Red/Cyan 3D glasses are needed to view several photos in this post. I’ll mention whether they’re 3D or 2D.
I love Canada’s north, but I also love the deserts and arid areas of the southwestern USA. They are just so foreign to me, it feels like being in another world. I’m especially amazed by all the ancient ruins in the region- Most pre-contact settlements in my region were made of wood and soil, and have decayed over the centuries. There’s a lot of history here, but it isn’t as obvious to the naked eye. By contrast, many stone ruins in the southwestern USA are still standing, centuries after being abandoned.
Chaco Culture National Historic Park, in New Mexico, is a great example of this. Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, Chaco Culture consists of several archaeological sites spread across the landscape; some are right beside the road looping through the park, while others are only accessible through a long hike. I would describe the trails I took in the park were fairly easy… as long as you don’t mind the vultures circling above waiting for you to drop(2D).
Inhabited by the Ancestral Puebloans between 850-1250 AD, the region was a major ceremonial center for the people. By the beginning of the 14th century, the sites were all abandoned.
Chaco culture isn’t as well known as the cliffside ruins of Mesa Verde in Colorado, but I think I liked it better. When I went( it might have changed since then), tourists could explore the ruins at their own pace; you did not need to join a tour to enter the site(although some sections were off limits). A large butte, Fajada Butte, is the prominent geographical feature in the area, and is clearly visible in the distance throughout much of the park(2D).
I visited the park in 2011. At the time, I had been doing 3D photos for a couple years, but I still wasn’t as focused on taking 3D photos as I am now. I only took a few 3D photos of each stop on my trip back then, so I’ll be using ‘normal’ photos in this post as well.
I saw a number of different sites within the park; including four large structures. these include the Casa Rinaconda structure. This photo(and most of the circular structires in the following photos) is of a Kiva, a ceremonial structure(this photo is in 3D).
I also went through the Chetro Ketl site(3D)…
…and the Kin Kletso site(2D).
The most impressive site in the park, in my opinion, is Pueblo Bonito(2D).
It is the largest structure in the park, covering over a hectare in area. At it’s height, it may have contained over 800 rooms. In the arid climate, many wooden architectural features have survived the centuries(2D).
The entrances between the rooms re uniquely built, with a ‘T-shaped’ doorway being common(3D)
However, my favourite photo of Pueblo Bonito was taken on a trail that climbed through a gap in the rock cliffs. At the top, only a short hike from the road, the cliff lies over the site; from this point, a hiker can enjoy a panoramic view of the entire abandoned valley(3D).
I left the site as the sun was setting, and still haven’t been back. Now that I have my full spectrum camera, I’d love to examine the ruins in more detail.
The above photos were taken with a single Canon SX100 camera; the 3D photos were taken by moving the camera into different positions.