It seems as though (typically American Indian) that I find myself traveling a good deal of the time. Incredibly I’ve been driving all over the southeast and southwest. And I thought I’d take a little time to tell you some of the things that I love most about traveling.Here is a picture snapped a few years back of myself and a friend on the Blackfeet reservation. I can’t imagine what it must have been like all those years ago when people traveled by horseback only. It’s probably one of the few things that I do appreciate about the age we live in — cars. Of course I could fly across the country, but think of all I’d miss along the way. There are so many things to see and places to visit and history to learn — all conveniently advertised along the roadside. On my trips across country (and I’ve probably driven across country now more than a dozen times) I’ve seen canyons that stretch on forever (the Grand Canyon comes to mind); I’ve seen caves — two enormous different ones — and have learned that the rocks in these caves are alive. Did you know that? They grow like any life thing and they can die if you touch them — thus, there are many, many signs in these caves not to touch the rocks.
As part of these trips, I’ve been to pow-wows in Montana, climbed mountains in Vermont, swept down raging water streams in Nebraska — have witnessed glaciers in Montana and have visited Pueblo villages — in the southwest, and have visited and have lingered at battlefields — ones that took place between the cavalry and Indians. When we were in Crow country in Montana, my husband and I visited Little Bighorn of Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull fame. For one book, War Clouds’ Passion, I visited the battlefield that took place — goodness, I can’t recall the name of that battle off the top of my head – but it took place in Kansas. Also discovered in Kansas was a former Cavalry outpost, and again, forgive me for the name escapes me.
On one particular trip, I visited a waterfall, where George Washington carved his initals in a rock — there was also an Indian village there, which I went to visit, also. There I learned how the Indians made flour and cakes from acorns — a very involved process, I must admit. Sometimes I get lost. But sometimes this is very good. On one trip just last year at this very time of year, I was traveling to Vermont to attend my daughter’s wedding.
Actually I didn’t lose my way on this trip until I was well into Vermont, and then I took a wrong turn and ended up at the scene of a very beautiful statue of Ethan Allen. Although I was very lost, I had driven into a spot where the trees were alive with autumn color and I really do mean live. They were bright, bright yellow and gold. So bright that an overcast day looked sunny. And the trees were overlooking the road as I drove by them. I’m not certain I’ve ever seen anything more beautiful in Nature. The only thing that might even come close would be perhaps the Grand Teton area in Wyoming — and of course the Glacier Mountains in Montana.
The picture here was taken in Montana in the Glacier Mountains which set up against the Blackfeet reservation. Once another author and myself visited a deserted train station — trying to envision the people who had once used it. Another time we searched out a town in Louisana called Transylvania. Nancy Richards Akers and I once skirted along the Choctaw trail and another author and I learned of a legend of a young Indian princess who threw herself off a mountain to avoid marrying a man she didn’t love. (Her true lover followed her over the cliff, by the way). And another time, fellow author, Heather Cullman, and I visited Sky City — I’m only calling it that because I can’t recall exactly the name of the town. Here we were taken on a tour, learned the history of the town and learned that the town was used as a safe refuge in a time of uncertainty.
We also visited an old church which was again fascinating. Indeed, there is much to see and visit here in America. When I was very, very young, I seem to remember a commerical that went like this “See the USA, in your Cheverolet — American is asking you to call” — Perhaps I took that invitation a little too much to heart.
Another time, when my husband and I were attending yet another pow-wow in Montana, we visited America’s edition of Stonehedge — the Medicine Wheel atop a 10,000 foot mountain in the Bighorn Mountains in Northern Wyoming. Lone Arrow’s Pride goes into my experience atop this mountain at this particular spot.
I guess we Americans — or maybe I should just say we humans — love to travel. And whatever the cause, I do enjoy my trips — even though it might take me longer to go from here to there. I bet you’ve had some incredible adventures here in the heartland of America. And I’d love to hear about your own trips. Please however remember that today I am still on the road and so won’t be able to see your comments until I return home. But I would love to hear from you. So please come on in and tell me your thoughts. And don’t forget to pick up your copy of Black Eagle and Seneca Surrender today.