Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Arizona Road Trip (6): Town of Chinle

Chinle (a Native name) at the northeastern corner of State of Arizona, close to New Mexico border is a small town with the majority of the population Native people from Navajo Nation. The said nation apparently is divided to different tribes but I didn't investigate further. There are a few things that have made this neighbourhood a town and those are franchised businesses, hotels and fast food restaurants and one supermarket. The main reason people would go to Chinle is either visiting Canyon De Chelly National Monument or going to New Mexico. This is a dirty town with rundown dwellings, garbage all over the streets, old cars and old buildings. There's no light at night but the building lights. I wonder if that is very hard to provide especially that it is not a big city.
A view of the gift shop at Holiday Inn of Chinle or as they like to call it Trading Post back to the days that Native people traded their hand-crafted items with what Europeans offered. The store was closed at the time.
I stayed at this Holiday Inn which looks nice but had the same problem of another Holiday Inn when we visited Deer Lake in Newfoundland & Labrador. The room is nice and cofortable but the mattress and pillow was the worst. I didn't have a good sleep the night for that matter which affected my performance in the coming days. At night I was parking the car and bringing a few items to the room and I saw an animal in the parking lot. I at the first glance thought it was a Fox or Coyote but it was none! It was a stay dog probably belong to a Native family nearby or belong to nobody. That's been the first time I saw a stray animal in the public. Apparently there's no licencing and registration for pets on the reserve. Due to the problem I had in Sedona's Views Inn with the internet I first didn't even try to get connected so I asked the receptionist a Native girl if there was any computer for public use and she pointed at two sets at a corner. I sat at the desk and tried to sign in to my account but both websites indicated that they suspected I'd be the actual owner of the account and didn't let me in. 
Holiday Inn in Chinle is located at a nice corner and in a nice building. The room is nice and has everything but the mattress and pillow ruin your night.
I was tired so I went back to the room and tried the internet on my laptop and it worked. So apparently there was an issue with the router or any other device at Views Inn but it's too late to bring that up. 
The hotel cost didn't include breakfast so I checked out as soon as I could in order to reach my next destination before it was too late. Before leaving the town, I decided to get a breakfast and I checked into a local Burger King. It was a very disappointing experience: A very bad and tiny breakfast sandwich with a coffee cost something around $5 or more! While in the parking lot getting ready to leave a scary young Native fella with tattoos below his eyes and everywhere else approached me and gave me a old version of same story you probably have heard over and over: I'm here with my fiance and mother-in-law and we're heading to Colorado. I maxed out my credit card. Would you help me with a few dollars? I told him that I was leaving the town myself after staying with a Native friend and spent the last few dollars I had on gas and the coffee. He thanked me and went to someone else, a Native for help. 
Stray dog at the parking lot of Holiday Inn. I was afraid first to approach but then I realized that the poor animal was probably hungry. I couldn't get a better shot.
Another thing I saw in the town when I was on the road to Burger King place was a sign reading Site of Technical University on a lot. That will probably be there if you visit the town in 5 years from now unless it's knocked down but I understand that someone is trying to bring more business as well as education to this town but really what kind of technique could be thought in this university which is good for the Native people? Let's leave it to Navajo people to decide. 
(Photo, top: While in the Burger King parking lot, an emergency vehicle stopped and its crew, Native people, went inside for a breakfast. I took this shot from their vehicle)

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