Sunday, June 14, 2015

Chaco Canyon, New Mexico!

If you kick around the US southwest, you're going to see ruins like you're going to see blue skies. It's inevitable. However, Chaco Canyon will ruin you for any other similar antiquities. 

You do see what I did there, right?

Fajada Butte
Fajada Butte was apparently important in astronomical calculations of the Chacoan culture. When to plant the popcorn, the eggplant, and the baconplant.

No way this can go wrong


Cliff swallow nests

All the round structures were kivas. They are still considered sacred, and we weren't allowed to enter even if we hurled ourselves in. A couple kept talking about "another cistern," and I didn't even hand them a brochure.

These panoramic shots will expand, if you want to click. For any reason whatsoever. 

Keyhole kiva
These keyhole kivas (I'm told) are found in other ruins, suggesting an exchange of ideas among distant people.
What the Great Kiva may have looked like. May.

A kiva in a kiva in a kiva. Seriously. When one filled in, they used the site and built up.

Getting in and out isn't hard, but there's a trick of nature and timing to successful passage. About two miles is heavily rutted, and probably slick in the rain. Spud and I balanced on dry road ridges and didn't think about what would happen if we slipped off. Leaving, our timing was split-second perfect even though we watched rain and lightening sluice over the horizon.

Camping is $15/night, or $7.50 if you have the senior National Parks pass. Sites are very small, although we were among other big rigs who had wedged themselves into tiny spaces like last year's NYE dress.

Another time, I'll tell you the story of ... nah, maybe not.

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Magickal Pirate said...

You & Spud, a wonderous travelling duo ...

New Age Nomad said...

Great pics!

Karen Romo said...

Wait.... There's a bacon plant??? WTF!!! Who's been keeping THAT a secret? 😡

Evie said...

You just got to love the clouds in the NM skies. Oh and the ruins are nice too.

Anonymous said...

We were there many years ago; so very impressive. It's amazing what precision went into the stone laying, so long ago. Very humbling. Sounds like the road in hasn't improved in the last 20 years, though!

Renee (Datil)

Jodee Gravel said...

The first photo really captures the enormity of those ruins - amazing they have survived, and without building permits! Those blue skies are so beautiful. Cisterns......makes me cringe :-)

Julie said...

The temperature isn't that hot doesn't seem to be. I would like to visit that.

Good Luck Duck said...

Julie, the temps were nice while we were there. It's higher in elevation than any place in Oklahoma. :oD

It's a very impressive area, Jodee! No ruin permits, either.

The work was very intricate - I was amazed, too, Renee. The roads ... well, it reminds me of what a former boss used to say to his grad students. "If it were easy, everyone would have a PhD" (or visit Chaco Canyon).

Evie, I am all about the sky. ALL about the sky.

It's part of the ancient Chacoan secret, Karen.

Thanks, Ryan!

Thank you, Pirate! I like to think so.

MFH said...

Gyad, all that crap about keyhole kivas being exchange places!! Any fool can see they're mosh pits with staging/resting areas. Jeezuz!! It's so obvious! Academicians!! Beautiful photos, though!!