I started writing my past Blog with a swelled up heart and much emotions, but I did not express it into words This is my Journal, sometimes I have to tell myself that I am not always writing for entertainment. I am honored for so many that read it, this is my "therapy"… my "bouncing wall". Sometimes its expression, wrongly, stays bottled up as, no other way to say it, I don’t want to bother anyone. But that was not its original purpose which I now go back to… regardless. It has not happened often, but I have received in all this time on the road only a couple e mails asking me not to be a "downer" at times… This is Life… this is Reality… I have come to the conclusion lately that pain "is" to be felt and dealt with, as much as the beauty that surrounds me which is so real, pain also has its existence we cannot ignore. The avoidance of putting down my true feelings back fires at me as it has today since we have come back from Canyon de Chelly, trying to write another part of our experience. As mentioned previously, Art, another rider/reader from New York joined us for those couple days camping, at 22 years young, his appearance, behavior and all that he carried so well for such a young age only brought back more vividly than ever Lance’s presence.
I will not hide the fact that as sitting across from each other having dinner and conversating, Lance’s aura was stronger than ever. Just faith you know, I did not plan this, Art did not either, I don’t even think he knew about Lance as the Blog with close to 300 entries now, well, I don’t expect anyone to have read it all! Today all day has been as a black hole, my own black hole trying to snap out of it as even my buddy Spirit has not been able to draw a smile from me. I know that I am not the only single one in this whole world of ours to carry such weight… I do not claim to be anyone singled out with such faith… I personally write to others wearing the same shoes… sometimes being alone only accentuates it all, specially when spending a couple days with such a young gentleman as Art.
So the weight lightens up when I write about it, the mind clears up, my strength and clarity of thinking comes back and what therapy it has been to admire, feel and understand the beauty of Mother Nature that surrounds us in parallel with my writing. All is so much there and as I try to understand its therapy, I can only feel its power of it being in front of us to the taking for so many millions of year. Its course during the milliseconds that we ourselves are here can be touched, admired, studied and photographed, even if others sees it under a different eye, in a different fashion as I witness it myself. Sometimes the fast driving car, doors open, quick pace, camera up, camera down, a few shots and they are gone… The tour bus filled to the brim with exactly the given amount of minutes and maybe seconds spend with each stop… all down, click… snap… snap… all up and there they go. No criticism here, everyone does what they can with what they have as ourselves we also try.
From the Visitor Center nearing the Canyon, the South Rim drive and the North Rim drive depart each in their own direction, not following the same Canyon as I originally thought. They are two different Canyons each with their own ruins and I could not help going back thousands of years imagining Life "down there"!!! Fertile land today, covered with water in the previous centuries I tried to get an answer to a question… which finally received an answer! The question was why built so high up on the cliffs… I had not realized that the water levels would be higher and that their route was not necessarily from the bottom up but also from the top down! This above is "Face Rock" that can be seen from the South Rim drive.
You got to love it… a whole Village! These are the "Mummy Cave Ruins", one of the largest ancient Puebloan village in the Canyon. It was occupied from the earliest to about the 1300’s. The east and west alcoves include living and ceremonial rooms. The tower complex resting on the central ledge was built in the 1280’s by people who migrated from Mesa Verde.
The White House Ruin can be seen from the South Rim, also built by ancient Puebloan people and was occupied up to 1000 years ago. It is that little opening in the cliff at the bottom about two thirds from the left.
… and when I looked at the previous picture, I have no clue if anyone else has noticed it, I saw three "chocolate ice cream cones"! No… I am not loosing it yet… it is there as day and night! right? Please tell me that you also see them!… specially with the close up below.
We rode the South Rim, we then rode the North Rim, I think our chatting with many took most part of the days spend, we even met a reader of mine on a Harley himself on his own Journey to the sights. We tried to figure out the best place to be for sunrises and sunsets! The sunrises, well, never got up in time even the last morning there… Tent camping is my favorite of all times and the only days I like to sleep late breathing that fresh air from the perfect, just lightly windy days we had. Spirit? well… he is Spirit at all times… still right away establishing his territory and growling (gently!) at any "thing" coming near by the camp… He even barked at Art once because I was not around, he does not make exceptions and I have to say that he makes me laugh so often when playing the "protector" role!
Those above are the "Sliding House Ruin", which also can be seen from the South Rim. The Canyons, "de Chelly" and "del Muerto" are filled with History. Sad History, ironically in such beautiful settings, History that one cannot ignore, one of the most tragic events being the Long Walk between 1863 and 1868. "During a short campaign, a U.S. Military force, under the command of Stephen Watts Kearny offered the Navajos qualified Peace and Friendship in order to end decades of mutual raiding. For the next 17 years the agreement was tested by continued conflict, broken promises and numerous expeditions into the Navajo territory.
In 1863 Colonel Kit Carson, under the orders from the territorial commander, began a brutal campaign against the Navajos in the winter of 1864. All resistance proved to be futile and most of the Navajos were killed or captured. A bit later on the campaign was further completed, destroying the remaining hogans, orchards and sheep.
A bitter, humiliating trial awaited the Navajo who survived the ordeal. Forced to march more than 300 miles, called the "Long Walk", to Summer in New Mexico, scores perished from hunger thirst and fatigue. In Fort Summer poor food, inadequate shelter and diseases brutalized the survivors. Finally after four years of senseless incarceration, the Navajo were allowed to return home in 1868 to begin the process of rebuilding their lives and "spirit"."
Reading the story, feeling the sights, there is so much one should not miss… cannot miss… will be be touched by it all. Time… that is what we all need, sometimes there and sometimes not. We will return to Canyon de Chelly, there are many more sights and roads specially east of it to ride and experience. Another Sunset was gifted to us that night… Mother Nature is only trying to balance it all the best she can…
Same place… same Sun and Earth… just a different "fingerprint".
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You be well… always… Ara & Spirit