It’s 10 years since we were last in Grants, New Mexico and during that time a lot has changed, we looked in vain for a great little diner we ate in several times only to find out that it had been a victim of the recession.
One of the reasons for staying in Grants was to revisit Chaco Culture National Historical Park http://www.nps.gov/chcu/index.htm.
To get to Chaco from Grants is a long drive, on paved roads, but, the last section from either Pueblo Pintado or Seven Lakes is on rarely maintained rough dirt and neither route is really recommended by the National Park Service.
On our last trip we’d driven the Pueblo Pintado route which is about a 200 mile round trip including 33 miles (each way) of rough, washboard dirt. I remember very few road signs and the ones that were there said encouraging things like ‘impassable when wet’ or ‘travel at your own risk’!
A couple of times back then on a beautiful sunny day with no sign of bad weather we thought we were lost. Satnav is worse than useless and will more than likely to take you off down an even worse road into the middle of nowhere where it will probably blithely tell you you’ve arrived at your destination and then switch itself off.
The ‘road’ (and I use that term loosely) has washes that fill up in seconds, dirt that turns to sticky caliche mud and even with 4WD is practically impossible to drive on. With a forecast of afternoon monsoon thunderstorms we decided it made sense for us to postpone our return to Chaco until we can either travel in good weather or take the recommended route from the north.
As it did rain in the afternoon on the day we'd planned to go we were glad we changed our plans and weren't out on those dirt 'roads'!
Have fun, we are!