Canyon DeChelly

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Here is the canyon floor where the Navajos make their homes; as well as the traditional octagonal Hogans they live there in.  These buildings can be extremely rustic, but are also very functional.  The thick mud walls and roof help to keep the interior cool in the summer and make it easy to heat in the winter.  The Hogan is very much still a staple of Navajo living and is a common sight in the four corners area and beyond.

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Another point of interest, as well as safety, is located at a slightly higher elevation:

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Do take these warning signs very seriously.  The drop-offs are often unmarked and the ground literally falls away straight to the bottom of the canyon.  There are rarely retaining walls or warnings in many places where you can approach the precipice. A Darwin Award waiting to be collected. This is actually one of the shallower drops--in other places the drop is 800 to 1000 feet. This side looks just like the other--one step to eternity.

From up here you can also see many of the other attractions.  This one is called White house ruin and is both at the base of the cliff, as well as up in the wall of the canyon.  That part of the ruin is rather camouflaged in the strata but can be seen if you look closely.  White house ruin is named after the distinctive white slip applied to the housing.

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One of the most interesting formations, geologically as well as historically, is Spider rock.  Spider rock named after Spider Woman who taught the Navajo how to weave. Her dark side is that she is the boogie man who carries off bad little boys and girls. The white at the top is the bones of the children she has taken. Face Rock is the spire above and way in back of Spider Rock.

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This final shot is looking up the canyon from Spider Rock outlook.

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