There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
There is society, where none intrudes.
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more...

-Lord Byron

Definition of Walkabout :

a short period of wandering as an occasional interruption of regular work
Showing posts with label Fremont Indians. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fremont Indians. Show all posts

22 December 2011

inside Earth's depths...

A lone hawk swoops down out of the thick fog, its giant wingspan floating across my windshield, then disappears back into the clouds. It's the first sign of life I've seen in hours along the lonesome Nevada highway.
Towns out in the nothingness here are intriguing, remnants that hold stories of old if one stops to observe and listen.
There are still a few brave souls that make this place home in ramshackle houses and weather beaten trailers. One would imagine that although life may be hard, there is peace that also comes knowing that children can play in relative safety, run wild in the desert, use their imagination and creativity to pass the hours.
The deeper you go into Nevada's wildness, you find the sun shining down on pristine beauty. The sagebrush covered in last night's newly fallen snow blanket the area like a virgin's white dress on her wedding day.
An archaeological site of the little known Fremont Indian from seven hundred years ago reveals a glimpse into a possible village, or perhaps a ceremonial graveyard. If you take the time, you can almost hear their Indian cry in the wind, feel them on your skin.
Driving past Baker, a town that almost has "Ghost town" status, except for a few old timers with trusty dogs at their side as they sit on broken down porches in the cold, watching me as I pass by. A chill runs down my spine as I make my way up the road to the cave, the final destination.
As luck would have it, the Park Ranger is just about to start a tour with only two people. I happily join them, and the four of us enter the Lehman Cave, first discovered in the late 1880's by Arthur Lehman. As we walk the ranger gives us a fascinating history lesson, from a B movie filmed in the cave in the 1950's, to the original tour price of one dollar to enter, with Mr. Lehman locking you in the cave by yourself for twenty four hours to explore, with only a tin can and wax candle for light.
If one didn't emerge after that time frame, he would then come in to find you.
Terrifying.
You get a sense of how old the cave is from the early graffiti left on the walls.....
To walk into the depths of the earth and see formations that take millions of years to form is mind boggling, at least to this mind.

11 November 2011

the Fremont Indians

It is unknown to us here today as to where the Fremont Indians came from. Some speculate that they broke from the Anasazi group and traveled north.
Their remnants are scattered throughout eastern Utah, one only has to look.
Today I head to explore nine mile canyon, to find the Fremont.

The area is all BLM land ( Bureau of Land Management) and is contracted by gas & mine companies. Fracking drilling rigs are dotted along the rim, but down in the canyon it is only I and the occasional rumbling truck. I set off to explore.

In the solitude of a serene blue sky and surrounded by majestic mountains wearing snow caps, I find ancient rock wall drawings of the Fremont. Lightly touching the images with bare skin, I think I hear flute sounds in the wind. I contemplate the meaning behind the drawings; are they stories of a past people, markings of a place to hunt, celestial communications to the heavens?...

Some things are better left as contemplative mysteries. Finding my way deeper into the canyon, I find a side slot canyon begging me to climb inside. I comply and go deep, crawling up crevasses, through wind carved caves and immense boulders cracked by ice and time.

As the sun sets and the temperatures drop in this open landscape, I pass the the oil and gas rigs and think to myself that man will soon destroy this history, and replace it with our own marking of our civilization.
Maybe in another couple thousand of years, another human will set out on a similar adventure, wondering about remnants left behind by our people.

Wonder what the remains of our people will say...