Saturday, February 16, 2013


Last night I got away from the "urban" core of Window Rock and had my first view of the night sky visible in the deep darkness of the Rez.  I saw the Milky Way for the first time in a long, long time.  The Big Dipper stood straight up and down above the northern horizon.  The crescent moon, two days shy of first quarter, was high in the western sky.  Jupiter was crossing the meridian just behind the Plieades.  If I hadn't been freezing my butt off I could had stared at this glorious sight for hours.

Just standing there for those few minutes brought back so many memories of watching that immense sky during the five years I lived here.  Walking most nights with my dog most nights, I watched the eternal parade of planets across the sky and saw the stars wheeling about the pole as the months progressed.  I came away from that experience with an acute sense of my cosmic insignificance.  Surprisingly, that sense of insignificance also reminded me that I was very unique, that somehow random chance brought me into being in the midst of this vast universe.

I don't get the same sky in Olympia but I carry the understanding of my place in the universe from my days in Window Rock.  And when Olympia skies are cloudy or diminished by urban light I will think back to the cosmic glory of the Window Rock sky.  I may be far away from it these days but it is always a part of me.

Last night was a wonderful reminder of that.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Back to the Rez

I'm in Window Rock, Arizona on a two week contract with the Navajo Nation Auditor General's Office, my former employer from 1997 to 2001.  First time I've been in this part of the world in almost six years.  The past few days have been pretty busy and haven't left much time for much of anything but figuring out a new routine in a different place.

The trip in was kind of dicey--I hit snow showers not too far west of Albuquerque on I-40, which made for slow going.  The snow lasted all the way over the Continental Divide at Thoreau, NM.  I passed about four vehicles that ended up rolled over in the median.  I just hung with the truckers and took it easy.  After  Thoreau the road and weather were reasonably clear in to Gallup where I stayed the night.  I had a chance to see a few old friends and check out the monthly art crawl and have a few beers at the American Bar.

 Sunday I made it to Window Rock and have been working since.  Here are a few photos from Sunday.

Gallup Sunday Morning

The Cliffs in Window Rock

Looking Toward the Defiance Plateau