We have arrived in the beautiful Southwest, with sweeping landscapes, giant rock formations and spectacular sky views.
As we traveled, we noticed the vast fields of corn change into vast arid land, as far as the eye can see. The dirt took on a reddish hue. Soon we started seeing canyons in the distance against a clear blue sky. Sage and juniper plants began to pop up along the sides of the road.
We passed from Kansas into Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and finally into Arizona. The mild hills of Kansas transformed into the flat expanses of Texas and New Mexico. Rivers which irrigated rows of crops became more scarce and green foliage mostly disappeared.
Our first close-up view of the many canyons of the southwest was Canyon de Chelly, where we spent the night camping. As a group, we were amazed by the heights of the canyon bluffs and the bright colors of the canyons against the sky. We hiked down the canyon to the White House ruins, a Puebloan ancient dwelling place. After seeing the ruins, we hiked back up and drove to the Spider Rock overlook. The Spider Rock formation is named after a Navajo myth of the spider woman who is said to protect people from danger. We then went to the Sliding Rock overlook for another view of the canyon. As we looked out at the depths of the canyon, we felt small and insignificant in a large and majestic world.
After seeing the sights at Canyon de Chelly, we headed to the Hopi reservation, where we would be staying for the school week and helping with the Hopi Mission School on the reservation. While here we will also explore Hopi culture and hear from guests with varying perspectives on what it means to be Hopi.
Check back tomorrow to hear more about what we’re doing in Hopiland.