My brother Eddie writes about his trip to the Gathering of Nations Powwow back where I belong.
"i arrived home about two in the morning from a trip to the gathering of nations in albuquerque. its amazing how i can make a 15 hour drive into an 18 hour excursion. actually the gathering was only a destination and not the real purpose of the weekend getaway. its not as simple as getting from point a to point b. its the road taken in between.
once you have been to the same place a number of times, you have to take another route. i back tracked on some of the same trail, but i jumped off on some different roads. i like the two lanes that have trees growing on the roadside. seen so damn many antelope out west that it was like "yeah, yeah antelope". it is tempting to poach one of them critters. at dark there was an elk on the road shoulder.
i spent my first night away in dulce. as soon as i woke up i headed up the road to pagosa to soak in the hot springs. i jumped into the pools that were 108 and 109 degrees. that was invigorating. i felt a few years younger. after my soak i headed to the gathering.
the gathering is a nice pow wow. my only problem with it is its too damn big. if you attend a game at the pit, you have an assigned seat. but at the gathering, people put blankets across rows of seats. i guess that means you cant sit there, even though you put down 12 bucks like everyone else. thats bullshit. i had to sit way up on top. them indians looked like ants down in the arena. i went and checked out the tent with all the stands. i am not that much of a fanatic about it anyway to sit there from 10 in the mornin to late at night. i wouldnt want to be captive to a good seat.
i would rather visit with people anyway. i knew lotsa people there. and i heard the group that some of my homies sing with took second in the singing contest. i didnt get to pose for pictures with any cuties. thats one of my things i like to do.
i went to the big flea market i like to attend. didnt find any fresh baked bread though. bummer. i did find a "skins" t shirt for 12 bucks. at the gathering shirts go for 20 and up. sundays the vendors move to the flea market anyway, and you can pick up a bargain instead of at the inflated pow wow price.
headed out of town sunday for taos. never been there. it is a beautiful town. i liked how the buildings were made. took some nice pictures. stopped by to visit my niece who worked at a bed n breakfast. got a tour of the place. i was impressed with how it was built. headed over the mountains from there. it was a scenic drive. the background looked like a john ford movie.
up the road, i stopped to soak my feet in the rio grande river. thats a habit of mine when i travel. i cant pass water that is running along side the road. i have to pull over and take off my shoes and wade in. sometimes the snow melt gets cold. i have done this all over the country. my mother used to enjoy doing that also. she would see water and ask 'are we gonna stop'.
i made another stop near an extinct volcano. i had to pick up some volcanic rocks for use in a sweat lodge. i use rocks that i have gathered from around the country. people that have lodges have gotten the rocks from me. i have helped many out with this. my tribe weirded out the last time i asked them for some. they tell me others are in line ahead of me. yeah right. hardly anyone around here sweats anymore. so i get my own. i ask once, i dont beg. its easier for me to get my own.
i had to get some road time after that. i was still a long way from home. it was a long drive thru the southwestern part of the state. seen coyotes, pheasants and too many feedlots. the cows just stand in a small enclosure and eat til they end up on the table as an expensive steak dinner. its kinda amusing they have a small hill in the small pen. the cows play king of the hill all day. like some indians i know.
i was glad to get back home. i talked to so many people over the weekend. i learned much about alot of things. i am always open to learning from others. no one can experience everything. we have to share with each other. now i have many things i have to do here. getaways are fun but the work is still here to pick up."