An American Adventure: Part Seven

Desert Communities

We walked the interpretive trail at Sand Canyon, imagining pueblo life on the Colorado Plateau. Steve’s previous work in the archaeology of the area made him an excellent guide. I could picture a lively community centered around the spring of water, foraging and farming, hunting and harvesting on a scale that the surrounding resources could sustain.Ā He found a potsherd by the side of the trail and showed me how the designs were made with a thumbnail. Working with hand tools and simple technology, their lives seemed gracefully balanced. What a contrast to the ways of the motorized, air-conditioned, insta-tech 21st Century! Taking the foot path down the canyon, we tried to match our pace with the Ancients, mentally and physically, and be more aware of the choices we have made. For example, what makes us concerned about “being prepared”? Did the people who lived here carry water with them or did they know where to get it along the way? How did they perceive themselves in this environment? Were they “adventurers”, “survivors”, “explorers” or inhabitants, belonging to their surroundings? And what kinds of attitude arise out of those perceptions?

Here is a gallery of photos from that walk. (to see them in a larger format, as a slide-show, just click on the first one)

9 thoughts on “An American Adventure: Part Seven

  1. the people of the Kalahari desert suck stones as they travel. They can go all day in intense heat without water. Being an inhabitant means a different preparation and quite likely different perceptions and attitudes than we can project for them. Then there are individual differences among the people. Quite the exercise of the imagination to follow their trail!

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