The main point of this trip was for my dad to bring me to this place – a magical gathering of spirit, food, music, and communion among a thousand ‘locals’ and travelers from 1,100 years ago. And that magic can still be felt today. I can hear the drums reverberating off the canyon walls, I can see their petroglyphs that have lasted through the weather, and I can feel the dirt between my toes as they would have.
This place is larger than I could have imagined. Most ‘ruins’ are a few bricks left in the dirt – and some may consider this park just that, but there are still windows, and seats, and wood in the frames. And today there will be a descendant that speaks to my dad and I about his ancestors – so touching that I still tear up writing this. He has such a connection with his history and family – something I yearn for.
Overwhelmed by the awesomeness of this place we agree to stay another day. We see Chetro Ketl, Pueblo Bonito, Pueblo del Arroyo, Kin Kletso, and Casa Chiquita the first day and hike the Pueblo Alto Trail (5.1 miles roundtrip) the next – took us 4.5 hours. This leaves us with three unhiked trails and a four-wheel drive road with another prehistoric site. I would love to stay another 2-3 days exploring this place – and maybe one day I can when I return. Dinner will be truffled mac-n-cheese at the Badlands Grill in Gallup. More photos by me can be found on my Flickr page.