NORTHERN NAVAJO NATION FAIR - SHIPROCK, NEW MEXICO
The first week of October signals the start of one of the oldest and most anticipated traditional events on the Navajo Nation, the Northern Navajo Nation Fair in Shiprock, New Mexico.
Started 102 years ago by the Northern Navajo Nation Agency and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the fair began as a harvest celebration. It has grown well beyond its simple beginnings, and now brings in crowds in excess of 50,000 from around the Four Corners and all over the country  to engulf the normal population of just over 8,000.
The four-day fair schedule showcases what makes the area so unique; from the crowning of this year’s Miss Northern Navajo, the tarp and plywood restaurants of traditional and contemporary foods, powwows, an Indian arts and crafts market, and the occasional Yeti sighting. The biggest draws are the Ye’ii Bi’ Chei ceremony, a nine day healing ritual held on the edge of the fairgrounds, and the legendary parade.  
Running for several miles through the heart of Shiprock, the parade is a gigantic affair. With more than 400 entries, it lasts over four hours. For the two days prior to the fair, people stake out their parade spots with pickup trucks, caution ribbon and tents.   
On the morning of the parade, Shiprock is covered in a sea of people and the atmosphere is absolutely euphoric as the first banner comes down the highway leading a marathon of floats, politicians, bands, royalty and endless showers of candy.
Editor’s note: For more on the event from James, see more parade pictures, more fair pictures, and some great band videos.
Guide note: For more information on the annual, Northern Navajo Nation Fair, visit their website, www.nnnfair.com. For more news from the Shiprock Navajo community, check out Jinii Newz Channel 00.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
NORTHERN NAVAJO NATION FAIR - SHIPROCK, NEW MEXICO
The first week of October signals the start of one of the oldest and most anticipated traditional events on the Navajo Nation, the Northern Navajo Nation Fair in Shiprock, New Mexico.
Started 102 years ago by the Northern Navajo Nation Agency and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the fair began as a harvest celebration. It has grown well beyond its simple beginnings, and now brings in crowds in excess of 50,000 from around the Four Corners and all over the country  to engulf the normal population of just over 8,000.
The four-day fair schedule showcases what makes the area so unique; from the crowning of this year’s Miss Northern Navajo, the tarp and plywood restaurants of traditional and contemporary foods, powwows, an Indian arts and crafts market, and the occasional Yeti sighting. The biggest draws are the Ye’ii Bi’ Chei ceremony, a nine day healing ritual held on the edge of the fairgrounds, and the legendary parade.  
Running for several miles through the heart of Shiprock, the parade is a gigantic affair. With more than 400 entries, it lasts over four hours. For the two days prior to the fair, people stake out their parade spots with pickup trucks, caution ribbon and tents.   
On the morning of the parade, Shiprock is covered in a sea of people and the atmosphere is absolutely euphoric as the first banner comes down the highway leading a marathon of floats, politicians, bands, royalty and endless showers of candy.
Editor’s note: For more on the event from James, see more parade pictures, more fair pictures, and some great band videos.
Guide note: For more information on the annual, Northern Navajo Nation Fair, visit their website, www.nnnfair.com. For more news from the Shiprock Navajo community, check out Jinii Newz Channel 00.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
NORTHERN NAVAJO NATION FAIR - SHIPROCK, NEW MEXICO
The first week of October signals the start of one of the oldest and most anticipated traditional events on the Navajo Nation, the Northern Navajo Nation Fair in Shiprock, New Mexico.
Started 102 years ago by the Northern Navajo Nation Agency and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the fair began as a harvest celebration. It has grown well beyond its simple beginnings, and now brings in crowds in excess of 50,000 from around the Four Corners and all over the country  to engulf the normal population of just over 8,000.
The four-day fair schedule showcases what makes the area so unique; from the crowning of this year’s Miss Northern Navajo, the tarp and plywood restaurants of traditional and contemporary foods, powwows, an Indian arts and crafts market, and the occasional Yeti sighting. The biggest draws are the Ye’ii Bi’ Chei ceremony, a nine day healing ritual held on the edge of the fairgrounds, and the legendary parade.  
Running for several miles through the heart of Shiprock, the parade is a gigantic affair. With more than 400 entries, it lasts over four hours. For the two days prior to the fair, people stake out their parade spots with pickup trucks, caution ribbon and tents.   
On the morning of the parade, Shiprock is covered in a sea of people and the atmosphere is absolutely euphoric as the first banner comes down the highway leading a marathon of floats, politicians, bands, royalty and endless showers of candy.
Editor’s note: For more on the event from James, see more parade pictures, more fair pictures, and some great band videos.
Guide note: For more information on the annual, Northern Navajo Nation Fair, visit their website, www.nnnfair.com. For more news from the Shiprock Navajo community, check out Jinii Newz Channel 00.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
NORTHERN NAVAJO NATION FAIR - SHIPROCK, NEW MEXICO
The first week of October signals the start of one of the oldest and most anticipated traditional events on the Navajo Nation, the Northern Navajo Nation Fair in Shiprock, New Mexico.
Started 102 years ago by the Northern Navajo Nation Agency and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the fair began as a harvest celebration. It has grown well beyond its simple beginnings, and now brings in crowds in excess of 50,000 from around the Four Corners and all over the country  to engulf the normal population of just over 8,000.
The four-day fair schedule showcases what makes the area so unique; from the crowning of this year’s Miss Northern Navajo, the tarp and plywood restaurants of traditional and contemporary foods, powwows, an Indian arts and crafts market, and the occasional Yeti sighting. The biggest draws are the Ye’ii Bi’ Chei ceremony, a nine day healing ritual held on the edge of the fairgrounds, and the legendary parade.  
Running for several miles through the heart of Shiprock, the parade is a gigantic affair. With more than 400 entries, it lasts over four hours. For the two days prior to the fair, people stake out their parade spots with pickup trucks, caution ribbon and tents.   
On the morning of the parade, Shiprock is covered in a sea of people and the atmosphere is absolutely euphoric as the first banner comes down the highway leading a marathon of floats, politicians, bands, royalty and endless showers of candy.
Editor’s note: For more on the event from James, see more parade pictures, more fair pictures, and some great band videos.
Guide note: For more information on the annual, Northern Navajo Nation Fair, visit their website, www.nnnfair.com. For more news from the Shiprock Navajo community, check out Jinii Newz Channel 00.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
NORTHERN NAVAJO NATION FAIR - SHIPROCK, NEW MEXICO
The first week of October signals the start of one of the oldest and most anticipated traditional events on the Navajo Nation, the Northern Navajo Nation Fair in Shiprock, New Mexico.
Started 102 years ago by the Northern Navajo Nation Agency and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the fair began as a harvest celebration. It has grown well beyond its simple beginnings, and now brings in crowds in excess of 50,000 from around the Four Corners and all over the country  to engulf the normal population of just over 8,000.
The four-day fair schedule showcases what makes the area so unique; from the crowning of this year’s Miss Northern Navajo, the tarp and plywood restaurants of traditional and contemporary foods, powwows, an Indian arts and crafts market, and the occasional Yeti sighting. The biggest draws are the Ye’ii Bi’ Chei ceremony, a nine day healing ritual held on the edge of the fairgrounds, and the legendary parade.  
Running for several miles through the heart of Shiprock, the parade is a gigantic affair. With more than 400 entries, it lasts over four hours. For the two days prior to the fair, people stake out their parade spots with pickup trucks, caution ribbon and tents.   
On the morning of the parade, Shiprock is covered in a sea of people and the atmosphere is absolutely euphoric as the first banner comes down the highway leading a marathon of floats, politicians, bands, royalty and endless showers of candy.
Editor’s note: For more on the event from James, see more parade pictures, more fair pictures, and some great band videos.
Guide note: For more information on the annual, Northern Navajo Nation Fair, visit their website, www.nnnfair.com. For more news from the Shiprock Navajo community, check out Jinii Newz Channel 00.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
NORTHERN NAVAJO NATION FAIR - SHIPROCK, NEW MEXICO
The first week of October signals the start of one of the oldest and most anticipated traditional events on the Navajo Nation, the Northern Navajo Nation Fair in Shiprock, New Mexico.
Started 102 years ago by the Northern Navajo Nation Agency and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the fair began as a harvest celebration. It has grown well beyond its simple beginnings, and now brings in crowds in excess of 50,000 from around the Four Corners and all over the country  to engulf the normal population of just over 8,000.
The four-day fair schedule showcases what makes the area so unique; from the crowning of this year’s Miss Northern Navajo, the tarp and plywood restaurants of traditional and contemporary foods, powwows, an Indian arts and crafts market, and the occasional Yeti sighting. The biggest draws are the Ye’ii Bi’ Chei ceremony, a nine day healing ritual held on the edge of the fairgrounds, and the legendary parade.  
Running for several miles through the heart of Shiprock, the parade is a gigantic affair. With more than 400 entries, it lasts over four hours. For the two days prior to the fair, people stake out their parade spots with pickup trucks, caution ribbon and tents.   
On the morning of the parade, Shiprock is covered in a sea of people and the atmosphere is absolutely euphoric as the first banner comes down the highway leading a marathon of floats, politicians, bands, royalty and endless showers of candy.
Editor’s note: For more on the event from James, see more parade pictures, more fair pictures, and some great band videos.
Guide note: For more information on the annual, Northern Navajo Nation Fair, visit their website, www.nnnfair.com. For more news from the Shiprock Navajo community, check out Jinii Newz Channel 00.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
NORTHERN NAVAJO NATION FAIR - SHIPROCK, NEW MEXICO
The first week of October signals the start of one of the oldest and most anticipated traditional events on the Navajo Nation, the Northern Navajo Nation Fair in Shiprock, New Mexico.
Started 102 years ago by the Northern Navajo Nation Agency and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the fair began as a harvest celebration. It has grown well beyond its simple beginnings, and now brings in crowds in excess of 50,000 from around the Four Corners and all over the country  to engulf the normal population of just over 8,000.
The four-day fair schedule showcases what makes the area so unique; from the crowning of this year’s Miss Northern Navajo, the tarp and plywood restaurants of traditional and contemporary foods, powwows, an Indian arts and crafts market, and the occasional Yeti sighting. The biggest draws are the Ye’ii Bi’ Chei ceremony, a nine day healing ritual held on the edge of the fairgrounds, and the legendary parade.  
Running for several miles through the heart of Shiprock, the parade is a gigantic affair. With more than 400 entries, it lasts over four hours. For the two days prior to the fair, people stake out their parade spots with pickup trucks, caution ribbon and tents.   
On the morning of the parade, Shiprock is covered in a sea of people and the atmosphere is absolutely euphoric as the first banner comes down the highway leading a marathon of floats, politicians, bands, royalty and endless showers of candy.
Editor’s note: For more on the event from James, see more parade pictures, more fair pictures, and some great band videos.
Guide note: For more information on the annual, Northern Navajo Nation Fair, visit their website, www.nnnfair.com. For more news from the Shiprock Navajo community, check out Jinii Newz Channel 00.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
NORTHERN NAVAJO NATION FAIR - SHIPROCK, NEW MEXICO
The first week of October signals the start of one of the oldest and most anticipated traditional events on the Navajo Nation, the Northern Navajo Nation Fair in Shiprock, New Mexico.
Started 102 years ago by the Northern Navajo Nation Agency and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the fair began as a harvest celebration. It has grown well beyond its simple beginnings, and now brings in crowds in excess of 50,000 from around the Four Corners and all over the country  to engulf the normal population of just over 8,000.
The four-day fair schedule showcases what makes the area so unique; from the crowning of this year’s Miss Northern Navajo, the tarp and plywood restaurants of traditional and contemporary foods, powwows, an Indian arts and crafts market, and the occasional Yeti sighting. The biggest draws are the Ye’ii Bi’ Chei ceremony, a nine day healing ritual held on the edge of the fairgrounds, and the legendary parade.  
Running for several miles through the heart of Shiprock, the parade is a gigantic affair. With more than 400 entries, it lasts over four hours. For the two days prior to the fair, people stake out their parade spots with pickup trucks, caution ribbon and tents.   
On the morning of the parade, Shiprock is covered in a sea of people and the atmosphere is absolutely euphoric as the first banner comes down the highway leading a marathon of floats, politicians, bands, royalty and endless showers of candy.
Editor’s note: For more on the event from James, see more parade pictures, more fair pictures, and some great band videos.
Guide note: For more information on the annual, Northern Navajo Nation Fair, visit their website, www.nnnfair.com. For more news from the Shiprock Navajo community, check out Jinii Newz Channel 00.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
NORTHERN NAVAJO NATION FAIR - SHIPROCK, NEW MEXICO
The first week of October signals the start of one of the oldest and most anticipated traditional events on the Navajo Nation, the Northern Navajo Nation Fair in Shiprock, New Mexico.
Started 102 years ago by the Northern Navajo Nation Agency and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the fair began as a harvest celebration. It has grown well beyond its simple beginnings, and now brings in crowds in excess of 50,000 from around the Four Corners and all over the country  to engulf the normal population of just over 8,000.
The four-day fair schedule showcases what makes the area so unique; from the crowning of this year’s Miss Northern Navajo, the tarp and plywood restaurants of traditional and contemporary foods, powwows, an Indian arts and crafts market, and the occasional Yeti sighting. The biggest draws are the Ye’ii Bi’ Chei ceremony, a nine day healing ritual held on the edge of the fairgrounds, and the legendary parade.  
Running for several miles through the heart of Shiprock, the parade is a gigantic affair. With more than 400 entries, it lasts over four hours. For the two days prior to the fair, people stake out their parade spots with pickup trucks, caution ribbon and tents.   
On the morning of the parade, Shiprock is covered in a sea of people and the atmosphere is absolutely euphoric as the first banner comes down the highway leading a marathon of floats, politicians, bands, royalty and endless showers of candy.
Editor’s note: For more on the event from James, see more parade pictures, more fair pictures, and some great band videos.
Guide note: For more information on the annual, Northern Navajo Nation Fair, visit their website, www.nnnfair.com. For more news from the Shiprock Navajo community, check out Jinii Newz Channel 00.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
NORTHERN NAVAJO NATION FAIR - SHIPROCK, NEW MEXICO
The first week of October signals the start of one of the oldest and most anticipated traditional events on the Navajo Nation, the Northern Navajo Nation Fair in Shiprock, New Mexico.
Started 102 years ago by the Northern Navajo Nation Agency and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the fair began as a harvest celebration. It has grown well beyond its simple beginnings, and now brings in crowds in excess of 50,000 from around the Four Corners and all over the country  to engulf the normal population of just over 8,000.
The four-day fair schedule showcases what makes the area so unique; from the crowning of this year’s Miss Northern Navajo, the tarp and plywood restaurants of traditional and contemporary foods, powwows, an Indian arts and crafts market, and the occasional Yeti sighting. The biggest draws are the Ye’ii Bi’ Chei ceremony, a nine day healing ritual held on the edge of the fairgrounds, and the legendary parade.  
Running for several miles through the heart of Shiprock, the parade is a gigantic affair. With more than 400 entries, it lasts over four hours. For the two days prior to the fair, people stake out their parade spots with pickup trucks, caution ribbon and tents.   
On the morning of the parade, Shiprock is covered in a sea of people and the atmosphere is absolutely euphoric as the first banner comes down the highway leading a marathon of floats, politicians, bands, royalty and endless showers of candy.
Editor’s note: For more on the event from James, see more parade pictures, more fair pictures, and some great band videos.
Guide note: For more information on the annual, Northern Navajo Nation Fair, visit their website, www.nnnfair.com. For more news from the Shiprock Navajo community, check out Jinii Newz Channel 00.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info

NORTHERN NAVAJO NATION FAIR - SHIPROCK, NEW MEXICO

The first week of October signals the start of one of the oldest and most anticipated traditional events on the Navajo Nation, the Northern Navajo Nation Fair in Shiprock, New Mexico.

Started 102 years ago by the Northern Navajo Nation Agency and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the fair began as a harvest celebration. It has grown well beyond its simple beginnings, and now brings in crowds in excess of 50,000 from around the Four Corners and all over the country  to engulf the normal population of just over 8,000.

The four-day fair schedule showcases what makes the area so unique; from the crowning of this year’s Miss Northern Navajo, the tarp and plywood restaurants of traditional and contemporary foods, powwows, an Indian arts and crafts market, and the occasional Yeti sighting. The biggest draws are the Ye’ii Bi’ Chei ceremony, a nine day healing ritual held on the edge of the fairgrounds, and the legendary parade. 

Running for several miles through the heart of Shiprock, the parade is a gigantic affair. With more than 400 entries, it lasts over four hours. For the two days prior to the fair, people stake out their parade spots with pickup trucks, caution ribbon and tents.  

On the morning of the parade, Shiprock is covered in a sea of people and the atmosphere is absolutely euphoric as the first banner comes down the highway leading a marathon of floats, politicians, bands, royalty and endless showers of candy.

Editor’s note: For more on the event from James, see more parade pictures, more fair pictures, and some great band videos.

Guide note: For more information on the annual, Northern Navajo Nation Fair, visit their website, www.nnnfair.com. For more news from the Shiprock Navajo community, check out Jinii Newz Channel 00.

* * *

At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.

NAVAJO RUG AUCTION - TOTAH FESTIVAL - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO
Navajo weaving is the mother of all Native American trade in the Southwest. Every year, from metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona, to tiny and remote Crownpoint, New Mexico, Navajo artisans take part in the tradition of rug auctions.
After the failed Pueblo Rebellion against the Spanish in 1680, many Pueblo Indians in what is now New Mexico fled Spain’s brutal retaliation by going to live among the Navajo. The Pueblo Indians brought with them weaving technology and sheep, specifically the Churro, a small sheep with long clean wool—perfect for weaving—that the Spanish had introduced.
The 1800s brought the arrival of Anglo settlers, trading posts and the railroad to the Western frontier. Soon enough, the rest of the world discovered the beauty and complexity of Navajo weaving.
Today the Navajo Nation can be divided into 13 weaving regions, each with a distinctive style. ”Two Grey Hills” rugs reflect the muted colors of the desert. These rugs are often made with hand carded wool and dyed using local plants. ”Pictorial” rugs portray day-to-day life. “Tree of Life” rugs are thought to be derived from sand paintings and show birds perched on corn or trees. The most widely known style is “Ganado” rugs with their red backgrounds and terraced diamonds and zigzags.
Rugs at these auctions can go from as low as $25 for a small piece to tens of thousands of dollars for larger, more intricate designs. Many people on the Navajo Reservation derive some portion of their income from the sale of arts and crafts and these events are a direct way to expose an often geographically isolated seller to buyers from around the world.
Guide Note:
See the Crownpoint Navajo Rug Auction for yourself in Crownpoint, New Mexico. 
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
NAVAJO RUG AUCTION - TOTAH FESTIVAL - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO
Navajo weaving is the mother of all Native American trade in the Southwest. Every year, from metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona, to tiny and remote Crownpoint, New Mexico, Navajo artisans take part in the tradition of rug auctions.
After the failed Pueblo Rebellion against the Spanish in 1680, many Pueblo Indians in what is now New Mexico fled Spain’s brutal retaliation by going to live among the Navajo. The Pueblo Indians brought with them weaving technology and sheep, specifically the Churro, a small sheep with long clean wool—perfect for weaving—that the Spanish had introduced.
The 1800s brought the arrival of Anglo settlers, trading posts and the railroad to the Western frontier. Soon enough, the rest of the world discovered the beauty and complexity of Navajo weaving.
Today the Navajo Nation can be divided into 13 weaving regions, each with a distinctive style. ”Two Grey Hills” rugs reflect the muted colors of the desert. These rugs are often made with hand carded wool and dyed using local plants. ”Pictorial” rugs portray day-to-day life. “Tree of Life” rugs are thought to be derived from sand paintings and show birds perched on corn or trees. The most widely known style is “Ganado” rugs with their red backgrounds and terraced diamonds and zigzags.
Rugs at these auctions can go from as low as $25 for a small piece to tens of thousands of dollars for larger, more intricate designs. Many people on the Navajo Reservation derive some portion of their income from the sale of arts and crafts and these events are a direct way to expose an often geographically isolated seller to buyers from around the world.
Guide Note:
See the Crownpoint Navajo Rug Auction for yourself in Crownpoint, New Mexico. 
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
NAVAJO RUG AUCTION - TOTAH FESTIVAL - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO
Navajo weaving is the mother of all Native American trade in the Southwest. Every year, from metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona, to tiny and remote Crownpoint, New Mexico, Navajo artisans take part in the tradition of rug auctions.
After the failed Pueblo Rebellion against the Spanish in 1680, many Pueblo Indians in what is now New Mexico fled Spain’s brutal retaliation by going to live among the Navajo. The Pueblo Indians brought with them weaving technology and sheep, specifically the Churro, a small sheep with long clean wool—perfect for weaving—that the Spanish had introduced.
The 1800s brought the arrival of Anglo settlers, trading posts and the railroad to the Western frontier. Soon enough, the rest of the world discovered the beauty and complexity of Navajo weaving.
Today the Navajo Nation can be divided into 13 weaving regions, each with a distinctive style. ”Two Grey Hills” rugs reflect the muted colors of the desert. These rugs are often made with hand carded wool and dyed using local plants. ”Pictorial” rugs portray day-to-day life. “Tree of Life” rugs are thought to be derived from sand paintings and show birds perched on corn or trees. The most widely known style is “Ganado” rugs with their red backgrounds and terraced diamonds and zigzags.
Rugs at these auctions can go from as low as $25 for a small piece to tens of thousands of dollars for larger, more intricate designs. Many people on the Navajo Reservation derive some portion of their income from the sale of arts and crafts and these events are a direct way to expose an often geographically isolated seller to buyers from around the world.
Guide Note:
See the Crownpoint Navajo Rug Auction for yourself in Crownpoint, New Mexico. 
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
NAVAJO RUG AUCTION - TOTAH FESTIVAL - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO
Navajo weaving is the mother of all Native American trade in the Southwest. Every year, from metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona, to tiny and remote Crownpoint, New Mexico, Navajo artisans take part in the tradition of rug auctions.
After the failed Pueblo Rebellion against the Spanish in 1680, many Pueblo Indians in what is now New Mexico fled Spain’s brutal retaliation by going to live among the Navajo. The Pueblo Indians brought with them weaving technology and sheep, specifically the Churro, a small sheep with long clean wool—perfect for weaving—that the Spanish had introduced.
The 1800s brought the arrival of Anglo settlers, trading posts and the railroad to the Western frontier. Soon enough, the rest of the world discovered the beauty and complexity of Navajo weaving.
Today the Navajo Nation can be divided into 13 weaving regions, each with a distinctive style. ”Two Grey Hills” rugs reflect the muted colors of the desert. These rugs are often made with hand carded wool and dyed using local plants. ”Pictorial” rugs portray day-to-day life. “Tree of Life” rugs are thought to be derived from sand paintings and show birds perched on corn or trees. The most widely known style is “Ganado” rugs with their red backgrounds and terraced diamonds and zigzags.
Rugs at these auctions can go from as low as $25 for a small piece to tens of thousands of dollars for larger, more intricate designs. Many people on the Navajo Reservation derive some portion of their income from the sale of arts and crafts and these events are a direct way to expose an often geographically isolated seller to buyers from around the world.
Guide Note:
See the Crownpoint Navajo Rug Auction for yourself in Crownpoint, New Mexico. 
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
NAVAJO RUG AUCTION - TOTAH FESTIVAL - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO
Navajo weaving is the mother of all Native American trade in the Southwest. Every year, from metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona, to tiny and remote Crownpoint, New Mexico, Navajo artisans take part in the tradition of rug auctions.
After the failed Pueblo Rebellion against the Spanish in 1680, many Pueblo Indians in what is now New Mexico fled Spain’s brutal retaliation by going to live among the Navajo. The Pueblo Indians brought with them weaving technology and sheep, specifically the Churro, a small sheep with long clean wool—perfect for weaving—that the Spanish had introduced.
The 1800s brought the arrival of Anglo settlers, trading posts and the railroad to the Western frontier. Soon enough, the rest of the world discovered the beauty and complexity of Navajo weaving.
Today the Navajo Nation can be divided into 13 weaving regions, each with a distinctive style. ”Two Grey Hills” rugs reflect the muted colors of the desert. These rugs are often made with hand carded wool and dyed using local plants. ”Pictorial” rugs portray day-to-day life. “Tree of Life” rugs are thought to be derived from sand paintings and show birds perched on corn or trees. The most widely known style is “Ganado” rugs with their red backgrounds and terraced diamonds and zigzags.
Rugs at these auctions can go from as low as $25 for a small piece to tens of thousands of dollars for larger, more intricate designs. Many people on the Navajo Reservation derive some portion of their income from the sale of arts and crafts and these events are a direct way to expose an often geographically isolated seller to buyers from around the world.
Guide Note:
See the Crownpoint Navajo Rug Auction for yourself in Crownpoint, New Mexico. 
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
NAVAJO RUG AUCTION - TOTAH FESTIVAL - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO
Navajo weaving is the mother of all Native American trade in the Southwest. Every year, from metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona, to tiny and remote Crownpoint, New Mexico, Navajo artisans take part in the tradition of rug auctions.
After the failed Pueblo Rebellion against the Spanish in 1680, many Pueblo Indians in what is now New Mexico fled Spain’s brutal retaliation by going to live among the Navajo. The Pueblo Indians brought with them weaving technology and sheep, specifically the Churro, a small sheep with long clean wool—perfect for weaving—that the Spanish had introduced.
The 1800s brought the arrival of Anglo settlers, trading posts and the railroad to the Western frontier. Soon enough, the rest of the world discovered the beauty and complexity of Navajo weaving.
Today the Navajo Nation can be divided into 13 weaving regions, each with a distinctive style. ”Two Grey Hills” rugs reflect the muted colors of the desert. These rugs are often made with hand carded wool and dyed using local plants. ”Pictorial” rugs portray day-to-day life. “Tree of Life” rugs are thought to be derived from sand paintings and show birds perched on corn or trees. The most widely known style is “Ganado” rugs with their red backgrounds and terraced diamonds and zigzags.
Rugs at these auctions can go from as low as $25 for a small piece to tens of thousands of dollars for larger, more intricate designs. Many people on the Navajo Reservation derive some portion of their income from the sale of arts and crafts and these events are a direct way to expose an often geographically isolated seller to buyers from around the world.
Guide Note:
See the Crownpoint Navajo Rug Auction for yourself in Crownpoint, New Mexico. 
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
NAVAJO RUG AUCTION - TOTAH FESTIVAL - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO
Navajo weaving is the mother of all Native American trade in the Southwest. Every year, from metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona, to tiny and remote Crownpoint, New Mexico, Navajo artisans take part in the tradition of rug auctions.
After the failed Pueblo Rebellion against the Spanish in 1680, many Pueblo Indians in what is now New Mexico fled Spain’s brutal retaliation by going to live among the Navajo. The Pueblo Indians brought with them weaving technology and sheep, specifically the Churro, a small sheep with long clean wool—perfect for weaving—that the Spanish had introduced.
The 1800s brought the arrival of Anglo settlers, trading posts and the railroad to the Western frontier. Soon enough, the rest of the world discovered the beauty and complexity of Navajo weaving.
Today the Navajo Nation can be divided into 13 weaving regions, each with a distinctive style. ”Two Grey Hills” rugs reflect the muted colors of the desert. These rugs are often made with hand carded wool and dyed using local plants. ”Pictorial” rugs portray day-to-day life. “Tree of Life” rugs are thought to be derived from sand paintings and show birds perched on corn or trees. The most widely known style is “Ganado” rugs with their red backgrounds and terraced diamonds and zigzags.
Rugs at these auctions can go from as low as $25 for a small piece to tens of thousands of dollars for larger, more intricate designs. Many people on the Navajo Reservation derive some portion of their income from the sale of arts and crafts and these events are a direct way to expose an often geographically isolated seller to buyers from around the world.
Guide Note:
See the Crownpoint Navajo Rug Auction for yourself in Crownpoint, New Mexico. 
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
NAVAJO RUG AUCTION - TOTAH FESTIVAL - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO
Navajo weaving is the mother of all Native American trade in the Southwest. Every year, from metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona, to tiny and remote Crownpoint, New Mexico, Navajo artisans take part in the tradition of rug auctions.
After the failed Pueblo Rebellion against the Spanish in 1680, many Pueblo Indians in what is now New Mexico fled Spain’s brutal retaliation by going to live among the Navajo. The Pueblo Indians brought with them weaving technology and sheep, specifically the Churro, a small sheep with long clean wool—perfect for weaving—that the Spanish had introduced.
The 1800s brought the arrival of Anglo settlers, trading posts and the railroad to the Western frontier. Soon enough, the rest of the world discovered the beauty and complexity of Navajo weaving.
Today the Navajo Nation can be divided into 13 weaving regions, each with a distinctive style. ”Two Grey Hills” rugs reflect the muted colors of the desert. These rugs are often made with hand carded wool and dyed using local plants. ”Pictorial” rugs portray day-to-day life. “Tree of Life” rugs are thought to be derived from sand paintings and show birds perched on corn or trees. The most widely known style is “Ganado” rugs with their red backgrounds and terraced diamonds and zigzags.
Rugs at these auctions can go from as low as $25 for a small piece to tens of thousands of dollars for larger, more intricate designs. Many people on the Navajo Reservation derive some portion of their income from the sale of arts and crafts and these events are a direct way to expose an often geographically isolated seller to buyers from around the world.
Guide Note:
See the Crownpoint Navajo Rug Auction for yourself in Crownpoint, New Mexico. 
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
NAVAJO RUG AUCTION - TOTAH FESTIVAL - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO
Navajo weaving is the mother of all Native American trade in the Southwest. Every year, from metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona, to tiny and remote Crownpoint, New Mexico, Navajo artisans take part in the tradition of rug auctions.
After the failed Pueblo Rebellion against the Spanish in 1680, many Pueblo Indians in what is now New Mexico fled Spain’s brutal retaliation by going to live among the Navajo. The Pueblo Indians brought with them weaving technology and sheep, specifically the Churro, a small sheep with long clean wool—perfect for weaving—that the Spanish had introduced.
The 1800s brought the arrival of Anglo settlers, trading posts and the railroad to the Western frontier. Soon enough, the rest of the world discovered the beauty and complexity of Navajo weaving.
Today the Navajo Nation can be divided into 13 weaving regions, each with a distinctive style. ”Two Grey Hills” rugs reflect the muted colors of the desert. These rugs are often made with hand carded wool and dyed using local plants. ”Pictorial” rugs portray day-to-day life. “Tree of Life” rugs are thought to be derived from sand paintings and show birds perched on corn or trees. The most widely known style is “Ganado” rugs with their red backgrounds and terraced diamonds and zigzags.
Rugs at these auctions can go from as low as $25 for a small piece to tens of thousands of dollars for larger, more intricate designs. Many people on the Navajo Reservation derive some portion of their income from the sale of arts and crafts and these events are a direct way to expose an often geographically isolated seller to buyers from around the world.
Guide Note:
See the Crownpoint Navajo Rug Auction for yourself in Crownpoint, New Mexico. 
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info

NAVAJO RUG AUCTION - TOTAH FESTIVAL - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO

Navajo weaving is the mother of all Native American trade in the Southwest. Every year, from metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona, to tiny and remote Crownpoint, New Mexico, Navajo artisans take part in the tradition of rug auctions.

After the failed Pueblo Rebellion against the Spanish in 1680, many Pueblo Indians in what is now New Mexico fled Spain’s brutal retaliation by going to live among the Navajo. The Pueblo Indians brought with them weaving technology and sheep, specifically the Churro, a small sheep with long clean wool—perfect for weaving—that the Spanish had introduced.

The 1800s brought the arrival of Anglo settlers, trading posts and the railroad to the Western frontier. Soon enough, the rest of the world discovered the beauty and complexity of Navajo weaving.

Today the Navajo Nation can be divided into 13 weaving regions, each with a distinctive style. ”Two Grey Hills” rugs reflect the muted colors of the desert. These rugs are often made with hand carded wool and dyed using local plants. ”Pictorial” rugs portray day-to-day life. Tree of Life” rugs are thought to be derived from sand paintings and show birds perched on corn or trees. The most widely known style is “Ganado” rugs with their red backgrounds and terraced diamonds and zigzags.

Rugs at these auctions can go from as low as $25 for a small piece to tens of thousands of dollars for larger, more intricate designs. Many people on the Navajo Reservation derive some portion of their income from the sale of arts and crafts and these events are a direct way to expose an often geographically isolated seller to buyers from around the world.

Guide Note:

* * *

At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.

SAN JUAN COUNTY FAIR - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO 
Every August, Farmington, New Mexico, is home to the largest  county fair in the state. The San Juan County Fair has all of the things you find at most big county fairs: lots of livestock, live entertainment, handicrafts, art, and home economics displays. A midway, with rides and games. And fair food in all of its glory.
County fairs all over the United States are part of a remarkable tradition.  They are celebrations of community, agriculture, and the arts. They highlight the local and regional specialties that are still going strong in an increasingly standardized age. They’re one of the few places where everyone is invited to share the things they make and do—from flower arranging to woodworking, and maybe win a ribbon for it, too. Some of the best parts of county fairs are organized by volunteers (many of them affiliated with 4-H).
But the San Juan County Fair is special. There is a good sized fair just to the north, in La Plata County, Colorado. Otherwise, most of the nearby fairs on both sides of the state line are very small and almost entirely focused on agriculture. So the fair in Farmington draws families and exhibitors from all over northwest New Mexico, including parts of the Navajo Nation. In an area that often feels divided along cultural lines, the fair brings people together in a way nothing else does.
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SAN JUAN COUNTY FAIR - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO 
Every August, Farmington, New Mexico, is home to the largest  county fair in the state. The San Juan County Fair has all of the things you find at most big county fairs: lots of livestock, live entertainment, handicrafts, art, and home economics displays. A midway, with rides and games. And fair food in all of its glory.
County fairs all over the United States are part of a remarkable tradition.  They are celebrations of community, agriculture, and the arts. They highlight the local and regional specialties that are still going strong in an increasingly standardized age. They’re one of the few places where everyone is invited to share the things they make and do—from flower arranging to woodworking, and maybe win a ribbon for it, too. Some of the best parts of county fairs are organized by volunteers (many of them affiliated with 4-H).
But the San Juan County Fair is special. There is a good sized fair just to the north, in La Plata County, Colorado. Otherwise, most of the nearby fairs on both sides of the state line are very small and almost entirely focused on agriculture. So the fair in Farmington draws families and exhibitors from all over northwest New Mexico, including parts of the Navajo Nation. In an area that often feels divided along cultural lines, the fair brings people together in a way nothing else does.
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SAN JUAN COUNTY FAIR - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO 
Every August, Farmington, New Mexico, is home to the largest  county fair in the state. The San Juan County Fair has all of the things you find at most big county fairs: lots of livestock, live entertainment, handicrafts, art, and home economics displays. A midway, with rides and games. And fair food in all of its glory.
County fairs all over the United States are part of a remarkable tradition.  They are celebrations of community, agriculture, and the arts. They highlight the local and regional specialties that are still going strong in an increasingly standardized age. They’re one of the few places where everyone is invited to share the things they make and do—from flower arranging to woodworking, and maybe win a ribbon for it, too. Some of the best parts of county fairs are organized by volunteers (many of them affiliated with 4-H).
But the San Juan County Fair is special. There is a good sized fair just to the north, in La Plata County, Colorado. Otherwise, most of the nearby fairs on both sides of the state line are very small and almost entirely focused on agriculture. So the fair in Farmington draws families and exhibitors from all over northwest New Mexico, including parts of the Navajo Nation. In an area that often feels divided along cultural lines, the fair brings people together in a way nothing else does.
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SAN JUAN COUNTY FAIR - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO 
Every August, Farmington, New Mexico, is home to the largest  county fair in the state. The San Juan County Fair has all of the things you find at most big county fairs: lots of livestock, live entertainment, handicrafts, art, and home economics displays. A midway, with rides and games. And fair food in all of its glory.
County fairs all over the United States are part of a remarkable tradition.  They are celebrations of community, agriculture, and the arts. They highlight the local and regional specialties that are still going strong in an increasingly standardized age. They’re one of the few places where everyone is invited to share the things they make and do—from flower arranging to woodworking, and maybe win a ribbon for it, too. Some of the best parts of county fairs are organized by volunteers (many of them affiliated with 4-H).
But the San Juan County Fair is special. There is a good sized fair just to the north, in La Plata County, Colorado. Otherwise, most of the nearby fairs on both sides of the state line are very small and almost entirely focused on agriculture. So the fair in Farmington draws families and exhibitors from all over northwest New Mexico, including parts of the Navajo Nation. In an area that often feels divided along cultural lines, the fair brings people together in a way nothing else does.
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SAN JUAN COUNTY FAIR - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO 
Every August, Farmington, New Mexico, is home to the largest  county fair in the state. The San Juan County Fair has all of the things you find at most big county fairs: lots of livestock, live entertainment, handicrafts, art, and home economics displays. A midway, with rides and games. And fair food in all of its glory.
County fairs all over the United States are part of a remarkable tradition.  They are celebrations of community, agriculture, and the arts. They highlight the local and regional specialties that are still going strong in an increasingly standardized age. They’re one of the few places where everyone is invited to share the things they make and do—from flower arranging to woodworking, and maybe win a ribbon for it, too. Some of the best parts of county fairs are organized by volunteers (many of them affiliated with 4-H).
But the San Juan County Fair is special. There is a good sized fair just to the north, in La Plata County, Colorado. Otherwise, most of the nearby fairs on both sides of the state line are very small and almost entirely focused on agriculture. So the fair in Farmington draws families and exhibitors from all over northwest New Mexico, including parts of the Navajo Nation. In an area that often feels divided along cultural lines, the fair brings people together in a way nothing else does.
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SAN JUAN COUNTY FAIR - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO 
Every August, Farmington, New Mexico, is home to the largest  county fair in the state. The San Juan County Fair has all of the things you find at most big county fairs: lots of livestock, live entertainment, handicrafts, art, and home economics displays. A midway, with rides and games. And fair food in all of its glory.
County fairs all over the United States are part of a remarkable tradition.  They are celebrations of community, agriculture, and the arts. They highlight the local and regional specialties that are still going strong in an increasingly standardized age. They’re one of the few places where everyone is invited to share the things they make and do—from flower arranging to woodworking, and maybe win a ribbon for it, too. Some of the best parts of county fairs are organized by volunteers (many of them affiliated with 4-H).
But the San Juan County Fair is special. There is a good sized fair just to the north, in La Plata County, Colorado. Otherwise, most of the nearby fairs on both sides of the state line are very small and almost entirely focused on agriculture. So the fair in Farmington draws families and exhibitors from all over northwest New Mexico, including parts of the Navajo Nation. In an area that often feels divided along cultural lines, the fair brings people together in a way nothing else does.
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SAN JUAN COUNTY FAIR - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO 
Every August, Farmington, New Mexico, is home to the largest  county fair in the state. The San Juan County Fair has all of the things you find at most big county fairs: lots of livestock, live entertainment, handicrafts, art, and home economics displays. A midway, with rides and games. And fair food in all of its glory.
County fairs all over the United States are part of a remarkable tradition.  They are celebrations of community, agriculture, and the arts. They highlight the local and regional specialties that are still going strong in an increasingly standardized age. They’re one of the few places where everyone is invited to share the things they make and do—from flower arranging to woodworking, and maybe win a ribbon for it, too. Some of the best parts of county fairs are organized by volunteers (many of them affiliated with 4-H).
But the San Juan County Fair is special. There is a good sized fair just to the north, in La Plata County, Colorado. Otherwise, most of the nearby fairs on both sides of the state line are very small and almost entirely focused on agriculture. So the fair in Farmington draws families and exhibitors from all over northwest New Mexico, including parts of the Navajo Nation. In an area that often feels divided along cultural lines, the fair brings people together in a way nothing else does.
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SAN JUAN COUNTY FAIR - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO 
Every August, Farmington, New Mexico, is home to the largest  county fair in the state. The San Juan County Fair has all of the things you find at most big county fairs: lots of livestock, live entertainment, handicrafts, art, and home economics displays. A midway, with rides and games. And fair food in all of its glory.
County fairs all over the United States are part of a remarkable tradition.  They are celebrations of community, agriculture, and the arts. They highlight the local and regional specialties that are still going strong in an increasingly standardized age. They’re one of the few places where everyone is invited to share the things they make and do—from flower arranging to woodworking, and maybe win a ribbon for it, too. Some of the best parts of county fairs are organized by volunteers (many of them affiliated with 4-H).
But the San Juan County Fair is special. There is a good sized fair just to the north, in La Plata County, Colorado. Otherwise, most of the nearby fairs on both sides of the state line are very small and almost entirely focused on agriculture. So the fair in Farmington draws families and exhibitors from all over northwest New Mexico, including parts of the Navajo Nation. In an area that often feels divided along cultural lines, the fair brings people together in a way nothing else does.
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SAN JUAN COUNTY FAIR - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO 
Every August, Farmington, New Mexico, is home to the largest  county fair in the state. The San Juan County Fair has all of the things you find at most big county fairs: lots of livestock, live entertainment, handicrafts, art, and home economics displays. A midway, with rides and games. And fair food in all of its glory.
County fairs all over the United States are part of a remarkable tradition.  They are celebrations of community, agriculture, and the arts. They highlight the local and regional specialties that are still going strong in an increasingly standardized age. They’re one of the few places where everyone is invited to share the things they make and do—from flower arranging to woodworking, and maybe win a ribbon for it, too. Some of the best parts of county fairs are organized by volunteers (many of them affiliated with 4-H).
But the San Juan County Fair is special. There is a good sized fair just to the north, in La Plata County, Colorado. Otherwise, most of the nearby fairs on both sides of the state line are very small and almost entirely focused on agriculture. So the fair in Farmington draws families and exhibitors from all over northwest New Mexico, including parts of the Navajo Nation. In an area that often feels divided along cultural lines, the fair brings people together in a way nothing else does.
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info
SAN JUAN COUNTY FAIR - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO 
Every August, Farmington, New Mexico, is home to the largest  county fair in the state. The San Juan County Fair has all of the things you find at most big county fairs: lots of livestock, live entertainment, handicrafts, art, and home economics displays. A midway, with rides and games. And fair food in all of its glory.
County fairs all over the United States are part of a remarkable tradition.  They are celebrations of community, agriculture, and the arts. They highlight the local and regional specialties that are still going strong in an increasingly standardized age. They’re one of the few places where everyone is invited to share the things they make and do—from flower arranging to woodworking, and maybe win a ribbon for it, too. Some of the best parts of county fairs are organized by volunteers (many of them affiliated with 4-H).
But the San Juan County Fair is special. There is a good sized fair just to the north, in La Plata County, Colorado. Otherwise, most of the nearby fairs on both sides of the state line are very small and almost entirely focused on agriculture. So the fair in Farmington draws families and exhibitors from all over northwest New Mexico, including parts of the Navajo Nation. In an area that often feels divided along cultural lines, the fair brings people together in a way nothing else does.
* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.
Zoom Info

SAN JUAN COUNTY FAIR - FARMINGTON, NEW MEXICO 

Every August, Farmington, New Mexico, is home to the largest  county fair in the state. The San Juan County Fair has all of the things you find at most big county fairs: lots of livestock, live entertainment, handicrafts, art, and home economics displays. A midway, with rides and games. And fair food in all of its glory.

County fairs all over the United States are part of a remarkable tradition.  They are celebrations of community, agriculture, and the arts. They highlight the local and regional specialties that are still going strong in an increasingly standardized age. They’re one of the few places where everyone is invited to share the things they make and do—from flower arranging to woodworking, and maybe win a ribbon for it, too. Some of the best parts of county fairs are organized by volunteers (many of them affiliated with 4-H).

But the San Juan County Fair is special. There is a good sized fair just to the north, in La Plata County, Colorado. Otherwise, most of the nearby fairs on both sides of the state line are very small and almost entirely focused on agriculture. So the fair in Farmington draws families and exhibitors from all over northwest New Mexico, including parts of the Navajo Nation. In an area that often feels divided along cultural lines, the fair brings people together in a way nothing else does.

* * *

Amadee Ricketts is an At-Large Guide to the West. She’s worked as a cemetery groundskeeper, a shoeshine valet, and a bill collector. More recently, she’s been a children’s librarian in five states. She takes a lot of pictures and lives near Durango, CO. You can see her photos at textless.tumblr.com.

NAVAJO DAM - NEW MEXICO
With the three goals of water storage, power and flood control, the Colorado River Storage Project was made into law by Congress in 1956 and ushered in one of the last great Western water projects of the “big dam” age.
Four units were built as part of the project: the massive Glen Canyon and Lake Powell in northern Arizona, Flaming Gorge in northeastern Utah, Aspinall in Colorado and the lesser known Navajo Dam and Reservoir in northwestern New Mexico and southern Colorado.
Built in a high desert area that receives just 10 inches of rain a year, Navajo Dam collects the valuable spring runoff from the mountains of Colorado as it flows down the Pine, Piedra and San Juan rivers. The water is stored for irrigation use—such as the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project—and hydroelectric power for the surrounding communities.
The earthen dam, completed in 1962, is 40 stories high and 3,648 feet long. The reservoir covers a surface area of over 24 square miles with 159 miles of shoreline, making it the state’s second largest lake and a water recreation paradise for New Mexicans now enduring a third year of severe drought.
The San Juan River continues through the dam and eventually travels west through the Navajo Nation and Utah’s canyon country to Lake Powell, where it joins up with the Colorado River for its journey through the Grand Canyon and, if there is any water left, draining into the Sea of Cortez.
Guide Note: 
See a panorama of Navajo Dam
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
NAVAJO DAM - NEW MEXICO
With the three goals of water storage, power and flood control, the Colorado River Storage Project was made into law by Congress in 1956 and ushered in one of the last great Western water projects of the “big dam” age.
Four units were built as part of the project: the massive Glen Canyon and Lake Powell in northern Arizona, Flaming Gorge in northeastern Utah, Aspinall in Colorado and the lesser known Navajo Dam and Reservoir in northwestern New Mexico and southern Colorado.
Built in a high desert area that receives just 10 inches of rain a year, Navajo Dam collects the valuable spring runoff from the mountains of Colorado as it flows down the Pine, Piedra and San Juan rivers. The water is stored for irrigation use—such as the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project—and hydroelectric power for the surrounding communities.
The earthen dam, completed in 1962, is 40 stories high and 3,648 feet long. The reservoir covers a surface area of over 24 square miles with 159 miles of shoreline, making it the state’s second largest lake and a water recreation paradise for New Mexicans now enduring a third year of severe drought.
The San Juan River continues through the dam and eventually travels west through the Navajo Nation and Utah’s canyon country to Lake Powell, where it joins up with the Colorado River for its journey through the Grand Canyon and, if there is any water left, draining into the Sea of Cortez.
Guide Note: 
See a panorama of Navajo Dam
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
NAVAJO DAM - NEW MEXICO
With the three goals of water storage, power and flood control, the Colorado River Storage Project was made into law by Congress in 1956 and ushered in one of the last great Western water projects of the “big dam” age.
Four units were built as part of the project: the massive Glen Canyon and Lake Powell in northern Arizona, Flaming Gorge in northeastern Utah, Aspinall in Colorado and the lesser known Navajo Dam and Reservoir in northwestern New Mexico and southern Colorado.
Built in a high desert area that receives just 10 inches of rain a year, Navajo Dam collects the valuable spring runoff from the mountains of Colorado as it flows down the Pine, Piedra and San Juan rivers. The water is stored for irrigation use—such as the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project—and hydroelectric power for the surrounding communities.
The earthen dam, completed in 1962, is 40 stories high and 3,648 feet long. The reservoir covers a surface area of over 24 square miles with 159 miles of shoreline, making it the state’s second largest lake and a water recreation paradise for New Mexicans now enduring a third year of severe drought.
The San Juan River continues through the dam and eventually travels west through the Navajo Nation and Utah’s canyon country to Lake Powell, where it joins up with the Colorado River for its journey through the Grand Canyon and, if there is any water left, draining into the Sea of Cortez.
Guide Note: 
See a panorama of Navajo Dam
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
NAVAJO DAM - NEW MEXICO
With the three goals of water storage, power and flood control, the Colorado River Storage Project was made into law by Congress in 1956 and ushered in one of the last great Western water projects of the “big dam” age.
Four units were built as part of the project: the massive Glen Canyon and Lake Powell in northern Arizona, Flaming Gorge in northeastern Utah, Aspinall in Colorado and the lesser known Navajo Dam and Reservoir in northwestern New Mexico and southern Colorado.
Built in a high desert area that receives just 10 inches of rain a year, Navajo Dam collects the valuable spring runoff from the mountains of Colorado as it flows down the Pine, Piedra and San Juan rivers. The water is stored for irrigation use—such as the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project—and hydroelectric power for the surrounding communities.
The earthen dam, completed in 1962, is 40 stories high and 3,648 feet long. The reservoir covers a surface area of over 24 square miles with 159 miles of shoreline, making it the state’s second largest lake and a water recreation paradise for New Mexicans now enduring a third year of severe drought.
The San Juan River continues through the dam and eventually travels west through the Navajo Nation and Utah’s canyon country to Lake Powell, where it joins up with the Colorado River for its journey through the Grand Canyon and, if there is any water left, draining into the Sea of Cortez.
Guide Note: 
See a panorama of Navajo Dam
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
NAVAJO DAM - NEW MEXICO
With the three goals of water storage, power and flood control, the Colorado River Storage Project was made into law by Congress in 1956 and ushered in one of the last great Western water projects of the “big dam” age.
Four units were built as part of the project: the massive Glen Canyon and Lake Powell in northern Arizona, Flaming Gorge in northeastern Utah, Aspinall in Colorado and the lesser known Navajo Dam and Reservoir in northwestern New Mexico and southern Colorado.
Built in a high desert area that receives just 10 inches of rain a year, Navajo Dam collects the valuable spring runoff from the mountains of Colorado as it flows down the Pine, Piedra and San Juan rivers. The water is stored for irrigation use—such as the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project—and hydroelectric power for the surrounding communities.
The earthen dam, completed in 1962, is 40 stories high and 3,648 feet long. The reservoir covers a surface area of over 24 square miles with 159 miles of shoreline, making it the state’s second largest lake and a water recreation paradise for New Mexicans now enduring a third year of severe drought.
The San Juan River continues through the dam and eventually travels west through the Navajo Nation and Utah’s canyon country to Lake Powell, where it joins up with the Colorado River for its journey through the Grand Canyon and, if there is any water left, draining into the Sea of Cortez.
Guide Note: 
See a panorama of Navajo Dam
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
NAVAJO DAM - NEW MEXICO
With the three goals of water storage, power and flood control, the Colorado River Storage Project was made into law by Congress in 1956 and ushered in one of the last great Western water projects of the “big dam” age.
Four units were built as part of the project: the massive Glen Canyon and Lake Powell in northern Arizona, Flaming Gorge in northeastern Utah, Aspinall in Colorado and the lesser known Navajo Dam and Reservoir in northwestern New Mexico and southern Colorado.
Built in a high desert area that receives just 10 inches of rain a year, Navajo Dam collects the valuable spring runoff from the mountains of Colorado as it flows down the Pine, Piedra and San Juan rivers. The water is stored for irrigation use—such as the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project—and hydroelectric power for the surrounding communities.
The earthen dam, completed in 1962, is 40 stories high and 3,648 feet long. The reservoir covers a surface area of over 24 square miles with 159 miles of shoreline, making it the state’s second largest lake and a water recreation paradise for New Mexicans now enduring a third year of severe drought.
The San Juan River continues through the dam and eventually travels west through the Navajo Nation and Utah’s canyon country to Lake Powell, where it joins up with the Colorado River for its journey through the Grand Canyon and, if there is any water left, draining into the Sea of Cortez.
Guide Note: 
See a panorama of Navajo Dam
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
NAVAJO DAM - NEW MEXICO
With the three goals of water storage, power and flood control, the Colorado River Storage Project was made into law by Congress in 1956 and ushered in one of the last great Western water projects of the “big dam” age.
Four units were built as part of the project: the massive Glen Canyon and Lake Powell in northern Arizona, Flaming Gorge in northeastern Utah, Aspinall in Colorado and the lesser known Navajo Dam and Reservoir in northwestern New Mexico and southern Colorado.
Built in a high desert area that receives just 10 inches of rain a year, Navajo Dam collects the valuable spring runoff from the mountains of Colorado as it flows down the Pine, Piedra and San Juan rivers. The water is stored for irrigation use—such as the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project—and hydroelectric power for the surrounding communities.
The earthen dam, completed in 1962, is 40 stories high and 3,648 feet long. The reservoir covers a surface area of over 24 square miles with 159 miles of shoreline, making it the state’s second largest lake and a water recreation paradise for New Mexicans now enduring a third year of severe drought.
The San Juan River continues through the dam and eventually travels west through the Navajo Nation and Utah’s canyon country to Lake Powell, where it joins up with the Colorado River for its journey through the Grand Canyon and, if there is any water left, draining into the Sea of Cortez.
Guide Note: 
See a panorama of Navajo Dam
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
NAVAJO DAM - NEW MEXICO
With the three goals of water storage, power and flood control, the Colorado River Storage Project was made into law by Congress in 1956 and ushered in one of the last great Western water projects of the “big dam” age.
Four units were built as part of the project: the massive Glen Canyon and Lake Powell in northern Arizona, Flaming Gorge in northeastern Utah, Aspinall in Colorado and the lesser known Navajo Dam and Reservoir in northwestern New Mexico and southern Colorado.
Built in a high desert area that receives just 10 inches of rain a year, Navajo Dam collects the valuable spring runoff from the mountains of Colorado as it flows down the Pine, Piedra and San Juan rivers. The water is stored for irrigation use—such as the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project—and hydroelectric power for the surrounding communities.
The earthen dam, completed in 1962, is 40 stories high and 3,648 feet long. The reservoir covers a surface area of over 24 square miles with 159 miles of shoreline, making it the state’s second largest lake and a water recreation paradise for New Mexicans now enduring a third year of severe drought.
The San Juan River continues through the dam and eventually travels west through the Navajo Nation and Utah’s canyon country to Lake Powell, where it joins up with the Colorado River for its journey through the Grand Canyon and, if there is any water left, draining into the Sea of Cortez.
Guide Note: 
See a panorama of Navajo Dam
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info

NAVAJO DAM - NEW MEXICO

With the three goals of water storage, power and flood control, the Colorado River Storage Project was made into law by Congress in 1956 and ushered in one of the last great Western water projects of the “big dam” age.

Four units were built as part of the project: the massive Glen Canyon and Lake Powell in northern Arizona, Flaming Gorge in northeastern Utah, Aspinall in Colorado and the lesser known Navajo Dam and Reservoir in northwestern New Mexico and southern Colorado.

Built in a high desert area that receives just 10 inches of rain a year, Navajo Dam collects the valuable spring runoff from the mountains of Colorado as it flows down the Pine, Piedra and San Juan rivers. The water is stored for irrigation use—such as the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project—and hydroelectric power for the surrounding communities.

The earthen dam, completed in 1962, is 40 stories high and 3,648 feet long. The reservoir covers a surface area of over 24 square miles with 159 miles of shoreline, making it the state’s second largest lake and a water recreation paradise for New Mexicans now enduring a third year of severe drought.

The San Juan River continues through the dam and eventually travels west through the Navajo Nation and Utah’s canyon country to Lake Powell, where it joins up with the Colorado River for its journey through the Grand Canyon and, if there is any water left, draining into the Sea of Cortez.

Guide Note

* * *

At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.

TWO GUNS, ARIZONA 
The sheer amount of hucksterism, fires, shootings, cultural atrocities, failed businesses, robbery and general western mayhem that have cursed this piece of desert reads like a history of Arizona itself.   
Two Guns started life as Canyon Diablo and was nothing much more than a shortcut to Winslow through a canyon that flooded every year, making it impassible. Then, around 1910, a bridge was built over the canyon and it became part of the National Old Trails Road (AKA the Ocean-to-Ocean Highway) that went from New York City to San Francisco.  In 1926, the southwest portion of the road was designated as U.S. Highway 66 — both the iconic Route 66 and the future Two Guns tourist attraction were born.
Assorted ruins from the history of the property still stand, most notably the zoo of Fort Two Guns built along the canyon by Harry “Indian” Miller, who advertised himself as “Chief Crazy Thunder.”  
Miller also created a tourist attraction in a nearby cave that was the site of an 1878 mass execution of 42 Apaches and their horses. It had been part of a raid on Navajo land and they were burned alive by the Navajo as retribution.  He called it “Mystery Cave” and created his own fake ruins — both inside the cave and above it — offering guided tours as well as a gift shop selling the bones of the dead Apaches and cold soft drinks. 
Guide Note: Located thirty miles east of Flagstaff at exit 230 on I-40, look for the abandoned yellow roofed KOA on the south side of the highway to find one of the most worthwhile stops you can make between Flagstaff and Gallup.
* * *

At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
TWO GUNS, ARIZONA 
The sheer amount of hucksterism, fires, shootings, cultural atrocities, failed businesses, robbery and general western mayhem that have cursed this piece of desert reads like a history of Arizona itself.   
Two Guns started life as Canyon Diablo and was nothing much more than a shortcut to Winslow through a canyon that flooded every year, making it impassible. Then, around 1910, a bridge was built over the canyon and it became part of the National Old Trails Road (AKA the Ocean-to-Ocean Highway) that went from New York City to San Francisco.  In 1926, the southwest portion of the road was designated as U.S. Highway 66 — both the iconic Route 66 and the future Two Guns tourist attraction were born.
Assorted ruins from the history of the property still stand, most notably the zoo of Fort Two Guns built along the canyon by Harry “Indian” Miller, who advertised himself as “Chief Crazy Thunder.”  
Miller also created a tourist attraction in a nearby cave that was the site of an 1878 mass execution of 42 Apaches and their horses. It had been part of a raid on Navajo land and they were burned alive by the Navajo as retribution.  He called it “Mystery Cave” and created his own fake ruins — both inside the cave and above it — offering guided tours as well as a gift shop selling the bones of the dead Apaches and cold soft drinks. 
Guide Note: Located thirty miles east of Flagstaff at exit 230 on I-40, look for the abandoned yellow roofed KOA on the south side of the highway to find one of the most worthwhile stops you can make between Flagstaff and Gallup.
* * *

At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
TWO GUNS, ARIZONA 
The sheer amount of hucksterism, fires, shootings, cultural atrocities, failed businesses, robbery and general western mayhem that have cursed this piece of desert reads like a history of Arizona itself.   
Two Guns started life as Canyon Diablo and was nothing much more than a shortcut to Winslow through a canyon that flooded every year, making it impassible. Then, around 1910, a bridge was built over the canyon and it became part of the National Old Trails Road (AKA the Ocean-to-Ocean Highway) that went from New York City to San Francisco.  In 1926, the southwest portion of the road was designated as U.S. Highway 66 — both the iconic Route 66 and the future Two Guns tourist attraction were born.
Assorted ruins from the history of the property still stand, most notably the zoo of Fort Two Guns built along the canyon by Harry “Indian” Miller, who advertised himself as “Chief Crazy Thunder.”  
Miller also created a tourist attraction in a nearby cave that was the site of an 1878 mass execution of 42 Apaches and their horses. It had been part of a raid on Navajo land and they were burned alive by the Navajo as retribution.  He called it “Mystery Cave” and created his own fake ruins — both inside the cave and above it — offering guided tours as well as a gift shop selling the bones of the dead Apaches and cold soft drinks. 
Guide Note: Located thirty miles east of Flagstaff at exit 230 on I-40, look for the abandoned yellow roofed KOA on the south side of the highway to find one of the most worthwhile stops you can make between Flagstaff and Gallup.
* * *

At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
TWO GUNS, ARIZONA 
The sheer amount of hucksterism, fires, shootings, cultural atrocities, failed businesses, robbery and general western mayhem that have cursed this piece of desert reads like a history of Arizona itself.   
Two Guns started life as Canyon Diablo and was nothing much more than a shortcut to Winslow through a canyon that flooded every year, making it impassible. Then, around 1910, a bridge was built over the canyon and it became part of the National Old Trails Road (AKA the Ocean-to-Ocean Highway) that went from New York City to San Francisco.  In 1926, the southwest portion of the road was designated as U.S. Highway 66 — both the iconic Route 66 and the future Two Guns tourist attraction were born.
Assorted ruins from the history of the property still stand, most notably the zoo of Fort Two Guns built along the canyon by Harry “Indian” Miller, who advertised himself as “Chief Crazy Thunder.”  
Miller also created a tourist attraction in a nearby cave that was the site of an 1878 mass execution of 42 Apaches and their horses. It had been part of a raid on Navajo land and they were burned alive by the Navajo as retribution.  He called it “Mystery Cave” and created his own fake ruins — both inside the cave and above it — offering guided tours as well as a gift shop selling the bones of the dead Apaches and cold soft drinks. 
Guide Note: Located thirty miles east of Flagstaff at exit 230 on I-40, look for the abandoned yellow roofed KOA on the south side of the highway to find one of the most worthwhile stops you can make between Flagstaff and Gallup.
* * *

At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
TWO GUNS, ARIZONA 
The sheer amount of hucksterism, fires, shootings, cultural atrocities, failed businesses, robbery and general western mayhem that have cursed this piece of desert reads like a history of Arizona itself.   
Two Guns started life as Canyon Diablo and was nothing much more than a shortcut to Winslow through a canyon that flooded every year, making it impassible. Then, around 1910, a bridge was built over the canyon and it became part of the National Old Trails Road (AKA the Ocean-to-Ocean Highway) that went from New York City to San Francisco.  In 1926, the southwest portion of the road was designated as U.S. Highway 66 — both the iconic Route 66 and the future Two Guns tourist attraction were born.
Assorted ruins from the history of the property still stand, most notably the zoo of Fort Two Guns built along the canyon by Harry “Indian” Miller, who advertised himself as “Chief Crazy Thunder.”  
Miller also created a tourist attraction in a nearby cave that was the site of an 1878 mass execution of 42 Apaches and their horses. It had been part of a raid on Navajo land and they were burned alive by the Navajo as retribution.  He called it “Mystery Cave” and created his own fake ruins — both inside the cave and above it — offering guided tours as well as a gift shop selling the bones of the dead Apaches and cold soft drinks. 
Guide Note: Located thirty miles east of Flagstaff at exit 230 on I-40, look for the abandoned yellow roofed KOA on the south side of the highway to find one of the most worthwhile stops you can make between Flagstaff and Gallup.
* * *

At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
TWO GUNS, ARIZONA 
The sheer amount of hucksterism, fires, shootings, cultural atrocities, failed businesses, robbery and general western mayhem that have cursed this piece of desert reads like a history of Arizona itself.   
Two Guns started life as Canyon Diablo and was nothing much more than a shortcut to Winslow through a canyon that flooded every year, making it impassible. Then, around 1910, a bridge was built over the canyon and it became part of the National Old Trails Road (AKA the Ocean-to-Ocean Highway) that went from New York City to San Francisco.  In 1926, the southwest portion of the road was designated as U.S. Highway 66 — both the iconic Route 66 and the future Two Guns tourist attraction were born.
Assorted ruins from the history of the property still stand, most notably the zoo of Fort Two Guns built along the canyon by Harry “Indian” Miller, who advertised himself as “Chief Crazy Thunder.”  
Miller also created a tourist attraction in a nearby cave that was the site of an 1878 mass execution of 42 Apaches and their horses. It had been part of a raid on Navajo land and they were burned alive by the Navajo as retribution.  He called it “Mystery Cave” and created his own fake ruins — both inside the cave and above it — offering guided tours as well as a gift shop selling the bones of the dead Apaches and cold soft drinks. 
Guide Note: Located thirty miles east of Flagstaff at exit 230 on I-40, look for the abandoned yellow roofed KOA on the south side of the highway to find one of the most worthwhile stops you can make between Flagstaff and Gallup.
* * *

At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
TWO GUNS, ARIZONA 
The sheer amount of hucksterism, fires, shootings, cultural atrocities, failed businesses, robbery and general western mayhem that have cursed this piece of desert reads like a history of Arizona itself.   
Two Guns started life as Canyon Diablo and was nothing much more than a shortcut to Winslow through a canyon that flooded every year, making it impassible. Then, around 1910, a bridge was built over the canyon and it became part of the National Old Trails Road (AKA the Ocean-to-Ocean Highway) that went from New York City to San Francisco.  In 1926, the southwest portion of the road was designated as U.S. Highway 66 — both the iconic Route 66 and the future Two Guns tourist attraction were born.
Assorted ruins from the history of the property still stand, most notably the zoo of Fort Two Guns built along the canyon by Harry “Indian” Miller, who advertised himself as “Chief Crazy Thunder.”  
Miller also created a tourist attraction in a nearby cave that was the site of an 1878 mass execution of 42 Apaches and their horses. It had been part of a raid on Navajo land and they were burned alive by the Navajo as retribution.  He called it “Mystery Cave” and created his own fake ruins — both inside the cave and above it — offering guided tours as well as a gift shop selling the bones of the dead Apaches and cold soft drinks. 
Guide Note: Located thirty miles east of Flagstaff at exit 230 on I-40, look for the abandoned yellow roofed KOA on the south side of the highway to find one of the most worthwhile stops you can make between Flagstaff and Gallup.
* * *

At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
TWO GUNS, ARIZONA 
The sheer amount of hucksterism, fires, shootings, cultural atrocities, failed businesses, robbery and general western mayhem that have cursed this piece of desert reads like a history of Arizona itself.   
Two Guns started life as Canyon Diablo and was nothing much more than a shortcut to Winslow through a canyon that flooded every year, making it impassible. Then, around 1910, a bridge was built over the canyon and it became part of the National Old Trails Road (AKA the Ocean-to-Ocean Highway) that went from New York City to San Francisco.  In 1926, the southwest portion of the road was designated as U.S. Highway 66 — both the iconic Route 66 and the future Two Guns tourist attraction were born.
Assorted ruins from the history of the property still stand, most notably the zoo of Fort Two Guns built along the canyon by Harry “Indian” Miller, who advertised himself as “Chief Crazy Thunder.”  
Miller also created a tourist attraction in a nearby cave that was the site of an 1878 mass execution of 42 Apaches and their horses. It had been part of a raid on Navajo land and they were burned alive by the Navajo as retribution.  He called it “Mystery Cave” and created his own fake ruins — both inside the cave and above it — offering guided tours as well as a gift shop selling the bones of the dead Apaches and cold soft drinks. 
Guide Note: Located thirty miles east of Flagstaff at exit 230 on I-40, look for the abandoned yellow roofed KOA on the south side of the highway to find one of the most worthwhile stops you can make between Flagstaff and Gallup.
* * *

At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
TWO GUNS, ARIZONA 
The sheer amount of hucksterism, fires, shootings, cultural atrocities, failed businesses, robbery and general western mayhem that have cursed this piece of desert reads like a history of Arizona itself.   
Two Guns started life as Canyon Diablo and was nothing much more than a shortcut to Winslow through a canyon that flooded every year, making it impassible. Then, around 1910, a bridge was built over the canyon and it became part of the National Old Trails Road (AKA the Ocean-to-Ocean Highway) that went from New York City to San Francisco.  In 1926, the southwest portion of the road was designated as U.S. Highway 66 — both the iconic Route 66 and the future Two Guns tourist attraction were born.
Assorted ruins from the history of the property still stand, most notably the zoo of Fort Two Guns built along the canyon by Harry “Indian” Miller, who advertised himself as “Chief Crazy Thunder.”  
Miller also created a tourist attraction in a nearby cave that was the site of an 1878 mass execution of 42 Apaches and their horses. It had been part of a raid on Navajo land and they were burned alive by the Navajo as retribution.  He called it “Mystery Cave” and created his own fake ruins — both inside the cave and above it — offering guided tours as well as a gift shop selling the bones of the dead Apaches and cold soft drinks. 
Guide Note: Located thirty miles east of Flagstaff at exit 230 on I-40, look for the abandoned yellow roofed KOA on the south side of the highway to find one of the most worthwhile stops you can make between Flagstaff and Gallup.
* * *

At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info

TWO GUNS, ARIZONA 

The sheer amount of hucksterism, fires, shootings, cultural atrocities, failed businesses, robbery and general western mayhem that have cursed this piece of desert reads like a history of Arizona itself.  

Two Guns started life as Canyon Diablo and was nothing much more than a shortcut to Winslow through a canyon that flooded every year, making it impassible. Then, around 1910, a bridge was built over the canyon and it became part of the National Old Trails Road (AKA the Ocean-to-Ocean Highway) that went from New York City to San Francisco.  In 1926, the southwest portion of the road was designated as U.S. Highway 66 — both the iconic Route 66 and the future Two Guns tourist attraction were born.

Assorted ruins from the history of the property still stand, most notably the zoo of Fort Two Guns built along the canyon by Harry “Indian” Miller, who advertised himself as “Chief Crazy Thunder.” 

Miller also created a tourist attraction in a nearby cave that was the site of an 1878 mass execution of 42 Apaches and their horses. It had been part of a raid on Navajo land and they were burned alive by the Navajo as retribution.  He called it “Mystery Cave” and created his own fake ruins — both inside the cave and above it — offering guided tours as well as a gift shop selling the bones of the dead Apaches and cold soft drinks.

Guide Note: Located thirty miles east of Flagstaff at exit 230 on I-40, look for the abandoned yellow roofed KOA on the south side of the highway to find one of the most worthwhile stops you can make between Flagstaff and Gallup.

* * *

At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado. You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.

SHIP ROCK (TSE BIT’A’I), THE ROCK WITH WINGS
Thirty miles southeast of Four Corners, on the eastern edge of the Navajo nation, Ship Rock towers more than 1,500 feet above the flat New Mexico desert like a giant clipper ship on a sea of sand and dirt.
The remnant throat of a volcano that erupted around 30 million years ago, Ship Rock was originally nearly a half mile underground.  Millions of years of erosion stripped away the softer sandstone and shale around the formation, exposing the harder igneous volcanic rock.  In addition to the throat, there are six dikes that radiate outward.  The largest of these is five miles long, 150 feet high and just a few feet wide.
Ship Rock is visible for up to 100 miles in some directions.  Whether you see it from the Mesa Verde complex up in Colorado or the area near Chaco Canyon to the south, it is easy to understand how such a distinctive landmark became such a central part of the Diné Bahaneʼ, the Navajo creation story.
The ancient Navajo were said to be praying for deliverance from another tribe in the far north when the ground beneath them transformed into a giant bird that flew for a day and a night before finally delivering them to the place where Ship Rock is now.  Once there, Cliff Monster climbed on top of the bird’s back and began building a nest that trapped him.
The people sent Monster Slayer, one of the warrior/hero twins that rid the world of monsters, to fight the Cliff Monster.  Monster Slayer cut off Cliff Monster’s head and threw it to the east, where it is now called Cabezon peak. 
The bird that delivered the people to the southwest was fatally injured during the battle.  To remind the people of its sacrifice, Monster Slayer turned the bird to stone.  The stone dikes of the monument are said to be the Cliff Monster’s blood that flowed over the bird.
Other stories say that the people lived on Ship Rock after their arrival, descending to farm on the plain below.  One day a storm came and lighting struck, destroying the path down and stranding them on the monument above the sheer cliffs. The ghosts of the dead, known as Chindi, still haunt the monument.
Though climbing, camping and hiking on the actual monument is illegal under Navajo Nation law, access to the monument is easy via the Red Rock Highway/Indian service Route 13 that connects to Highway 491/US 666 about seven miles south of the town of Shiprock, NM.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado.
You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
SHIP ROCK (TSE BIT’A’I), THE ROCK WITH WINGS
Thirty miles southeast of Four Corners, on the eastern edge of the Navajo nation, Ship Rock towers more than 1,500 feet above the flat New Mexico desert like a giant clipper ship on a sea of sand and dirt.
The remnant throat of a volcano that erupted around 30 million years ago, Ship Rock was originally nearly a half mile underground.  Millions of years of erosion stripped away the softer sandstone and shale around the formation, exposing the harder igneous volcanic rock.  In addition to the throat, there are six dikes that radiate outward.  The largest of these is five miles long, 150 feet high and just a few feet wide.
Ship Rock is visible for up to 100 miles in some directions.  Whether you see it from the Mesa Verde complex up in Colorado or the area near Chaco Canyon to the south, it is easy to understand how such a distinctive landmark became such a central part of the Diné Bahaneʼ, the Navajo creation story.
The ancient Navajo were said to be praying for deliverance from another tribe in the far north when the ground beneath them transformed into a giant bird that flew for a day and a night before finally delivering them to the place where Ship Rock is now.  Once there, Cliff Monster climbed on top of the bird’s back and began building a nest that trapped him.
The people sent Monster Slayer, one of the warrior/hero twins that rid the world of monsters, to fight the Cliff Monster.  Monster Slayer cut off Cliff Monster’s head and threw it to the east, where it is now called Cabezon peak. 
The bird that delivered the people to the southwest was fatally injured during the battle.  To remind the people of its sacrifice, Monster Slayer turned the bird to stone.  The stone dikes of the monument are said to be the Cliff Monster’s blood that flowed over the bird.
Other stories say that the people lived on Ship Rock after their arrival, descending to farm on the plain below.  One day a storm came and lighting struck, destroying the path down and stranding them on the monument above the sheer cliffs. The ghosts of the dead, known as Chindi, still haunt the monument.
Though climbing, camping and hiking on the actual monument is illegal under Navajo Nation law, access to the monument is easy via the Red Rock Highway/Indian service Route 13 that connects to Highway 491/US 666 about seven miles south of the town of Shiprock, NM.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado.
You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
SHIP ROCK (TSE BIT’A’I), THE ROCK WITH WINGS
Thirty miles southeast of Four Corners, on the eastern edge of the Navajo nation, Ship Rock towers more than 1,500 feet above the flat New Mexico desert like a giant clipper ship on a sea of sand and dirt.
The remnant throat of a volcano that erupted around 30 million years ago, Ship Rock was originally nearly a half mile underground.  Millions of years of erosion stripped away the softer sandstone and shale around the formation, exposing the harder igneous volcanic rock.  In addition to the throat, there are six dikes that radiate outward.  The largest of these is five miles long, 150 feet high and just a few feet wide.
Ship Rock is visible for up to 100 miles in some directions.  Whether you see it from the Mesa Verde complex up in Colorado or the area near Chaco Canyon to the south, it is easy to understand how such a distinctive landmark became such a central part of the Diné Bahaneʼ, the Navajo creation story.
The ancient Navajo were said to be praying for deliverance from another tribe in the far north when the ground beneath them transformed into a giant bird that flew for a day and a night before finally delivering them to the place where Ship Rock is now.  Once there, Cliff Monster climbed on top of the bird’s back and began building a nest that trapped him.
The people sent Monster Slayer, one of the warrior/hero twins that rid the world of monsters, to fight the Cliff Monster.  Monster Slayer cut off Cliff Monster’s head and threw it to the east, where it is now called Cabezon peak. 
The bird that delivered the people to the southwest was fatally injured during the battle.  To remind the people of its sacrifice, Monster Slayer turned the bird to stone.  The stone dikes of the monument are said to be the Cliff Monster’s blood that flowed over the bird.
Other stories say that the people lived on Ship Rock after their arrival, descending to farm on the plain below.  One day a storm came and lighting struck, destroying the path down and stranding them on the monument above the sheer cliffs. The ghosts of the dead, known as Chindi, still haunt the monument.
Though climbing, camping and hiking on the actual monument is illegal under Navajo Nation law, access to the monument is easy via the Red Rock Highway/Indian service Route 13 that connects to Highway 491/US 666 about seven miles south of the town of Shiprock, NM.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado.
You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
SHIP ROCK (TSE BIT’A’I), THE ROCK WITH WINGS
Thirty miles southeast of Four Corners, on the eastern edge of the Navajo nation, Ship Rock towers more than 1,500 feet above the flat New Mexico desert like a giant clipper ship on a sea of sand and dirt.
The remnant throat of a volcano that erupted around 30 million years ago, Ship Rock was originally nearly a half mile underground.  Millions of years of erosion stripped away the softer sandstone and shale around the formation, exposing the harder igneous volcanic rock.  In addition to the throat, there are six dikes that radiate outward.  The largest of these is five miles long, 150 feet high and just a few feet wide.
Ship Rock is visible for up to 100 miles in some directions.  Whether you see it from the Mesa Verde complex up in Colorado or the area near Chaco Canyon to the south, it is easy to understand how such a distinctive landmark became such a central part of the Diné Bahaneʼ, the Navajo creation story.
The ancient Navajo were said to be praying for deliverance from another tribe in the far north when the ground beneath them transformed into a giant bird that flew for a day and a night before finally delivering them to the place where Ship Rock is now.  Once there, Cliff Monster climbed on top of the bird’s back and began building a nest that trapped him.
The people sent Monster Slayer, one of the warrior/hero twins that rid the world of monsters, to fight the Cliff Monster.  Monster Slayer cut off Cliff Monster’s head and threw it to the east, where it is now called Cabezon peak. 
The bird that delivered the people to the southwest was fatally injured during the battle.  To remind the people of its sacrifice, Monster Slayer turned the bird to stone.  The stone dikes of the monument are said to be the Cliff Monster’s blood that flowed over the bird.
Other stories say that the people lived on Ship Rock after their arrival, descending to farm on the plain below.  One day a storm came and lighting struck, destroying the path down and stranding them on the monument above the sheer cliffs. The ghosts of the dead, known as Chindi, still haunt the monument.
Though climbing, camping and hiking on the actual monument is illegal under Navajo Nation law, access to the monument is easy via the Red Rock Highway/Indian service Route 13 that connects to Highway 491/US 666 about seven miles south of the town of Shiprock, NM.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado.
You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
SHIP ROCK (TSE BIT’A’I), THE ROCK WITH WINGS
Thirty miles southeast of Four Corners, on the eastern edge of the Navajo nation, Ship Rock towers more than 1,500 feet above the flat New Mexico desert like a giant clipper ship on a sea of sand and dirt.
The remnant throat of a volcano that erupted around 30 million years ago, Ship Rock was originally nearly a half mile underground.  Millions of years of erosion stripped away the softer sandstone and shale around the formation, exposing the harder igneous volcanic rock.  In addition to the throat, there are six dikes that radiate outward.  The largest of these is five miles long, 150 feet high and just a few feet wide.
Ship Rock is visible for up to 100 miles in some directions.  Whether you see it from the Mesa Verde complex up in Colorado or the area near Chaco Canyon to the south, it is easy to understand how such a distinctive landmark became such a central part of the Diné Bahaneʼ, the Navajo creation story.
The ancient Navajo were said to be praying for deliverance from another tribe in the far north when the ground beneath them transformed into a giant bird that flew for a day and a night before finally delivering them to the place where Ship Rock is now.  Once there, Cliff Monster climbed on top of the bird’s back and began building a nest that trapped him.
The people sent Monster Slayer, one of the warrior/hero twins that rid the world of monsters, to fight the Cliff Monster.  Monster Slayer cut off Cliff Monster’s head and threw it to the east, where it is now called Cabezon peak. 
The bird that delivered the people to the southwest was fatally injured during the battle.  To remind the people of its sacrifice, Monster Slayer turned the bird to stone.  The stone dikes of the monument are said to be the Cliff Monster’s blood that flowed over the bird.
Other stories say that the people lived on Ship Rock after their arrival, descending to farm on the plain below.  One day a storm came and lighting struck, destroying the path down and stranding them on the monument above the sheer cliffs. The ghosts of the dead, known as Chindi, still haunt the monument.
Though climbing, camping and hiking on the actual monument is illegal under Navajo Nation law, access to the monument is easy via the Red Rock Highway/Indian service Route 13 that connects to Highway 491/US 666 about seven miles south of the town of Shiprock, NM.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado.
You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
SHIP ROCK (TSE BIT’A’I), THE ROCK WITH WINGS
Thirty miles southeast of Four Corners, on the eastern edge of the Navajo nation, Ship Rock towers more than 1,500 feet above the flat New Mexico desert like a giant clipper ship on a sea of sand and dirt.
The remnant throat of a volcano that erupted around 30 million years ago, Ship Rock was originally nearly a half mile underground.  Millions of years of erosion stripped away the softer sandstone and shale around the formation, exposing the harder igneous volcanic rock.  In addition to the throat, there are six dikes that radiate outward.  The largest of these is five miles long, 150 feet high and just a few feet wide.
Ship Rock is visible for up to 100 miles in some directions.  Whether you see it from the Mesa Verde complex up in Colorado or the area near Chaco Canyon to the south, it is easy to understand how such a distinctive landmark became such a central part of the Diné Bahaneʼ, the Navajo creation story.
The ancient Navajo were said to be praying for deliverance from another tribe in the far north when the ground beneath them transformed into a giant bird that flew for a day and a night before finally delivering them to the place where Ship Rock is now.  Once there, Cliff Monster climbed on top of the bird’s back and began building a nest that trapped him.
The people sent Monster Slayer, one of the warrior/hero twins that rid the world of monsters, to fight the Cliff Monster.  Monster Slayer cut off Cliff Monster’s head and threw it to the east, where it is now called Cabezon peak. 
The bird that delivered the people to the southwest was fatally injured during the battle.  To remind the people of its sacrifice, Monster Slayer turned the bird to stone.  The stone dikes of the monument are said to be the Cliff Monster’s blood that flowed over the bird.
Other stories say that the people lived on Ship Rock after their arrival, descending to farm on the plain below.  One day a storm came and lighting struck, destroying the path down and stranding them on the monument above the sheer cliffs. The ghosts of the dead, known as Chindi, still haunt the monument.
Though climbing, camping and hiking on the actual monument is illegal under Navajo Nation law, access to the monument is easy via the Red Rock Highway/Indian service Route 13 that connects to Highway 491/US 666 about seven miles south of the town of Shiprock, NM.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado.
You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
SHIP ROCK (TSE BIT’A’I), THE ROCK WITH WINGS
Thirty miles southeast of Four Corners, on the eastern edge of the Navajo nation, Ship Rock towers more than 1,500 feet above the flat New Mexico desert like a giant clipper ship on a sea of sand and dirt.
The remnant throat of a volcano that erupted around 30 million years ago, Ship Rock was originally nearly a half mile underground.  Millions of years of erosion stripped away the softer sandstone and shale around the formation, exposing the harder igneous volcanic rock.  In addition to the throat, there are six dikes that radiate outward.  The largest of these is five miles long, 150 feet high and just a few feet wide.
Ship Rock is visible for up to 100 miles in some directions.  Whether you see it from the Mesa Verde complex up in Colorado or the area near Chaco Canyon to the south, it is easy to understand how such a distinctive landmark became such a central part of the Diné Bahaneʼ, the Navajo creation story.
The ancient Navajo were said to be praying for deliverance from another tribe in the far north when the ground beneath them transformed into a giant bird that flew for a day and a night before finally delivering them to the place where Ship Rock is now.  Once there, Cliff Monster climbed on top of the bird’s back and began building a nest that trapped him.
The people sent Monster Slayer, one of the warrior/hero twins that rid the world of monsters, to fight the Cliff Monster.  Monster Slayer cut off Cliff Monster’s head and threw it to the east, where it is now called Cabezon peak. 
The bird that delivered the people to the southwest was fatally injured during the battle.  To remind the people of its sacrifice, Monster Slayer turned the bird to stone.  The stone dikes of the monument are said to be the Cliff Monster’s blood that flowed over the bird.
Other stories say that the people lived on Ship Rock after their arrival, descending to farm on the plain below.  One day a storm came and lighting struck, destroying the path down and stranding them on the monument above the sheer cliffs. The ghosts of the dead, known as Chindi, still haunt the monument.
Though climbing, camping and hiking on the actual monument is illegal under Navajo Nation law, access to the monument is easy via the Red Rock Highway/Indian service Route 13 that connects to Highway 491/US 666 about seven miles south of the town of Shiprock, NM.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado.
You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info
SHIP ROCK (TSE BIT’A’I), THE ROCK WITH WINGS
Thirty miles southeast of Four Corners, on the eastern edge of the Navajo nation, Ship Rock towers more than 1,500 feet above the flat New Mexico desert like a giant clipper ship on a sea of sand and dirt.
The remnant throat of a volcano that erupted around 30 million years ago, Ship Rock was originally nearly a half mile underground.  Millions of years of erosion stripped away the softer sandstone and shale around the formation, exposing the harder igneous volcanic rock.  In addition to the throat, there are six dikes that radiate outward.  The largest of these is five miles long, 150 feet high and just a few feet wide.
Ship Rock is visible for up to 100 miles in some directions.  Whether you see it from the Mesa Verde complex up in Colorado or the area near Chaco Canyon to the south, it is easy to understand how such a distinctive landmark became such a central part of the Diné Bahaneʼ, the Navajo creation story.
The ancient Navajo were said to be praying for deliverance from another tribe in the far north when the ground beneath them transformed into a giant bird that flew for a day and a night before finally delivering them to the place where Ship Rock is now.  Once there, Cliff Monster climbed on top of the bird’s back and began building a nest that trapped him.
The people sent Monster Slayer, one of the warrior/hero twins that rid the world of monsters, to fight the Cliff Monster.  Monster Slayer cut off Cliff Monster’s head and threw it to the east, where it is now called Cabezon peak. 
The bird that delivered the people to the southwest was fatally injured during the battle.  To remind the people of its sacrifice, Monster Slayer turned the bird to stone.  The stone dikes of the monument are said to be the Cliff Monster’s blood that flowed over the bird.
Other stories say that the people lived on Ship Rock after their arrival, descending to farm on the plain below.  One day a storm came and lighting struck, destroying the path down and stranding them on the monument above the sheer cliffs. The ghosts of the dead, known as Chindi, still haunt the monument.
Though climbing, camping and hiking on the actual monument is illegal under Navajo Nation law, access to the monument is easy via the Red Rock Highway/Indian service Route 13 that connects to Highway 491/US 666 about seven miles south of the town of Shiprock, NM.
* * *
At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado.
You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.
Zoom Info

SHIP ROCK (TSE BIT’A’I), THE ROCK WITH WINGS

Thirty miles southeast of Four Corners, on the eastern edge of the Navajo nation, Ship Rock towers more than 1,500 feet above the flat New Mexico desert like a giant clipper ship on a sea of sand and dirt.

The remnant throat of a volcano that erupted around 30 million years ago, Ship Rock was originally nearly a half mile underground.  Millions of years of erosion stripped away the softer sandstone and shale around the formation, exposing the harder igneous volcanic rock.  In addition to the throat, there are six dikes that radiate outward.  The largest of these is five miles long, 150 feet high and just a few feet wide.

Ship Rock is visible for up to 100 miles in some directions.  Whether you see it from the Mesa Verde complex up in Colorado or the area near Chaco Canyon to the south, it is easy to understand how such a distinctive landmark became such a central part of the Diné Bahaneʼ, the Navajo creation story.

The ancient Navajo were said to be praying for deliverance from another tribe in the far north when the ground beneath them transformed into a giant bird that flew for a day and a night before finally delivering them to the place where Ship Rock is now.  Once there, Cliff Monster climbed on top of the bird’s back and began building a nest that trapped him.

The people sent Monster Slayer, one of the warrior/hero twins that rid the world of monsters, to fight the Cliff Monster.  Monster Slayer cut off Cliff Monster’s head and threw it to the east, where it is now called Cabezon peak. 

The bird that delivered the people to the southwest was fatally injured during the battle.  To remind the people of its sacrifice, Monster Slayer turned the bird to stone.  The stone dikes of the monument are said to be the Cliff Monster’s blood that flowed over the bird.

Other stories say that the people lived on Ship Rock after their arrival, descending to farm on the plain below.  One day a storm came and lighting struck, destroying the path down and stranding them on the monument above the sheer cliffs. The ghosts of the dead, known as Chindi, still haunt the monument.

Though climbing, camping and hiking on the actual monument is illegal under Navajo Nation law, access to the monument is easy via the Red Rock Highway/Indian service Route 13 that connects to Highway 491/US 666 about seven miles south of the town of Shiprock, NM.

* * *

At-Large Guide to the West James Orndorf was born in Minnesota, but knew at a very young age that the future lay out west. He is currently photographing and illustrating outside of Durango, Colorado.

You can see what he’s up to at inlandwest.tumblr.com and roughshelter.com.

A Wyoming dispatch, courtesy of our Guide, KC O’Connor:

Castle Gardens - Located in the middle of nowhere in Wyoming, Castle Gardens is a Native American rock art site. There are hundreds of prehistoric carvings, or petroglyphs, of shield-bearing warriors carved into the wind-battered sandstone. A unique oasis in the high desert country, this area is accessible by long dirt roads and feels like stepping back in time.

The carvings are thought to have been created by the Athapaskan groups, related to modern-day Apache and Navajo.

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KC O’Connor is a Guide to Wyoming for The American Guide. He’s a writer and photographer based in Lander, Wyoming. Follow him on Tumblr and Twitter.