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Old 07-22-2015, 01:44 PM   #521
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Got into Chaco without incident on Monday afternoon. The roads are washboard, as everyone says, but were mostly dry and not awful except for a few spots. There was very little other traffic, so I took my half of the road out of whatever looked best.

Secured a site in the campground for two nights, and one which backed up to ancient cliff dwellings......the host told me the campground is actually over unexcavated ruins that have been identified thru infrared detection. Campsites are small.

The park has many cliff dwellings and other ruins, per the camp host, not open to the public as they are too unstable, also to prevent deterioration due to human access. Human traffic at Chaco is limited to identified trails and sites, only, which are closed sunrise to sunset......and there is frequent patrolling by Rangers to enforce.

We got an early start yesterday. Lily explored some sites with me, had to stay in the Interstate for others, and I did them all but the long hike out to the Pictographs.....5-7 hours round trip was a bit too much sun for me. Amazing structure of these dwellings, and stone selection for walls which appear not only functional but decorative. Beautiful, awe-inspiring place.

Ran into a couple from the Gila trip at my last site yesterday, and we had a nice visit end of day at my campsite. They had run into another Gila couple coming out of the Cliff Dwellings, so we are all out and about exploring ancient Indian ruins in SW New Mexico.

I had saved for this morning the Una Vida trail, as it is the first you come to, and Lily had to stay behind. My only real excitement of this trip occurred here.

It was an easy walk to the ruins, which quickly became my favorite as they are up on a hill. Beyond them is a series of petroglyphs, which I really wanted to see, and got up that steep climb without any real difficulty. Magnificent, and I got pictures with my trusty, Otterbox-encased IPad mini....12 emails also came into my inbox while I was up there.

However, coming back down I went on what I thought was the trail and realized it was not when I was nearly vertical on rocks and could not go down any further without significant drops. I also saw waaaaaaaay over to my left the steps that had been built into the trail.

So, a little afraid to proceed back up from that point by myself, I'm calling.....helllloooo?.....helllllllooooooo?......anybody there?????. Hoping their might be a strong male hand. Nope.

Hadn't brought my whistle, so if I fell into one of those drops I would have just laid there til someone else took that extra route to the Petroglyphs. They were worth it.

No one but me way up there....so I either screamed and cried for help, or went back up. Not the puddle and heap type, I climbed and crawled my way back up this nearly vertical area to the top. Never fell once, did slide a bit a couple of times. Yikes.

I am not one for selfies, and my self conscious inner child hates to have my photo taken.......but, I got a selfie of myself up there, once I had made the climb back up..... which I will post later.

Got myself uneventfully back out of Chaco this morning, down 550 a bit, then took 96 across to Abiquiu and thru what I think was Apache National Forest. Am sitting in the shade in Abiqui as I type.

A couple from the Gila trip, who live in Taos and whose gallery I want to see, have invited me to stay tonight with them and will feed me dinner. Lovely, interesting couple, who I really enjoyed meeting....and I accept.

Will head toward home tomorrow, via a couple of stops in Iowa. It's been a great, personally-strengthening trip.

I will post some photos later.


Maggie
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Old 07-22-2015, 01:54 PM   #522
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Sounds like a great adventure, Maggie. I hope we can make the Wyoming trip next year if Ray still plans to do it.

Where are the pictures from the Gila trip? You said "...over in the other forum...." I think but I haven't been able to find anything.

Glad you were able to climb back out. That sounded scary!

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Old 07-22-2015, 03:07 PM   #523
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Maggie your trip sounds like it had been very successful and adventurous.

How did your hat and stuff sack work out.

Enjoy dinner with friends and safe travels home.
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Old 07-23-2015, 06:19 AM   #524
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Al, the Gila photos are in Ray Eklunds Southwest Rockdocking 2015 thread in the Boondocking forums.

Had a great visit with the Fergusons, saw their gallery....Chris makes antique reproduction furniture and does a finish to age it, and Carla weaves beautifully.

A very special place near the Plaza in beautiful, old Taos.

They cooked me a wonderful dinner and we had a lovely, extended evening, for me....not in bed til after 11pm.

Heading toward home today. Had a text that Doug's mom is in the hospital, and was going to Iowa first, anyway.....


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Old 07-23-2015, 09:16 AM   #525
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glad your trip has been so fun and successful.. sorry to hear about Doug's mom.. hope she's not too serious!!! and you can enjoy your ride home... Hugs and love from here.. gail
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Old 07-23-2015, 03:23 PM   #526
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Carla cooked me breakfast this morning, we three then sat with our coffee and just talked and talked and talked. . Really nice and very interesting people....as was everyone on the Gila trip.

Chris loves to cook over fire, and does so even in their gallery, which is a late 18th century structure with three small fireplaces in it. He cooks things like Posole over coals there in the winter.....in reproduction Navajo pots. Yum, and what an ambience that would create in their gallery.

Carla is a bread baker, and was lamenting the lack of good bread commercially available, so I gave her my DO Bread recipe. I think they will love it.

I could have sat there the morning, but they have a gallery to open and tend to, and I needed to get on the road. Am attaching a picture of Carla at her loom...Chris took this and sent it to me.

She does beautiful work on the loom, and he creates equally beautiful, antique reproduction furniture.

Their gallery is Tres Estrella Designs in Taos, should you be in the area.

Spent about 6 1/2 hours driving the beautiful side roads north from Taos and then east....settled into a campground near Lamar, CO, for the night as it is 96 degrees here and AC is a must.

Next, going to get some Chaco pictures up.


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Old 07-23-2015, 03:35 PM   #527
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My campsite....ancient cliff house behind it. There were two, the second harder to see in a photo.


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Old 07-23-2015, 03:42 PM   #528
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I'm not going to post the photos of Chaco you can find online, just a few things that I especially loved.

I was enthralled with the complexity of the masonry....some of the laying of the stones appeared decorative as well as functional.

I made this photo the background on my IPad, as it fascinates me so.


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Old 07-23-2015, 03:47 PM   #529
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Huge beams were imbedded in the tops of walls, forming support for the ceilings or roofs, and perhaps the next story above.

Many feet off the ground, carefully and perfectly laid in place....minus cranes or other machinery.


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Old 07-23-2015, 04:04 PM   #530
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Lastly......an exceeding rare selfie.....me at the top of the Una Vida trail, after I had gotten stuck climbing down....backwards, of course, on my hands and feet, as it was way too steep for me to walk down without pitching forward and certainly falling.

Of course, also carrying the IPad mini, sometimes setting it carefully on a rock as I moved from spot to spot.

If I look a little cocky and smug, that was exactly how I was feeling, having gotten myself back up there unassisted. .

66 years old....not bad for an old woman.

No one else was around, so if I looked silly, I looked silly. I imagined them watching me thru binoculars from the Visitor Center, saying to each other what the hell is she doing?.

I have photos of the Petroglyphs up there, but you can see those online.

If you look carefully at this photo, you will notice my hair and shirt are soaking wet from perspiration.

A very special place, is Chaco, and a great deal can be seen from the road if you are unable to trek or climb. Minus my recent purchase of custom orthotics, I could not have done any of this trip.


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Old 07-23-2015, 04:12 PM   #531
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Originally Posted by Hittenstiehl View Post
Maggie your trip sounds like it had been very successful and adventurous.

How did your hat and stuff sack work out.

Enjoy dinner with friends and safe travels home.

My hat and stuff sack worked out great, and thanks.

I could have used a hat with a wider brim, as even SPF 50 doesn't completely protect me, but I washed it in Nevada and it came out looking great.....old, dry sweat....yuk.


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Old 07-23-2015, 04:37 PM   #532
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Maggie, I'm glad you had such a good trip. Sounds like Chaco was interesting, to say the least! Glad you got through without a fall! I have gotten myself into a few of those types of situations...just not recently. Hope your mom in law is ok. Enjoy the rest of your journey. God bless. Evelyn.
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Old 07-23-2015, 04:42 PM   #533
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Thank you, Evelyn.

Dougs mom apparently has a UTI, fairly serious one, apparently, but at least that is eminently treatable.

I should be in Iowa on Saturday.


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Old 07-24-2015, 05:39 AM   #534
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Sunrise at the campground my last morning at Chaco.

The air is so clear and beautiful here.


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Old 07-24-2015, 12:39 PM   #535
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Much of yesterday was following the old Santa Fe trail, today an old Stagecoach line. I love it.

We are stopped for lunch and a potty break for Miss Lily at a nice rest area on Rt. 9, somewhere in Kansas......shade, large grassy area with playground equipment and picnic tables.

If it weren't so early in the day, we could spend the night right here.


We have a parenting system in ours that struggles mightily, and has left a field littered with the debris of their and their children's lives.

I can do nothing, as I have done what I can while these children are minors, but it is fixin' to blow again and I am asking from you good people that prayers, well wishes, whatever you do in your belief system, please be sent to 5 children who need strength and extraordinary ability to persevere in the face of great adversity.

Thank you.


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Old 07-24-2015, 01:51 PM   #536
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Prayers for you, yours and the children. Calm and steady in the storm.
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Old 07-24-2015, 04:04 PM   #537
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Thank you.

Talking with Doug as I drove today....who I envisioned thrashing in his grave..... I asked him to watch over the children, to help me cope, and to help them as he could.

Soon after, I stopped to fuel up and found one of those old fashioned, large, theatre-style, popcorn makers when I went inside the station to use the facilities.

Popcorn....now, how often do you see a popcorn maker in a gas station/convenience store?

And, popcorn.....one of Doug's favorite foods, and something he could eat any time of any day. He was the popcorn guru at our house, and made it on the stove, then lightly buttered and salted.

The first time I did his popcorn after he died, I told him I knew he was salivating and to help himself, if he could.

I believe, you know, that Doug guides me to things that remind me of him, to let me know he is there.

He was letting me know he knew, and would do what he could.


102 degrees in Belleville, KS, and we are in a city park here for the night that we have stayed at before.

Electricity is not an option, but a necessity.


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Old 07-24-2015, 05:20 PM   #538
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Praying that the trouble you are anticipating will be dissipated before you arrive.
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Old 07-24-2015, 05:55 PM   #539
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Thank you. I wish it would dissipate.....

The good news is that Doug's mom left the hospital today, and is back to her old self, according to Doug's sister.

97 1/2.


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Old 07-24-2015, 07:02 PM   #540
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Miss Maggie, prayers and positive thoughts for all. It takes great strength and courage for children to pick up the pieces of a broken family. Hopefully the siblings can bond...
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