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Attribution WILL be enforced.
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Daniel Draper has been a licensed, native Navajo guide at Canyon de Chelly for over 26-years. He, in my opinion, is THE BEST. He is well educated, reflective and has seen the outside world — even traveling to Beijing, China in the 1970s to represent the U.S. in an International youth athletics games. (He was a long distance runner before becoming a professional, rodeo bull wrangler.)
I have visited the Canyon four times and have done four tours (two on horseback). I had the pleasure and honor of meeting Daniel Draper on my last visit, in July, when we did a 4-hour, 6-wheeler tour. The day before I had done a 3-hour tour on horseback. It was like chalk and cheese. Daniel knew so much more and could articulate it clearly.
Both sides of his family are from the Canyon and he grew up there. They still own land inside the Canyon as you can see from the “National Geographic” video.
His knowledge, understanding and experience of the Canyon is beyond reproach. He can take you places, show you things and explain them better to you than anybody else.
He, a photographer himself, specializes in photographic tours — which is how the “National Geographic” video came to be.
If you are visiting this BEAUTIFUL, breathtaking Canyon, my FAVORITE place in the whole world (and I have travelled some), contact Daniel Draper. No other guide comes close. Daniel will ENRICH your visit and allow you to enjoy the Canyon in ways you will cherish for life.
Check his contact info above.
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Yesterday I posted a picture of ‘Spider Rock‘ from the Rim of Canyon de Chelly and this morning, on Facebook, I saw this picture, posted by Daniel Draper. He is one of the premier, licensed Navajo guides at the Canyon. I have done a number of posts about him and his talented & famous daughters. Just wanted to share this with you. IF you are visiting Canyon de Chelly make sure to contact Daniel. He can show you the Canyon like no other. He specializes in photographic tours. He grew up IN the Canyon and his family owns land in the Canyon. He knows it like the back of his hand.
She competes in this Teen Pageant every year.
This year she won 3rd runner up as well as being crowned
Miss Photogenic & Best Essay Winner.
She told us about the Pageant when we met her last month in Chinle. She was excited and was already working on her essay.
So, this is GREAT news. We are very pleased and happy and send our congratulations to her Dad, Daniel Draper, and, of course, the daughter.
Yes, the same sisters in the ‘National Geographic’ ‘Canyon Song‘
video I posted yesterday.
I this post, I explained in detail, how we met his father, a renowned Navajo guide and how we brought the two sisters for dinner with us. He asked them to regale us, after dinner, and they did so without demur. They are very self-poised and assured. My ‘Canyon Song‘ post includes the ‘National Geographic’ write-up of the family, including their names. The dad’s name is Daniel Draper and he is well known in Canyon de Chelly circles.
I am told that this ‘Facebook’ song is fairly well known among ‘kids’. What is unique is the hybrid version that THEY CREATED — Navajo and English.
It gets better. She had sung it at a talent competition at her school and one of her teacher’s had recorded it and put it on YouTube. That video is longer and of better quality. I ‘post’ it below.
Yes, of course they told us about this video over dinner. Of course, they are, deservedly, very proud about it.
So, that I would have a record I took pictures of it from their phone!
I actually have two more videos of these amazing sisters singing, for us, after dinner. I will get around to posting them soon.
In the meantime THOROUGHLY enjoy and absorb this video. You will get to really experience the lovely and haunting Canyon de Chelly — my favorite place in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD.
In reality this is the ONLY way to see and get to know Canyon de Chelly. Going into the Canyon on horseback is fun (and we have done it twice) but you can’t cover as much ground and, from our experience, the guides that do horseback are not as ‘proficient’ as those on the ‘jeeps’. (But, there could be exceptions and we LUCKED out in that we got ‘Daniel Draper’ who has been doing jeep tours for 29-years). Yes, you can hike down to the ‘White House‘ (which we have also done twice) but you don’t get to see any of the key ‘pictographs‘ (painted) or ‘petroglyphs‘ (carved).
This was the second time I had done a ‘Thunderbird Lodge Tour‘ — albeit 19-years apart. The first time, in 1999, was in the BIGGER Korean-war era Army vehicles they used to have. But, then there was the infamous 2012 roll-over that (eventually) killed two. Everything changed after that — including the ownership of the iconic & historic ‘Thunderbird Lodge’. The 6-wheelers they use now are smaller and newer.
We lucked out — as was invariably the case during this entire 4-day trip to the Canyon (my 4th). Very few people. Most of the time, wherever we would be the only ones there. That is nice and highlights the trademark serenity of the Canyon (which is my favorite part).
We did not book a private tour. We just booked (in the morning) the 4-hour, 4pm (sunset) tour. We were told be there 20-minutes early.
Well it was just the two us, Teischan & I, and that was special. I, with extensive experience with Navajo, soon established a good rapport with Daniel — and I think he enjoyed it too, in that I was not a total novice when it came to the Canyon or the Navajo. We had such a good time that I invited Daniel and his two daughters for dinner with us (at ‘The Junction‘) and they accepted. We had a great time and the two, extremely talented daughters, regaled us with songs after the dinner.
The tour was good. We learnt a lot.
Totally recommend it. Yes, there are other tours. From what I can see they are roughly the same price, i.e., ~$70/person for 3-4 hours. But, I liked the tour we took.