On the road…again!
Afghanistan to Zambia
Chronicles of a Footloose Forester
By Dick Pellek
A Quick Stroll Around Four States
It was not a stroll around the block…it was a circular promenade at the perimeters of four states. At Four Corners, the intersection point of Utah, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico; it is possible to do a quick stroll in all four states within 30 seconds or less. The visit to Four Corners had long been on the bucket list of the Footloose Forester. Mission Accomplished!
The US Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management completed the survey of the area in 1882 and established a marker there. Even at that time, the unique circumstances must have been a lively topic of discussion. Today, a sensationalist news magazine might entice readers with a headline story such as, “Tourist Attacks Helpless Moose at Four Corners”. Reality, however; is more interesting.
Moose defends his ground at Four Corners
The Four Corners site is a remote spot in the landscape of the Southwest that is on tribal land. The site has been improved by the cooperative participation of several Indian Nations of that region, including the Ute, the Navajo; the Hopi; the Apache; the Cheyenne; the Cherokee; and others.
Native craftsmen and artisans sell their wares on site; but many of the sellers are the artisans who themselves painted the motifs of local themes; and chipped and fashioned the stone spear points and arrowheads that are on display for sale. The Footloose Forester purchased a black obsidian arrowhead from a vendor who told him that his 12-year old son had fashioned it. It was a privilege and inspiring to shake the hand of the 12-year old Navajo boy named Sonny, who was on hand to point out the arrowheads and spear points he himself had fashioned.
An obsidian arrowhead made by a 12 year old Navajo boy
(the back-side of a New Mexico quarter is shown for size comparison)
The many Indian Nations represented at the Four Corners site also constitute the cadre of craftsmen and artisans who may be seen, on site, working with stone chipping instruments, elk hide, red willow ax handles, feathers and paints—all to create works of art that otherwise might be taken for granted. The rich colors and exquisitely fashioned baskets, beads and hand-made arrows for hunting that are created on site belie the bleak barrenness of the surrounding desert. If the land seems dry and largely featureless, the culture of its people is anything but.