4/28/2013

April 26, 2013 – White House Ruins Trail at Canyon de Chelly

This morning’s adventure took us to the trail head at the White House Ruins Overlook and then down the trail to the White House Ruins. 

Here is the start of the trail:

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We will be going down to the Canyon Floor which is 550’ below us:

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The first tunnel:

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Out to the trail:

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The next couple of pictures are the trail – very interesting at spots:

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Yep. still the trail:

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Those two pictures above – yes, the trail. :-))

The trail is on the right – getting easier now:

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The last tunnel:

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Through to the valley floor:

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Before I go any further, I just wanted to show some sites from the trail as we headed down to the canyon:

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Isn’t he cute?

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Can you see all the people on the trail?

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I love this picture:

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On the canyon floor – it was breathtaking to look up at these canyon walls!

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And we are at the ruins.  All those vehicles are people who took the guided canyon tours.  The tables on the right are Navajo’s selling their crafts.

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Some information on the ruins:

The White House Ruins were constructed in two sections: the cliff dwellings in the alcove and the masonry pueblo on the canyon floor.  The Navajo call this site “white house in between” referring to the white plaster walls of the room built in the alcove.  The multi-storied pueblo below was once high enough to provide access to the rooms in the alcove above.

This site may have had up to eighty rooms and housed more than a dozen families.  Today there are only about 40 rooms left.  Archeologists believe that the construction began about CE 1060 with additions as late as CE 1275.  It is estimated that the village was in its prime about 800 years ago.

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Some of these prehistoric paintings are at least 35 feet above ground level which means they would have had to have a long sturdy ladder to reach them.

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The people that lived here grew crops of corn, squash, and beans and gathered various fruits and nuts from the wild plants of the canyon floor and rim.  They also hunted to supplement their diet with venison and rabbit.

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After walking around the area and taking a break, we headed on up the trail.  First going thru the tunnel:

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This is the inside of the tunnel.  Andy and I were trying to figure out if this was a natural cave that was just widened or was it man made – what do you think?

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We continued up the trail – notice the people coming down:

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Here is an interesting story and another reason we like this lifestyle.  As we are going up, this couple was coming down and asked if we were from Pennsylvania.  It turns out to be Connie and John – fellow SKP Boomers.  We had all been at Boomerville and the Winter Blast but did not really meet.  So we took a picture of them and they took a picture of us.

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The pictures do not show the immenseness of this canyon and the deep colors – it is beautiful.

I am so glad we did this trail.  I was a little concerned at first but really glad we did it – :-)

We just hung out this afternoon – reading, updating my pictures and my blog, and figuring out what we are doing over the next two weeks. 

This evening Connie and John came over – they are parked right behind us in a Bounder also.  It was great chatting and getting to know them better.  Hopefully our paths will cross again.

We are heading out tomorrow so stay tuned and enjoy today.

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2 comments:

Judy Luke Rinehimer said...

Congratulations on completing the full hike. I would have thumbed a ride out with the tour group. What fun meeting Connie and John. Did you share ballooning stories? They were with us in ABQ last year.

Diane said...

Thanks Judy. I was not sure if I could do it but it sure was a lot of fun. Plus they had benches with a great view for the return trip.:-).
What a small world, isn't it. Hugs to you and Luke.