Darrel Knuffke and his spouse Barbara West. Barbara is the Superintendent of Chaco Canyon Historical Park. She took this assignment after being the Super at Voyagers National Park on the Canadian border. She went from managing thousands of lakes to managing thousands of acres of desert. Darrel recently retired from a long career with the Wilderness Society and is still doing a lot of freelance writing and research for Public lands organizations.
They live at the base of the cliffs near the ruins of the "Chaco Phenomenon." We learned a little of the history last night in a lecture by a Dendrochronologist at the Visitor Center. The beams that held up the roofs of Chaco's buildings have helped write a history of the West when combined with other tree ring studies.
It is hard to describe the mystique of Chaco Canyon. I have always been attracted to the place ever since we first took Justin and Noelle there about 1990.
I took some really good photos there during Saturday night's sunset and then again at sunrise on Sunday morning. Despite screwing up my focus program, I still salvaged a few. See them here.