Alice, The Navajo Lady

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Barb and I were not aware of Canyon de  when stopped in the parking lot designated for viewing Suicide Cliff. The hike was rather lengthy, and marked only by fist-sized rocks, a breadcrumb trail, as it were. We hadn’t the slightest notion what to expect.

A stiff updraft from the canyon floor, a thousand feet below, literally took our collective breath away. To our left we found information regarding the origin of the name. To paraphrase, the Spanish had arrived, pilfered the sacred Navajo land and then began throwing Indians off the cliff. The event ceased when a young maiden grabbed her Spaniard aggressor by the neck and took him with her to the canyon floor below. Hence, the name.

On our way back to our car we came across Alice, an aging Navajo woman selling handcrafted necklaces by the side of the path. The one Barb chose was made of various stones and Juniper berries. She told us she boiled them and then strung them while they were still soft.

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Barb wore the necklace with pride. However, she lost it while we were bicycling Missouri’s Katy Trail from Clinton to St. Louis.

If we knew for certain Alice was still there we would drive there for another one.

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