Saturday, July 9, 2011

Having a Whopper at the Navajo Code Talkers Display & Navajo Culture Center in Kayenta Arizona

Among the many things I love about a Roadtrip is being surprised by something. Seeing something you did not know existed. Or learning about something you had never heard of.

I remember one September in my college years, being in Yellowstone, hiking the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. And then remarking that this canyon is so grand I wonder what it is like to see the world's most famous Grand Canyon.

So, being footloose, with no itinerary, off we headed, south towards Grand Canyon. On the way we came to Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion Canyon National Park. Total surprises. Knew nothing about them at that point in time. Was total scenery overload.

And then there can be the little surprise. Like over Christmas of 1994 I went to Disneyland, then headed east to Las Vegas, then Grand Canyon, then across the Painted Desert for the first time, heading to Monument Valley and Moab.

The Painted Desert is Navajo country, the location of the Navajo Nation. There is a town called Kayenta in Navajo territory. In Kayenta there is a Burger King. And in that Burger King there is a museum.

The museum is dedicated to the Navajo Code Talkers. I had never heard of the Navajo Code Talkers prior to that day in that Burger King.

The museum has some World War II relics, with newspaper articles telling the story of how approximately 400 young Navajo Americans helped win World War II by developing a code based on the Navajo language that was impossible for the wily Japanese or Nazis to crack.

Since I first learned of the Navajo Code Talkers a movie has been made telling the story.

If you are Roadtripping across the Painted Desert it is very easy to find the Kayenta Burger King and the Navajo Code Talker Display and Navajo Culture Center. The Burger King is at the junction of US 160 and US 163.

By the way, this particular Burger King made particularly good Whoppers.

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