Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Ranger Shhh!

Last weekend we took a tour of some of the oldest cave dwellings in the country at Mesa Verde. Spruce Tree House was built between 1211 and 1275 AD by the ancestors of the Pueblo people.

I took a seat on a rock to feed Calvin, and while I was there a ranger led a group of 9 Native American teenagers behind the rope barrier, and down into a Kiva. Quinn came back from whatever ladder he was exploring and started to talk in his booming voice, and the ranger SHHHHHed him and said, "These people are doing a real ritual in there. Quiet!"

Quinn left to look at something else, and an old white guy wearing shorts that showed off his psoriasis came by and scowled at the teenagers being led into the off limits part and grumbled, "What? Do they get special privileges?"

He got an even louder SHHHH. Then, when they were all in the kiva she said, "Yes. They're direct descendants and so, by law, they do get special privileges."

There were some soccer ball sized grinding stones on display and a father son duo started to kick them around and try to grind with them and the ranger pushed her way through the crowd and cried "Stop! You can't grind with those. They're ancient artifacts!"

The dad (a gown man who should know better) just had a dopey look on his face. He responded by saying, "Cool!"

I wonder if the ranger has to keep people in line like that every day.

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