05 April 2010

THE ANCIENT ONES 2, Pt. 2 - Return to Chaco Culture

Welcome back to Chaco Culture.

I managed to get some pretty good video while on this adventure, join me won't you?

**NOTE** for some reason eblogger CHOPS off about 25 percent of the video. To see the videos full wide screen click on the image twice and it will let you view the video via YouTube. I highly recommend it for some of the vista shots.

First up is a view of the Pueblo Bonito Plaza.

Pueblo Bonito was the largest of the 12 'great houses' in Chaco Canyon. It contained structures five stories high, the highest structures in North America until the end of the 19th century.

Pueblo Bonito was not so much a collection of permanent residences as it was a place where visitors could stay for a short term during ceremonies or events. People from all over the southwest and cultures from Mexico ventured here for trade and spiritual enlightenment.

This place is huuuge. Rooms go on and on and on. It would be interesting to see what it would look like if part of the living quarters were restored to their original height.

Interestingly, ancient pueblos did not have doors as we know them today leading outside. Pueblos were generally entered through the 'roof'. Doorways were installed at pueblos like Acoma by the Spanish when they invaded the native American culture of the southwest.

You can access the mesa above Pueblo Bonito by a crack in the wall near Pueblo Arroyo. It is a 100ft hike up a sliver of a cliff, literally.

The view is amazing!

After exploring the mesa for a few hours [you can hike to Pueblo Alto or to the Jackson Steps...just keep in mind the total round trip hike is almost five hours], we decided to head back down.

Here is a video of the hike back down to the valley floor from the mesa. It can be a bit jarring as I was trying to hold on and film at the same time.

Considering how much time we did spend at Chaco Culture, there is still more to see. The trail continues past Pueblo Arroyo into open country and other pueblos and petroglyphs, including one petroglyph that scientists say depicts a supernova in 1054 that resulted in the creation of the Crab Nebula!

aaaaahh...next time.

For now I am out.

Next adventure will be around the middle of the month so stay tuned!

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