On day eleven we hiked into Canyon de Chelley to White House Ruin with the Navajo man who
owned the campground, Howard Smith. I'll never forget this day. It had been days since
we all had a shower; in fact, we'd been through four states since our last shower! I was clad
in fleece pants and a fleece top and a fleece hat; basically I was head to toe fleece. The
hike into the Canyon was amazing and I used the opportunity to talk to Howard about his
people and about the Ancient Puebloans who built the White House dwelling. Well,
apparently Howard mistook my interest in his people for interest in him. By the end of the
day he was finding excuses to seek me out and show me things. Once he took me aside to
show me the steps the Ancient Puebloans had carved into the side of the canyon in order to
get in and out. As I was marvelling at how they could possibly scamper up a near vertical
cliff, Howard took my hand, slipped a beautiful silver bracelet on my wrist, and asked if I
would stay with him and be his wife. I was shocked and flattered and told him I only had one
semester left of college to finish and couldn't stay with him. I tried to give him back the
bracelet, but he refused.
What a time to have one's first marriage proposal, though! When I hadn't showered for a
week and in the middle of an extended road trip! And by a man I'd known for one day!