On a recent trip to San Juan County, I had the pleasure of introducing three young friends to the world of rock art, Anasazi ruins, and canyon ecologies. Fearless and enthusiastic, we negotiated sandy arroyos, steep slickrock, even some convenient steps made by the Anasazi. With their sense of discovery heightened, they were eager to explore an alcove with beautiful animal tracks and human footprints pecked into the sandstone floor. Being careful not to touch the rock art seemed automatic; questions and responses filled the space with energy and delight. Our exclamations echoed back from distant canyon walls.
Later that day we explored a well known site, Fishmouth Cave. Others have been there before us, and many have left their illegal marks; carved, painted, chalked, charcoaled, dug, toppled, desecrated! There was little magic left in this place. We did not feel welcome. We did not feel wonder.
If we and our children act more as stewards instead of vandals, these precious resources will be available for future generations to enjoy.
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- Revised '29-Jun-2001,20:10:14'
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