Blogs from Chaco Culture National Historic Park, New Mexico, United States, North America


Leaving Ghost Ranch is difficult, we want to stay but we’ve used the slack in our schedule in Santa Fe and Taos and the road to Chaco is long and difficult so leave we must. The drive to Chaco is long – it’s difficult to make all the correct turns and maps and GPS frankly suck sometimes. I sit with my compass app open trying to locate some of the roads we need. Then we hit THE road into Chaco. This is the good, north road. Bone rattling is the way to describe it. At the end of the road is the center of the early civilization of this country – the heart and soul of the ancients who became the Puebloans. I am not sure whether I have any original superlatives to use after 9 ... read more

You may be wondering, where is my travelling companion and the love of my life in all of our wanderings. He is very busy being a photographer. He is either taking pictures with his camera or composing shots in his head. I get to glory in the scenery, walk a bit or just enjoy my book as we move slowly toward each days lodging. He is busy with camera and tripod. It’s a wonderful way to travel for both of us. He has taken somewhere in the range of 700 photos. So far for me, 3 books finished. All fit a category in the 2015 reading challenge but each is also oddly connected to this trip. Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich (category = first novel of a writer that I love) is set among the high ... read more

September 27, 2014 We left for Chaco Culture National Historical Park (also referred to simply as Chaco Canyon) early in the morning after packing water and a picnic lunch (there are no amenities available in or near the park). The park is about an hour and a half from Farmington with about 8 miles of paved road and 13 miles of semi-graded gravel and dirt roads, 4 1/2 of those miles are very rough. We allowed at least two hours to get there and were glad we did as it was pretty slow going at times. As we approached the wide open spaces and the empty dirt roads we could see a few Native American farmers’ homes with horses grazing nearby. Closer to the park we saw two herds of elk with a few bulls guiding ... read more
Distant view of Pueblo Bonito.
Kivas at Chaco Canyon
Remains of pueblo dwellings.

People visit the pueblo ruins of the southwest for many reasons. Some want to explore the history while others seek pretty pictures, and almost everything in between. Like few other sites, Chaco Canyon divides the history seekers from everyone else. Getting there requires a difficult drive on dirt roads; to a canyon that is wide, low, and decidedly unphotogenic. Chaco would be a mere footnote in this landscape except that it contains ruins on a scale found nowhere else. They attract knowledgeable visitors like an ancient El Dorado. From the moment I planned this trip, I knew I had to make it there. The rain gods ... read more
Fajada Butte
Una Vida
Chaco masonry

We arrived at Chaco Canyon in early July. My goals were to see some Native American graffiti and get my 3rd. Jr. Ranger badge. I set up camp and went to the visitor’s center to pick up the necessary paperwork. Went to the truck and made up some answers. Took the booklet back in and presented my answers. That is when I got the bad news: “Holiday, we are out of Junior Ranger badges.” It was a low point of the trip, but I was now on a first name basis with Lauren, so all was not lost. I had to plead the 5th. when she asked me where I saw the car and tv petroglyph. She was so much more experienced than Sherri (see the blog about my 1st. Jr. Ranger badge). So confident. So….. ... read more

Keeping with the tradition of dragging the children and half of our possessions into the wild blue yonder during the worst possible Spring weather, we pointed the truck and newly obtained pop-up camper into the 30mph headwind this weekend and headed south to new pastures. While we are well-versed in the lay of Utah, Arizona and Colorado lands, New Mexico presents a large blank area on our mental maps. Perhaps it is the less-than-inspiring visual gauntlet between our house and said destinations that has thus far deterred extensive exploration to the south, perhaps it's the easy attractiveness of the wild and beautiful spaces in every other direction. For whatever reason, we just don't get down that way very often. So we headed for Chaco or more distinctly, the Chaco Culture National Historic Park. While cathedrals were ... read more
Looking down into the kiva at Chetro Ketl
Maisy at Chetro Ketl's Kiva
through a window at Chetro Ketl

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