From the Supernova pictograph we follow a “lightly” traveled and sparsely marked circuetous trail to Penasco Blanco, which by far, for us was one of our favorites of Chaco Canyon. We could have spent the entire day here. Constantly we survey the cliff and rock faces for petroglyphs and/or pictographs.
We are rewarded with one that we interpret having to do with bears.
We pick our way up to the mesa top of the canyon and ruins of Penasco Blanco. Per the Park Service no excavation has taken place, and the site is “as is” from when it was first surveyed.
We have this site to ourselves and explore to our heart’s content.
Atop this mesa we all of the sudden have “4G” service. Paul calls our kids, and checks in with them. Crumbling walls of similar construction to Pueblo Bonito stand proudly above the mounds of rubble.
Paul finds a perfect doorway. Several Kivas of various sizes and partially filled with dirt and debris are evident within the compound’s perimeter walls. Obvious midden sites strewn with shards of ancient pottery surround this site.
I explore the outskirts, where erosion from 100’s of years of rain and wind have laid bare many pieces of ancient “trash”. For all practical purposes it’s an archeological easter egg hunt.
I examine the particularly interesting pieces I find, and then leave them where I found them. On the walls of Penasco Blanco we eat our sparse lunch and toast beers that Paul had squirreled away inside his pack.
A perfect picnic! Soon it is time to head back to the road where we got dropped off, so we can catch a ride back to the campground, or walk the additional 5 miles back to our campsite.
We take a “shortcut”, that leaves us slightly bloodied and muddy. One would think we’d know better by now. We arrive just in time for my dad to pick us up. He had spent the day exploring the closer sites. Once back at our campsite, we exchange stories and discoveries. Once again, no sense staying up to see a dark sky, because there is none, as it is filled with the moon.