Monday, June 25, 2012

Aztec Ruins National Monument

Last night Noelle and I stayed in a hotel in Farmington. It was nice to take a shower and eat at a restaurant. We were really excited to swim in the hotel swimming pool but were disappointed when the water temperature felt like it had to have been in the 90s. It was not at all refreshing; more like swimming in a vat of tepid soup.

When we awoke this morning we showered again, ate breakfast and hit the road headed for nearby Aztec, New Mexico and Aztec Ruins National Monument. We toured the interesting ruins, Noelle for the first time, me for the second.
Ruins View
Aztec Doors
Of particular interest there is the Great Kiva.
Great Kiva
It was reconstructed and you can go inside and see what it may have been like for the Ancestral Puebloans who lived there hundreds of years ago.

After touring the ruins it was still rather early. We had intended to head south to check out the Bisti Badlands, but 100+ degree temperatures would not make for fun conditions in the shadeless badlands. We looked in our DeLorme New Mexico Atlas and both decided that Chama, NM would be a logical alternative because it is higher and presumably cooler. We then headed east to Chama.

Once we got to town we ate lunch and checked out three commercial campgrounds in town. They were all either too buggy, too hot, or offered no flat ground to pitch a tent. Noelle looked in the atlas again and found a state park nearby. And so we headed south to Heron Lake State Park. The state park offered the added bonus of the possibility of swimming in cool water.

Heron Lake did not disappoint. We found a campsite in a relatively shady spot and after setting up camp headed down to the lake for a swim in the cool, refreshing water.
Eric in Heron Lake
Noelle Admires the View
After swimming and lounging on the rocks we headed back to camp for dinner and bed.       


Daniel said...

Hi, Eric and Noelle

You mention in your post about Heron Lake the cool water. I gather by the date of your post that it was in June? I am planning sometime in the future to go to Heron in August. Perhaps a little warmer waters? Or is that a constant up there because of the altitude?



Eric and Noelle Grunwald said...

Daniel, I don't know what the water temp is like in August. I would imagine warmer than when we were there in June but I just don't know.