Saturday, March 31, 2012
The road from our ranch to the highway wound down the mountain side. Just about a fourth of the way down the road passed by a meadow with a little spring. It was fun to play there. I would make chains out of what we called Russian horse tails. The sections fit together to fashion all kinds of jewelry for a girl.
But there was something even better in that meadow. Almost hidden by age and grass were tepee rings. We would pretend that we were wild Indians, hunting for deer or carrying water from the spring. These rocks were reminders of the people who had passed through this area years ago. The Shoshone Indians, who, along with other Native American groups such as the Lakota, Crow and Northern Cheyenne used available rocks to weigh down the edges of their tipis. When the camp moved, the tipis (tepees) were taken down and moved with the camp. But of course, the people left the rocks behind, resulting in a series of stone circles on the ground. Archaeological evidence suggests that the presence of Indian tribes in the area extends back at least 8,000 years. The forest provided an abundance of game meat, wood products, and shelter during the winter months from the more exposed high plains to the east. Portions of the more mountainous regions were frequented by the Shoshone, Crow and Sioux (Lakota people) for spiritual healing and vision quests. What a fun place to grow up with the wind whispering the voices of those ancient people telling us of their mighty adventures.