|The best part of the petrified forest and the painted dessert is neither. I am always most interested in the human footprints.|
|I felt pretty good on day 2 at the Grand Canyon!|
Although I kept offering to drive, I was thankful every time my husband turned me down. As much as I loved our trip as adventure and a chance to escape from my everyday boring sick life, my everyday boring sick body had been ignored long enough.
So today at after two o'clock, I'm finally up. I've been up and down for food and shower and laundry, but it has definitely been a podcast listening sort of day--focusing on the voices of historians in Ben Franklin's World because I'm done sleeping, but not ready for anything else.
But I am also overwhelmed in amazing ways. Over the next few weeks I'll be processing my trip emotionally, visually and academically. All will be part of my personal history, but much will also be posted here as blog entries.
We travelled so far and saw so much. Here's a brief Facebook summary my husband posted which expresses it well.
|North American Pixellated Ravens|
|Tower at the Grand Canyon--inspired by native culture|
The gas station/convenience store was also an eight lane bowling alley and there was a school bus outside that probably accounted for the twenty young men bowling. I'm having linguistic fun trying to use Ute youth in a sentence, but I can't remember the name of the school district and honestly don't know if they were Ute, Navaho, Paiute, or from a tribe further away.
While I was inside, my husband got a kick out of a young man driving in to gas up with music blaring from his truck in typical young man fashion--in this case traditional native singing and drumming.
I've grown up with a natural fear of "the other," extending to travel on local tribal lands, but saw nothing but friendliness. (And some of the best cell phone signal on our trip.)
I will be less nervous in the future, which is good because I long to study the towns left by the Native American's ancestors and learn more about what they did to create comfortable homes in the desert. If I ever become less shy, I would also like to interview native Utahns about their lives and homes today.
|Also inspired by native culture:Holbrook, Arizona--inspiration for Pixar's "Cars"?|
He taught us that the volcanic cinders that make up most of the soil make farming too difficult for more than small, subsistence gardening.
This unpromising soil became the home to ancestral Puebloans who built a settlement nearby over a thousand years ago, then moved on for unknown reasons before the Navaho arrived five hundred years later, soon followed by the Spanish explorers.
After the Mexican American War, two parallel settlements were built by Basque sheep herders and Mormon Cattle ranchers. Despite combined economic interests, two towns remain, each proud of their independent heritage.
My husband pointed out that the woman who runs (and hopefully owns) the hotel we stayed in in Springerville is in a similar situation.
Like many in the hotel business in our part of the country, she is from India. Because I am not nosy, I didn't ask why she left India, why she chose Springerville, or whether the older man reading the newspaper and the older woman helping with the baby were her parents or her in-laws.
I did take pictures of one of her two well-tended rose gardens. They are in gorgeous full bloom and show signs of daily care. Whatever brought her to this lonely foreign place, she is determined to cultivate a home.