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Free Things to Do in the Four Corners: NE Arizona and NW New Mexico

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For more free things to do, check out the blog posts for Colorado and Utah.

Three of the Four Corners belong mostly to the Navajo Nation: Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. Both Arizona and New Mexico have sites that are known for the presence of Ancestral Puebloan ruins: Canyon de Chelly (pronounced "shay") in Arizona and Chaco Canyon in New Mexico.

Canyon de Chelly is located on Navajo land and Navajo people still live and farm in the Canyon. A tour of the Canyon floor, led by Navajo guides, will cost money, but the road which loops around the Canyon offers spectacular views of cliff-dweller ruins and beautiful rock formations. There are overlooks from both the north and the south rims. The history of the Navajos in Canyon de Chelly is both fascinating and sad. When Kit Carson was charged with "rounding up" all Navajos and leading them on the Long Walk to what was almost a concentration camp in Texas, some Navajos were able to avoid being captured and continue livi…

Free Things to Do in the Four Corners: Southeast Utah

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For more free things to do in the Four Corners, see the prior post about southwest Colorado and the upcoming post about Arizona and New Mexico.

Monument Valley is hard to beat for beautiful landscapes and rock formations. However, just a short drive from there is totally free Valley of the Gods, an 18 mile drive (high clearance vehicle!) that weaves through incredible massive rocks. You can freely hike and climb on these rocks, in contrast to Monument Valley. For those less adventurous, just bring your camera because the sights from your car are worth the drive.

While in southeast Utah, stop at Sand Island Recreation Area, just west of Bluff and take a look at a long wall of petroglyphs--ancient rock art. As you approach the panel, you will begin to discern the faded remnants of the oldest carvings beneath the more recent ones, including the notorious Kokopelli. This is a long panel and much more complex than the more famous Newspaper Rock in Canyonlands National Park. Sand Island …

Free Things to Do in the Four Corners: Southwest Colorado

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Why spend lots of money when you can find things to do for free? There are so many activities that can be enjoyed in the Southwest! In fact, there are so many in all Four Corners, I had to divide them up into the different states. I begin with Southwest Colorado, where Kelly Place Bed & Breakfast is located.

Every summer, the Cortez Cultural Center sponsors evening events every day except Sunday. Most of these are traditional Native American dances--great for the whole family! There are also special lectures, Native American music and sometimes drama. These events begin at approximately 7PM in the outdoor amphitheater next to the Cultural Center on Market St., one block north of Main St. Bring a warm covering because it gets cold later, even in summer.

One of my favorites is the talk by one of the few remaining Navajo Codetalkers of World War II, Samuel Sandoval. He explains how he was raised in the Navajo tradition with his grandfather as role model. Then when his country was at…

What the desert looks like after 2" rain at Kelly Place!

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All of the following photos were taken within 2000' of our lodge. You can spend days roaming the canyons and shooting the very  bizarre landscapes to be found here.

Cactus Canyon, later that day, more dry and curling up just fine.
Cactus Canyon, many meteor strikes even in this small 12" square area.
Cactus Canyon, could well be the Moons surface.
Well, what's with the potato chip effect? Not without water.
Cactus Canyon, solitary "leg" holding up the rest of the world.

Cactus Canyon, this tree couldn't decide which way to grow,
finally got over it and strengthen up!

Cactus Canyon, cool mini-water slide in the rock.

Cactus Canyon, a nice serene scene with water in it, rare. I also love the rock textures I find in Cactus Canyon. Can't get enough of them! Cactus Canyon, we have our own "arches" beginning to form. 
Give it another 2.5M years!

Tigger tries to fly!

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Tigger was watching TV and  and wanted to try "flying" like the airplane he saw, he got in the position of a plane but found it hard to "take off".... the little tike did get himself into a very aerodynamic pose getting ready to part the air as he flew, however he failed to notice he needs a propeller!



Ute Indians

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World Famous Kelly Place Granola Recipe

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In answer to many, many requests, here is the recipe for  the best granola made at Kelly Place Bed and Breakfast.
Kelly Place Best Granola (makes lots!)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 16 c. old fashioned oats8 c. unsalted sunflower seeds4 c. raw sesame seeds7 c. nuts (pecans, almonds, walnuts)3 T. cinnamon1 T. saltMix.  I use my hands with food service gloves.  Make a shallow well in the center and add:
 2 c. good vegetable (canola) oil3 T. vanilla2 c. honey
Mix thoroughly. Spread evenly on 2 full size, rimmed metal sheet pans. Place one in the middle of the oven, and one on the bottom rack.  After 10 min, remove the bottom pan and stir/turn with a spatula.  Do the same with the other pan, rotating their oven placement top/bottom and front/back.  Repeat after another 10 min.  And finally, after the third 10 minutes, the granola should be lightly toasted.  Variables include your oven's temperature, the darkness and thickness of your metal pan.  You may need to change the position in t…

Beautiful Navajo Rugs

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Needless to report, Navajo rugs are a major attraction in this region. The best way to purchase a rug is directly from the weaver, who is often the person who raised the sheep, carded and spun the wool, dyed the yarn, and finally designed and created the rug.  The second best way is to go to the Crown Point, NM rug auctions.  They are held once a month and you will find masses of beautiful weavings, large and small, at the most reasonable prices.  Kelly Place has some rugs for sale which were purchased from Navajo weavers who came to us or from the Crown Point auction.  This rug (17" x 23") is a raised weave, giving it a 3-dimensional effect.  Check out the Crown Point website to find dates and location: www.crownpointrugauction.com

Archaeology class at Kelly Place!

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We host various school groups here at Kelly Place B&B and are still finding

new places to dig and recover Anasazi buildings and artefacts.


Here is one school group well into the project:

Birds, Not Cats!

The annual birding festival is coming up, May 8-12! There are already a lot of summer birds here at Kelly Place. Marc is stocking up on seed. By the end of summer, I get tired of hearing the white-wing doves, but I realize I missed them over the winter!
We have over 89 bird species identified at Kelly Place in the past.
Get festival info at mesaverdecountry.com. We will try to contain our cats....

The Furby Explained!

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I better put his picture up and tell you.... he was the most adorable orange long hair kitty I had ever seen and he lived here for about 3 years before disappearing one day.... we never found a shred or heard of him at our neighbors, so who knows?

I was heart broken to see him gone so I'll have to carry on his placid energy and be his spirit, here he is:

Duck, duck, dukkah!

Throw this together and serve it on anything smooth to liven it up!

DUKKAH SPICE
1/2 c. shelled pistachios2 T. sesame seeds2 tsp. coriander seeds2 tsp. cumin seeds1/2 tsp. fennel seeds1/4 tsp. whole black peppercorns1 tsp. kosher salt
Toast pistachios in dry skillet over medium low heat, stirring occasionally until golden, about 6 min. Remove from skillet to cool. Add remaining ingredients, except salt to skillet and toast 1-2 min, until fragrant. Remove from skillet to cool. Put all ingredients into a food processor and grind coarsely.
Serve in pureed soups, plain yogurt, on peanut butter, and use your imagination! Make more and save in the freezer for instant crunch!

Ok, another photo....

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In the spirit of sharing our visual world.... if you have been here in the dry season, you probably never actually got to see how it looks to have water doing it's seasonal job in our canyons.  Here is a quick shot I took one day in 2010....

Photography at Kelly Place?

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I (Marc, not Furby) have been taking hundreds of great photos of the large scale landscape as well as the small minute world near the grounds here at Kelly Place and I plan to select some of the phot's and get them on here for you to see. Here's a first pic. taken around fall 2009, great colors!