DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THIS SPECTACULOR MYSTERY? I'ts 80 miles 0ut in the desert ---think I'll go out there and let 'my good genius" have a crack at it.
Driving North from Thoreau, NM into Indian country.
Hardly a soul out here.
13 miles to that horizon---so far so good. I've left my trailer behind because:
I knew this was coming: 20 miles of very iffy road. They deliberately make getting there difficult to discourage all but those seriously interested in this phenomenon.
And it was indeed iffy---occasionally had to creep along at walking speed.
I'm here---ready to confront the mystery.
That's fajada butte---up there on top is where the famous solstice sun dagger was discovered. On June 21st a dagger of light falls precisely on a target chipped in the rock. (That's the new Visitor center in the plain)
A terrific campground---I'm sleeping in the tent. I wandered around late at night and met a mysterious guy with an Indian Drum---who told me he was on a spiritual quest and that the moon would be full at 2 am---time for his ceremony. (turns out, many are here in search of something mystical)
Here is what all the hoopla is about---Pueblo Bonito---the epicenter of a cultural tsunami---as it appeared a thousand years ago. It is huge--over 500 rooms---and built so well that a fair chunk of it remains. (as you will see)
Me at the outer edge.
A representative chunk of it---- walls smooth on both sides with rubble filling the center----they built 5 or 6 stories high----9 ft ceilings. So what's the big mystery? Hang on---I'll tell you!
Is that precise construction or what? The mortar is mud and that is all origional masonry--a thousand years old. So you're impressed----but not mystified? Hang on--I'll get to it.
Aaaah but look here----ANOTHER whopper of a pueblo barely a mile away.
Let's go up on top of the mesa to get some perspective. See that crack up there--thats how "they" got up there and interestingly---that's still the way up there. I went---but it was a bit hairy.
And what's up there? ANOTHER grand pueblo------and just to the right of it--STILL ANOTHER vast complex with a huge plaza in it's center. There's no water up here to speak of----why in heavens name did they do this?
Here's the pueblo I just mentioned----wanted to show again the superb masonry---corner perfectly square and smoothe after a thousand years.
Now I sit down to let pueblo Bonito speak to me. Luke climbed up the scary trail with me and comes over to get congratulated.
And there it is again---in all its mystery---just one entrance---a massive endeavor in a very unlikely place. Soil and water are just marginal. It thrived for 300 years---and then the people went elsewhere.
Now brace yourself----THERE ARE 12 OF THESE GREAT HOUSES almost within sight of one another. This is the largest and oldest. Beginning to get the feel of the mystery: Why did a building frenzy happen here? Why did the cultural pattern created here spread hundreds of miles in every direction. They found cocoa from central America here---parrot skeletons---metal goods--and guess what? TWO GIANTS buried down there. (giants in that they towered over the locals)---but nobody else.
I've asked my good genius to digest all this and give me a plausible answer---AND IT HAS---
tomorrow I will spell out the very surprising answer---and its direct relevance to you.
It's near midnight and I'm sleepy. I leave you with this odd photo of a guy balancing on his hands in some sort of spiritual posture--RIGHT ON THE EDGE OF THE CLIFF! He was one of a dozen here on a pilgrimage seeking ------something!