Chaco Culture National Historical Park

Over the weekend, I visited Chaco Culture National Historical Park, which, like Taos Pueblo, is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The majority of the site dates from 850-1250 and includes multiple ruined structures surrounding a small canyon. These structures were connected to each other as well as several distant sites in the Southwest through a network of roads that are still visible today on some of the backcountry trails. I discussed an earlier trip to Chaco in a previous post, which includes more photos.

Multi-Roomed Structure at Pueblo Bonito, one of several structures at Chaco  Part of the site was destroyed by a massive rock fall in the 1940s
Multi-Roomed Structure at Pueblo Bonito, one of several structures at Chaco.
Part of the site was destroyed by a massive rock fall in the 1940s

Interior room and metate (corn grinding stone) at Pueblo Bonito
Interior room and metate (corn grinding stone) at Pueblo Bonito

Chaco Great Kiva
Great Kiva, a circular, semi-subterranean ceremonial space

Chaco T-Shaped Door
T-shaped doorways demonstrating a possible cultural
connection to communities in northern and central Mexico

Petroglyphs
Petroglyphs located near the visitors center

Contemporary Pueblo, Hopi, and Navajo communities consider the site and the Ancestral Puebloan people who once inhabited it to be linked to their ancestral past, and evidence for this connection can be seen in the continuity of artistic motifs in textiles and ceramics and in oral histories passed down through generations. The Millicent Rogers Museum's permanent collection houses several examples of Ancestral Pueblo ceramics from a variety of sites in the Southwest, which can be viewed next to historic and contemporary works in our pottery gallery. I will be discussing some of this history through ceramics at an upcoming lecture in Santa Fe as part of the Southwest Seminars series on August 14th, 2017.

Pottery Gallery
Ancient, historic, and contemporary pottery from the Southwest on display at the Millicent Rogers Museum

Just a few weekends ago, I visited Pecos National Historical Park, which is also a ruin site that was occupied until the early 1800s. The site includes the remains of several multi-room structures as well as a large mission church that was partially destroyed in the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. I visited Pecos in preparation for the museum's upcoming fall trip.

Pecos Pueblo Church and Kiva
Kiva entrance with the remains of the mission church at Pecos Pueblo in the background

Pecos Pueblo Church
The interior of the church at Pecos Pueblo

Pecos Pueblo Kiva
Inside a reconstructed kiva a Pecos Pueblo

Each year, our fall travel program follows a theme and includes related stops, sights, and activities. The MRM fall travel program has hosted Fred Harvey, trading post, Anasazi, and Hopi-themed excursions, and this year's theme is Buffalo Bill. William Frederick "Buffalo Bill" Cody (1846-1917) was a rider for the Pony Express, a scout in the U.S. Army, and a legendary entertainer renowned for his Wild West show. His production brought the Wild West to life and featured famous performers, such as Annie Oakley, Calamity Jane, and Sitting Bull, and toured almost every state and numerous European countries. You can find out if Buffalo Bill's Wild West visited your town here. In honor of the centennial celebration of Buffalo Bill, our fall travel program will include stops at many sites significant to his history.

Promotional Image for Buffalo Bill's Wild West
Promotional Image for Buffalo Bill's Wild West

Famed Sharpshooter Annie Oakley, a performer in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Image courtesy of Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave
Famed Sharpshooter Annie Oakley, a performer in Buffalo Bill's Wild West
Image courtesy of Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave

Sitting Bull and Buffalo Bill in Montreal, Canada, 1885 Image courtesy of Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave
Sitting Bull and Buffalo Bill in Montreal, Canada, 1885
Image courtesy of Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave

Buffalo Bill greeting Millicent Rogers' cousin Bob Coe at his family's home in Wyoming
Buffalo Bill greeting Millicent Rogers' cousin Bob Coe at his family's home in Wyoming

This year's trip will feature visits to Glorieta Pass and Pecos Pueblo in New Mexico, private tours of several Western art and Buffalo Bill-themed collections in Colorado, a day of fun at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming, exploration and sightseeing at Yellowstone and Grand Tetons National Parks, and more. A full itinerary is listed below. Travelers will enjoy the comforts of luxury coach service, historic hotels, and fine dining. The dates of the trip are Sunday, September 10th to Sunday, September 17th with the cost per person at $2,495 for double occupancy. Please contact the museum at (575)758-4316 or email me at caroline@millicentrogers.org for more information. We are only accepting reservations until next week so don't wait too long!

Happy travelers on last year's trip throughout the Southwest
Happy travelers on last year's trip throughout the Southwest

Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming
Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming

Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park
Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park

The view of the Grand Tetons from the Jackson Lake Lodge in Wyoming
The view of the Grand Tetons from the Jackson Lake Lodge in Wyoming

Sunday, September 10th:
Evening cocktail reception, dinner, and lecture on Buffalo Bill by Millicent Rogers Museum Executive Director Dr. Caroline Jean Fernald
Overnight lodging at the Albuquerque Airport Sheraton
Parking for the duration of the trip is included

Monday, September 11th:
Tour a private collection in Glorieta Pass, NM and enjoy a guided tour of the ruins at Pecos Pueblo
Overnight lodging at the luxurious Brown Palace Hotel in downtown Denver, CO

Tuesday, September 12:
Private tours of Western and Native American art at the Anschutz Collection, the Denver Art Museum, and History Colorado
Overnight lodging at the Brown Palace

Wednesday, September 13:
Guided tour of the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave in Golden, CO
Visit the Pony Express Historic Site in Fort Casper, WY
Dinner at the historic Irma in Cody, WY
Overnight lodging at The Cody

Thursday, September 14:
Special tours with curators at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West
Shopping and sightseeing in Cody's historic downtown
Overnight lodging at The Cody

Friday, September 15:
Tour Yellowstone and Grand Tetons National Parks
Overnight lodging at the Jackson Lake Lodge overlooking the Grand Tetons

Saturday, September 16:
Private tour of the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, WY
Overnight lodging at the Hampton Inn in Castle Rock, CO

Sunday, September 17:
Farewell luncheon in Las Vegas, NM at the historic Plaza Hotel
The bus will return all travelers to the Albuquerque Airport Sheraton by 3:30 p.m.; return flights should be booked no earlier than 5:30 p.m.