On our way to Las Vegas, we had a chance to stay in a truly unique place: on a Navajo reservation.
This is part of our 100 Things in 2016 challenge. Here’s the full list.
The hosts own a ranch on the Navajo reservation near Page, Arizona, and they’ve set up a series of accommodations on part of the pasture – two tents, a cabin, a hogan, and a couple of sheep carts. We managed to reserve one of the tents for a night.
The place is far enough from the city that you can actually see the stars at night. The night we stayed was unseasonably cold, and we were wearing our heaviest layers to chat with the other guests around the campfire. The night was so cold. I even hiked to the hosts’ house about a half-mile away to get extra sleeping bags, and we layered all the blankets we had, but our freezing ears kept waking us up. Becky was pretty miserable.
At 3am we made a bathroom trip, which means bundling up in all our layers and walking a hundred yards to the port-o-let. On the way we decided that we couldn’t just go back to bed, we had to take a walk and absorb some of this majesty. The stars were so bright we barely needed our flashlight. It was quiet, and peaceful, and lovely. We got back to bed about a half-hour later.
The other guests there left pretty early the next morning, but we wanted to stick around for a traditional Navajo breakfast that the hosts provided. I made a fire so we could stand being out of bed, and soon we were dining on blue-corn porridge with honey, some fresh fruit, and coffee. We discovered as we started to pack up that some wild animal had chewed through the power cord of our plug-in cooler in the night. I think it was a coyote, but it could just as well have been one of the ranch dogs.
This was a unique and interesting experience. We got a tiny glimpse into the modern Navajo experience, and it was a real departure from the habits we had fallen into on our road trip. Highly recommended.