I explore canyon near campground and find several crumbling Pueblo residences and a few impressive tower ruins. Painted Hands Pueblo is next stop, a few mile trek. Rugged road entrance. Truck got rocking over that rut bump road.
Car would not make it. Love my truck! 4 wheel drive would be better. Hiked a mile and a half down a creek bed into a canyon. Like a dumb ass forgot to fill water jug. We were dry. Decide to rough it. Give the last bit of water to dogs. Ruins blew my mind!
Native people thrived here so many hundreds of years ago. Built on a huge boulder this home had a basement area below the jutting boulder in the cavern area. There are rock bricks mortared up on the sides. There are very faint hand pictographs visible in the cave area.
Continued over rugged terrain to see Horseshoe Pueblo and Holly Pueblo.
Similar to the Hoovenweep towers. Towers are situated on opposing sides of canyon.
Towers remain after a thousand years plus! Imagine remodeling into art studio!!!
Hiking shoes are making noises as I walk. Sound like animal grunts and screeching. The only sound in heat of desert canyon are my funny shoe sounds. My imagination gets carried away as I hear coyotes in my footsteps. I stop to check if sound was my feet and not something creeping up on me. I start singing to footbeats as steps suggest words. Music/poetry's coming on to me in the desert.
We get back to a peaceful camp. Dogs are happy getting settled in. I sleep like a baby.
Enjoying many weird dreams lately. I tell my dad what an ass he is, shouting it right into his face. He died 3 years ago.
People are driven to have kids by nature. Once little people are made, will they be nurtured and loved? ...or perhaps ignored and on their own? Ancient people may have had it harder surviving, but they needed each other to survive. This gave a sense of belonging. Was there more acceptance for individuals and weirdos? Artists and gays were revered in many tribes.
Canyons of the Ancients is an amazing place. So go yo!
GG is having difficulty excreting waste. She made strange noises I’d no idea a dog could make. She meowed like a cat! And screeched. In a lot of pain. I comforted her like she was giving birth. Hope this isn’t the beginning of some condition.
Could be the pieces of rubbery cartiledge from huge cow bone I gave her. I Google it and find a common condition in dogs: anal gland stops secreting lubricant. I feel your pain GG but I will not be applying lubrication to your ass. I’ll read you poetry to help you pass that problem and rub your tummy, talk baby talk.
Sunset was marvelous. Stopped everything to watch color show. Wish I could save it. Pictures don’t cut it. A watercolor is called for here.
May be problem with electric converter. Battery doesn’t seem to be charging right, or not holding charge. I’ll have to get that checked. Hope this place doesn’t go up in flames.
Love love love Mancus Valley near Cortez. Cortez is a speedway. People passing through like a rain swelled river. Evan and Michele talked about moving here and starting an art studio/gallery/horseranch. How do you get these people to get out of cars? I’m not so convinced this is the right place.
As a place to live, yes, possibly very cool. Like Mancus Valley, green and luscious, and Durango area makes ok town.
Made it to New Mexico, a first for me. Hwy 550. Land feels different. Can’t put finger on it. Should have paid attention in Geology 101. Still rocks and sagebrush but somehow different. Maybe its freer. How can it be more open country than where I just came from? Dunno.
Made it to Chaco Canyon. Said to be central point in Pueblo history. These rock walled mesas seem more like a hallway in giant outdoor rooms. The whole canyon was a living room. A grueling ride over 12 miles of bumpy wash board dirt road going 2.5 mph for an hour to get there! A few stretches with muddy ruts to manage. I balanced between ruts rather than steer inside ruts. After all this I hope for a campsite at this only campground in Chaco Canyon. The sign says FULL, but I’m operating under premise that it’s just too much trouble for somebody to update these signs every day. My premise has paid off. One site’s available and I gratefully take it.
The air here smells so good. Someone’s burning sweet pine wood. Aromatic. I’d wear that smell!
Fortunately Chaco Canyon road is paved. Chacoan sites are spaced a few miles apart.
The campsite has a pueblo cliff dwelling, visible from all over and easy to access. Apparently this has been a human campground for several hundreds of years.
After setting up camp I take dogs for closer look. Wow. Awesome. It’s roped off with signs calling for respect. Don’t touch.
Morning walk to Wijiji. We walked an hour to amazing ruin. Yes I could imagine a tribe living here. Many rooms sectioned off with big fat walls. Flat shaped stones grouted with mud and piled high. Quite an achievement. Humongous dark gray rain clouds filling Southern sky threaten. Temperature drops. Couldn’t linger there any longer. We high tailed it back to camp just in time to miss downpour. I’ve heard of desert flash floods,
one can get hit by sudden river and pulled away to eternity. Nearly happened to me in Las Vegas a few years back! Walking along and suddenly a river washes down the street I’m trying to cross. Yikes. Life is dangerous.
Went to visitor center and got info and maps of Chaco Canyon.
There are 6 pueblo sites I select to visit. Hiking along the trails beside massive rock towers that seem to lean. Wobbly looking rock piles may fall at any time. Like a cake walk, you hope you’re not standing there when the music stops.
I unfold the bicycle and ride it to Casa Chiquita. What a nice way to travel. Riding across desert I really appreciate bike technology. Amazing. I can picture a population peopling this area, spread between villages. The village ruins are much larger than I expected. Some are 4-5 stories high! A new respect for the builders of these stone and mud villages. As I rounded the entrance to Clys Canyon there was a double rainbow between canyon walls greeting. A spectrum of colors so pure and saturated. Can’t remember ever seeing a more vivid, clear rainbow. Good Omen. What did the Chacoans think about rainbows? So many mysteries and questions. It was about to rain again. I pedaled faster. Who knew. All this rain in the desert? Returning to camp dampened and invigorated. After touring many sites and attending an evening stargazing event at Chaco Canyon I can conclude this land was once bustling with a vibrant community who built kivas, farms, and villages with respect to suns seasonal position. Evidence of alignments regarding solstice, petroglyphs, and doorways is convincing. My attention turns to the way out, and driving on the 12 miles back after a night of continuous downpour.
Morning comes. I check with visitor center about condition of road. The boring white Ranger woman suggests driving in the muddy ruts. The brown native looking person suggests driving between ruts. I drive between and make it out, slow and steady.
Some sliding around. A wash of water about 4 inches deep and 30 feet across rushed across the road. Drove right through no prob.
Made it to Hwy 550 and headed south feeling enlightened by the whole experience.
Next stop has to be Ghost Ranch!