Yesterday was the solstice and I have to admit that, in sum, the celebration exceeded my expectations. It started off with a cheesy, new age-y "ceremony" (in which I - as a woman - had to sprinkle water off a sage branch on people) but quickly devolved into a down home sing-a-long with some of the old New Buffalo and Rainbow Family folks who now live the life on "the mesa." Apparently there's a movie called "Off the Grid: Life on the Mesa" that's all about these folks. Two Ravens, Dog Man, Robbi to name a few. Robbi is a lovely old man who plays a mean mandolin from his wheel chair and has more than a story or two to tell. We sang for hours and hours (five, maybe?) and never repeated a song. A scene I wish Erin and Parker especially could have been a part of. Tambourni's, drums, guitars, harmonicas and even a cello at one point appeared out of the crowd. I promised to get a copy of "Where There Walks a Logger, There Walks a Man." I taught him "Whistle Punk Peat" and he decided he needed to know more logger songs. Ended the night out by the bonfire. People came and went and there were varying degrees of weird nostalgia and real Taos folk. Not a pure throwback. A fun time.
Today we went back out to the Vista Verde Trail (late, around nine) and documented a sight we found friday. Hundreds of flakes, a few pot drops, and a bunch of really beautiful and unusual points. At about 3 a big thunderstorm rolled in and we decided to call it a day due to the lightning. Standing on a giant hill of iron cored basalt is not the best place to be in that situation. We took the grocery store by storm instead. Walkie talkies make shopping for eight much more efficient.
There's actually been a few little storms in the past three days. The first was friday in the middle of the night. I woke up to rain pounding on my tent and some really amazing thunder. Luckily my tent held and I woke up dry and happy. A small swap did form a little down hill from me because an irrigation ditch over flowed. Everyone else has move to the lower pasture. I guess i'll join them soon. We can't break up The Shire (which is what we named our little tent camp).
Now were sitting (as usual) at the kitchen tables on our computers. Well, Jeff is drawing a projectile point, but he's an exceptional young man in that respect.
We seem to be breaking up the days enough so that this won't get old very soon. Corn dance at the Taos Pueblo on Tuesday. It's really exciting to find these things and talk about what we find. For example, on thursday, we found a bunch of possible rock shelters and sheep pens that were associated with dateable pottery and stone tools. It's amazing that you can start to construct the story of the early historic shepherd who was spending tim on this hill with his sheep when a Saint's day came around and he decided to peck some crosses into the stone. You can start to figure out the story in the same place those people where standing. Simple. Obvious. Still woah. I'm still not super confident that I know what I'm looking for and that I'm missing a lot, but the nature of the survey is that we will never get everything. I'm getting over it. We've also been followed by our butterfly (from the Katsina mask site) for the past few days and have named it Ginger (after Anand's new love). It almost landed on me today. Apparently in one of the cultures from around here the afterlife is a world of flowers populated by butterfly spirits. Oooo...
Everyone is getting along smashingly and we all seem to genuinely like each-other (or at least I genuinely like everyone else) for which I am eternally grateful. Have to get some recipes from home so I can pitch in with dinner one of these days. Irish soda bread and Marbella chicken I think. I'm open to suggestions of course! (The cheaper the better!)
A week ago today I pulled up to New Buffalo expecting to be roughin' it and here I am dirty a bit tired but perfectly content. Couldn't have asked for more really, except maybe for boots that aren't coming apart at the seams. Ha.
Finger cut from using a swiss army knife to cut ducktape to repair