A bright cool morning with just a light cold breeze. By afternoon it warmed up to the mid 70’s
We left for Chaco Canyon around 9:20am and got to the visitors center by 10:45. The trip was ok until we got to the dirt road. There were spots on this road that I felt like I had taken a wrong turn and ended up in Mexico. The wash board was terrible. One spot was so bad that it caused the transmission in the jeep to jump out of gear. I was amazed to see motor homes on this road, I know that no way would I take Plan B on it.
At first the scenery was kind of boring but eventually we started down into the canyons and saw some nice rock formations.
Eventually we came to the Park.
The first feature we saw was Fajada Butte; beautiful, classic Southwestern landscape.
We stopped at the Visitors center, bought some books, Patti bought a T shirt and we got our trail guides.
The first place we visited was “Una Vida” (I think that means one life in Spanish).
You go through the Pueblo on a trail that goes up the cliffs where there are Petroglyphs.
We had a small book on deciphering petroglyphs but we still couldn’t make to much of them. We did learn (according to the book) that the spiral means that the group has migrated. Some of the figures are obvious but others, not so much. They are neat to see anyway.
This was our next tour.
We noticed these steps carved in the rocks behind the Pueblo.
There lines weren’t always very straight.
You can see here where the beams went through the walls to support upper stories.
Next we toured Chetro Ketl.
The great Kiva at Chetro Ketl was very interesting. In the center you can see the fire box and on each side the round holes are wells where large trees were set to support the roof.
This pictures shows the entrance and alter room. To the right of the alter room is a smaller room which is probably a clan room where people would keep there Kachina costumes in and where they would prepare for ceremonies.
If you notice the round flat rocks lying next to the large well on the left, they are foundation stones for the roof support timbers to rest on at the bottom of the well. They were brought up during excavation.
There are several kiva’s here. This one I thought was interesting because it appears to be two kiva’s connected together.
It is said that the kiva’s are ceremonial places but some of them look like they could have been used for storage because they lack some of the features of the ceremonial kivas. Of course I am no archeologist so I’m probably wrong in my guesses.
There are lots of rooms in this pueblo and it covers quite a large area.
“There she goes just a walking down the street. Singin do-wa-dity-dity-dum-dity-do”
We started down the Petroglyph trail between Chetro Ketl and Pueblo Bonito but I was walked out so we just headed back to the parking lot. I did stop for this petroglyph though.
The pictures we got of Pueblo Bonito were taken from the parking lot and the road.
I guess we will have to get back here some day to get a closer look.
I hate to sound crass, but after you look at several ruins they all start looking alike.
I have to say, “it was nice of them to name one of their pueblos after us“.
If you are over sixty and want to see everything in Chaco Canyon make plans to spent at least two day’s here. They do have a nice campground but it is small so the best time to get a spot is probably in the spring before the kids are out on summer vacation. The camps are on a first come first serve basis.
We had a very good, though exhausting day and got back to Farmington around 6:30. We stopped at Sonya’s for supper.
Tomorrow we will leave Farmington and head for Blanding, Utah. I am ready to do some back country jeep travel.