11 October 2010

Time's relentless march

Leaving Moab this morning we travelled south into the four corners region, the evening's destination being Page AZ. We had a wonderful mid-morning stop at Edge of the Cedars State Park in Blanding UT. It's a museum and archaeological site focused on pre-Colombian Puebloan culture. Like so many of the other places we have visited, Edge of the Cedars has a captivating introductory film, which we viewed in a room also housing a photography exhibit of Dave Manley's black and white images. And, like so many other places the exhibits were simply too much to take in -- words and images, artifacts and history.

For relief from that overload I retreated to the outdoors, admiring the landscape of distant mountains, the 1000 year-old ruins, the gardens and sculpture. Pictured here is a time piece, "The Sun Marker," by sculptor Joe Pachak. It is an illustration of archaeoastronomy, the study of prehistoric cultural connections with the sun, moon and stars. The images do, indeed, march across the open spaces of the sculpture, depending on the time and the time of year. (I particularly like the addition of the contrail in the upper right corner.)

This is a very special place, deeply silent, drawing the visitor into contemplation, even located as it is in a residential neighborhood. I sort of envy them, the people living nearby. But, do they visit any better than I do the places of interest near where Tal and I live? Probably not. Sigh ...

Time marched on, though, and we had to re board the coach and hit the road. Our lunch at Goulding's Lodge awaited. But first, an entrance into Monument Valley! Huge and wide-open ... Although I've always at some level understood and embraced the concept of honoring the wilderness just because it is, now I know that I claim it.

Stopping on this stretch of road through the tribal park is, let's say, not encouraged. Geri pulled the coach off the road at this spot -- where Forrest Gump decided to go home -- and I leapt off, to take a shot for the group. Tal, ever helpful, declared the he finally knew why he'd lugged the Canon all the way across the country!

Lunch was great, both the food and the welcome from the staff. Goulding's was interesting to the max, the museum detailing the (many) films made in Monument Valley; the contributions of the native people to the United States -- the WWII "code talkers," for example; the rich history of the valley, geological as well as human. And, the view ... well, this image was made from the dining room.

We arrived in Page in the late afternoon, at the Best Western Lake Powell. Sumptuous, luxurious and inviting ... meaning for Tal and me: nap. So nice.

The days are passing too fast. I am trying with all my mental might to pay attention, not to miss anything. But, oh, how swiftly our time is making its way into the past. Our return to St George will be too soon to suit me. Sigh.

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