A Realization Of My Insignificance Upon The Ruins - Nankoweap Ruins On Colorado River

September 09, 2014  •  Leave a Comment
A Realization Of My Insignificance Upon The Ruins - Nankoweap Ruins On Colorado River
 
While rafting 188 miles down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, we stopped on day two near here for camp, and hiked up to the famous Nankoweap cliff-ruins for sunset, situated high above the river and delta below.  This was a wonderful opportunity that not all raft tours can afford to stop at, but this worked well into our itinerary. As much as they are historically treasured, they are equally treasured by me for their colored beauty against the landscape below me.  This is when I finally knew that I was going to have a really great adventure and still had 6 days to go!  I hope you enjoy these as much as I do.  If you do, let me please recommend them printed on metal, or else metallic paper.
 
 
A Realization Of My Insignificance 
 
“If anybody is not blown away by the Grand Canyon, they won’t be blown away by Judgement Day, either. To spend the night on rocks that have been warmed to 120 degrees by the sun, to feel the incredibly insistent and very dangerous Colorado River rush by you, to be down in the depths of the Grand Canyon with no one around you but your own party, you begin to feel your own insignificance. At the same time, you are made larger by that realization.” ~ filmmaker Ken Burns, to Arizona Highways Magazine
 
While hiking from the bottom of the canyon to the Nankoweap cliff-ruins, I stopped to embrace my insignificance, and as usual felt larger for that realization, as I photographed the late afternoon reflections on the flowing Colorado River.
 
 
Life Awaits Man As The Sea Awaits The RiverLife Awaits Man As The Sea Awaits The RiverEdition Type: Open-Edition Fine-Art Décor
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Narrative:
"All rivers, even the most dazzling, those that catch the sun in their course, all rivers go down to the ocean and drown. And life awaits man as the sea awaits the river." ~ Simone Schwarz-Bart

Despite the geologic mysteries surrounding its creation and existence, archaeological findings show that the alluvial fan delta below these ruins clearly provided a habitat for historic inhabitants. In 1960, archaeologist Douglas W. Schwartz investigated the area, including the granaries nestled in the cliffs above the river. He found corncobs, a pumpkin shell, and pumpkin seeds inside the granaries. The people who inhabited the delta harvested these and other crops between 1050 and 1150 A.D. Schwartz gathered other evidence of habitation in the area including other ruins, a petroglyph site and thirty-four pueblo house structures, leading him to conclude as many as 900 people may have lived in the area at that time!

This is my favorite licensing contribution of several to the National Park Service over the years, for a Large format type coffee table book, titled “The Mighty Colorado River: From Glacier To Gulf”. While spending my last light of day here provided magic on many levels, as I pondered the life of those who lived here so long ago and fashioned a humble existence working with the land and its many varied features. I wonder if they felt permanence or impermanence here? My mind tells me they felt permanence, and my heart tells me they felt their place and impermanence in the scheme of life. My soul tells me that that neither mattered to them, instead truly living for the day and the possibility of the next day. While the remains of the civilization persist with the radiation of their personalities, they, like all of us, are drops in time awaiting life like the sea awaits the river.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Life Awaits Man As The Sea Awaits The River
 
"All rivers, even the most dazzling, those that catch the sun in their course,
all rivers go down to the ocean and drown.
And life awaits man as the sea awaits the river." ~ Simone Schwarz-Bart
 
Despite the geologic mysteries surrounding its creation (or continued existence), archaeological findings show that the alluvial fan delta below these ruins clearly provided a habitat for historic inhabitants. In 1960, archaeologist Douglas W. Schwartz investigated the area, including the granaries nestled in the cliffs above the river. He found corncobs, a pumpkin shell, and pumpkin seeds inside the granaries. The people who inhabited the delta harvested these and other crops between 1050 and 1150 A.D. Schwartz gathered other evidence of habitation in the area including other ruins, a petroglyph site and thirty-four pueblo house structures, leading him to conclude as many as 900 people may have lived in the area at that time!
 
 

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