Chaco Canyon

Trip Start Dec 29, 2006
Trip End Jan 13, 2007

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Flag of United States  , New Mexico
Friday, January 5, 2007

Today we woke up and went to see some of the ruins more closely. We started at Hungo Pavi (the name is Navajo, but the meaning has been lost), which has never been excavated. The ruins are filled to the second or third floor, and you can see both windows, and holes where the rigas (primary supporting beams) used to hold up ceilings. We saw rock art and a stairway on the cliffs behind the pueblo. Then we went to Pueblo Bonito, crown jewel of the Canyon. We looked at the platform mounds in front of the Great House before climbing on the remains of Threatening Rock (a large segment of the cliffs which fell on the pueblo in 1940 or 1941) to see an aerial view of the pueblo. We spent a lot of time discussing the most prolific burials in the western part of the pueblo, took note of the variety of kivas, plaza, and dividing wall, and then walked through a series of rooms (whose doors geometrically line up) in the east side before returning home for lunch.
    After lunch we located the site of a burial that George Pepper (one of the first archealogists at the canyon) excavated from a series of photographs and then the park rangers took us into one of the rinconadas on the south side to see a small site which had seeps to collect water coming off the cliffs, kivas, and lots of fantastic rock art. The views were absolutely spectacular. We stopped at Casa Rinconada on the way out-it's only a great kiva but has a really cool underground tunnel that would have allowed a priest to arise in the middle of the ceremony as if from underground. It's across the Chaco Wash from Bonito and probably had a ramp and bridge connecting it to the northern side of the Wash. The sunset tonight was particularly fiery and lovely, especially since some clouds had rolled in during the afternoon. After dinner we spent the evening playing Apples to Apples and Catchphrase.
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