Canyon rim drive

The south rim drive along Canyon de Chelly gives one the big picture of its depth and length. The walls tower over one thousand feet high at its deepest. The wash meandering through it doesn’t seem powerful enough to have carved this spectacular scenery, but it becomes a raging river that floods the canyon floor at times during the year.

Visit my previous post, Canyon de Chelly, for views inside the canyon, petroglyphs, ruins, and history.

Look for the blue buildings for scale
House at right, cultivated farmland at left
Iconic Spider Rock

I often choose to read stories that complement and inform about places I travel. On this journey, I reread a couple of Tony Hillerman mysteries, set in Navajo country. The Fallen Man takes place in this canyon. Hillerman’s novels celebrate the stark but beautiful landscape of the area and feature authentic characters that reflect the Diné culture. One of my favorite figures is Jim Chee, a Navajo policeman. Chee prefers the healing ceremonies intended to bring a criminal back into harmony with his world, rather than imprisonment, used as punishment in white culture. The grandmother of my tour guide’s family (see previous post) helped teach the author about Navajo customs. Tony’s daughter, Anne Hillerman, has continued the series, featuring women as her main protagonists.

Heading north, on the way home to Colorado, I drove through Moab, Utah, an area I’ve visited many times, home to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. Just south of the town, there’s an arch easily accessible from the road.

Window rock, Moab

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Published by rkrontheroad

Writer, photographer, traveler

36 thoughts on “Canyon rim drive

  1. It’s really admirable that you actively seek out books that take place in the areas you travel to. Very insightful way to learn about the place, all the while enjoying a bit of storytelling!

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  2. Fabulous photos! Tony Hillerman sounds like an excellent reading recommendation. Perhaps one I’ll save for a future Utah visit. I do hope that there’s a great American road trip still ahead of me.

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  3. Great to see more images of the Canyon de Chelly, this time echoing our experiences as we did that drive. The views of Spider Rock in particular are excellent and really took me back to our visit. I read some of Tony Hillerman’s books around that time but I hadn’t heard that his daughter Anne was continuing the family tradition – I’ll look out for some of her titles. Oh, and I love that shot of Window Rock in the snow!

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    1. Do look for Anne’s stories – I read two of them. Her emphasis on the female characters give a slightly different spin that really appealed to me. I had forgotten about that arch near the road, a happy surprise.

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  4. I’ve scrolled through these pictures good few times. I can’t believe how stunning the views are! 😍

    Also I think it’s great how you discover places through books. It must feel quite special when you get to visit these places in reality.

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    1. Thank you! Such a dramatically beautiful place. Snow is always a possibility at higher altitudes. I woke up to snow this morning, even though it’s May. I’m sure you experience the same in Canada.

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  5. Wow, what a wonderful collection of beautiful photos. Such spectacular views of the Canyon, I’ve never seen a landscape so fascinating. I would imagine that the greatest colours of the canyon could be seen during sunset and sunrise hours! Thanks for sharing and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

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