Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico

Too tired to add captions I'll add them tomorrow. Enjoy the pictures till then.
More Comment to come


Cortez, Colorado KOA

Chaco Canyon Trading Company, Milan New Mexico

Bisti Wilderness, New Mexico

They say that NASA faked the moon landing, by filming one of humanity's greatest moments right here on earth, perhaps in a place like Craters of the Moon National Park. Well, I have a suggestion. If they ever decide to pull one over on us again, and convince the world that man has landed on a distant planet, populated with advanced alien cities, they need look no further than the Bisti Badlands in northwestern New Mexico.

This strange desert landscape has eroded over the centuries, to form some of the strangest formations on earth, or any other planet. It's a photographer's dream--acres of small hills and washed-out valleys that truly feel like a different world. And, it's so remote, you'll have the desire to plant a flag and claim it for your home world.

Aztec Ruins National Monument just outside the town of Aztec, New Mexico.

Ancestral Pueblo People at Aztec Ruins

Early settlers mistakenly thought that people from the Aztec Empire in Mexico created these striking buildings. They named the site “Aztec,” a misnomer that persisted even after it became clear that the builders were the ancestors of many Southwestern tribes. The people who built at Aztec and other places throughout the Southwest were called “Anasazi” for many years. Archeologists had adopted a word from the Navajo language, that they understood to mean “old people,” and then popularized its use. Most Pueblo people today prefer that we use the term “ancestral Pueblo” to refer to their ancestors.

Map of the grounds

Visitors Center

The meaning of unique green stripes along western walls at Aztec Ruins is a mystery. The greywacke stone was hauled from nearby quarries. We can only guess at reasons why ancient masons included it.


Down into the ruins

Cool Roof

Hall of doorways

Another photographer

Park workers repairing some walls

Through the upper doorways

Doorways through corner room joints are not structurally sound. Yet, three North-facing corner doors at Aztec Ruins have stood for over 800 years.

Small kiva

The Great Kiva

North entrance to the Kiva

An original section of the column embedded in the reconstructed column.

Original footings for the four columns in the Great Kiva

Roof, columns and "keyhole" entrances with embedded ladders.

A robin on the great Kiva

Quote of the Day
"Walk on a rainbow trail; walk on a trail of song, and all about you will be beauty. There is a way out of every dark mist, over a rainbow trail. " ~ Navajo Song

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©Paul Viel