Anasazi: The Chaco Canyon Collection, Part 2 - The Call of Chaco: Living Water


After 10 hours of driving we arrived in Albuquerque around 7:30 PM and checked into the La Quinta Inn off 1-40. Our plan was to arrive at Chaco in the daytime instead of at night. Not only is setting up camp in the dark a major pain, but more importantly, we wouldn’t be disturbing the other campers in their sleep. We were up early and I set out for Chaco to begin setting up camp while Ronnie and Sherisa stayed behind to obtain a few last-minute necessities.

I arrived at the Gallo Campground, one mile from the entrance to the park. Halfway through setting up our tent it began to snow and the wind was howling, making it a struggle to finish. At this point I must say that my intrepid companions proved just what great friends they are because the driving conditions on the 16 mile long unpaved rough road that leads to Chaco from the north took a turn for the worst. Virtually zero visibility and strong winds caused them to consider turning around, but they kept going and eventually made it to the campsite, shaken but otherwise unharmed.

We were up at dawn and it was freezing cold. We immediately made a fire, Ronnie made coffee and Sherisa prepared breakfast. The sky was clearing and after that magnificent repast we grabbed our gear and walked to the nearby ruins to shoot in the early morning light. The Gallo campground offers campers/photographers a real treat with a tantalizing sample of “things to come”. The ruins, overhanging cliffs and fine rock formations provided for many excellent compositions. The early morning light rewards photographers who rise early and this morning was no exception.

Later that morning we took off on a trek to the top of the canyon walls and mesa towards the park. Earlier, while Sherisa and I were shooting, Ronnie had taken their dogs Cujo and Maria up on the mesa and returned to tell us of the magnificent views. Indeed they were. The air was crystal clear and Fajada Butte to the southwest was standing out in all her glory. The mesa and rocks in the foreground with Fajada Butte in the distance give the photographer/viewer a true perspective of this remote landscape. We were awed by the scenery and were still outside the park.

My sincere thanks to Ronald Roybal for allowing me the honor of using his song “Living Water” from his brilliant CD “Skyfather’s Dream”. Ronald is a Native American flutist and classical guitarist in Santa Fe, New Mexico. With his music these photographs convey a true spirit of this beautiful place. For more information about Ronald visit his website: www.ronaldroybal.com
The site is very interactive with lots of media and ordering CDs & DVDs is easy.

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