Posts Tagged ‘ruins’

Chaco Canyon Is New Mexico’s Machu Picchu (Day 125)

November 21st, 2009 2 comments

Well basically.

Was gonna make some joke about Count Chocula, but I’m kind of sleepy.

Chaco Canyon is this place in Northwest New Mexico where they have these ruins left by the Chaco people, who abandoned them in like 1200 AD. 2,000-3,000 people lived there. It’s a cool valley. Not sure where they got food. Probably should have read more signs. One cool thing: you get to climb in and around a lot of the buildings. And the one big set of buildings is called Pueblo Bonito, which if I know my Spanish translates to “Tunaville”.

Buildings were kind of the same color as the cliffs behind them, which makes it harder for the photos to convey the grandeur. Tja.

chaco-canyon_single-wallSometimes the buildings stuck up above the cliffs though.

chaco-canyon_ruins-cliffThe color’s a *little* different.

chaco-canyon_interior-wallsSome interior walls!

chaco-canyon_walls-windowWindow and wall.

chaco-canyon_me-doorThey were, apparently, a people small in stature.

chaco-canyon_two-wallsIt’s basically the same ruined walls everywhere there.

chaco-canyon_pueblo-bonitoThen I walked up to the mesa so I could look down on the thing.

chaco-canyon_new-altoThen if you hike a little further, you can see *these* ruined walls.

chaco-canyon_sunset-roadThe road out of town, with sun.

It’s a cool site, seriously. I’d say it’s a little less amazing than Machu Picchu, but it’s big enough and impressive enough to deserve at least the comparison. Supposedly it’s the largest archaeological site in the US, which, yeah, I’d believe (pending a better understanding of the word “site” in this context).

  • It’s a 20-mile dirt road to get there.
  • They close the whole thing down at sunset.
  • The ranger way over-estimates the length of time it takes to go on the hikes.



Natchez Trace, Part One (Day 106, Part 2)

November 3rd, 2009 Comments off

How much do you want me to explain about the Natchez Trace? I’m guessing *this* much:

The Natchez Trace is a trail that runs from Natchez, Miss. to Nashville, Tenn., about 450 miles. It was used most famously by late 18th- and early 19th-century traders from Tennessee and points north, who would ship their wares down the Mississippi river to Natchez or New Orleans, sell them there, then sell the barge for scrap and walk home.

About right, right?

Then they built this parkway that follows the course of the Trace, which is what we were driving on. It features the trace itself (it’s just a trail) as well as some sights.

natchez-trace_burial-moundThis Indian burial mound, for instance.

natchez-trace_windshieldBTW, it rained all day — usually hard.

natchez-trace_mt-locust-innMt. Locust Stand — $0.25/night just 180 years ago.

natchez-trace_rocky-springs-churchRocky Springs, population 0 (not counting the 999 ghosts).

natchez-trace_windsor-pillarsWindsor Ruins — survived the war, but not the fire.

natchez-trace_swamp-surfaceThe swamp walk was the best part of the day.

natchez-trace_swamp-treesAlthough we didn’t see any alligators.

natchez-trace_swamp-bridgeYes, that’s what color the water is.

Ended up staying the night in Starkville. It was a Friday night, but fortunately, Mississippi State was on the road, so hotel rooms were plentiful enough. And Sonic was better than I remembered it.


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