Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Ancient City of Chaco Canyon

"Not easily interpreted" is how our guide, G.B. Cornucopia describes Chaco Canyon Culture.

An extraordinary architectural masterwork of the ancient Pueblo Indians (A.D. 850 to 1250), this four-story "great house" has at least 600 rooms spread over four acres. Even for an outsider like me, the canyon can evoke a sense of the mystical. Once, as lightning flashed over a distant mesa, a crow hovered above me, his wings seeming to flap in slow motion, fanning the air with an audible whoosh-whoosh. He was probably trying to steal my food, but it felt like a spiritual visitation.

Walls align north-south and east-west with absolute precision; great houses align with other great houses throughout the canyon; windows turn out to be astronomical observatories of subtle cunning, timing the solstices and equinoxes like a huge stone clock – and webbing it all is a network of laser-straight connecting roads, nearly lost with age.

All in the middle of the most arid, silent, isolated region you can imagine.

“When the sun gets low and the richness of the colors is increased this place looks like it glows from within.” —G.B. Cornucopia.

I left glad to have made the journey, not only for the content, but for the human connection and I look forward to coming back in a not too distant future.

                                                                        Casa Chiquita

                                                                          Chetro Ketl

                                                                              Kin Kletso

                                                                           Pueblo Bonito

                                                                       Pueblo Del Arroyo