Too many adventures near Chinle today

Chinle Travel Blog

 › entry 9 of 18 › view all entries

The road to Chinle provided way too much drama for us to repeat the drive anytime soon. I had been driving for awhile and needed to stop as I was starting to feel too sleepy to keep my eyes on the road. So George took the driver seat and I settled in for a nap on the last hour drive.

I woke up to a loud bang and a shower of glass brushing my face. I opened my eyes and found that the driver side window had completely shattered to a hundred tiny pieces as a car drove past us. I think I must have screamed at some point and found myself shaking horrendously. George, thankfully, was unhurt and actually quite calm as he pulled over the side of the road. We all jumped out of the car, in complete and utter shock as to what had happened.


We turned around and noticed for the first time yet a highway patrol car behind us. We flagged down the cop, who graciously got his thick gloves and brushed off the glass on the front seats. We were trying to come up with ideas of how this had happened and couldn’t help but attribute the implosion to  the car passing by us at exactly the same time. The cop didn’t think that the passing car could have caused the accident, relating a similar story of how one time his patrol car was parked along the side of the road and the back windshield just imploded for no known reason.


Needless to say, as much stress as the window implosion caused, we were most worried about what the rental company would say. We were heading to Chinle, which the cop had said only had one glass company who catered to the Indian reservation trucks. We were 3 hours from our next destination of Moab, Utah, and we were now going to be late for our 1pm tour time.

So I called and tried to cancel the tour, but the guy who answered had no record of our tour. That seemed to be a good sign that at least we weren’t putting out the tour company with our cancellation. We finally made it to Chinle and stopped off at a café so George could call the rental car company to find out how to get the car fixed.


The café was not a traditional American café. Instead, it was a Navajo one, serving tacos and hamburgers on frybread along with mutton stew. At the time, we weren’t up for anything adventurous, and when my taco came out with ground mutton atop frybread, I was pretty unhappy. The owner, who was also the server, looked pretty annoyed when I asked if the taco could be made sans meat, and it took about 30 minutes to remake the taco. However, when it finally came out, it had to be one of the most delicious tacos I’ve ever had. The frybread is much like East Indian naan, thick, soft, and sumptuous.


After the phone call, George fainlly made it for a quick lunch, telling us that the nearest place we could exchange the car would be in Grand Junction, Colorado, about 110 miles east of Moab. We decided to make the most of the afternoon and at least hike the one trail to the Anasazi White House Ruins that the public could explore in Canyon de Chelly without a Navajo guide.

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photo by: breeniex