A Capitol’s Quiet Hour

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June 30, 2019, Raleigh-

Perhaps in a moment of selfishness, I chose to head to North Carolina’s Triad region, specifically to the Capitol, rather than to the west central area, north of Charlotte.  This, though, is what my spirit guides were telling me was in order.

I found Raleigh in a quiet and pensive collective mood, whilst walking about the Capitol District on this morning, when many were engaged in acts of worship.  I pretty much had the area to myself.

The great museums would not open until noon, by which time I was getting my laundry done, in south Raleigh’s International Market, a haven for the area’s Hispanic community.

Part of the Tar Heel story is told on the Museum of History’s grounds.  The frame of a Catawba home is here, surrounded by the lushness of the Piedmont.

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North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences takes up the right flank of the Museum Quarter.

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The North Carolina Museum of History occupies the left hand side.

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Three figures greet the visitor to the Museum of History: A woman of Sauratown, Thomas Day and Frederick Augustus Olds.  Sauratown is an isolated mountain region, northwest of Winston-Salem.  The independence of area residents is commemorated by this statue of an unidentified woman.  Thomas Day is celebrated as an example of how much a free Black man could achieve.  He was a skilled cabinetmaker, of the Antebellum period. Frederick Augustus Olds, a journalist, was a relentless advocate of telling North Carolina’s story, especally of “human history” and of the advancement of both Boy and Girl Scouts.

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Here is the Promenade, in its fullness.

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North Carolina is the birthplace of three U.S. Presidents:  Andrew Jackson, James Knox Polk and Andrew Johnson.  They may not be the favourites of many people, but each pursued and achieved his goals.  The State Capitol looms in the background.

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Here are more complete views of the State Capitol.

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This statue depicts a naval cadet, of the late Nineteenth Century.  A woman passing by with her young daughter remarked to the child that it must have been most uncomfortable to have to wear such garb, in the heat of a Carolina summer.

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This bell tower, of First Presbyterian church, is framed by the Memorial Garden of the Harden family.

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At the opposite end of the Promenade, near the Natural Sciences Museum, is this statue depicting the naturalist Rachel Carson, listening to a story being told by a young boy.  She was passionate about educating the young, as to the dangers posed by excessive chemical use, in the mid-Twentieth Century.

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My time with the Hispanic people showed that the Tar Heel tradition continues to promote the achievements of the individual, over a mass ideological swell.  May that ethic long continue.

NEXT:  Virginia’s Eastern Shore

 

Charleston’s Many Colours

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June 29, 2019, Charleston (SC)-

One of the most attractive features of any town or city is the way in which it displays colour-either in street art, botanic arrays, festivals or architecture.   The cultural center of South Carolina has all four.

I came here specifically to visit Fort Sumter, about which more in the next post.  What would keep me coming back are two things:  The warm reception at the north side’s Not So Hostel and the riot of colour, just about everywhere.

Not So Hostel keeps its promise.  Despite one passive-aggressive guest, the place was a serene compound and a fine place to climb to a top bunk and rest the night.

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Driving in Charleston can be a bit dicey.   Maybe it’s the heat, or maybe the narrow streets, but Charleston’s motorists can be as nasty to one another as any in a much larger city.  That is one reason I enjoyed my two walks in the area.  First came North Charleston’s Riverfront  Park, the former Naval Base, on the banks of the Cooper River.  The preserved mansions then served as both residences and administrative quarters.

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Artifacts of the Base’s active days are interposed with the flora, which Theodore Roosevelt had reportedly wanted removed, so as to keep the place in fighting trim.  The proper ladies of North Charleston had other ideas.

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The poignancy of farewells and returns is equally captured, in this sculpture of a Navy family.

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There are a few fountains, like this one, interspersed throughout the Charleston area, for people to cool themselves.  Those in downtown Charleston had many children doing so.

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The Cooper River presented itself as a focal point for a morning’s contemplation.

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The gardens have gradually been restored, thanks to North Charleston’s horticultural societies.

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I headed downtown, after the Fort Sumter excursion, with the goal of walking to The Battery and back up King Street.  Downtown was suitably packed, on this Saturday afternoon.  I found quite a few people were interested in seeing St. Philip’s Church, but it was closed.

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This is about as close as I got to Rainbow Row.

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Along the Battery, houses were meant to provide for the many.

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These days, the many take comfort by walking along Charleston Harbor.

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The Battery’s gazebo was a haven for one family, in the heat, for nearly twenty minutes. I took this photo, once they moved on to a fountain.

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This obelisk is one of several monuments to veterans of the nation’s conflicts.  Confederate monuments are among them.

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Rainbow Row is emulated, here and there, along King Street.

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES My last view of downtown Charleston was of Circular Congregational Church, which was founded in 1681 and is still in use.

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NEXT:  Fort Sumter

 

 

 

 

 

 

The School of Hope

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June 28, 2019, St. Helena Island, SC-

I am of the opinion that there should be no child left behind-and I don’t mean to throw us back to the Federal educational initiative by that name, which only met the need in a limited fashion.

Truly meeting a child’s needs is something that no “one size fits all” program can possibly address. The basis for any effort to improve a person’s well-being is love for that person, as an extension of one’s love for humanity.

Penn Center, in the heart of this Sea Island near Beaufort, is a shining example of the true meaning of “No Child left Behind”.  Its genesis was the implementing of the Emancipation Proclamation. One thing that was ever in Abraham Lincoln’s mind, when he contemplated freeing the slaves in the Confederate States, was the immediate unleashing on Southern society of millions of illiterate people, the majority of whom were also not trained in any skilled trade.  “Forty acres and a mule”, the mantra of freed enslaved minister Garrison Frazier, turned into a scattershot attempt to relieve that society of its immediate burden, once it became actual Federal policy.  Lincoln himself, hamstrung by his own conviction that any given White man was inherently superior to any given person of another “race”, had no coherent plan to alleviate the situation.

So, it fell to Rev. Frazier and a council of educated Black men, in the Lowlands from Savannah to Charleston, to devise and implement a plan to establish a school for the children of the Sea Islands region. Penn School, established, as its name implies, with the support of the Society of Friends, became just such a school. It was initially established in 1862, even before the Emancipation Proclamation was issued.  Truth be known, word had reached the Black community in Savannah that many slaveholders in Virginia, Louisiana and Georgia were teaching their male slaves how to read and write.  Many others had been taught, surreptitiously, by the wives and children of their masters. The former estate of a freed slave, Harvey Gantt, became the site of an expanded school, in 1864. By 1865, Quaker abolitionists in Philadelphia began supporting the school, and it was named Penn School.  In 1901, Hampton Institute, a Black college in Virginia, began sponsoring the school, which was cut off from public funding by Beaufort County’s segregationist leadership. Even with this assistance, though, the school continued to struggle.  In 1948, Penn School closed and Penn Center, a community development and cultural preservation institution, emerged on the property.

Today, Penn Center is a haven for the study and preservation of Gullah language and culture and for the promotion of Civil Rights.  Its York W. Bailey Museum has a wealth of African art and Gullah artifacts.  The Center promotes the Reconstruction Era National Historic Park, of which it is the epicenter, and the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor, from Florida to North Carolina.  It maintains active relationships with people in West and Central Africa, with the President of Sierra Leone visiting the Center, in 1988.

Here are some scenes of Penn Center’s grounds.  No photography is permitted in the Bailey Museum itself.

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The Gantt House  (Pine House) today serves as one of the learning sites for Penn Center.

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These storage cisterns were once the school’s main source of fresh water.

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This is Darrah Hall, Penn Center’s oldest building, built in 1903.  It is used for large events.

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The flat bottom boat is a staple of Low Country transportation.  This one was built and used by freed slaves.

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This is the Center’s Administration Building.

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Here is one of the first classroom buildings of Penn School, circa 1905.

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This complex was a beehive of activity, during my visit.  Vibrant teens were calling out friendly greetings to me, while their teachers were trying to get them focused on the activity of the afternoon.

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As in any community, a small cemetery has sprung up at Penn Center.

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I end with two shots of Brick Church, the original site of the school, and which predates Penn Center.

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There is much to learn, as yet, about Gullah Geechee culture, so I know this is far from my last visit to the Low Country.  Penn Center, though, gave me an excellent introduction.

NEXT:  The Wonder That Is Charleston

 

Staying Independent

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July 4, 2019, Saugus-

I will continue (go back to) my photo blogs, in the next few posts.  Jumping ahead to the Fourth of July just seems best, though.

I had a conversation with someone very close to me, during the family gathering at a niece’s home, this afternoon.  One thing rings very loud and clear, from this discourse and from other conversations I’ve had, these past few months:  Many people are feeling put upon by aggressive individuals and groups, who take a point of view opposite that which they happen to hold.  Many individuals and groups ARE resorting to the use of force, when confronted with those taking such opposite viewpoints.

I was raised to hear other people out.  My parents, social conservatives, made a great effort to understand even the most seemingly ludicrous viewpoints.  I have maintained an open mind, as a result, throughout fifty-six years of adolescence and adulthood.  Civil Rights have long been a matter of supreme importance in my life, and that cuts both ways.  The Right cannot bully people of colour, of Faiths other than that of the majority in a community, or those living a lifestyle different from that which is conventional. The Left, likewise, cannot deprive people of more traditional bearing, of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Violent behaviour, on either side, is the stuff of fascism (even when the bully calls self “Antifa”)

I am, as it happens, an obstinate soul, when people without authority try to force me to do their bidding.  Additionally, I question those who DO exercise authority, as to the ethical basis for their actions.  That is what I get from both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution.    That is what I get from my Faith.

So, to my family-my elders, siblings and cousins:  You all matter, greatly.  Your point of view has at least some validity and is worth hearing, and pondering.  Our family is large, so there are all points covered, on the political spectrum. I will not plug my ears to any of it, so long as you do not ascribe to a coda of violence or or a policy of defamation against your opposite numbers.

To my children, nieces/nephews, and “grands”- You are, one and all, a great hope; you are people of immense promise and, especially if you are feeling vulnerable,  are worthy of all the support and love that we, your elders, can muster.  We cannot spare you from life’s ups and downs, but we can point towards the light. This is the very least we can do, in building and safeguarding your own sense of well-being and independence.

Most of the problems we face, when it comes to intolerance and reactive violence, seem to stem from the violent ones acting out of insecurity.  In truth, though, i have to ask, “How does a person expressing an alternative point of view, in and of itself, constitute a threat to my well-being?”  It may be annoying, but it is not a threat-unless accompanied by force-which then makes it an entirely different matter.

Staying independent means, to me, that one takes the time to carefully examine issues and evaluating a variety of points of view.  It also means extending that right to independence to every one else.  These are my thoughts as the Sun goes down on another July 4.

Lighthouse, Shimmering In The Heat

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June 18, 2019, Amarillo-

I made it a point to stop here today, for two reasons.  One was my old Xanga buddy, Wes, and his ties to the Amarillo that was.  The other was Lighthouse Trail, in Palo Duro State Park.  I always meet the most delightful people, through both Wes and Palo Duro.  Today was no exception.

Texas Tidbits (Wes’ old Xanga moniker) suggested a meet-up at Smokey Joe’s, which I recall as a most delightful spot.  The cutest, and toughest, little lady was our server last time.  Her co-worker, J, was our gracious and ever-attentive hostess, on this fine afternoon.  We sat around for about an hour, while I savoured a Tex-Mex burger, and solved at least some of the issues that plague mankind.

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Now, I could sit in the presence of Wes and the ladies, for hours on end, but my hiking legs would not forgive me for such self-indulgence.  So, I bid pardner adieu and set off for Palo Duro.

Upon arrival, the lovely and friendly ranger pointed out that many folks had been their before me, snapping up all the campsites. No worries here, though.  The main point of my visit was that Light House in the desert, shimmering as it was, in the heat.  I brought enough water to fuel a truckload of cattle, and set off on the six-mile round trip.

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Capitol Peak and an unnamed “human” figure loom in the near distance, before the trail to Light House Rock veers to the right.

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Other magnificent formations grace the way to Light House.

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The first close-up view of the Light House formation, came as I reached the crest of the only real ascent of the hike.

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Here they are, one at a time.

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This shows the actual distance between the two rocks.

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As the first rumblings of a storm were heard, I took this last close-up.

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Whilst I was doing this, another man was contenting himself with climbing a path to the top of the rock on the left.  He spent several minutes there, fortunately getting down, as the skies darkened and racing up the path, to avoid the rain.

As I was walking back, I met a young couple with a dog, and pointed out to them that the storm was getting much closer.  They deiced to head back and stayed with me to the parking area.  E and M are a delightful pair, reminding me of my son and daughter-in-law.  We noted the lushness of the surrounding area, as a sign of the copious rain that the Panhandle has enjoyed this Spring.

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We got back to our cars, just as the rain was intensifying.  No sooner was everyone safely inside the vehicles, than hail started falling-furiously.   Yet, once we got to the park entrance:  Voila!  The sunshine returned.  With no camping site, I drove back to Amarillo, and have a room at Camelot Inn and Suites.

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Yes, another good day was had in the desert!

NEXT:  When Armies Wear Each Other Out

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Day for Setting Example

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June 16, 2019, Grants, NM-

I told myself that this summer, I would not zip through the astonishing red rocks and juniper of northern AZ and New Mexico, so today, I set a limit of the 62.4 miles that lie between Gallup and this old mining town, which is struggling to redefine itself.

I began Father’s Day, last night actually, with a roughly forty-minute conversation with my son and daughter-in-law, reassuring me that all is well with them, and vice versa.  This morning, a light breakfast of yogurt, from the grocery store across from Lariat Lodge, seemed quite sufficient.  Afterward, the first order of business was a visit to the lobby and garden of El Rancho Hotel, Gallup’s premier historical property and a favourite of many of Old Hollywood’s great figures- from James Stewart to Claude Akins.  Several photos line the wall of the second floor of the lobby.  Here is an introduction to El Rancho:

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESGallup has made itself a haven for Dineh, Zuni, Acoma and Apache artists looking to sell their crafts.  Armando Ortega and his family were among the first to offer marketing services to First Nations artists in the area.  The Ortegas have sponsored this alcove display, in the center of the first floor lobby.

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Even the outdoor benches are adorned with intricate design.

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From here, it was time to head towards the rocks, specifically El Malpais National Monument, just south of Grants. In 1985, Penny and I took two sons of a then-recently departed friend to this area, camping overnight at the privately-owned Bandera Volcano (extinct), as a respite for his widow.  In the years since, the road has been a shortcut, when I have driven between Phoenix and Albuquerque.

Today, it was my Father’s Day present to myself, to explore the eastern portion of the Monument, some forty miles past the volcano.  The sandstone formations near Zuni-Acoma Trail are as majestic as any in the southwest. Whilst taking in these marvels, I fixed and ate a sandwich. This would prove to be of dire consequence.

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After visiting the Ranger Station, I doubled back to Sandstone Bluffs Overlook.

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Although the storm clouds looked threatening, the rain held off until I was back in Grants.

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The series of holes, that are visible in the center of this frame, were actually bored by molten lava, during the last eruption of McCartys Crater, some 3000 years ago.  They are known, collectively, as Chain of Craters.

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Of more ancient vintage is Mt. Taylor, seen to the north.  It is one of the Four Sacred Peaks which are revered by several First Nations in the area. Mt. Taylor has been inactive for millions of years.

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Lichen have absorbed into the sandstone, over the centuries, giving some parts of Sandstone Bluffs the appearance of having been painted.

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Whilst sandstone is not slippery, its delicate nature means it can be broken easily, especially close its seams.  All walking on rock surfaces requires close attention to what lies underfoot.

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While heading towards La Ventana Natural Arch, I spotted this remnant of an early rancher’s attempt at settlement.

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La Ventana is a continuation of Cebolita Mesa’s exquisite base, which we saw earlier, near Zuni-Acoma Trailhead.  This is older sandstone than that at the Bluffs.  There were several other people here, including a grandfather, his son and three grandchildren.  Grandpa was teasing the two younger kids about jumping off the rock on which they had climbed.  Of course, he and Dad each helped the kids get off, but it was amusing to watch the little ones’ initial reaction of “AWWW, GRANDPA!!”

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This balancing rock evokes a visitor from another world.

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Here are two views of La Ventana, itself.

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A close look at this wall of Cebollita Mesa seems to show two faces. I am curious as to what you, the reader, sees here.

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The area west of Cebollita Mesa is covered with lava beds.  These range from just north of I-40 to the Lava Falls Area, thirty-six miles southward.  They extend, east to west, for about twenty-five miles.

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Once back in Grants, I was starting to feel a drag on my system.  Nonetheless, being Father’s Day, I was determined to get one good meal.  There being no locally-owned cafe open,near the Sands Motel (another Route 66 establishment registered as a National Historic Site), I chose the reliability of Denny’s.  The salmon and vegetables were very nicely done, as was the cup of soup.  I hydrated plentifully, as well.

Back in the motel room, I will only say that I dealt with my ailment as I had always taught my son to do- in  mature and responsible manner. I felt much better afterwards and Father’s Day was only mildly interrupted.  I had maintained my example, though, even if no one was around to notice.  That is what the day really signifies.

NEXT:  A Return to the Duke City

 

The Treasure Road

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June 15, 2019, Gallup-

The fine thing about a diverse landscape such as that of the Navajo Nation is that one can experience five forms of weather, as well as of scenery, in the span of thirty minutes.

I left Canyon de Chelly around noon, heading for the small college town of Tsaile.  This is the site of the main campus of Dine College, the Dineh’s highest resident institution of learning.  It offers eight Baccalaureate programs and is led by Dr. Charles Roessel, a member of one of the area’s most distinguished educational families.

The place today, though, was the realm of crickets.  Being a Saturday, in summer session, everyone except a lone security guard seemed to be elsewhere. Here are a couple of scenes of that splendid silence. First, the Library.

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The centerpiece sculpture is of life-sustaining maize.

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There are two mountain ranges in this part of the Dineh Nation. Here is a view of the Lukachukai Range.

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As I left Tsaile, the road led to its sister village:  Wheatfields.  The two share a single Chapter, in terms of jurisdiction.  Wheatfields is home to one of the Navajo Nation’s most popular recreation sites:  Wheatfields Lake.  Along the way, there are the buttes and peaks of the southern flank of the Lukachukai Range and the norther flank of the Chuskas.  Below, is a view of Tsaile Butte.

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Here is  a  view of Wheatfields Lake.  It was crowded with fisherfolk and water’s edge vacationers.  Unseen here, a storm front was approaching from the west.

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The road next led through a small sliver of New Mexico.  The two Chapters, Crystal and Red Mesa, were significant to Penny and me, as a vibrant and forward-looking family of Baha’is had branches in each community, in the 1980’s and ’90’s.  I fondly remember the Coes, their bread truck office and its early-model Word Processor; then, there were their elders, the Belshaws, with a wealth of natural foods knowledge and holistic health tips.

Here is Red Mesa, near the village of Navajo, NM (Red Mesa Chapter).

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The Treasure Road (my term) comes to an end in Window Rock, the administrative seat of the Navajo Nation.  A serene park encompasses the town’s namesake.

Here are some views of this unique red sandstone promontory, with its signatory arch.

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The park also feature a memorial to the Navajo Code Talkers, whose service during World War II was instrumental in the U. S. defeat of the Japanese Imperial Forces.  The Navajo contingent was the largest of several groups of Native American teams, who used their languages to convey information in a way that would not be decipherable by the enemy.  There are five living Navajo Code Talkers, as of this writing.

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With this, I headed to Native American Baha’i Institute, briefly saying a round of prayers and careful not to disturb several work projects, then headed here, to this bustling community that lies in the midst of the Navajo Nation.  It was time to sleep, at the Lariat Motel.

NEXT:  A Checkered Father’s Day

Canyon de Chelly:The Land Still Thrives

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June 15, 2019, Chinle-

After a comfortable night in my tent, I spent the morning hiking White House Ruins Trail, the only unguided hike into Canyon de Chelly.  The route takes one down to a properly fenced off ruin, with various formations, images and a working farm (no photographs allowed) along the way.

Without further ado, let the pictures speak for themselves.  First, a couple of views from the overlook:

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The trail starts flat, then quickly gets steep.

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There are two tunnels along the trail.  This is the smaller one.

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The trail looks messy, but is actually well-maintained.

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Some reinforcing has been needed, over the years.

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The canyon is watching.

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This verdancy allows many Dineh to farm here, at the Canyon’s bottom.

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Caves abound-or they are watchmen?

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Grey gypsum and turquoise are embedded in the sandstone, at this particular spot.

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Here is the second tunnel.

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Even ants need picnic benches.

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Camellias add a nice touch to the canyon bottom.

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This majestic tableau rises above the working farm I passed.

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Chinle Wash is flowing mildly, but steadily.

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After a leisurely hike, here they were:  White House Ruin, built by Ancestral Puebloans, around 1060 A.D. and occupied continuously for 200 years afterward.

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The walk back up was not at all hard, with a couple walking slightly ahead of me, and stopping for occasional conversation, then moving along for their own private reflections.

This was my fourth time hiking White House Trail ,and certainly the most well documented.

NEXT:  The Road to Window Rock

Canyon de Chelly: The View From the Top

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June 15, 2019, Chinle-

Many people, when comparing Arizona’s myriad of canyons, prefer smaller ones. Canyon de Chelly (pronounced SHAY), high on the eastern edge of the Colorado Plateau, has its thousands of afficionados.  It was one of the alternatives to the Grand Canyon, for Dineh people seeking to hide from Kit Carson’s forces, during the run-up to the Long Walk.

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Today, the place is, reasonably, packed with visitors of all ages- taking jeep tours, riding horseback, walking with authorized Dineh guides, or on their own (along White House Trail, which will be the subject of the next post).  Some are happy with viewing the magnificence from rim overlooks.  Still others are okay with just camping, at the NPS-run Cottonwood, or at the privately-owned Spider Rock Campground. Then, there is the chill-out crowd, hanging out at Thunderbird Lodge.

My focus was two-fold: Take in the South Rim overlooks, camp at Cottonwood, then hike White House Trail and end with the North Rim viewpoints.  That worked well, and so-here are views from each of the overlooks, beginning with Tunnel Canyon and ending with Mummy Cave.

Tunnel Canyon Overlook:

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Tsegi Overlook:  (Tsegi is Dineh for “canyon”)

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Junction Overlook: (Canyon de Chelly {South} and Canyon del Muerto {North} converge here.)

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The overlook, and other highlights, of White House Trail, will be featured in the next post.

Sliding House Overlook:

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Spider Rock Overlook:

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Now, from the North Rim, here’s a view from Antelope House Overlook: (This ruin may only be viewed up close, if one is accompanied by a registered Navajo guide.)

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Massacre Cave Overlook:  (The cave itself was the scene of a wanton slaughter of Dineh women and children, by Spanish soldiers, in 1805.)

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Mummy Cave Overlook: (This also accessible only on a guided tour.  Mummy Cave is the largest Ancient Puebloan ruin in Canyon de Chelly National Monument.)

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So, as you can see, there is a wide variety of learning activities at Canyon de Chelly National Monument.  An old favourite hike, White House Ruins Trail, is among them and is the subject of the next post.

 

 

The Art of Encouragement

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESJune 14, 2019, Ganado, AZ-

During the course of the tortuous process of incarceration, known as The Long Walk, white America showed itself to be of two minds, regarding the Dineh (Navajo) people.  There was the idea that, by removing Dineh, the resources of the area in which they lived would be available to the “Greater Nation”.   President Lincoln also retained the distrust and dislike of First Nations people, which he had carried since his participation in the Indian Wars of 1818-20.  He did not have to be cajoled into signing off on this travesty.

In all of this, an even-handed, but not easily-swayed, Dineh leader named Totsohnii Hastiin (“Man of the Big Water”) resisted incarceration, initially, fleeing to the Grand Canyon and living among his paternal relatives, who were Hopi.  He learned of his people’s suffering at Fort Wingate, and so surrendered, after a time.

When the Dineh were allowed to return to their traditional homes, by President Andrew Johnson, in 1868, some Euro-American traders, especially those of Spanish or Mexican ancestry, were allowed to approach the First Nations people, to establish trading rights.

One of these was a New Mexico native, John Lorenzo Hubble.  He settled with his family in a small Dineh settlement called Pueblo Colorado.  There, Chief Totsohnii established a friendship with “Don” Hubble (Don is a Spanish term of respect for a man of means.) In time, the village of Pueblo Colorado became regularly confused with the large town of Pueblo, Colorado. The people chose to rename their village as Ganado, after Chief Totsohnii’s common title, Ganado Mucho (“many cattle”).  Both names stuck, and today the great leader is remembered as Ganado Mucho.  The village has become a thriving crossroads commercial center.

An essential part of Ganado’s growth has come from the trading post established here, by John Lorenzo Hubble, in 1878.  Hubbell lived here with his family and actively encouraged Dineh artisans to sell their jewelry and wool rugs, two trades they had learned from the Spanish and which they had perfected over nearly a century.  His trading post became a model for others, throughout the Navajo Nation, and nearby First Nations communities.

Today, Hubbell Trading Post remains a working concern, whilst also being preserved in the National Park System, as a National Historical Site.  Here are some scenes of this special establishment.  Below, is the side entrance to the Main Trading Post.

 

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On the ceiling of the “Jewelry Room”, one sees baskets of many First Nations, who traded them with Mr; Hubbell and continue to trade with the present-day proprietors.

 

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The cradle board, examples of which are shown below, was essential for Dineh mothers to carry their infants, both during their work in the fields and along the Long Walk.  It is still used today, by traditional Dineh women.

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In these corrals, the Churro sheep that are so essential to Navajo weaving, as well as for the mutton that is integral to the Dineh diet, are penned.  Churro mutton is one of the Heritage Foods, recognized by Slow Food International, in its work to maintain a diversity of foods for the human race.

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Horses, also beloved of Dineh, as beasts of burden, are also corralled here.

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I got a chance to briefly look inside the home of the Hubbell family, now preserved by the National Park Service.

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The unique tree stump carving below, was commissioned by the  Hubbell family, as proof of  the range of Dineh artistry.

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This hogan-like octagonal cottage housed artists who were commissioned by Mr. Hubbell.

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The Hubbell family members are buried on this hill, which is off-limits to the public.

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The property also shares a Veterans Healing Trail, a serene walk of about 3/4 mile, with the Chapter of Ganado.

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It ends at this Peace Tree, on Ganado Chapter property.

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This first real effort, at bringing heretofore inimical peoples together, has served as an ongoing example of just how our our interests, both common and divergent, can serve as an example of alternatives to conflict.

NEXT:  Canyon de Chelly, As Viewed From the Rims.