Friday, October 3, 2008

Chaco Canyon hike - 5 miles? No problem, Mom!

Oct. 1, 2008

We only had one day in the park, and there’s so much to see here, so I selected on long hike that was supposed to give a really great overview of the terrain, the pueblos of the Chacoan people. I dragged the girls (ok, and myself) out of bed at sunrise (7:30…now THAT’S my kind of sunrise!), munched breakfast, packed snacks, water and lunch, then hit the trailhead by 9 a.m.

We were greeted immediately by an unlikely incline. We couldn’t even see the trail up the cliff! But we followed the arrows which guided us up a clear path through the rockfall, into a crevasse through the bluff edge and finally to the top of the bluff. What a great way to start the morning! Once on top of the bluff, the hike was essentially flat, very easy and scenic. There were lots of archeological sites that we were able to enjoy fully, to see, to touch, to contemplate while we rested along the trail. All totaled, we hiked 5.1 miles with nary a complaint, despite increasing temperatures after noontime. But at our meandering rate of just over 1 mile per hour, it was tough to call this anything but a relaxing day!

When we returned to camp, our trailer was the center of attention. It seems the other campers had been talking about it amongst themselves. Once I started talking to one couple about it, two other camps came to check it out. Junior’s been a good conversation starter. I also got a tour of a 1971 Shasta-style (aluminum-skin) trailer that the owners, Jake & Jane, had purchased for $150. It had been a complete disaster, but they renovated the inside, made the cabinetry, etc. just how they needed it, installed a skylight, and made it their own. He gave me some ideas and pointers.

Our other really fantastic neighbors were Anita and Faye, sisters with grown children of their own, who had traveled from Virginia with their mother. They’ve traveled thousands upon thousands of miles in this RV over the years. It seems this pair of school teachers made the best of countless summer vacations travelling with their children, sometimes with husbands along, but most often not. The more women I meet who’ve travelled with their children and without their husbands (and remain happily married) the better I feel about the trips the girls and I have taken without Mr. B! (He keeps telling me it’s just fine, go, enjoy! He’s always been a man of his word, so why shouldn’t I believe him now!?) ;)

Anita & Faye joined us for dinner tonight before we headed down to the camp host’s site to look through his own mega telescope. We checked out Jupiter (and four of its moons), M13, a nebula and a green dot about which I can tell you nothing more.

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