We took the short road down into Lees Ferry proper and were quite surprised to find ourselves on the banks of the Colorado River before it wound its way into the Grand Canyon. Now a ranger station and camping ground, it was also the launching place for white water rafting into the canyon. Already the pace of the river was swift and turbulent – not quite rapids and referred to as riffles, a perfect training stage for would be rafters. The water colour was dense blue, so rich against the striking reds of the rocks. Could have hung there a week or two as some visitors must be want to do. Signs in the carpark limited vacant car parking to 10 days!
We crossed the river back at Navaho Bridge and were lucky enough to see a pair of Condors gliding amongst the cliffs. A magnificent sight we had to eventually tear ourselves away from. A few years ago there were only 24 condors left in the world!!!!!
Throughout Navaho Nation there were little stalls all along the highways selling all sorts of silverware, beads and carvings and it was always hard to know where to stop and who to support. But we had honed our eye of discernment in the company of the Zuni folk (well, particularly Nettie) and just before turning off to Tuba City (Hopi Country) we chose the smallest and most difficult stall to access and were delighted to meet 22 year old Benjamin King. Ben was on summer break from University of San Diego where he was studying a fashion design course. Starting Uni had been a challenging time for him coming from a village where they carted fresh water for seven miles. He had much to learn, even those things we hardly think about, like how to catch a taxi. The jewelry Ben was selling was designed and beaded and silversmithed by himself and close family. He has aspirations of making it in the design world in the eastern states and we wish him well.
Heading south we drove through a towering dust storm lit by dry lightening strikes into a monsoon downpour that greeted us as we wended our way down through an extremely windy, heavily wooded valley into Sedona…