Navajo National Monument is our destination today. Once off the main highway, we wind up the mesa over a sandy and gravel road, twisting and turning through juniper and piñon pine, snow showers, past wandering cattle, and over red mesa sand, sand, and more sand. We are off to meet with Caleo John, who introduces himself in the traditional Navajo way with his name and the name of each of his four clans. Caleo leads us along a trail through junipers, sagebrush, piñon pine, Indian rice grass, Mormon tea, yucca, quaking aspen, Douglas fir, and prickly pear, answering our questions and giving us insight into the environment around us. Across the canyon, we spy ancient cliff dwellings nestled in a natural arch in the canyon wall. It is mind-boggling to imagine the ancients living so high above the canyon floor.







We are intrigued with the Navajo hogan and sweat house constructed in the traditional way. Caleo shares his personal experience of going through the coming of age challenge of being in the sweat house with 10 other young men for a day, with intervals of running, and rolling in the sand before squeezing back into the sweat house. Our next challenge is to pick a museum specimen of a coiled pot and try making one just like it with the clay that Caleo provides. Speaking for all of us, Audrey remarks,  “We have been so lucky to have had the best guides!”






Glen Canyon Dam is our last stop today. We peer over the precipice into the canyon far below, marveling at the massive structure. One side holds the Colorado River back, forming Lake Powell.  On the other side, the river winds through a deep canyon as it continues downstream. The making of Glen Canyon Dam is explained in film and photos allowing us to understand the marvel that it truly is, and how important it is to water distribution in the southwest and Mexico.






After some journaling, sharing, brownies baked by Mike and Dave, and finally a dip in the hot tub, we retire.