After a great time celebrating our friend’s birthday at Orvis Hot Springs, we had to fly out in between big snowstorms. As we defrosted Pegasus, our Ford Transit Van, and got on the road we were excited about where the weather was pointing us this holiday. We were excited to land just outside the Canyon of the Ancients, in Utah. It made sense because many storms wherein the 4 corners area and this spot would be spared. It might get a little cold but we really needed to avoid any kind of snow accumulation.
After our experience on the “Forgiving” Holiday at Standing Rock a few years ago we were inspired to celebrate the holiday in a different way. We work at giving Gratitude all day and every day but on “Thanksgiving” aka “Forgiving” we learn about the history of the Indigenous peoples of North America. We honor their tribes, all they have been through. We where deeply honored this year to learn about the ancient culture that live at “Hovenweep” on the west side of the Canyon of the Ancients, teeny little place that is likely part of the ancient Pueblo People. It even has its own inexpensive boondocking campsite! Our biggest challenge in this space would be wind, considering what we were surrounded by, we were grateful on this holiday to be on such sacred land.
We took the 2-mile hike around the canyon, carefully visiting and learning about each ruin. We noticed everything was on the edge of the canyon or in the canyon. The sky was cloudy, a little threatening but the weather prediction just showed cloudiness. We embraced the moment to tune into this ancient civilization and appreciated all the anthropologists that had studied here. What they unfolded was the truth about the first people of this land, that in fact maybe they weren’t so ‘primitive’. As we walked the edge and stared at the ruins we imagined them not much different than us now, except they of course didn’t have the technology. At least they didn’t have cell phones and computers but we are sure they communicated, maybe through scouts or drumming from one mountain top to another? We wondered about the food they ate, farmed, and stored! Truly they were enlightened with the wisdom to live in harmony with nature – seemed many ancient civilizations understood this. We wondered how humanity had lost this connection, so many theories and opinions on that for sure. Most of us agree we must figure out how to live in harmony. After all, these ancient people lived here 800yrs ago and many other civilizations lived on earth for way longer. They didn’t deplete the land as we do in just a couple hundred years!
The day got windier and windier and we were grateful for the break from the winds as we descended into the canyon on the trail. We were grateful to understand even deeper just how smart these folks where, how they knew this desert would be very windy. We stood there in the center of the canyon, looking up at the threatening sky in wonderment at how these people learned to live in this canyon. As we deeply benefited in those moments to be completely protected from the 25mph winds up on the edge of the canyon, we smiled and KNEW deeply that these people where in harmony with nature. We began to grow hungry so we decided to finish the hike and go back to our van for lunch. We began to harvest the wisdom of these ancient people’s and honor their intelligence, connection, and mystery.
We were sure that the weather would stay calm even though the sky looked a little confused. As we climbed up the other side of the cliff to walk along the edge of the canyon back to the campsite we found ourselves looking upwards. Half the sky, was very dark and threatening but thank goodness we were moving towards the more clear sky. The light fluffly clouds encouraged us to just keep walking and we thought. How could we possibly blog about our experience today, in a good way? Really it’s a simple hike, maybe we find a way to share the wisdom of these ancient people. We had began to contemplate this story as the wind picked up, more and more. Both of us looking up now it seemed the half of the sky that was dark had reached out for us and it was blowing harder, faster and more intensely. We walk a little faster and it seems that cloud reaches for us even more and now with hail and snow pouring down on us so fast we barely can comprehend where the sun ran off to. The hail and the snow blew so hard both of us where reminded of blizzard conditions. Putting our heads down and practically running for shelter we noticed that something so confusing was happening above us, that the snow appeared blue. We ducked into the public bathroom, panting from running, and both of us relieved to be out of the weather.
Minutes later we want to dart for our van, but now the weather has stopped. As if the ancients wanted us to share this with you, and they added just enough excitement to make it a story for YOU! We hope you are enjoying this Story Blog. All stories are developed by Bright Hawk – a professional long time storyteller that often plays music with her stories. AND Hollis Taylor, author and longtime blogger. We share these stories to inspire wanderers, open your heart and eyes, and to recommend some cool places to visit.
Bright Hawk’s CD offers her fun stories that inspire our best selves, we hope you take a moment to listen. She also has a few songs on the album that she drafted with the handpan, the instrument she often uses while storytelling. We hope you take a moment to order and download her CD.