Friday, August 04, 2006

Alaska Day 80

Thursday August 3, 2006 Soldier's Summit Tucker UT to Cortez CO Log 312 Miles

Our day begins with a view of the sunrise reflecting on clouds that moved in over night, and we capture the moon just above. Darker clouds appear and we wonder if we will have the predicted storms Meryl told us about. The sun returns.

We drive Hwy 6 over Soldier Summit at 7490 el heading for I-70 and south to Arches National Park. Lots of steep grade and rock. Dust from the road machines in the construction area.

As we approach the Arches park, the mountains turn salmon colored, which we learn is Entrada Sandstone; then we see the sand colored, which is Navaho Sandstone. The campground at Arches is full, even tho we arrive before noon, so we have to settle for driving thru the park.

The beauty of the rock formations, arches, and desert vegetation, as well as slowly decaying fallen trees is indescribable. There are many trails for hikers, and we are warned that the temp could get to 110 F. We head for Colorado.

We see a field of sunflowers and are amused at all of them facing the sun..............

At Cortez CO we find a Passport American campground, La Mesa RV Park, and the host tells us of an Indian dance presentation at the Cortez Cultural Center.

The side of the Cultural Center where we sit has a life-like mural of an Adobe house. The performers are from Gallup NM and are decended from the Lakota and Dineh (Navaho) people. They tell us they compete in song and dance at Pow Wows and invite the public, but at sacred dances, there are no outsiders, no lights, no electronics. One of the performers is Blue Star Boy, who looked to be about four years old. He first dances with his grandfather Norman, and steps like his grandfather does. Each performer describes his/her dress, and the most interesting one was Romona's red dress circled with rows of silver bells. It is called the Jingle Dress, and she wears only one feather in her headdress. Her beige dress is buckskin. Norman wears a more elaborate one, called Roach. He does a dance with hula hoops with which he forms a flying eagle, a horse he rides while roping a calf, and makes a form of the world. At the end we spectators are invited to do the round dance with them and Herb persuades Wilma to join them while he photographs.

Pictures are here

Walldog, Willie and Jake

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