Sunday, March 18, 2012

Miniature Grand Canyon

Today' hike was to a really neat canyon complete with caves nestled into canyon walls. I was imagining many generations of people living and/ or hiding in these caves. We took our first tea break in a very large cave with many separate rooms and a soot covered ceiling. It also had a deep hole inside that looked like a well but it wasn't. Here's the story.

When the Armenians had to flee Turkey, many thought they would return so they buried their gold and treasures in these caves. The hole was where someone had either buried or dug up (or both) some treasure. One man told me his relative found ten million dollars worth of gold in one of these caves and now lives in New York City.

On the hike we came across some carefully stacked rocked that also looked like a well. But this was a bird hunter's hiding place. And my nature loving hikers didn't like it so they all gathered around it and gleefully pushed the stones down. After they explained what the hunters do I would agree that the hunting technique does seem a little unsportsmanlike. The hunters bring along a live bird and hide in a pile of rocks. Then they hide in the now destroyed fortress. When the prisoner bird "calls", the other birds fly over to chat thus becoming easy targets.

After lunch in another cave, we slid down a snow field on our behinds. The track got a little slick from use, and I was glad I only went once. Six men thought a human toboggan would be a great idea. (They didn't consult me or I might have pointed out the myriad safety concerns surrounding their plan: obstacles on the path, trees, crashes of previous riders, broken sun glasses..) But some people just learn best with natural consequences and their epic "train wreck" will probably result in at least 2 MRI's.

On the bright side, I can see why this area is possibly slated to become a national park. It is beautiful.

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