In early spring of 2007 I decided to quit my job, sell my house along with nearly everything else that I owned, and to live out of my car while traveling the country. These are my stories (and pictures) of life on the road.

Monday, February 12, 2007

2 weeks in AZ - Part 1

In March I decided it was time to take some vacation time and go on a trip. The destination was the desert southwest. I wanted to do plenty of camping and hiking in the mountains and I had a friend in Tucson I could hang out with for a while. Also in the plans was picking up a kayak in Camp Verde that I'd bought on EBAY. I ended up being gone for two weeks and it was great. Plenty of good weather, plenty of hiking, and plenty of beautiful scenery.

My first stop along the way (besides sleeping in my car at a rest stop just north of Pueblo, CO) was Chaco canyon. I'd heard of it before and thought it sounded intriguing, which it indeed was. It was used extensively by native americans from around 800-1200 a.d. and apparently served as a sort of cross roads. It was much more then the small villages you usually think of when you here about native americans. It was more like a civilization with many large buildings. Read more about it here-

Chaco was great and I stayed for about 1 1/2 days. The weather was great and the stars were magnificent. The night I got there I took a little hike that overlooked the park, and Pueblo Bonita in particular; at it's height it was 4 stories high and had over 600 rooms.

There were also some pretty cool petroglyphs on the canyon walls and I got to use my fancy new radio triggers to get my flash off camera to create some contrast.

Since most of the rock their is sandstone there are some very cool rock formations from all the erosion.

Here's one last shot of the ruins before it's time to move on with the trip
I was very impressed with the buildings. It was amazing how large they were and that they're still standing after 1000 years in the desert. Although I didn't get a picture of it I think the highlight of Chaco was getting to see a bobcat from about 50 feet away a little before sunrise as I was getting ready to go on a hike.

And just to prove that I was actually there and didn't just steal these images off the internet here I am!


1 comment:

Alan said...

Dang, Alan, I'm sorry I arrived at this party so late that you drove right past my house without me knowing it! I would have been happy to put you up here in Alameda when you were passing through. After all, I did enjoy that Estherville hospitality back in '02...

Glad you got to see Chaco - pretty astounding place, and a reminder to me that all things human are ephemeral.

You've reached the end of the page but that's not the end of the stories. If you want to read more (and who wouldn't!?) then click on the archive links to the right hand side of the page. They're listed by month; the adventure starts in May.

The February archives aren't actually from this trip but are previous adventures I've had, which are worth reading as well.