• The Road from Oklahoma to Chaco Canyon
I drove to Norman, Oklahoma and loaded in David Martin‘s car. We got an early start. As usual, we drove through gloomy weather until we hit the New Mexico border, where the clouds parted. Forecasts for our destination indicated a slight chance of rain. Snow would have been nice.
At the visitor’s center near Tumcumcari, we got materials about all kinds of stuff we don’t have time to see. Next time, next time.
Military truck: NPOKUS. Sign at Cline’s Corners: “Mugs, spoons, shotglasses: huge selection.”
In Moriarty, New Mexico, stopped at El Comedor restaurant to photograph large spiked, rotating sign, later nicknamed “The Mohedrus.”
We made camp before dark, then hiked the Chaco Canyon Overlook Trail for a brief sunset image.
We made a huge fire and huddled around it for more than two hours.
• Peñasco Blanco, Canyon Overlook
It rained off and on all night, but was dry by morning.
We hiked the Peñasco Blanco Trail, the longest in the canyon, in the morning, in some very unusual light, with a cold wind swirling around us. Peñasco Blanco is an outlier of the main Chacoan community.
A spur trail took us to the famous Supernova Platograph, which is believed to represent the sighting of the Crab Supernova of July 5, 1054, which was also recorded by Chinese and Arab astronomers, and may have been visible during daylight hours for 23 days after it occurred.
The night at Gallo Campground was very cold.
We took another hike to the Canyon Overlook, then drove to last Pueblo Bonito to photograph the sunset on the ruins.
• Tsin Kletsin and Wijiji
Pearl blue skies and bright sun greeted us for this morning’s hike to Tsin Kletsin, one of the best in the canyon. We made the loop, starting at Casa Rinconada, and returning via the south gap. We have now hiked every trail in Chaco Canyon.
After lunch we broke camp, then hiked Wijiji, one of the lonelier trails in the canyon, under perfectly blue skies.
• Aztec Ruins and Angel Peak
Aztec Ruins National Monument; I shot more and better than I expected, including some interesting black-and-white. Amidst cold air and blue skies, I shot the cliché view inside the great kiva.
We spent the rest of the day at Angel Peak Recreation Area, which we found to be visually very interesting, but lacking in trails and facilities. We hiked to the bottom of some canyons and arroyos before positioning ourselves for sunset.
• The Road East
At the “Plague Town,” made better pictures than the last two times combined.
Odd event, near the New Mexico-Texas border: we saw state troopers stop the entire flow of traffic in the opposite direction on I-40. About five minutes later, they stopped all traffic in our direction of travel. After about 15 minutes, with no explanation, they opened our direction.