days. Well we drove a couple hours to Valley of the Gods between Mexican Hat and Bluff, UT. It’s about 15 miles of dirt road winding through a gorgeous valley……it’s called a miniature Monument Valley, and I think that’s true! We got a very nice campsite in view of some of the “monuments” and drove the long dirt road, which had some hills so steep, we couldn’t see the road over the car’s hood when we crested the top! We saw another pretty King snake on the road.
Then the next morning we got up early and hotfooted it to Chinle, AZ to Canyon de Chelly. We were worried about being able to get a shady campsite at Cottonwood Campground, as we were having to leave the dogs in the campers during our tour the next morning. And it was Saturday on Memorial Day Weekend! Camping there is $14 a night (no senior discount) and the middle part has huge cottonwood trees, very nice! But there are lots of “goatheads” which are very very nasty hard stickers. They actually stick into the bottoms of our shoes!!! So you can imagine what it’s like for the dogs to walk on them, OWWW! We stayed there 2 nights and the first evening we drove the roads to the north and south rims. Yesterday morning early we took a private 4 hr. tour of the canyon, and if you haven’t done the tour, you haven’t seen Canyon de Chelly at all. It was a GREAT tour in a big Suburban (or open Jeep) which drives right up the river at times, crossing and re-crossing many times. From the canyon floor you can see all the ruins up close….some of the ruins are in people’s back yards!! A lot of Navajo people live in the canyon in summer; most of them live outside the canyon in winter because it gets very cold. There’s no electricity or water in the canyon, so most of the people live very much the same way as they used to, though we did see some huge arrays of solar panels and a DirecTV dish at our guide’s aunt’s house! We also saw quite a few pictographs and petroglyphs on the canyon walls.
Our guide was “Harris”, a cute Navaho guy in his late 30’s. He told us tons of information about the Navajo people and the canyon. We passed lots of residents along the way and it seemed like they were always some relative of Harris’s. He told us the Navajo are originally from Mongolia, and they came across the ice bridge to Alaska. Their language is almost identical to the Athabascan language of the Alaskan natives! We were not allowed to take any photos of the residents or their homes or livestock, without permission. The 4 hour tour included Antelope House which is one of the best ruins, and you don’t get to see that at all on the 3 hour tours. And the extra hour only cost $10 more! ($210 for 3 people). It was well worth it….one of the highlights of my whole trip! Both days I had stupid neighbors who ran their generators constantly. UGH!
This morning we headed out, it’s the end of our 5.5 week tour. Jeanne and Joanne are headed for relatives in Kansas and I’m headed back to NC to get my car tags renewed. Deb stayed behind in Moab and is making her way up to Idaho!
A little red battery icon was lit on my dashboard the whole way and when I got to Gallup, NM and turned the car off, it refused to start again. So something in the charging system. I spent an hour on the phone with Good Sam Roadside Assistance trying to get a tow truck; turns out my plan had expired in March and they sent renewal notices in the mail, and I didn’t get any of them. They allowed me to renew the plan today and get wrecker service right away, after some begging and pleading. (I didn’t cry!) Then it took more than an hour for the wrecker to show up. They made me drop the camper in Wendy’s parking lot, and the car got towed to Pep Boys, the only repair place open today…..and it was across the road from Wendy’s and maybe 1/4 mile down! I could have pushed the car there faster myself!!! I waited for 4 hours there and right before closing time they finally said I needed a new alternator and battery. $700. Good thing I just got my Social Security check, but June is gonna be a real hard month! They couldn’t get the work done today so one of their employees gave us a ride back to the camper and I am going to have to sleep here in Wendy’s parking lot. I hope it’s safe; I’ve already got out my shrieking boat horn and my trusty hatchet! I wonder if the police will come and boot me out too. Tomorrow morning we’ll have to walk back to Pep Boys and it’s a bit farther than I’ve been walking so I know my knee will not be happy.
I’m also having a lot of problems with my camper fridge. I can’t seem to get it to go much under 5o degrees. I guess I’m going to have to throw out all the meat but I hope the cheese, butter and eggs will be OK. I hate to waste all that money, especially now. When I get back to NC I’ll have to get that checked out, I’m hoping maybe it just wants a little shot of freon after 12 years. A new fridge, even a teeny 1.9 cu. ft. one like mine, costs around $700! Ahh, that seems to be the magic number lately. 😦
Thank you very much for your Amazon orders and PayPalMe! May was a good month, a little over $170 in Amazon earnings!! Too bad I don’t get it for another two months……
9 replies on “Gallup, NM”
Sorry about the car trouble. At least you weren’t out of cell service. Do you advise anyone about where the pups are located in case you can’t get back to them?
What?? I only have one pup, and she went with me to Pep Boys! I wouldn’t leave her.
So sorry to hear that you had not only car trouble, but RV fridge trouble. Gosh, when it rains, it pours!
That does seem to be the way it works! Well hopefully I’ll be back on the road by 10 a.m. and have a worry-and-incident free trip back to NC.
So nice to stumble upon your blog. We live in AZ and Canyon de Chelly is on our list to see. Got to plan the right time of year. Loved your description. Sorry about the car trouble.
Thank you! Be sure to do the FOUR hour tour if you can; it’s worth the little bit of extra money (if you do a private tour). It was one of the highlights of my 6 mos. in AZ!
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OK I will. So glad to hear that.
Were you able to take your dog on the tour? We’ll have our dogs with us if we make it that far.
Thank you for such detailed reports. They’re awesome to read and also helpful.
Nope, no dogs allowed on the Canyon de Chelly tours. But the Cottonwood Campground there in the park is very shady, so it wasn’t a problem.