Friday, June 15, 2007

Superstition Ride - - -Day 3 (evening)

Schatzie and I arrive back at the campsite. All is well. Silas has kept the other two (Big Blonde Hans and the very quiet, very shy Eva) busy making preparations for the sweat tonight. There is a good looking stack of firewood where they have moved Ingrid and settled her on a nice pile of blankets.

I dismount and take Rosalita's tack off while Schatzie does the same with Sally. I walk down to the creek with the horses to a bend area where there is a nice stand of still water pooling up and when I see the delight with which Rosalita and Sally wallow around in the cold running water I decide to join them, I shed the clothes (which I just then realize I've been in for two days) and wade on out. It feels glorious. After a good cool down I put my sandals and jeans on and go back to the folks.

I take our plant prizes over to Silas and Ingrid. Silas asks me to take the Mormon tea and soak it in some warm water. Then he takes a cholla nubbin, slices it in half and makes a mush out of the inside. He puts this over the mass of broken blisters on Ingrid's feet and even a casual observer could see that there is an instant relief. I pour some of the boiled water into another pan, add some cool water from a bag to that and lay the Mormon Tea stalks into it. When I bring it to Silas he tells Ingrid "He can tell you what this stuff is so that you understand what we are doing."

I say "They call this plant Mormon Tea. It is a pretty decent natural source of ephedra. I imagine that once the stalks have softened up some Silas will have me pound it on a rock to make a poultice for your feet. It should both numb the pain and dry the oozing." Then I give Silas a look to see if I'm right and he smiles and nods. Silas then asks for the cattail reeds and begins to weave them into two small circles. Then he asks me to grab a pair of clean socks from my gear. I pick out a pretty nice natural (dirty grey) silk inner sock set and bring it over to them. We make the poultice from the Mormon Tea and put it on the blisters until it begins to dry and fall off. Then he follows that with more cholla goop and follows that with some agave gel from the inside of the spear. He waits for this to dry a bit then he puts the socks over her feet. He busts open some cattail heads and takes the fluff out and makes thick piles on each of the reed circles. He puts her feet on top of this and folds it up around like a bootie. He ties that with a fiber pulled from the agave and says "Don't walk much for a bit. But you'll be good as new pretty soon."

He asks me if I still want to do the sweat and I say that I would. First we gather our lost pilgrims together and I lay out the situation as I see it. They are lost and while I have a pretty good idea where they left their car our things are about ten miles closer. I tell them that if there is somebody they can call in Tempe who would be willing to drive out to the trailhead where our stuff is and meet us we can all walk out together in the morning. With Sally here to carry the bulk of the load along with an ample supply of water even if it gets up to 36 degrees again tomorrow we should be fine. I tell the Germans that they can take turns riding double behind Silas and I and that by staying together, going slowly and carefully we should all be fine. Hans informs me that they have cell phones that haven't worked for quite a while. I tell him that it's no problem and produce the satellite phone. I also tell them that if we run into any trouble on the way out we can call for help on the satphone, and that I have a GPS transponder which will make finding us easy. As I hand the satphone over to Hans I toss Silas a snotty look and say "Are you going to tease me about overpacking some more Grandfather?" He tosses a dirt clod at me and we laugh.

Silas says he is going off to choose some rocks for tonight. I spread the food stores out for Schatzie and Eva to see and tell them that I am not eating until after the ceremony. Silas has filled everyone but Schatzie in on what we are planning to do and Big Blonde Hans and Eva have decided that they would like to see the ceremony from inside the lodge. Once I've explained it to Schatzie she decides to give it a try too.

I head down to where I last saw the horses taking a change of clothes with me. I scrub off with wet sand before going into the water to rinse and soak away the days. After a good while I just laze around out on a blanket in the shade of a palo verde. I get dressed in clean white linen trousers, and a loose blue linen shirt, a red satin sash and headband (wrapped around four times and tied with a bow on the left side) completes it. I am getting ready to step into the old ways again. I am just sitting there, savoring the quiet, trying to think about absolutely nothing when I hear footsteps approaching. It's Schatzie and she is carrying a bead and bone choker saying "Silas told me to bring this to you. He said he is ready for you." She asks about the silver star hanging down from the center spacer of the choker. I tell her that a hairpipe choker is a warrior's adornment. It is a decoration but also protects the neck against injury. I tell her that the star is from a long time ago. She reads the embossed words on the back.

For Gallantry In Action

Yes, indeed, a very long time ago.

Just. Yesterday.




Blogger Sherry said...

you write beautifully well.

5:50 AM  
Anonymous amish451 said...

Just, Yesterday.

So very proud to know you MB ...even through this somewhat dis-connected connection ..

6:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just. Yesterday.

Tears are starting to prick......

- oddjob

9:50 AM  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Thank you for your gallant service.

All time is now.


11:25 AM  

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