Tuesday, November 9, 2021

To See The Tree

 I negotiated myself a two-night stay in the l-shaped Casita in order to watch the US Capitol Christmas tree come through, which they asked me to design the ornament for:

The parks requirements were that it be no larger than 12 in and waterproof. The theme was "Seven Rivers (the forest from whence the tree came), Many People, One tree." So I decided that the rivers of stone or sand or bentonite that make up the teepees where the many colorful Rivers, the petroglyphs of the people that live here were the many People, and the centerpiece with our cougar petroglyph logo is One (petrified) Tree! 
That's my story and I'm sticking to it. 


 From my understanding even the supervisor was pretty excited about it but they did have a few requests. They did specify it be sparkly. I used reflective beads that you put on roadways so that when the light hit it it was going to jump off the tree when people took photographs.



 But there was a request for glittery so I brought down with me extra glitter paint in a violet and green tone and outlined all of the petroglyphs which are hard to see in photographs so they're not worth taking more.

As usual my colleague and I made the trip very safely and arrived around 11:00. I know I'm a very weird girl and I have strange things that make me happy but staying here is one. And getting a magnet that I can wear around and look like I'm part of the park is the other.

I had a very sad revelation. I am old. 4 years ago when I lived here I was in better shape had not sat on my butt during a 2-year pandemic and even then I was not the world's greatest hiker. After a 3-hour car trip with no stops, (I had a really great audiobook that let me drive straight through. I finally figured out how to download from my library so I listen to Desert Solitaire about a guy staying in arches National monument be moaning his knowledge that it would soon be developed in the 1960s 😥) when I picked up the ornament to do some touch-up I realized my hand was somewhat shaky, my knees were not working properly and my back hurt. Sleeping on memory foam is not good for me. I have a big butt. I admit it right now I need something that supports the arch in my back and memory foam, as the commercial says remembers things and seems grumpier than it should!

There have been many changes on the inside here. Number 77 used to be the spillover Casita I believe. The last time I was here they were working on my old AIR cabin, so I believe now the Artist in Residence were housed over here. Wisely they split the queen size bed into two twins. Instead of having a massively bizarre fold-out bed you just had extra sleeping space in case you had a guest. I checked all the screens, as the last time I stayed here my cat decided it wanted to escape through one. The three screens that were ugly that I took out of the windows because the frames were falling apart are now no longer even available to me. But the ones that were in the windows were in excellent shape. First thing I did when I got in here was open up the window and Thingy jumped right up.

We are here typing on the morning of my second day - well, after my first night - and as I'm looking out just after the sunrise, over my cute little car I noticed a solitary jogger. There are brave people here! She was lean and young looking and obviously worked in the Painted Desert area and was taking advantage of the amazing opportunity she had living here in the park. I will update you all as the day progresses but I just wanted you to know how happy I was to be home again.

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