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By Nadia Werby
Special to The SUN
Sunday, Sept. 23, is the first day of fall. Start the day at Chimney Rock’s Autunmal Equinox Sunrise Program.
This is the day that the sun crosses the equator and spends an equal amount of time above and below the horizon at every location on earth. This two- to three-hour event begins at the Sun Tower (a place not visited on our regular tours) and concludes at the Stone Basin, providing two viewing locations.
The gate will be open from 6:05 to 6:10 a.m. Sunrise is at approximately 6:56. Tickets are $15 and reservations are required.
Chimney Rock Archaeological Area will host the final Full Moon Program of the season on Saturday, Sept. 29. The program includes hiking up to the Great House Pueblo just before sunset, and a presentation on the archaeoastronomy of the site will be given as the full moon rises over the San Juan Mountains.
Live flute music by Native American Artist Charles Martinez will accompany the presentation.
The gate on Colo. 151 will be open from 4:45 to 5 p.m. and the program begins at 5:30.
Tickets are $15 for this two-hour program designed for folks 12 years and older. Reservations are required.
In addition to the Full Moon Program, a guided tour of the Great Kiva Trail will be offered at 3:30 p.m. for an additional $5.
Persons attending the Full Moon Program should come prepared with a good working flashlight, warm clothing and a blanket or ground cloth to sit on (no folding chairs please).
Chimney Rock Archaeological Area is an Ancestral Puebloan site located in the San Juan National Forest, 17 miles west of Pagosa Springs. Tours of the site are conducted daily. The site will close to the public on Sunday Sept. 30 and will reopen on May 15, 2013.
All events are sponsored by Chimney Rock Interpretive Assn., Inc., in partnership with the USDA Forest Service, San Juan National Forest, Pagosa Ranger District. Visit the website at www.chimneyrockco.org