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.
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.