Chaco Culture National Historical Park

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The main point of this adventure is to see the Autumn Equinox at the Chaco Culture National Monument.  I had tried to see it last year, but instead had a mishap on the way.  Also, I found that the campground was full and I would not have been able to stay there in any case.  So this year I am going earlier to assure of a spot in the campground.  It has been many years since I have been tent camping, so I expect this to be a learning experience.  I just hope I did not forget to bring something important.

The last portion of the road to Chaco is gravel. Recent rains have damaged some parts of the road.

I don't know if this is a domesticated or wild animal. Probably domesticated, as he was still in the general area five days later.

As usual, it takes longer to get going than expected.  Once started, the trip is uneventful.  The campground is reached by 4:30, and even by that time the choice tent sites were taken.  There are few empty spots by evening.  I’m glad I came Monday for the Equinox which is on Friday morning.

It had rained last week, but already the wash is dry. When I was here last year, water was flowing.

The recent rain has turned the vegetation in the wash from brown to green.

Setting up the tent is a small struggle.  I have a little scare when I can not find the tent poles at first, but they showed up.  I am setting up the stove when I find I had forgotten to bring the 20-gallon propane tank.  All is not lost, because I had bought two small propane bottles just this morning.  It was a spur of the moment purchase.  I did not think I needed these bottles because the stove and lantern could both be run off the large tank.  Now I’m happy I made that impulsive purchase.  I won’t have to eat cold food all week.

There were not many campsites free, but this one nestled against the rock became mine.

The campground host is giving a talk on ravens.

Several coyotes like this one crossed my path during the week at Chaco.

About sunset I wander to the campfire circle.  The camp host gives a campfire talk on the subject of ravens. Did you know that ravens have the largest range of vocalization, second only to humans?  A coyote wanders by during the talk, probably attracted by the recorded raven calls the speaker was playing.  The whole audience stands to try to see the beast.   A bat flutters overhead.  All this against a most beautiful sunset behind Fajada Butte.