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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Under One Sky

When we were at the Nevada State Museum the other day we explored a Native American exhibit there called "Under One Sky".  There was an essay on display talking about the Native American attitude toward archaeology and the concept of history and pre-history from the Native American perspective.  

As I walked around Grimes Point Archaeological Site I couldn't help but think about what I had read.  The Native Americans believe that they are a part of the land and that when you disturb their remains or their objects you are breaking their ancestors continuing spiritual connection with the land.

Petroglyphs at Grimes Point go back as far as 8,000 years, and were not always protected.   In addition to wear from erosion many were vandalized.  There weren't that many that were easily picked out, and I wouldn't necessarily recommend taking the hour drive out each way from Reno like we did.  If you're going to be swinging through the Fallon area anyway it is definitely worth the stop.  Also stop in to Jerry's Restaurant where they make a killer milkshake according to Cory.

Want to read more about the Native Americans objection to current archaeological practices?  Try this link. 

"The American Indian is of the soil, whether it be the region of forests, plains, pueblos, or mesas. He fits into the landscape, for the hand that fashioned the continent also fashioned the man for his surroundings. He once grew as naturally as the wild sunflowers, he belongs just as the buffalo belonged..." --Luther Standing Bear

Looking out across the vast desert landscape, it's hard to imagine the time thousands of years ago when the Native Americans lived here and the plains were covered with the water of the then massive Lake Pohantan. The air was so dry here during our visit that Cory and I have both been suffering from nosebleeds every day!

I thought that the way everything here looked was probably typical of winter if a little dryer until we stopped at Davis Creek Regional Park on our way home from Fallon.  There was quite a difference in the shadow of the mountain where they've probably been getting more moisture and protection from the sun.  Even the dirt was different, sandy but not powdery like everywhere else we've been.  And the sagebrush was even a nice light green!

They had a small campground that looked very cozy, but no electric hookup.  The Ophir Creek Trail stretches 7.5 miles to the Tahoe Rim Trail from Davis Creek Regional Park.  Wish I had known about it sooner because it looked like my kind of hike, but the sun was setting and today we are leaving.  Wayne sent me a text this morning about the sub-zero weather I can expect on return.  I can't decide if he was sweet to warn me or mean to torture me.

1 comment:

  1. Our trails have finally crossed for I've been at that site a few times. Continuing east on Hwy. 50 is one of my favorite drives, The Loneliest Highway in America. It is interesting to note that the short-lived Pony Express Route came right through there also. A couple stations still remain although they are just little low walls hidden in the sagebrush. One is right off the gravel road to Sand Mountain, that large sand dune you might have seen in the distance. I love that area. Glad you got to visit it.