Our last exciting episode left us leaving the winds of Goosenecks. Little did we realize that we were bringing her with us! We had some very windy, cold and snowy weather in the third week of March at Chaco. Of course, it was a lot better than the 24 inches of snow that fell on our home in NH!
The entrance to Chaco was 22 miles long and was part dirt and part paved. We had heard that the road was in really rough condition but that was not the case when we were on it.
Chaco Culture National Historic Park is a World Heritage site. 1,100 – 1,200 years ago, the Chaco peoples built massive networks of multi-story stone buildings and today you can see those remains along with the hundreds of petroglyphs, some of which were less than 50 yards from where Shiny slept. If you zoom in on the photo below, you can see one of the ancient dwellings in the concave part of the wall.
We headed out on the second day to hike to another grouping of petroglyphs. When we pulled into the trail head, we were greeted with white out conditions. We thought it might just be a passing squall but, after 30 minutes of watching ill prepared hikers in snow encrusted sun hats and windbreakers make their way back to their cars, we decided to err on the side of caution and head to the visitors center.
We hung out in our camper most of the day as the storm raged on, looking out on tents that were slowly being torn apart. We were ever more grateful for Shiny. By the afternoon, things had cleared up and we took a great hike. Larry scrambled up those rocks like a billy goat thanks to an excellent meniscus repair by Skip Costello and the super surgical team at Huggins Hospital. And, yes, we were wearing full winter gear.
Then there were the stern instructions we received about not taking any rocks or plants from the area. That was a hard one as usual but this area is a part of a sacred home land of the Hopi, the Pueblo peoples of New Mexico and the Navajo so I respected and followed the directives. I did get a few images that were pleasing to me.
We hunkered down in Shiny for the night. The wind howled and it was below freezing. It was a magnificent place but by the next morning, we were tired and cranky from fitful sleeps and headed out towards warmer and calmer climes. We were glad that we came and heartily recommend it to anyone who is out this way.