SW US Trip with Marion C. and Sue Hope

Chinle Arizona, Stop 5

Monday, May 18-19

Up on Monday morning, May 18 and headed to Chinle to try to find the Hope Arch and Edna's Needle. These structures were named for Great Aunt Edna Hope Gregory by her husband, Herbert Gregory while he was conducting geological surveys in the area during the first decade of the 1900s. We arrived in the late afternoon, had dinner and went to the hotel lobby to see about hiring a guide. The hotel staff was off duty but the night security man, Donovan, was in the office. After talking with him for a while, we found that there were no guides that would go where we needed to go. All the guides were specialized in taking people into Canyon De Chelly, the ancient cliff dwelling ruins. We went back to the room and went online to try to find where the Hope Arch was located. On finding a set of directions, we went back to the hotel office to see if Donovan would go with us since we were on the Navajo Reservation and a guide is required to go anywhere. Donovan agreed to accompany us and said the knew where the place was but had never seen an arch there. We met Donovan the next morning and set off across the desert in search of the Arch. About six or eight miles up on the mesa west of Chinle, we spotted the Arch. Low and behold, about a half mile across the desert, we could see Edna's Needle too.

The view that greeted us as we approached the Hope Arch. This panorama shows the Hope Arch on the right end and way off in the distance on the left end, Edna's Needle can be detected.

The Area rock is called "slick rock" and are difficult to negotiate. I climbed up into the arch but Marion Cone, Sue and Dot declined.

The four of us with the Hope Arch.

Our Navajo guide, Donovan, in the Hope Arch

The Hope Arch from the other side - without us defacing it. Note that the arch is shaped like a heart. Uncle Herbert must have had a touch of the romantic in him.

As I was walking around the fin in which the Hope Arch is located, there were many flowering cacti around. I took the opportunity to photograph some of them.

A Prickly Pear Cactus blossom - We have these in Florida.

This one is called a Claret Cup Cactus because of its similarity to a glass of claret (Thanks Jim :^)

Sego Lily blossoms.

After wandering around the Hope Arch, looking at it from different angles, I drove across the desert to Edna's Needle. The rest of the group had gotten impatient and walked across the desert to the spire.

Edna's Needle with the group wandering around it.

The four of us with Edna's Needle.

Donovan, who accompanied us and guided us to the site, with Edna's Needle. Donovan, by the way, seemed to enjoy the quest as much as we did and was just as excited when we found the Arch and Needle.

Closer View of Donovan at the base of Edna's Needle.

Edna's Needle without anyone in the picture.

After patting ourselves on the back for successfully negotiating the desert and finding the Hope Arch and, especially Edna's Needle, we wended our way back across and off of the mesa back to Chinle. Having accomplished our primary objective much quicker than we had anticipated, we decided to use the rest of the afternoon driving around the rim of Canyon de Chelly. We dropped Donovan at the hotel and drove to the Visitor' Center for a quick look, then on the rim drive. It rained off and on all afternoon so we had to dodge the showers.

Canyon De Chelly from the Rim Drive.

You can see many of the cliff dwellings from the rims. Here are a few photos of them.

There is some Indian Writing or Rock Art in the Canyon. Some can be seen from the rim. Below, you can barely make out a line of rock art on the cliff side.

I like stark trees against the sky. Here's one I found on the Rim Drive.

This one was interesting because of the way the trunk is twisted. I assume it has been blown from the same direction for many years to twist it this way.

After traveling along both sides of the canyon, we headed back to the hotel. Tomorrow we head for Flagstaff to visit the Museum of Northern Arizona seeking the originals of the two diaries by Aunt Edna of which we have copies.

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