Thursday, May 24, 2012

Only The Canyon Will Tell

He was skeptical of the plan at first, but his family has lived in this canyon for hundreds of years so I knew that he was the right person for this job.  Ahiga is his name, Navajo for “He fights,” another good reason to have him by my side on this expedition.  A quiet man with an intense nature, he didn’t offer much conversation, but that’s not why I hired him.

The descent into the canyon was rocky.  It’s not for the faint of heart—riding on the back of a mule down a trail barely wide enough for the mule itself—but I was assured that this was the safest way.  We circled for hours around this canyon wall, and that canyon wall, each one looking exactly like the last.  By the time we reached the canyon floor, the temperature had dropped significantly and the mysteries of this stoic valley began to reveal themselves.  Modernist abstract paintings emerged from the colorful sedimentary stripes of the canyon walls.  An audience of saguaros stood at the rim silhouetted against an orange sun watching our every move.  The wind howled like a pack of coyotes.

We kept our pace for several more hours until I begged Ahida to stop so I could refill my canteen from a trickle of water weeping from the rock walls.  Looking to the sky I found the saguaros that had been guarding the rim of the canyon all day had begun to retreat into the crimson and violet sky.  Night was falling fast and I couldn't wait to crawl into bed.  "Just over that ridge and we'll be there," Ahida announced.  His echoed words disappeared into the canyon—a secret waiting to be discovered.  
1.  Sunrise over Fountain Hills, Arizona
2.  The Painted Desert, Arizona
1.  Coronado House near Tuscon, Arizona.  Architecture by Voorsanger
2.  Almidi Hurricane, Casamidy
2.  Papago Figural Basket, c. 1910, Four Wind Gallery
2.  Robinwood Chaise, Sutherland by Starck
1.  Kara Mann
1.  The Blanket Weaver-Navaho, 1904, by Edward Curtis
2.  Shipibo Beer Pot, Douglas Dawson Gallery
1.  Amangiri Resort, Canyon Point, Utah
2.  Aspen Firewood Bucket, Tuell + Reynolds
1.  Petroglyphs at Newspaper Rock State Historic Monument, Utah
2.  Sunset over Tuscon, Arizona

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