Category Archives: Chaco

Chaco Canyon and closely associated topics

Chaco national park recognized for night skies | ABQJournal Online

Chaco national park recognized for night skies | ABQJournal Online

Chaco is the 12th park to receive the designation worldwide and only the fourth in the national park system.

The acting park superintendent, Larry Turk, says as light pollution becomes more common, people are seeking out places like Chaco so they can get a glimpse of the stars.

Due to Chaco’s remote location, the park’s night sky is nearly pristine.

Chaco national park recognized for night skies | ABQJournal Online

STOP drilling near Chaco Canyon

Drive south from Navajo Route 9 on county road 509 to Grants, by way of Milan. Along that road, Peabody Energy has wasted the land on both sides of the road. [cue John Prine] Farther south, you’ll find the poisonous tailings ponds that will be there FOREVER, even as greedy fools call for renewed uranium mining in Mt Taylor. Corporations and money makers DON’T GIVE A DAMN about the land or the people. Do you want to give them Chaco Canyon in the process?

Hopi Tribe criticizes prospect of drilling near Chaco Canyon – Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — The Hopi Tribe has submitted comments to the Bureau of Land Management that are critical of potential drilling near Chaco Culture National Historical Park.

Oil and gas firms have nominated 38 oil and gas leases, totaling 19,103 acres, for a January lease sale. The BLM is evaluating the parcels for the lease sale, and it is not yet clear which parcels will be included or if some will be withdrawn.

One of the parcels is less than a quarter-mile from the park’s boundary. The park is a World Heritage Site.

Hopi Tribe criticizes prospect of drilling near Chaco Canyon – Farmington Daily Times

[hat tip to Laura Paskus, New Mexico In Depth]

Why I changed my mind to favor paving the north road into Chaco

I’ve driven to Chaco Canyon, the Anasazi heartland in northwest New Mexico, every year for nearly 30 years, sometimes more than once per year. I have driven in and out every available route, including the long-since closed old north road that wound down past Casa Chiquita. Overall, I prefer to drive in from the south via Grants and Milan (at least, until Peabody Energy destroyed that area). I like the old south road in, as rugged as it can be. In contrast, the new south road via Pueblo Pintado is out of the way, connecting to the north road before the worst of that stretch. When I come in via the south, I go out north along the road that may be the major route for travelers.

If you haven’t been to Chaco, there is much you may not be able to fully imagine. It’s remote. It’s largely desolate. It’s well-worth almost any journey. Like many of the Chaco faithful, I have opposed paving the final stretch of the north road. I felt this is a pilgrimage and need not be easy. I was surprised after all these year to change my mind about this.

[from my journal at the time]

I made coffee and ate lunch of cheese and crackers. I dropped the camper roof and stowed everything. By 12:15pm, I was ready to roll.

And roll, I did. When I left pavement at the park boundary, the entire vehicle shook violently. Suddenly, the dash was beeping and flashing. It was only the alarm for the passenger seat belt, set off by the weight of my gear and the shaking. I slowed to 15mph for much of the next 15 miles — do the math. During that stretch, I reconsidered the issue of whether to pave the road in. I think the old South road should remain wild and primitive, but now, I think the north road should be paved. Why should every person who visits Chaco have a miserable trip in and out again? That’s not a right of passage, that’s abuse. If the real concern is a flood of visitors, then regulate the size of vehicles or the number of passengers entering Chaco at one time. Limit touring companies, if they become an issue. Why should we all suffer time and again? So long as I can chose to suffer and enjoy the old South Road now and then. …

It’s weird to go from foot pace to 65 miles per hour in such a short time. To go from a teeth jarring road to smooth asphalt. To accelerate into the modern world from the ancient and ageless.

The old south road should never be closed nor improved. Never. But, I’m ready for pavement to the north, back to the place we came from.

Visit my Chaco page for more text and photos.

Chaco: Seen and Unseen – New Mexico Mercury

I recommend the essay and photos by Margaret Randall, a New Mexico treasure herself.

Chaco: Seen and Unseen – New Mexico Mercury

By Margaret Randall – International Raconteur

(Photos by Margaret Randall) At Chaco Culture National Historic Park much is apparent but much remains hidden. The place hides as many secrets as it reveals. What one sees is breathtaking. What one cannot see but only feel, also awes the spirit. A vast solitude describes the landscape: once probably greener and more sustaining of life, today dramatically desolate, a mystery only partially unfolding….

Chaco: Seen and Unseen – New Mexico Mercury

Updates to my Chaco website: Una Vida, Hungo Pavi, and Chetro Ketl

Many years ago, I created a website to document my experiences in Chaco Canyon in the northwest corner of New Mexico in the southwestern United States. Chaco is a gorgeous and remote canyon that contains extensive ruins dating from 900 to 1100 BC (very roughly). The original structures were built by the people variously known as the Anasazi (per the Navajo and others), Ancestral Puebloans (by modern Puebloans), or Hisatsinom (per the Hopi). I’m now in the process of updating my site. At this time, you’ll find the following pages:

Content update consists primarily of photos taken over the past 10 years, though more text will follow, eventually.

Let me know what you think. peace, mjh

10 years ago today: My first “Ah, Wilderness!” blog entry

Mystery of Chaco Canyon on PBS

November 25, 2002

PBS repeated a show from 1999 by Anna Sofaer, the discoverer of the meaning of the Sun Dagger on Fajada Butte in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. Sofaer has also discovered that various buildings in and around Chaco have very specific orientations to the sun and the moon (which she says no other culture has done) and to each other. The computer animations depicting the movements of the sun and moon relative to the buildings is a great part of this show. A videotape is available. mjh

Chaco entry by mjh at 12:00 AM

Note: I started blogging generally before this date; this is the oldest entry I can find on Chaco.

Chimney Rock National Monument, Colorado

CO 115Located not terribly far from Aztec, New Mexico, Chimney Rock is an extraordinary Chacoan outlier (but each is). Most of the ruins are located on a ridge above the surrounding area. In fact, there is a particularly narrow section of the ridge affording even more isolation to the dwellings in sight of two natural rock formations (Chimney Rock and Companion Rock). These formations serve as markers on the 19 year lunar cycle, especially at least one of the two lunar standstills at the extreme northern point or southern point of this cycle. Unlike most outliers, you must have a guide with you to tour Chimney Rock (or, at least, that was the case 10 years ago, when I took these photos).

Students performed an exercise using mirrors that allowed them to exchange signals with Chaco. One source says this outlier also provided trees floated down to Chaco.

Obama to designate Chimney Rock as national monument Friday | New Mexico Wilderness Alliance

Published September 19, 2012 in News. By Allison Sherry The Denver Post

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will designate Chimney Rock as a national monument Friday — a move that will help preserve the 4,726 acres in southwestern Colorado, administration officials told The Denver Post Wednesday.

Chimney Rock comprises a chunk of the San Juan National Forest and is surrounded by the Southern Ute Indian Reservation.

Obama to designate Chimney Rock as national monument Friday | New Mexico Wilderness Alliance

 

Among those sites identified as Chacoan outliers, the Chimney Rock Pueblo is distinguished by being the most isolated, the highest, and the most remote from arable land. With two exceptions, building at all of the outliers was begun between A.D. 1086 and the first half of A.D. 1120. Chimney Rock Pueblo is one of those exceptions, as construction began in A.D. 1076. — from Prehistoric Astronomy in the Southwest, by J. McKim Malville and Claudia Putnam

My first “Ah, Wilderness! blog post was 9 years ago today.

Mystery of Chaco Canyon on PBS

November 25, 2002

PBS repeated a show from 1999 by Anna Sofaer, the discoverer of the meaning of the Sun Dagger on Fajada Butte in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. Sofaer has also discovered that various buildings in and around Chaco have very specific orientations to the sun and the moon (which she says no other culture has done) and to each other. The computer animations depicting the movements of the sun and moon relative to the buildings is a great part of this show. A videotape is available. mjh

Chaco entry by mjh at 12:00 AM

Note: I started blogging generally before this date; this is the oldest entry I can find on Chaco.

Experience the Chaco Phenomenon with John Kantner

Experience the Chaco Phenomenon with John Kantner

October 14, 2011

Chaco Canyon National Heritage Park

Join Chacoan Scholar, John Kantner and NM Wild for a day-long tour of Chaco Canyon National Historic Park. Chaco is one of the most spectacular areas in New Mexico. Its combination of natural beauty and cultural significance justifies its Wold Heritage status, making it beloved by visitors the world over. Dr. Kantner’s insights from years of research will inspire our imagination to travel into the ancient past as we stop at sites like Pueblo Bonita and Casa Rinconada. We will also be joined by NMWA Executive Director, Steve Capra who will brief us on the current status of the Proposed Chaco Canyon Wilderness Proposal and oil and gas drilling threats in the area.

The tour will take approximately three and a half hours. A shuttle will pick participants up in Bernalillo, New Mexico, early on the morning of October 14 and shuttle guests to the park. We will enjoy a hearty lunch at the visitors center before embarking on our tour. At the end of the day, we will have a chance to go to the visitor’s center and bookstore before the shuttle takes guests back to Bernalillo early that evening.

Trip Cost: $100 per person (includes shuttle round-trip shuttle from Bernalillo to the park entrance fees and lunch)
To sign up, or for more information: E-mail Demis Foster or call 505-216-9719.

About John Kantner:
John is an anthropological archaeologist. His research ranges from Spanish Colonial historic sites in New Mexico and Georgia to pre-Hispanic traditions of southern Central America, to early nomadic sites of the southern plains. He is currently seeking to understand the Chaco Canyon phenomenon and its impact on the prehistory of the American Southwest, an interest explored in his most recent book, The Ancient Puebloan Southwest.

To read more about John and his work go to: http://www.sarweb.org/kantner/index.html

Chaco Visitor Center Yurt

Differential Outrage

July 22, 2010 by teofilo

Yurt and Modular Office Unit in Chaco Visitor Center Parking Lot

Lots of visitors, seeing the boarded-up and fenced-off visitor center, have been asking what’s going on.  When I tell them, they often respond with a knowing chuckle.  People seem to understand that these things happen.  Some are a bit disappointed that we no longer have a museum to show any artifacts or an auditorium to show the park video, but even they are pretty understanding of the situation.  I’ve heard considerably more positive comments about the yurt than negative comments about the closed visitor center, in fact.  This is a marked contrast to the amount of outrage people showed when the campground was closed.  Luckily it’s now open, so at least that nightmare is over.  Just goes to show what the priorities of visitors to Chaco are, I guess.

Differential Outrage « Gambler’s House

I’m sure Teofilo isn’t as surprised as he sounds. It is much worse to drive a hundred miles to camp at Chaco and find there is no campground, than no visitors center. Moreover, the CG was closed due to a problem related to bathrooms. Those bathrooms should never have been built with running water and porta-potties should have been brought in immediately. (They were, eventually.) Not one site in that too-small CG should have been closed more than one night. Moreover, the lovely yurt befits a world-class destination in a way that orange traffic cones in the CG surely did not.

UNM Today: Maxwell Museum Sponsoring Excursion to South Chaco Canyon Outliers

UNM Today: Maxwell Museum Sponsoring Excursion to South Chaco Canyon Outliers 

Maxwell Museum Sponsoring Excursion to South Chaco Canyon Outliers

Tom WindesTom Windes will lead a Maxwell Museum sponsored two-day excursion to Chacoan outlying sites found in the general area of Grants, New Mexico on Saturday-Sunday, April 17-18. These early communities span the Pueblo I, II, III and IV periods (CE 900-1400’s) and provide a visible impression of architectural and ceramic change through the centuries during the Chacoan period and beyond.

Windes will show sites on BLM land that are normally closed to the public. There are Greathouses, kivas and spectacular settings at Las Ventanas, Cebolla Canyon, Andrews Greathouse and Casamero Ruin.

There is a $75 per day charge, and UNM Tuition Remission is accepted. For two-day registrants there is $20 van transportation available. Each of the areas to be visited has had some research conducted by archeologists, such as inventory surveys and interested tour members can get a more in-depth look at the sites.

For more information, please contact Mary Beth Hermans at (505) 277-1400 or

mhermans@unm.edu.

Media Contact: Karen Wentworth, (505) 277-5627; e-mail: kwent2@unm.edu

UNM Today: Maxwell Museum Sponsoring Excursion to South Chaco Canyon Outliers

Lucky Timing (from the Photo Archive)

American avocets

I go to Chaco Canyon every year (except for this one). In 2008, I also traveled to a couple of outliers west of Chaco. The road into Kin Bineola (“where the wind whirls,” Navajo) crosses a dirt dam. I had never seen any water on either side of that dam before, but on this trip in May, there was a small pond near the dam, well below the road. I saw something circle over the pond. I stopped on the dam to consider taking a picture. The two adult avocets were cute enough – and seemed out of place enough – to warrant a photo. I just got lucky that the babies flew in just as I clicked. I respect photographic skill, experience, and equipment, but lucky timing is the most valuable asset a photographer can’t buy. I never expected to photograph shorebirds in the desert.

www.flickr.com

mjhinton's items tagged with chacocanyon More of mjhinton’s stuff tagged with chacocanyon