Saturday, May 15, 2010

Leaving Chaco

A visit to Chaco could take many days to see everything, but
we had to leave, knowing we'll come back someday soon. We
stopped by the Visitor's Center before heading out and now
the old center has been replaced with a temporary yurt. Yurts
are pretty neat buildings but because this yurt is still fairly
small compared to the old Visitor's Center, none of the old
displays, detailing the history of the area were located here.

The old Visitor's Center has been condemned and is scheduled
for demolition. Apparently, it was built on soft clay and when
the remodeling crew went in to start, it was discovered that
the building was unstable. Lynn and I pondered that in a
place where buildings a thousand years old are the attraction,
modern man can't build a structure that will last more than
50 years!

Chaco is a Dark Sky site, meaning that there is very little
light pollution present and is a fantastic place to view the
night sky. As a result, the National Park Service has taken
advantage of that and has a wonderful sky watching
program and even has a great observatory in place. To our
surprise, there was a park volunteer named Bob Bohley that
was operating a telescope at the Visitor's Center this
morning. With a special filter on his telescope, he was
able to show us the Sun and several large flares erupting
off of it's surface. I've seen photos of this before, but never
live on a telescope. It was very interesting and Mr. Bohley
did an excellent job educating everyone that viewed this

Chaco is one of 20 locations in the United States and one of
890 locations in the world that have been listed as UNESCO
World Heritage Sites. This is an important designation as it
is a protection of Mankind's existence and culture. I think
that Chaco definitely is a good representation of this.

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