Sunday, March 22, 2009

Chaco Canyon NHP, New Mexico

Finally. I have photos of Chaco Canyon National Historic Park. Per se, it was a nice day. Technically, it was a bad day because we had clouds and heavy clouds make for a blah sky. Apparently it was too much to hope for puffy, billowy clouds or even a basic clear blue sky. On the up side it was not too hot to walk all over the place and we did do some walkin'. I've heard that it's pretentious to say "per se." Even so, I like the sound of it.

The road isn't paved all the way there, only part of the way, so four wheel drive is nice to have. Interestingly, we passed only a couple people going out there, but when we got there we found the campground was full! It looked fun, but it offers no hook-ups I think. On this road we saw three working sheep dogs herding sheep right across the road in front of us. They ran toward me so fast I was a bit alarmed, and not knowing whether their intentions were to bite me or lick me, I jumped back into the truck posthaste. Boo hoo. Turned out they were real friendly. She who is not courageous will miss great shots. I ended up with a photo of a flock of sheep behinds in need of shearing. It's not something people want to see.

We got to the Visitor's Center and were excited to walk to our first ruin. There's a loop you drive, about, hmm, six ruins maybe, and this one was a mile walk there and back, and too irresistible to pass up because it's right there at the Visitor's Center.

We climbed the hill behind the ruin and looked down. You have to remain on the trails in this park, you can't wander about, but the trail was very nice.

And here's a little higher behind that ruin. We came up here to see the petroglyphs. That's Fajada over there sticking up and you see the Visitor's Center, the parking lot, and people walking up the trail we came up on. The land is so. . . . vast! I do wonder if I should enlarge the photos more for people who like to click on them. I don't know if it would discourage people who might have slow connections from clicking on them, or if most people have fast enough connections and large enough monitors and want bigger photos.

Here are the petroglyphs.

This is the first thing you see at Pueblo Bonito which is the largest of the pueblos and is the one I most wanted to see. We didn't go to the others because, basically, after you've seen a couple pueblos you're about done. This one is the largest of all of them! It's like a maze almost. Fun to walk through. Long ago the pueblos were all over the plateau and were connected and were quite the accomplished culture between 800 and 1250 A.D. They traded far and wide even into Mexico. I'm fascinated by the Anasazi Indians. How could so many of them find enough water???

Boy, I need to learn how to put my own sky in there, don't I! Yes, indeedy. Must.

This shows some of the kivas. Perhaps they conducted sacred ceremonies here. No one knows and everyone wonders. It's about six feet deep so you wouldn't want to fall in there. I cannot IMAGINE how they dug these out of the hard ground.

Lastly, here is the spot I had all scoped out before we got here - four little doorways. I had planned on sunshine falling through the doorways onto the floor, but it didn't happen for me.

Tomorrow's supposed to be super windy so doesn't look like a promising photog day. I want to sit outside and try to capture some birds - digitally, that is!

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