GOLF sun-fun Aranch style cook-outs /Phoenix\\ V ARIZONA The west’s most scenic spot where the sun spends the winter. Golf, swim, horseback ride, cook-outs in resort splendor. Season: Mid-December to May V/rite for rates. JOKAKE INN PARADISE INN 6000 E. Camelback Road \\iiminew PHOENIXwmilmii i \( ersi r plants corn and beans in a mortar and pestle arrangement. At other sites there are caves where the roofs are black with smoke from the campfires of generations, hundreds of generations. Brown and A. Richards each found projectile points. Most folks who find projectile points assume they are arrowheads, but most “arrowheads” were made and used long before the development of the bow and arrow. They were used on hunting weapons resembling various kinds of spears. But Middleton’s find was the first that really sent my mind hurtling back past the time when humans could leave written records for those who followed. At one of the first sites we visited, Middleton came up with a scraper, a heavy, wedge-shaped rock which fit neatly into a hand. Its pointed edge had been carefully worked with a quartz pebble to an almost knife-sharp point. You could see the grooves, running vertically down to the sharp edge, , where someone had laboriously, methodically worked on the stone with the harder quartz to make a tool. A tool. Used to soften animal hides. This kind of thing is bad for political reporters. Whatcha gonna do once you realize that Nixon’s goddamn tapes don’t even matter? DAY TWO was a disaster. The wind struck like a sumbitch that afternoon. Dust devils opened a whole new dimension in misery for contact lens wearers. We paddled ’til our arms trembled in repose, 22 The Texas Observer but could make no progress against the wind and the river. We finally put into a nice haven to wait it out and, it being about 5 p.m. and we being logical folks, felt we should spend the night in this nice, grassy place in which we’d found shelter. But the Max Leader insisted on pressing on. He claimed the wind had died down. Ha. We paddled another two hours, the Max Leader rejecting some splendid interim campsites on the piddly grounds that they were covered with cows and the excrement thereof. Next morning I decided I’d been metamorphosed by Kafka into a Brahma bull it was about the hump at the back of my neck. Upon closer inspection, or actually, movement of the head, the hump turned out to be a collection of aching muscles. Why paddling a canoe with the arms produces sore muscles in the neck, I do not understand. Next day we found an unparalleled lunch site. Just at a bend in the river, an enormous layered cliff rose on the Mexican side, spotted with huge, fish-hook cacti. Ledges of rock sloped down to the river, which was about five feet deep along the ledges, some of the deepest water we found during the entire trip. Even David Ing, who wasn’t due for a bath until Saturday, jumped in. That afternoon we inched up on a killer rapid that precedes the entrance to Mariscal Canyon. It was a composition entitled “Death Trap for Canoe with Piano Solo.” We stopped to ponder. Pondering is an integral part of canoeing. It consists of stopping short of a heavy rapid and standing around to consider the mother. Great foldihgs of arms across chests, tuggings of beards, scratchings of chin and balls are required. After due pondering, it was decided that we should skip that rapid entirely, so we portaged around it. WE TOOK the next two rapids, some of us more spectacularly than others. We forgot to tell the poets that after taking the right channel between the tree stumps and a sharp right at the second boulder, it was necessary to go to the left of the next boulder. Still another monster lay just up the river. By that time, we were well into the canyon, sheer walls rising hundreds of feet and the river itself running narrow and swift. Rapid No. 3 was a Z-shaped affair with a handy boulder in the middle of the first leg. Wayne Brown and the Maximum Leader, as the senior expert canoeists in the group, waited ’til last, encouraging the rest of us as we banged our way through and pulled out onto a sand bank at the other end. We waited for a long time and finally heard a most horrible crashing and banging and shouting. We couldn’t see what was happening, but the sound effects were dreadful. They eventually emerged, upright. The Maximum Leader had lost his paddle. We paused for refreshment from Middleton’s canteen full of bourbon and noticed a peculiar arrangement on the cliff opposite. When studied through A. Richards’ bird-watching binoculars, it turned out to be a shrine. Someone \(we heard later reports that it was a dropout peace symbol on the first sheer rise in the cliff. At the next level was a small clump of wooden crosses and a religious statute. Still further up, a homemade wooden ladder led to a primitive shelter without walls. It was a place of such extraordinary beauty that one could not only understand why someone might choose it as hermit site, but one wished to go and do likewise. Our campsite that night was the most beautiful of the trip. A mud shore led to a grassy slope which then levelled off for sleeping you couldn’t beat on a Certa-Perfect. That night Wayne Brown favored us with tales of some of his adventures with Silent Smith and played the mouth harp for us. He also played the music on his tape recorder, which turned out to be three different versions of “Over the Waves.” A. Richards claims the Mario Lanza version is her favorite. As the moon rose, fantastic shadows began appearing on the cliff wall opposite us. They changed as the moon moved. Moon silver. Dark river, only heard. Bird songs, o, bird songs to break Mario Lanza’s heart. NEXT MORNING the botanists went off to botanize. I explored some caves and found one archaic Baby Ruth wrapper. I started talking to the caves and rocks and plants. I didn’t even feel queer about it. We paddled on. Before I’d had time to work up a good case of tristesse about leaving Mariscal, we had paddled into San Vicente Canyon. Although its walls are not as high as Mariscal’s, San Vicente is spectacular too. Cliff swallows darted out over the water. Evening primrose grew by the few banks. I used some of our archaeological-stop time to perfect my imitation of an oakatillo, a plant that looks like an arrangement of green pipe-cleaners made by an autistic child. Just before we beached for the day, we came upon Glen Draw, a rapid the like of which had not been seen since we had left Mariscal. After sufficient pondering, we decided to skip it. Unfortunately, the portage involved dragging the damn canoes over an ungodly long stretch of rock. As A. Richards pointed out, there are times in the life of every liberated woman during which it becomes necessary to re-think this whole business of equality. We let the men do the work. Ing and Mallouf, who are either hot dogs or suicidal, decided to run Glen Draw. As all the rest of the hands stood around on the bank, yelling helpful advice, they plunged over the top of the rapid directly into the white water foaming over an enormous boulder. Which turned out not to be a boulder at all, but merely the spume produced by swift currents clashing together. They raced through the
You May Also Like
The documentary in Falfurrias is sinister and spiritual.