When I saw this in my RSS ticker, I had a slight freakout. You see, I’ve been going to Canyon De Chelly since I was a little kid. My grandma, or Nana, took me their for the first time when I was about 8 or 9, then a few times after that.
You see, every year from about age 5 to about 14, my Nana and I would pack up the old station wagon and take a road trip. Usually through the Southwest. Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico. She was a big proponent of taking me out of the classroom and showing me history in person. We concentrated on lots of the famous national parks, but we both were intrigued by the smaller, more out of the way archeological sites. She has a deep interest in the Native American culture of that area, especially ancient Anazasi sites. So when I saw that the Rapha team rolled into Chile Arizona for a ride and stayed at the Thunderbird Lodge, it brought back a ton of fond memories- as this was by far one of our favorite places.
Chinle is a sleepy little town that hasn’t changed much since the first time I was there. A grocery store, could small fast food places and 2.5 motels that cater to the Canyon’s tourism industry.
Canyon de Chelly is a National Park, but unique in the fact that it is run by the Navajo Nation. What’s more, you can’t just stroll into the Canyon, you must be escorted. I think this is why this places has retained so much of it’s beauty and why the Ruins are so well preserved. At 8 am, you hop into an ex army DUKW, head into the canyon and you go from site to site with your own person Navajo tour guides.
It’s hands down, one of the best places in the world that you will ever go. So it’s not surprise that the the Rapha Continental ride took them there and got some pretty amazing images in the process. Thanks to Rapha and Velodramatic for exposing the cycling world to an amazing place and bringing back some very special memories.
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