Chaco Culture National Historical Park

Recently, a couple of my friends and I went to visit Chaco Culture National Historical Park on our weekend. It was quite an adventure!

Izzy (my jeep) in front of the Park Entrance sign!
Izzy (my jeep) in front of the Park Entrance sign!

We left Sunday after Ranger Mariana and Ranger Stephanie got out of work, and thankfully, it’s only about an 3 hour drive from Mesa Verde. However, it decided too rain the entire way down there.

Check out Ranger Mariana’s post about our adventure on her blog, “Mariana on the Move.” She is a better writer than myself, I just take a lot of pictures. 🙂

The route to access Chaco Culture from the North is quite adventurous, you end up driving down 13 miles of dirt road. Which was quite wash-boarded, and some of the soil in that area has a lot of clay in it, which with the rain, made it extremely slippery. It reminded me of driving in slush back home on the roads of Michigan. At one point you need to cross a “wash” that flows over the road, and there is a sign there that says to not cross it when the water is flowing.
The water was flowing. Haha! After a few moments of group brainstorming, and thinking, we decided that it was safe to cross.

The wash, the next day, when it was much drier.
The wash, the next day, when it was much drier.

Finally, we got there, after a lot of invasive driving, and set up the tent in the dark. When we woke up, we had an amazing view!
_IGP4091 _IGP4092 We went on a tour of one of the Ancestral Puebloan dwellings called Pueblo Bonito, after a stop to the visitor center where we could pick up our Junior Ranger Booklets! The tour was amazing, and the buildings down there were so ornate to the dwellings we have here at Mesa Verde National Park. You could tell there was a lot of planning to organize and build these buildings. Not only that, they used a different type of stone that the Puebloans had to carry from far away! So much work, and it definitely paid off.

Listening intently to the Ranger!
Listening intently to the Ranger!
Pueblo Bonito: The name fits it.
Pueblo Bonito: The name fits it.
Pueblo Bonito from the inside courtyard.
Pueblo Bonito from the inside courtyard.

After the tour, we decided to go for a short hike, up onto one of the mesas to view it from the top. The climb up and down was so much fun, kinda made you feel like a mountain sheep! The view once we got there was amazing as well.

"It's all about the CLIMB!"
“It’s all about the CLIMB!”
Ranger Mariana and Ranger Stephanie making the view even better.
Ranger Mariana and Ranger Stephanie making the view even better.
Pueblo Bonito from above!
Pueblo Bonito from above!
A female collard lizard just stopping by to say hi!
A female collard lizard just stopping by to say hi!

Afterwards, we headed back to the visitor center and got sworn in together as Junior Rangers of Chaco Culture National Historical Park. A great adventure!

If you happened to enjoy my photos, feel free to look at my photography page to see more!
Kaiti May Photography

Fajada Butte
Fajada Butte

 

 

 

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