Thursday, January 22, 2015

Where Have They All Gone and What Does It All Mean


Seminole Canyon is a slit in the earth which contains Pecos River rock art dated 4000 years and is considered to be some of North America's oldest pictographs. This is why we are at this park. You can only hike into the canyon if you are on an official guided tour. They will not run the tour if it is raining because the rock you walk on can become super slick and you could slide right off the edge.

We didn't think that there was going to be a tour because it had been raining all night. Let's not also mention that the wind was blowing and it was cold, cold, cold. The tour was at 10, so we decided we would just go down to the Visitor's Center and see if they were going to run the tour.

I dug out my long underwear, my winter coat and my winter gloves which I had packed away a couple of days ago when the temperature was 82. I am down south, why in the world do I have to wear all these clothes. Urggg.

The tour is on and Lou, Davey and I are the only ones on the tour. The tour cost $5. They said that it was a rugged hike, I was a little worried that us geezers would have a hard time, but it helped that we were the only ones on the tour. Laurie was our guide. Laurie and her husband were volunteers at the park. They had been there since Thanksgiving. In exchange for their volunteering, they got a free place to stay in the RV park.

We walked into the canyon, there were about 100 steps down into the canyon, which means we have to come back up those same 100 steps. The pictures don't do it justice to let you know the scale of things. There were these giant shelves on the side of the canyon that prehistory people would stop by and live for a couple of weeks. While they were there, they would do these paintings. We don't know who they were or what the paintings mean. These paintings are of a style not found anywhere else. This is one of the few sites where no cultural group claims that it was their ancestral site. Most of the current day thought is that these pictures are of the shamanistic tradition. Beyond that, we have no idea what they represented. Our guide was excellent and showed us how they made the paint out of rocks, how they boiled prickly pear cactus to make food and 'handbags'. She explained how people used the land to survive.

There was a mescal? tree that Laurie pointed out and she said that early people used it for it's hallucinogen properties. I said – wait, Mescaline? She said – yes. Then she said she was going to keep an eye on me and there better not be any seed pods missing. What can I say? I'm a child of the sixties.

After getting back to the Rvs, it was lunch time and nap time. Lou, Miko and I met at two and we decided we were going to hike some of the trails in the park. We decided to do the Canyon Rim Trail because we thought it would be the most scenic. Of course both Lou and I are scared of heights and I was a little worried because it was still drizzly and I was thinking that rock on the top of the canyon would be slick. It wasn't too bad and the view was almost primal. Especially when you think about how many years ago these Pecos people were walking the land. They were doing their rock art at the same time the pyramids were being built in Egypt.

Today we walked about 5.5 miles and according to my FitBit there were 26 flights of stairs.

Standing overlooking the canyon was a sculpture called Maker of Peace which added to the spirituality of the place.












 

 
 
 



 
 

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