disclaimer or something

A mummy-hand holding, (former) biker gang affiliating, hippie influenced semi crunchy granola mom's ramblings and reminisings on an off-kilter life

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Summer Vacation's Ancient Secret

As a child with ahem, interesting parents, summer vacation never included Disneyland or backyard parties, kid-friendly hotels or Las Vegas.

Summers included loading the husky-wolf mixes, terrier mix, and tortoise into our salvaged Ford Ranger and driving up to Oregon to visit family. I would cram into the jump seat with the smaller luggage, terrier, and tortoise and stare out the window for seventeen hours straight. We would listen to Alabama and the Judd's as the Mojave Desert's mid day heat made the black truck without air conditioning even more oppressive. If we were lucky, we'd detour and spend a few days camping in the High Sierra.

We didn't camp in an RV or really with any creature comfort, sometimes not even a restroom. Just a tent with sleeping bags and a fire pit to call home. I do have find memories of these days though, as I loved nature and travel (still do) so every day was an adventure.

My parents had skewed but interesting ideas for fun along the way, like stopping in he aforementioned Mojave to rock hound. Hours spent with necks bent to the ground, in blazing heat, looking for some rare mineral or crystal while doing our best to avoid heatstroke, Mojave Green rattlesnakes, and black widows. Or we'd tour narrow desert-patina black canyons for ancient petroglyphs.

I recall one summer when I was probably twelve, and we were high up in the Sierras, 9,000 feet, where summer hasn't come yet. I was bundled up in pink sweats, moon boots, and my mom's spare brown jacket (in which it looked like I was drowning), my long hair disheveled, as we hiked up a creek bed. I don't know why we were hiking but I loved hiking and exploring so I did not care. We came upon a gentle hill by the creek side and I sat down for a moment, tired. I was getting bored and began poking the pine-needle covered earth with a stick, when I uncovered a nice round rock. It fit in my hand perfectly. It fit inside the rock it nested in quite well. This is when it dawned on me what it was, a metate, molcajete, grinding stone probably used to grind acorn meal.

This stone had been used at least 100 years ago, something that had not been touched or discovered by anyone for decades if. not centuries. We took a phot and I deftly covered it up in mulch, to be undisturbed again.


  1. I loved that last image. The thing that immediately leapt to my mind from childhood is finding starfish. I remember picking them up. Turning it over and looking at it's spiny underside then tossing it back in the water hoping no one else would find it. I couldn't bear to take it from the sea. Great descriptions of your camping and hiking.

  2. Wow, how cool! Neat that you put it back. I wonder if it's still there.

  3. What a cool discovery! It's great that you put it back, too.

  4. What lovely memories! This makes me want to do things like this with my kids--road trips without creature comforts, making great memories! I feel like people don't do this any more. What a great find, too!

  5. Those vacations sound awesome! I love that you found an artifact and put it back.

  6. How did you realize that's what it was? I would have just thought it was a cool rock.