Although we had intended to stay in southern Utah for another month, health issues have again changed our plans. Jim has been having problems with heartburn for several months and it just isn’t responding to medication. He has a history of hiatal hernia but the meds have always worked in the past. Now that he’s on the blood thinner Xarelto, which causes an increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, we decided it wasn’t a good idea to wait another month until his annual scheduled doctor’s appointments at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale. We hated to leave the gang but he got an appointment this week and we are now at McDowell Mountain Park, after 3 days of driving with a one night stop at Canyon de Chelly National Monument, deep in the heart of the Navajo Nation near Chinle, AZ and the next night at the Home Depot parking lot in Payson.
This is Canyon de Chelly. The following night at Home Depot wasn’t quite as scenic. We first visited here back in April 2009. At that time the campground was free, but now it is $14/night with no senior pass discount. They do have flush toilets, water and a dump station.
We took the scenic drive along the south rim to several overlooks, where we could barely make out ruins on the other side. We forgot our binoculars but the camera has a good zoom.
This is Spider Rock, towering 800’ above the canyon floor.
Being sacred Navajo land, all access to the canyon is by guided tour, except for the 1.5 mile White House Ruin trail, which switchbacks 600’ down to the bottom. Of course we had to go.
The White House Ruins were thought to be occupied from about 1070 AD to 1300 AD.
We spotted some ancient rock art.
And some that was a bit more modern.
It was a beautiful spot. I can see why they chose to live here.
Fast forward to Monday, when we arrived at McDowell Mountain, settled into a lovely site, and went for a bike ride on a couple of the trails.
Yesterday was Jim’s appointment with the Family Practice nurse practitioner, who got him scheduled for an endoscopy this morning, took him off Prilosec and changed him to Protonix, a prescription drug that inhibits stomach acid secretion. And although he doesn’t see the gastroenterologist until the 29th he received a report after the test that all looked normal, but they took several routine biopsies. That was good news, but doesn’t answer the question about what is causing the heartburn. Jim did speak with the hematologist’s office, and they decided to switch his blood thinner from Xarelto to Eliquis, in case that is contributing to it. So after just two days at least we feel like some progress has been made.
We got home from the clinic about 11 this morning, and after feeding Jim a bowl of cereal and getting him in bed for a nap (he was pretty goofy!) I went out for another bike ride. This is a great place to be stuck for a while.