Postbeetle asked me to write about some of the things we talked about on my visit to awoi. Very hard thing to do because so many things are tied together that it would take a book to explain how or why I got to the point of "sitting on the bluff". 10 years ago I registered a small portion of my farm as a federal historic archeological site. I did this for two main reasons. #1 collecting artifacts has a huge black market and I had to stop the pilfering. #2 If you find an arrowhead (in the eyes of any historical society) it is just a rock that has been worked by people. You can't carbon date an arrowhead - you get the age of the rock, not when it was worked. On a registered site, following the miriad of regulations, that arrowhead becomes an official artifact, and has a registered number. It is a federal offense to tresspass on that site without permission. The Indians lived all over the area around my farm and there was an established summer encampment that dates to 3000 BC. I found a major fire pit that was used for many years. The carbon dating (I paid for) nailed the date to 3000BC. Many many arrowheads, axe heads, spear points, drills, knives, and on and on (no graves were disturbed in any manner) were collected by me and my sons. Every piece is in our possession and always will be. A few were loaned to different schools and have been returned after studying them. So much for the history lesson and on to the story about the bluff. "The bluff" is probably the most serene place that I have ever spent any time. It is on the corner of my farm where the river makes a 90 degree turn south. The actual bluff is about 70' high, with the rest of the hill going on up to about 250'. The river runs straight into it and does a 90 deg. turn south. It isn't a hard bluff to climb except with something in your hands. You need them both to get up it. About 2/3 of the way up the bluff there is an opening of sorts. From the river, it looks like a cave opening. Actually it is only three feet deep and absolutely perfect to sit in. From the (I call it a lookout) lookout I can see the entire river as it comes down toward the bluff. The river is pretty straight up there and I estimate I can see about 1/2 mile of the river. Looking to the left, I can see about 1/4 mile of the river before it passes around another hill and out of sight. To my right is a large flat area that is probably 150 to 175 acres that two different farms used to be. Straight out in front is of course the river. Straight down in front there is a trail that is only 5 or 6 feet wide but goes the entire distance along the bluff. In the spring and summer, the breeze comes up river. In the winter, when the wind is out of the northwest, the lookout is completely out of the wind and rain. Fantastic place to sit, you can see virtually everything around and I know I'm not the first person to use it. When sitting there, it is so peaceful and quiet. The deer and turkeys pass right below, the squirrels climb up and down trees inbetween me and the river. I can see fish, beavers, turtles, ducks, herrons, and everything else that lives there. On weekends in the summer there are a few fishing boats pass by and never see where I am. People don't look up. They look side to side and in front, but rarily up. They miss so much. Sitting in the "lookout" a sense of peace totally takes over. It makes you (me) realize that this is not MY land but I am just the caretaker of it while I am here. It is almost impossible to worry about the price of gas, who shot who last night, Iraq, unemployment, or any of the current problems in the world. Aside from global warming or pollution, this place will be here for many thousands of years, and in a couple thousand years there will be someone sitting exactly right here and thinking about past people doing the same. The Indians understood this and I finally do too. They made a living here with rocks and sticks - so I don't have it very bad no matter how much gas costs. There are millions of places like this and I'm sure that when your head is "right" you can find the tranquility that is there. You just have to stop and "smell the roses" and look UP every once in a while. PB, very much like the valley we rode thru.