between the Nakvak and the Korok: an expedition to the Torngat mountains. Hiking through the Valley of the cirques, climbing Mont d'Iberville, fishing in the Nakvak Valley, Canada, Torngat Mountains, northern Québec, trek, Nakvak, Korok, icefield, caribou trail, summit, travelogue, trip, travel, hike




Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7





Canyons of the Heart
Part 6: Time on a planetary scale

The petroglyphs of the Anasazi are visible on the rocks. They chiseled or scratched these images in stone, images that had meanings to them that are not obvious to our brains so much as our hearts. Perhaps they were used as celestial markers or as records of history or legend. Faint traces of painted pictographs are visible, too. They might have used these images in ceremonies, standing where we stood to view the images. They grew crops of maize, beans and squash where we walked, and stored the food in tiny rooms of the ruins.

Climbing in the rocks, we saw deer and rabbits, probably descendents of the ones they hunted. We could almost smell the smoke from their cooking fires as we built our campfire. The people were carried by their parents here as infants, learned to stand here, ran here as children and hobbled here as aged adults. They experienced the changes of adolescence here. Here the shadows crept up the canyon walls as the sun went down, the same as today. Here they learned of this world, they found their loves and their fears and their adventures and their tragedies, all here in Chaco Canyon and Canyon de Chelley and other places in this region. Some of their descendents still are here, families that never left here, like the people on the mesa at Acoma Pueblo, whose sanctuary sits atop a mesa instead of against a canyon wall.

They lived here, they live here still, on this part of the outer surface, the skin of the earth. Which also in a way is the outer skin of time, the present. But the canyons slice into that skin, cut into the earth like wounds, carve into time, revealing the layers beneath the surface. This outer skin is hairline thin compared to the layers of sandstone revealed at the deep canyons. This skin is the current one, but you can follow the layers down, back in time that we count as almost two billion years. Layers deposited long before the Anasazi or even their species existed.

Our earth has made an incomprehensible number of circuits around the sun since then. It is time on a different scale, with processes so gradual, so persistent. An immensely patient accumulation of sandstone layers worked by the forces that sculpt the canyons and the mesas. It is time on a planetary scale instead of a human scale. Our earth: so many present moments lie buried there, so many outer skins overlaid to support the next one.

picture page: some of the moments

Part 7: Reverse Mountains

this travelogue is part of the subside travelzine
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