- Updated: 30 June 2015
Hello WBCCI Members – Well we are getting close to our 58th International Convention/Rally in Farmington, New Mexico “The Land of Enchantment” June 26–July 4, 2015. By the time you read your latest Blue Beret, many of you will be on your way travelling by one of the many Caravans expected to arrive at what promises to be a great Rally.
Great entertainment, interesting seminars and round table discussions, with vendors to support your RV lifestyle, visiting with new and long time friends at Unit and Region luncheons,dinners and happy hours. Again this year the daily group happy hours enjoyed by members will be held so drop in for a visit and meet many more WBCCI friends.
Our important annual meetings will be held at the Rally giving you, the member, the opportunity to have your say in the direction of your Club. This is your Rally and your Club, if you haven’t registered it is time to do so, registration is ongoing and if you make a last minute decision to come you will be welcome.
President Joe Perryman and First Lady Sandy extend their personal invitation to join your fellow members of WBCCI at the 58th International Rally June 26–July 4, 2015 in beautiful Farmington, New Mexico.
You really don’t want to miss this Rally and the many interesting different sights to be seen in the area along with all the various and interesting activities at the Rally. REGISTER NOW!!
Read now the article provided by guest writer, David Weddle, WBCCI #1550 as he provides information on “Camping with the Ancient Ones.”
“Camping with the Ancient Ones”
Dave Weddle, #1550
In the summer of 2015, the WBCCI will hold the International Convention/Rally in Farmington, New Mexico, USA. Farmington is situated in the northwest corner of the state and lies near the center of the most extensive, and best preserved, pre-Columbian archaeological sites in North America. In the period roughly between AD 850 and AD 1250, in a span of about 100 miles around Farmington, the Chacoan Culture arose, flourished and disappeared, leaving behind their pottery, kivas and multistoried stone buildings. The Chacoans did not have a written language and thus are referred to by a variety of names including, Ancient Puebloans, Anasazi or Ancient Ones, and Ancestral Puebloans. You will find many interesting things to see and do during your time at the Rally in Farmington; but if you have a couple of hours or a free day, visit one or more of these sites. You will be amazed and rewarded with what you find.
Although I am not an archaeologist or even a native of New Mexico, there are three Chacoan sites that I would recommend. Two sites, Aztec and Salmon Ruins, are within a few minutes of Farmington; one site, Chaco Canyon, is more suited to a day trip. A brief description and directions to each site is as follows:
Aztec Ruins National Monument. Directions: from Farmington travel east on Hwy 516 about 14 miles, then turn left on Ruins Road to the site. Aztec Ruins is a fairly intact ruin, about 900 years old. Misnamed “Aztec” by earlier explorers, it is considered an outlier from the Chaco Canyon site. One of the most interesting features of this site is a fully reconstructed kiva. A kiva is a circular structure, partially below ground level, that served as a sanctuary of sorts for religious or social gatherings. It is well worth taking the time to visit this site.
Salmon Ruins. Directions: from Farmington travel east on Hwy 64 about 10 miles. Salmon Ruins is adjacent to the highway on the right. The site is named for an early home-steader, not the fish. Salmon Ruins is similar in some respects to Aztec, and is considered an outlier of Chaco Culture with kivas and ruins of multi-storied buildings. In addition to the ruins there is a museum, research library and gift shop as well as the original homestead dwelling of George Salmon
Chaco Culture National Historic Park. Directions: from Farmington travel east on Hwy 64 10-12 miles to Bloomfield. Turn south (right) on Hwy 550 and proceed for about 50 miles to the turnoff on the right to Chaco Culture National Historical Park, CR 7950. This road is paved for the first 5-6 miles, then becomes a dirt road for the remainder of the trip (about 13 miles). It is best to make the trip to Chaco during dry weather and leave your trailer or RV in Farmington (although some do camp at the park’s campground). Although somewhat difficult to reach, this is the most extensive and interesting of the three sites described in this article. First of all, Chaco is massive, containing thirteen major ruins, hundreds of kivas and multi-storied stone buildings. For perhaps 300 years this site was the cultural and religious center of Chaco Culture. There are so many kivas here that Chaco Canyon is sometimes referred to as the “Rome of the Americas.” Fortunately there is a circular road through the park with stops for short walks to some of the sites. However, Chaco Canyon is a great place to bike or take long hikes. Bring plenty of drinking water, and for some of us...a Golden Age Passport!
There are many additional sites that are within a day’s drive of Farmington. Consider visiting Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado, Canyon de Chelly National Monument in Arizona or Hovenweep National Monument in Utah, to name a few. So when we arrive in Farmington and set up camp in our Airstreams for the International Convention/Rally we will, in effect, be camping with the ancient ones, in the same area where the Chacoans and other ancient peoples lived and camped for thousands of years.