As is the case with many places I want to go, I have almost been to Chaco Canyon in New Mexico.
We have driven Highway 550 through northern New Mexico, which passes to the east of Chaco Canyon. Likewise, we have been to Shiprock and other points to the north. And we have been (and will go again) to Canyon de Chelly, which lies to the west, in Arizona.
But, despite wanting to, the time has never been right to venture out into the New Mexico desert to visit one of the most remarkable places anywhere. Over a period of some 150 years or more, Ancestral Puebloans built up numerous complex structures from sandstone blocks and timber. Some of the buildings contained hundreds of rooms, and were not equaled in size or scale on this continent for centuries. Many of the structures in Chaco Canyon were built in alignment with solstices and equinoxes and other orientations of the sun and moon, as well as with distant landmarks.
Historians and archaeologists believe lengthy drought and, perhaps, warfare, led to the abandonment of Chaco Canyon. But no matter why they left, the people of Chaco Canyon left behind a place like no other.
I would love to see it.
And I will.