(I totally started posting this on Sunday, but the hotel internet zonked out on me. Sorry it’s “late”!)
This week/end is my great-aunt/-uncle’s 40th wedding anniversary! They’re hosting a great get-together which drew a lot of family and friends out into the summer heat. Some of them decided to disappear and visit a nearby, newly-dubbed “State Park” that they used to visit when they were younger.
These are their stories.
My dad, my cousin, my uncle, and I all hopped into a truck and drove out. We thought the grassy picnic area was hot – ha! It was 100F out and we were surrounded by stone and direct sunlight on all sides.
My dad and uncle had been here before, long ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth, but the said that there were about a dozen remaining glyphs (heiro-, petra-, we’re not sure) from the Native Americans painted on the stones. Because a giant, mile-wide display of hot rocks in the hot sun would not have been worth it alone. We went in search of the glyphs.
Finally, after much searching, we found an area with numerous “grinding” holes. These were used like mortar & pestle to grind foods like grains (corn and wheat). Not far away, in the shadows, was a glyph!
Inspired by our find, we went in search of others, farther out. (The website said this area was about a square mile in size.) I started having asthma trouble in the heat, so I plopped down at an awesome natural air conditioning tunnel. (As the breeze blew past the far end, it spun through the shaded tunnel and came out cold on the far side!)
A while later, I heard my uncle calling. He finally found me and said, “Great, where’s your Dad?”
“He went after you guys, quite a while ago.”
“We thought he was with you. We haven’t seen him.”
And so the search for my father began.
We went toward where Dad had gone, following my cousin and uncle of previous, but had no luck. Dad had expressed some dizziness earlier when he stumbled on the rocks and, with 100F heat and no water, my uncle was checking the rocks while I was checking the gullies.
Another group was in the park – couple and their three children – so I stopped to ask if they had seen the “man in the blue plaid shirt.” The mother immediately said, “Yes.”
“Blue plaid, not just blue?”
“He was the one wearing jeans in this heat, right? We pointed him out earlier because it was so crazy to be wearing jeans in this heat.” *turns to her kids* “Have you guys seen the guy in jeans?”
“Yeah, he’s over there.” *points*
Her husband hopped up and, somehow, just frolicked at a run across the gulch and into the rocks to check for him. We had Dad back about five minutes later. My cousin had already found him, they were making their way back to the truck.
So we loaded back into the truck and returned to town, mocking Dad that I was going to have him GPS microchipped before he left the house again.