Four States, Four Corners

Posted by Ana on Wednesday Apr 20, 2011

After Mesa Verde, we went to buy some groceries and then Mommie told Dad, “yes, you can take the girls for subway sandwiches”. We love subway sandwiches because they are so bacony and mayoney and pickley, and HUGE!! Mom and Dad let us get HUGE footlongs which is great because I am not very big but usually I finish mine before everyone else, except Greta.

We all got footlongs!

And then we went to Four Corners where Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico all come together in one place. But we were sad because the gate was closed when we got there so we couldn’t stand exactly at the spot where the four corners meet. Mom and Dad tried to encourage us to be happy and believe that we were already on Four Corners but close enough wasn’t good enough so we were still sad. 🙁

Four Corners was closed. And, we are standing on a... cattle gate!

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Does It Look Like the Grand Canyon to You?

Posted by Stella on Monday Apr 11, 2011

Here's my drawing of the Grand Canyon. Does it look like it to you? It's supposed to be me in the corner pointing at a california condor and then there's the sun setting and the rest is just the awesome Grand Canyon!

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Petrified Forest National Park

Posted by Greta on Sunday Apr 10, 2011

On Tuesday, April 5th, my family went to Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona. There were hardly any real wood trees there- all the trees were petrified, meaning they had turned to stone! The logs looked just like they were still made of wood, with the same texture of the bark and everything! The logs had beautiful colors-black, brown, pink, orange, red, purple, yellow, and even grey. There was a little hike we did where we walked through hundreds of petrified wood logs. Here are Stella and Ellie doing their Junior Ranger packets by one of the logs:

Stella and Ellie working hard!

At the visitor center, there was a place where kids could dig up fossils in a big tray. I buried the fossils so my sisters could dig them up. Here is a picture of them digging:

Dig dig dig! 😀

After the visitor center, we went on a mile hike into the Blue Mesa, still part of Petrified Forest. It was a fabulous day to hike; warm and windy. We took lots of pictures, and here is one of me with the blue mesas behind me:

There I am with the mesas in the background. Beautiful, huh?

We saw even more petrified wood on our hike, and here we are in front of another log:

Doesn't the rock look just like wood!?

Petrified Forest National Park was amazing. I really loved it!!! 😀

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Things I learned at Canyon de Chelly

Posted by Ellie on Saturday Apr 9, 2011

We learned lots of facts about the Navajo from Kenneth. We learned that each Navajo has four clans, one from each grandparent. He said that when Navajo get married, they have to marry outside their four clans. We learned that the Canyon de Chelly has to branches. The south branch is called the Canyon de Chelly. The north branch is called the Canyon de Muerte, which means the canyon of death. It got that name because a spanish priest and soldiers killed more than 500 Navajo women and children there.

We learned that the Navajo still live and farm in the canyon. Land is passed down from mother to oldest daughter. If a Navajo wants to own and farm land in the canyon, they have to ask three neighbors for land and permission. If one of the three says no, the Navajo is not allowed.

In the canyon, they plant corn, beans, squash, watermelon, cantaloup, and tomatoes. They also plant peach, apricot, cherry, and pear trees. We learned that horses are very important to the Navajo people. I saw lots of horses in the canyon. I even saw two foals. The navajo horses were smaller and had bigger heads than other horses I have seen.

Navajo houses were called hogans. They are round and made out of sticks and mud. Hey Nell, isn’t that neat that the Navajo live in hogans?

Anasazi houses on the ground and up on the cliff

The Anasazi ruins in the cliffs had doors that looked more like windows than doors. The did that so the kids wouldn’t get out and fall. They built their houses up on cliffs so if it flooded it would not reach them.

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Canyon de Chelly

Posted by Ana on Saturday Apr 9, 2011

On April 4, we went to the Canyon de Chelly in the Navajo Nation in Arizona. We went with Kenneth. He was a Navajo person. We got to ride into the canyon in his car. We got to drive through in the water. It was very fun. We went out side and took a break and looked at jewelry. It was very very fun.

The sky is so blue, the cliffs are reddish brown.

It was cool seeing Anasazi houses. They looked very small but actually they were very big. They were very high up on the side of a cliff. They used a ladder and climbed the rocks to get to them. They lived there around the time that Jesus was alive, or a little after.

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Me Going to Monument Valley

Posted by Ana on Thursday Apr 7, 2011

April 3rd, we drove through a place called Monument Valley, in Utah.

Monument Valley

We saw big mountains. They were shaped like different people and things. I saw a lot of shapes and designs. Everything looked cool and I loved it. I love seeing out my binoculars. We went through a little town. We saw a dog and almost hit it. It was crossing the road.

I am a Junior Ranger. A Junior Ranger is a person who keeps the parks clean and beautiful. A Junior Ranger also helps people if they have a question. You become a Junior Ranger by learning about all different national parks, filling out a booklet, and saying the pledge. What I like best about being a Junior Ranger is getting badges. Being a Junior Ranger makes me feel happy.

I went to a national park and I got a Junior Ranger vest with everything I need. I have a pocket and it can hold my camera. I can carry our food, too. My pockets are big, small, medium, and large.

Me, the Junior Ranger

We drove through a town in Utah called Mexican Hat. There was a rock that looks like a hat sitting on top on another hat.

That rock looks like a hat on a hat.

It looked really cool and fun. I was very amazed.

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Horseshoe Bend

Posted by Ellie on Thursday Apr 7, 2011

On April 3rd, we went on a hike to Horseshoe Bend, a part of the Colorado River just below the Glen Canyon dam. When we got on our hike I liked it already. We started our hike and got lots of sand in our shoes. We saw neat plants and cool rocks. We walked for a long time until we got to the canyon. When I got to look out over the edge my mouth dropped open when I saw Horseshoe Bend. There was the Colorado River and there was a bridge that was made out rocks.

The Horseshoe Bend of the Colorado River

We looked for a while and then we started our trip back to the RV.

Greta and my dad looking 1000 feet down into Horseshoe Bend

When we got back to the RV, Greta and Stella saw jewelry. They each got a pair a earrings. Then we got back on the road.

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Lee’s Ferry, AZ

Posted by Van on Wednesday Apr 6, 2011

Saturday, April 2, we left Grand Canyon National Park and made our way northeast toward the Navajo Nation. We drove through the painted desert, which was stunning. We drove along the Echo Cliffs, then back to the upper end of the Grand Canyon along the Vermillion Cliffs. All, stunning.

We crossed the Colorado River at Navajo bridge, a mere 450 feet above the river (compared to the 5000+ feet drop at the Nation Park center). On the north side of the river was the “balanced rock.” Look closely, and you will see Stella, Ellie, and Ana at its base in the photo below:

The Balanced Rock near Navajo Bridge

We made our way upriver to Lee’s Ferry, which is effectively the mouth of the Grand Canyon and the only place you can drive to the river. There were a couple of rafting companies preparing for the trek through the canyon; it was impressive to see how much gear and provisions they were packing into the rafts for the 18-day journey downriver.

We camped in the state park there, alongside the river. In the picture below, you can see the Colorado River left of the trees on the left and our campground at the end of the road to the right. The Vermillion Cliffs are in the distant background.

The View at Lee's Ferry

As one might expect, the Colorado River was icy cold in early April. Cold, fast, and beautiful.

On the Colorado River at the Mouth of the Grand Canyon

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Grand Canyon Desert Lookout

Posted by Ellie on Tuesday Apr 5, 2011

On April 2nd my family and I went to the Desert Lookout. On the way there we saw elk. We saw a big herd of 28 elk.

A herd of elk

They were big, brown, tall, furry, and had a white rump. We kept on driving and saw more elk.

When arrived at the Desert View and went to the Visitor Center. We looked at books and then we left to go to the Desert Lookout. We walked to the Desert Lookout. When we got there we ran into the Lookout and started our journey to the top. We kept on walking till we got to the top of the Lookout. When we got to to the top you could see the Colorado river. You could also see part of the Grand Canyon. We stayed up there for a good view.

My family at the Desert View lookout

When we got down we looked in the gift shop. Then me and my mom went to look in a different gift shop. I found a water bottle that I loved. I got to get it. And there was a mountain lion in the gift shop!

We finally saw a mountain lion!

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Hiking Down into the Grand Canyon

Posted by Ana on Tuesday Apr 5, 2011

On March 31, we went to the Grand Canyon. I saw big rocks when we got there, and I couldn’t wait til the next day because we were going to get to hike down into the Grand Canyon. It was very cool. I thought one of us would fall off, but we didn’t. It was very rocky, beautiful, and colorful. When I started the hike, I looked down and it didn’t look like a long way to go, but it was a lot to go. My dad said, “Don’t drink so much water. Save it for the walk back up.” We got to the red rocks and those are the oldest rocks in the Grand Canyon. [editor’s note: the rocks at the bottom are actually the oldest, at 2 billion years; the red rocks we reached are more like 350 million]. We stopped at Cedar Ridge.

Along the trail in the canyon

Then we started to hike back up. We got some trail mix on the way. Then we got to a shady spot and had some more trail mix and then we walked on. It was very hot in the sun. We stopped along the way and a squirrel nibbled Ellie’s finger. Mama came down and met us along the trail near the top. Greta pointed her out. I didn’t see her and might have run into her. I drank all my water and then we made it up to the top.

Me and Ellie saw the mules at the top. One almost got out.

We stayed at a campground that did not have a pool. I wish it had a pool.

When I was dreaming, I dreamed I was going all the way down to skeleton point with my kids. I think Skeleton point is a campground.

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