Friday, July 23, 2010
Travelogue to Chaco Canyon and Friday News Round-Up
This week in our weekly travelogue feature, we highlight a fairly unknown place in New Mexico, called Chaco Culture National Historic Park. It is located northwest of Albuquerque about half way to Farmington.
Getting there is part of the adventure since it requires travel down a very rough washboard dirt road for about 21 miles. It's totally different than the tour bus type sites that you would see as Mesa Verde which was a part of the Chacoan Culture further to the north in Colorado. Only hearty travelers would attempt the journey but it is well worth it. (click on the pictures to enlarge)
It is a very unique place that has massive ruins of an ancient civilization that lived there from the 800's to the 1200's A.D. Huge "great houses" were built there and it became the center of the Chacoan Culture that extended over hundreds of miles. The people disappeared around 1250 and it has never been fully understood what happened to them
One of the unique features of the sites are that the Chacoan people had advanced knowledge of astronomy and built every structure based on the seasonal solstices and equinoxs. There are many petrographs depicting the sky as the people saw it.
Today, one of the more interesting aspects of a visit to Chaco is participating in one of the night sky programs put on by the rangers and visiting astronomers. Chaco has one of the darkest skies anywhere in the United States.
Looking upward at night, the Milky Way appears as a brilliant cloud that reaches from horizon to horizon. On one trip there, we were able to see the swirl of the Andromeda Galaxy with the naked eye which was truly amazing. You can visualize why the ancient people spent so much time focused on the heavens.
To be there at night, you almost have to camp in the primitive campground in the park. The weather is extreme with very hot, dry summers and brutally cold winters. I have hiked there in July when it was 110 degrees and visited in January when the roads were covered in snow and the temperature was near zero.
Visiting Chaco, and learning the history and culture of it's people, is a very deep spiritual experience and a great way to connect with the native American culture that lived there.
Chaco is still considered sacred ground to the indigenous people and they have ceremonies at the solstices and equinoxs to commemorate the seasonal passage.
Even though it is out of the way and difficult to get to, a trip to Chaco Canyon is one that you will not regret or ever forget.
In Pred Nation...
From @cellblock303: We're happy to announce we took 2nd in Best Blog at #ToastofMusicCity. Congrats to @styleblueprint on winning 1st. Congrats guys! This is a major victory for a "non-traditional" hockey town. I doubt many hockey blogs are top three in any other city. Big Kev has a post giving them kudos too.
AJ at PMFF has a great perspective piece on the Predator's "Re-boot." AJ is a very thoughtful member of the local blog community and always brings out stuff that others have missed.
Jim Diamond has an article about Linus Klasen who was impressive at the Development Camp. Both Jim and fans are ready to see if he can transfer his production in Europe to the NHL.
Mark is hustling to get away for the weekend but still left his "My View" with us.
Dan Bradley jumps on Forechecker's site and has a few things to say about the Pred's positive recent moves.
Shea Weber and Duncan Keith received the first President's Club Awards from the Kelowna Rockets at their Alumni Weekend that kicked off Wednesday night. The award honors former players that have gone on to receive extraordinary recognition in the hockey world.
From@dchesnokov: Next summer should be interesting too. I have a feeling Alexander Radulov will be back in the NHL next year. For the first time, I am starting to think that Rads could possibly return to the Preds after next season. There would be fences to mend but hopefully he has matured since he left.
The Predators released an MP3 of Tom Cigarran's interview on 104.5 on Wednesday afternoon. Dirk Hoag has the audio from Cigarran's appearance on the Thom Abraham Show yesterday. Cigarran confirmed talks with W. Brett Wilson and said that the team would only allow 30% non-local ownership.
Chris Botta discusses the Devils basically telling the NHL to "Circumvent This." I guess if it wasn't for this huge NHL - NHLPA nightmare, we would all be complaining about a lack of hockey talk. This year's Kovalchuk saga is what Jim Ballsillie was to the off-season two of the last three years.
Josh Brewster claims Bettman isn't a psychic at Inside Hockey. I bet if you asked Gary if he was, he would give a convoluted answer and you would have no idea what he was claiming.
Around the NHL...
Russ Cohen has the rundown of the five inductees to the USA Hockey Hall of Fame. Art Berglund, Derian Hatcher, Kevin Hatcher, Dr. V. George Nagobads and Jeremy Roenick are included in the Class of 2010 that will be inducted on October 21 at HSBC Arena in Buffalo.
Puck Daddy eulogizes the Twitter account of Paul Bissonette. Calling Kovie a "communist" must have been the last straw.
Ryan at the RLD has the all worst contract team. It's hard to argue with any of them. I'm still astounded at the recent Derek Boogaard signing by the Rangers. His ability on the ice makes former Pred turned MMA guy, Patrick Cote look like an Olympic figure skater.
Would the "Larry Bird Rule" work in the NHL? The Rick takes a look at the possibilities.
Brian Metzer has an early look at the ice in the new Consol Energy Center at From the Point.
Lyle Richardson has some interesting information about offer sheets at Hockey Independent.
Devil's Ditch interviews James Murphy from NESN and Inside Hockey Radio.
The Flames are really late opening their Development Camp next Monday.
The Green Skeptic has a good piece about Adam Sherlip and his Hockey Foundation.
Hockey fantasy expert and Dearly Beloved front man Rob Higgins is headed out on tour with Juliette Lewis and even bringing the tour to the South. I'm not sure how Nashville was not on the list since Juliette stayed here in Columbia over a month filming Daltry Calhoun with Johnny Knoxville.
Alcohol and a severe case of Jonesing for NHL Hockey led to a fan's arrest in Winnipeg after he called police and demanded that the Jets return to Canada. PHT has the story.
Intent to Blow has the official denial of the car accident from Rick DiPietro.
Odds and Ends...
The farm featured in the 1989 movie "Field of Dreams" is for sale for $5.4 million dollars. Boston.com has an interesting story of the family that has kept the field in pristine condition for the last 21 years and has never charged a penny to visitors to check it out.
A new interesting marketing scheme comes from @dani3boyz: Heard buzz about Calvin Klein putting QR Codes in place of racy ads on billboards? Leads to racy vid Sure enough, if you use your QR reader you get a racy video on your phone.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass