Saturday, June 9, 2012

Rhythm of the Road:

Yesterday my first on the road decision.  Change the plan...spend another day at Mesa Verde National Park.  First stop this morning was the Absolute Bakery Cafe in Mancos.  Good place to start the day and collect my thoughts.
No sooner had I sat down than I met Ralph.  German by birth, Ralph began to share with me his around the world odyssey.  Over several cups of coffee I heard of his boyhood experiences growing up on a farm in Germany, travels in Spain, restoring a historic hotel
in Flagstaff, and his life as a sheep herder on the Navajo Nation. We discussed the moon, the stars, and the cycles of life.
On the road from Mancos to the Park I think I found where all those arrows fell when they were shot into the sky.
The sky this morning as I approached the Park had a mystical quality.
I decided to spend the day on Wetherill Mesa. This is the more remote part of the Park only open in spring and summer. The area  was burned over by a major fire in 2000.
My destination for the day was Long House.  The second largest cliff house in Mesa Verde. Stopping in the visitors center I bought my ticket ($3) for a noon tour.  Tours are not high on my list of activities, so this was a "leap of faith" for me.
The "leap" far exceeded my expectations.  The Park Service Naturalist who shared the area with our tour brought a sincere and thoughtful "sense of place" to the experience.
The ancestors first built pit houses at Long House in about 600 AD.  Later, from around 1000-1200 AD the cliff houses were constructed on top of the pit houses.
High on the rock wall an artist in about 800 AD left a hand print.
Long House, although "discovered by Richard Wetherill in the late 1800's was not "touched" by many human hands until 1958 when the Park Service began work to preserve the cliff house.  A natural spring behind the building next to the stone wall supplied drinking water to the community.
My visit to Long House was rather short.  It would have been easy to remain for hours if not days.  Long House shares the spirits of the ancestors.  Our sisters and brothers.

Tonight I feel the "rhythm of the road" beginning.  Experiencing our National Parks, understanding the beauty, harmony, and great lessons they hold for us.  We only need to stop, feel, see, and hear the message.

be strong, be safe, Carlan 

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