Convinced that my daughter’, Bailey’s teen behavior could not be explained by normal human characteristics, I had become convinced that there were extraterrestrial genetics at work and I was on a mission of discovery through Arizona and New Mexico searching for proof of alien landings. In Part One I cruised across the Arizona desert and visited the Winslow Meteor Crater failing to find any evidence of alien arrival at that site. I was now headed to Chinle, Arizona, hoping that ancient Anasazi or current Navajo art might offer some indicator of alien contact. I was riding mostly one handed to give my left wrist the opportunity to heal after sustaining a bad sprain just before I left home.
On the Navajo Reservation, Chinle is the location of Canyon De Chelly. Well hidden and kept fertile by spring floods each year the canyon floor made excellent farm land and became a permanent home to ancient Anasazi Indians. I had read that some ancient petroglyphs showed odd beings which could have been gods or perhaps aliens who came to earth. About 800 years ago,the climate morphed and protracted drought eliminated the Anasazi culture.
Centuries later the Navajo occupied Canyon De Chelly and made it their final stronghold and there among peach orchards that they planted, they made their final and losing stand against Kit Carson and the U.S. Army who were forcing them onto a remote reservation. Carson had been told there was a curse placed on him and if he entered the canyon he would die. As tough a son of a b**** as Kit Carson was, he didn’t go into Canyon de Chelly.
Standing on the edge of Canyon De Chelly, 500 feet above the floor, the quiet and ancience (I know that’s a made up word, but it fits, doesn’t it?) of the place seep into you and you don’t question why Kit Carson didn’t tempt fate and enter it. I did not find any petroglyphs, but I purchased a piece of stone from a Navajo vendor next to the canyon with symbols etched onto it. I was looking for signs of extraterrestrial beings, but trying to understand those etched symbols made no more sense to me than trying to communicate with my daughter when she was a teenager.
The Road Glide rolled north from Chinle through the Navajo Reservation toward Mexican Hat and pointed us toward Cortez, Colorado at significant velocity.
My path zipped by Four Corners, the point where the states of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah meet, but I didn’t stop. I was to meet some friends in Cortez and besides, that place wasn’t going anywhere and I’d be back. After considerable tequila consumption that evening, the next morning we rode southern Colorado down through Durango and Pagosa Springs into northern New Mexico.
The hot springs along the San Juan River in Pagosa Springs were inviting, but my friends were on a schedule, so I looked longingly at the warm, sulphur smelling pools as we rode by on a cool day.
After a good lunch at the High Country Restaurant and Saloon in Chama, New Mexico, we emerged to find a large, old and well used Hummer parked next to the bikes. A lady came out of the saloon and told us she hoped that Al Unser’s Hummer had not hemmed us in. Al Unser? The NASCAR and Indy 500 winner? Here I was looking for extraterrestrial roots and I run into Al Unser. My riding buddy Brad is a big racing fan and went back in to meet and talk with Al who is in his 70’s and owns a large ranch nearby.
Still on my quest, I rode the next day with my buds in the mountains around Taos, where we saw Kit Carson’s home and his grave. My wrist did not like guiding the bike around those beautiful curving roads, but I silenced it with a constant flow of Aleve and one-handed riding.