The Outdoor Museum – Chimney Rock, CO
In my mind one of the biggest shifts in the history of mankind was the transition from an ancient hunter-gatherer society to a more modern and static horticulture-based lifestyle. The transition changed almost everything about the way we live, and what we eat. The latter is actually a really interesting topic that I might touch on one day on the blog (it’s rather changed my life), but I digress. There’s no doubt this transition forever shaped our society and in the great Southwest it was marked by the development of pueblos.
As we passed through New Mexico we were able to visit several gorgeous specimens of this history at Gila and near the Manzano Mountains. Here in the San Juan region the people who settled were the Anasazi and the most northernmost of these settlements was at Chimney Rock, a rather interesting rock formation just ~17 miles West of Pagosa Springs.
We popped over for a quick day-visit to check out some of the archeological history. Chimney Rock is a stunning location dominated by the two pillars of rocks that make up its name. From first settlement around AD 950 to its abandonment in ~AD 1125 over 200 homes and ceremonial buildings were built in several villages high above the valley floor.
Why build so high and so far north? Because views of the pillars allowed the Puebloans to observe specific astronomical events such as the Megalithic Equinoxes and (even more interestingly) the “lunar standstill“, a rare moonrise that occurs every 18.6 years. Groovy!
Chimney Rock is a cool little side-visit to one of the lesser known pueblos in the area. Although not as famous as Chaco Canyon to the south or Mesa Verde to the west, it’s supported by a dedicated group of volunteers and remains an active archeological site. If you go try to get on a guided tour since the self-guided area (which we did) is rather small. And one day, after a glass or two, I’ll tell you how these ancestors have changed the way I live my life. But that’s a whooole other story….
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We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do
You keep up the good work. You are charting a course for our future travels…LOL. Lovely pictures.
Did you spend any time at Ghost Ranch? That’s one of my favorite places. I used to spend a couple of weeks every year at a conference on the ranch and have many fond memories of the Ranch and Chimney Rock. Unfortunately, they don’t allow pets in the campground or on the ranch.
Still enjoying your blog! Keep up the good work! Great pics!
You know we didn’t make it there although I saw it on the map.
Definitely something to add to the list for next time we go back into NM!
Terry & Linda says
Drink up! Let’s hear those thoughts! (Just being nosey to see if any my thoughts parallel yours)
Well since you asked so nicely and offered the drink 🙂
My biggest change was giving up grains and going back to natural foods
(grass-fed meats, vegetables, fermented foods, natural fats etc.).
It was an amazing transformation and has brought me back to a level
of good health and weight that I missed for years.
Anything like what you’re thinking?
Do you follow a Paleo diet? I’d love to hear more.
I see I’ve been found out 🙂 I follow a pseudo-paleo or
modified paleo (mostly like this site). It’s been pretty dramatic.
The biggest and most important thing I did was give
up grains and go back to natural foods (grass-fed meat,
veggies, fruits, fermented foods…all non-processed).
Giving up grains was simply life-changing and I never
imagined it would be so. Knee pain (which I’d had for
5 years and took 3 super-strong glucosamine tablets for
daily) went away, chronic period pains (which I’ve had
for 20 years) almost went to zero, gas dissapeared
and I lost weight. I’ve had low-level inflammation for
years because of “healthy grains” and never
even realized it.
I’m not paleo, but when I reduce my bad carbs my weight goes down. When I’m eating right, it wouldn’t take much to make me a proper caveman.
The Worrier says
I am SO happy I found your blog! We are in the middle of prep & planning for becoming full-timers…I alternate between euphoria and some seriously cold feet. Your blog keeps me motivated. Plus, I LOVE New Mexico, so it just about doubled my happiness to read about your time there. Our family includes our sweet, bossy dog…would love to hear about any challenges you’ve overcome traveling with your brood.
Can’t wait to hear more….
Lovely to “meet” you and congrats on the upcoming full-timing!
As for travelling w/ the brood we’ve actually had very few issues.
Polly (our dog) adapted to the travel right away. We’ve done
alot of training with her so she’s well-behaved in camp and
just loves to have us around. Our biggest challenge was to
find campgrounds with space and trails to walk her. Initially
we camped in alot of private parks and weren’t finding what
we wanted. But then we discovered public campgrounds
such as national forest, corps of engineers, state parks etc.
and that was JUST the ticket! Plenty of green, space and nature
and COMPLETELY pet friendly. Since we’ve altered our
camping to those spots we’ve been totally happy.
Not only do I get to see great pictures and put spots on my bucket list, I get to learn about a way of eating that may really benefit me (diagnosed PCOS & IC earlier this year) While I have already drastically changed the way I eat – I look forward to researching Paleo. PS Thanks for the twitter burst of cold air – it wasn’t nearly as hot today in SC!
I’m so sorry to hear about your diagnosis, but I would most definitely
recommend trying a grain-free diet. There is no doubt in my mind
that removing grains got rid of alot of low-level inflammation
which I had been dealing with for years. It is most definitely
worth a trail run (I wouldn’t have believed the difference until I tried it).
Paleo is also (in general) a lower-carb diet which can help with insulin resistence.
Have a look at:
Hope you find something worthwhile. Do feel free to
ask me more about it!
Well, it could always be worse right?! Thanks for the links! I will do some research & may ask a few more questions about it since you offered. 🙂
Oh do feel free. You can e-mail me personally too if you like. I’m very happy to talk about anything related. Nutrition is a big passion of mine 🙂 Nina
Terry & Linda says
Yep, got me! Thought you might be headed toward some native american spirituality or thereabouts. Anyhow, back to the wine…
Hehe…give us a few more years out here
and I might well be going that direction 🙂
Enjoy your evening!
It is absolutely amazing what full-timing is doing to my health and weight. (and only after 2 weeks of full-timing so far)
After spending a decade in Alaska, I was truly sun-deprived. I’m now back to my old self again, after daily “sits” in the sun and walks along the trails in whatever military fam camp we’re staying in. (or private RV park)
No more depression, no more ankle pain.
This lifestyle is really good for your health, and my dogs are getting healthier every single day. Dropping weight and getting muscular from the fast-paced walks.
Everyone should full-time…it is an amazing way of life.
So happy you guys are getting into the grove, especially after your
somewhat rough start. Enjoy the freedom!
Christy @ Technosyncratic says
Glad I read all the comments on this post! For a few years now I’ve been trying to go “grain-free”, but it’s so hard to maintain as we travel and eat out…. plus, I love toast, so I still haven’t been able to completely give that up. But I feel like it could be life changing if I just stuck with it! So I’m going to check out the links you posted and see if I can’t dig up some more inspiration to get my butt in gear, lol.
I totally feel you. Bread was my absolute favorite thing in the world (I’m a natural-born bread baker). I ate it twice a day all my life and simply couldn’t imagine giving it up. It was only after my sister bugged me about it for years (she had serious digestive issues that cleared-up by going grain-free) that I finally decided to sacrifice and give it a month try. If the change hadn’t been so dramatic I probably wouldn’t have stuck to it.
A couple more links for you secifically on grains:
10 Reasons to go grain-free
Inflammation Induced by Grains
Western Price on Grains
And 2 more fabulous blogs:
Since my original grain-free bout I’ve been able to re-introduce some amount of certain seeds in traditional form such as soaked & fermented buckwheat, but I still try to maintain a grain-free diet rich in natural vegetables, fruits, fats and grass-fed meats & organs.