As you all know, I had the extreme pleasure of traveling to Arizona to celebrate my Mother’s 95th birthday during the latter part of May. It was a journey for me as well as all my siblings, who with their spouses and children traveled from all corners of the United States to be there for her. It was such a joyous time, and filled with many observations, that I find myself wanting to ‘slip this in’, in between the more serious chronicling underway on these pages.
Leaving the Rockies
Passing down through 11,000 feet on the west side of the Tetons, on a cool spring morning, I sigh as the air is still a brisk 40 degrees, and the leaves have not yet arrived on the trees. Snow still covers the mountain tops…and I thank Creation for the ‘evergreens’. A moose, sauntering across the road; osprey eagle fledglings poking their heads up from their nests, some still covered with the remnants of the last snow storm, and hawks circling overhead, lazing in the wind funnels sweeping up the mountain slopes, grace my journey.
I have two bumper stickers on my car–an American flag and the USA Revolution II sticker. I am an intentional diver–I notice bumper stickers, cars, drivers, road signs, other traffic, police, small town talk. I am respectful and greet people, ask questions if it seems right, always answer questions about my Tea Party shield pin. Big smiles all around. 🙂
It is a long drive down through Idaho, Salt Lake City where the Mormon Temple is visible for miles, as are the uranium tailings piles right across the valley. Then south, I cut away from the Las Vegas route well above Cedar City, entering the canyons of southern Utah.
Canyons and the Colorado River
…don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got till its gone…
The Boulder Canyon Project Act of 1928 authorized the major large scale damming of the Colorado River for the purposes of generating power, providing irrigation water, and for municipal supplies primarily in California. Eventually eight major dams would be constructed, including Hoover and Glen Canyon, creating Lakes Mead and Powell.
In an instant, thousands of years of cultural history, and millions of years of geologic and paleontological information, were under water, to be revealed 70 years later in a record drought combined with poor water management.
The beauty of the canyon lands is indescribable…if you’ve ever been down in the canyon you know the small nooks, the springs and trees under the overhang, and welcome respite
amidst the blistering sun reflecting off the canyon walls. These places left, among the few, to be cherished and explored by those few who dare venture here.
Today no one knows what was covered, except perhaps the old Indian people who have vivid memories and even more timeless stories. Somehow, the geologic age-dating tools I am familiar with, despite ‘proving’ the hundreds of millions of years of history, don’t quite seem to explain the magnitude of the loss. Amidst such beauty.
The rapid construction of these dams on the Colorado, and the equally rapid development of the Snake, Columbia, and Missouri River dams, quickly covered our history before we even had a chance to understand it. Sounds a lot like the rapid burial of the country in a flood of government before we even got to know our own self governance.
Suddenly, she was 95, and the matriarch, the longest living of all the family to date. Born during the Wilson era, and coming of age during the depression and FDR, she remembers her parents, staunch New Englanders, complaining about the democrats.
Yet she went to Mexico after graduating from college in 1935 and did not return to the United States until 1958, missing that key period of assault on the constitution, manipulation of education, the growth of the left and socialist party in America.
And suddenly I realize what a gift I have in my mother’s history, one result being that I was not brainwashed as so many of my age group were…by their parents. What was covered up in many parents’ minds was our history, the sacred document known as the constitution and our responsibilities as citizens…like the man-made lakes covering the canyons.
We Belong to Each Other
Our shared history as Americans, ingrained over decades and for some, over two centuries, cannot be so quickly covered up, as we are now wary of the water lapping at the doorstep in the middle of the night. It is hitting all of us in different ways, the water rising.
…a reminder to please put your oxygen mask on first before helping others…