Though my legs were done for the day, the sun is still shining, so I drive to the next pullout. As I admire the herd of Rocky Mountain Elk eating snow (water is scarce), I notice another ‘stairway’ only this one is massive and seemingly unreachable from where I stand. The Chacoans had entire road systems that connected the great houses from all over the canyon. Really remarkable feats without modern machinery!
Farther down the road is a visible section of the Chaco Wash. Though it is currently dry, it is a periodic stream that runs the length of the valley, though not accessible to the public who must stick to the trails. The lavender colored bushes really light them up.
As the sun starts to go down, the warm and lovely day starts to turn to bitter cold. I don’t mind…. I have the heater cranked, and I’m parked at the Fajada Butte overlook with my window cracked and waiting for the setting sun to do its thing. I’m extremely tired, and having trouble keeping my eyes open. I won’t let this opportunity pass me by, this is my last sunset here. Tomorrow I head out of the canyon. Just another 1/2 hr and darkness will be with me, and I can lay my body down for a well needed rest.
Nageezi, NM – Day 8
Morning arrives… originally I had thought to do a ‘gentle’ one mile hike today to Una Vida, but it turns out my legs would rather I didn’t. I could have made it, but I easily talked myself out of it when I remembered the thawing road I had to get out on. So I packed up and headed out of the canyon. I have a long ride to ahead of me… my legs silently thanked me.
ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Day 8
- I reach Albuquerque after 3 hours on the hwy 550, not stopping too much. I took a few window shots as the area was breathtaking and I just couldn’t help myself. I stopped to get my propane tank topped off at R&L and then headed to visit family who I hadn’t seen in a decade. We did manage to make it to Abo Ruins Salinas National Historical Monument in Mountaineer just in time for a sunset shot. Most often, I hand hold my cameras, or use an object to steady the shot. My style is usually moving to fast for a tripod. Though I do use them at times, under certain circumstances. Mostly if I am going to be standing still… though that is rare for me. I’m like the energizer bunny who just keeps banging away on the drum and moving constantly. I find standing still too long hurts my back, so I just keep moving. It works for me.
I spent a couple of days here catching up and didn’t do much but talk and eat. So this is where I will end this journal as the next adventure is why I chose New Mexico as this years destination. If you want to find out where…
STAY TUNED for NM – part 3 – to be cont’d
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As this was a month long adventure packed full photographic opportunity, I thought it best as to not wear you out trying to fill all the details into one journal, so I broke it down. This is the second journal of five… cont’d from part 1
For more interesting info relating to Chaco Canyon and its people:
August 26, 2020