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Monday, August 9, 2010






Today's walk, the last among hills for quite some time, covered 22 miles under a broken cloudy sky sprinkling rain just enough to make it comfy. US 287 was busy on this Monday. I drove out 10 miles, walked to Livermore and back to the Van. Greastest part of my walk was in a valley I will call SENTINAL VALLEY.

SENTINAL VALLEY has 2 homes in it, one on either side of the highway. I wonder about the home on the EAST side snugged up to a steep slope littered with thousands of boulders from top to bottom, some as big as trucks, some lying only feet away from the home. Some boulders have in fact reached and crossed US 287, 1,000 feet from the bottom of the 400 foot cliff.

Looking above at the clifftop, one sees a continuous line of stone for the 8 mile length of this mile wide valley. The stone is not solid. The stone is split vertically in slices 20 feet wide and 50 feet tall, looking ever so much like thousands of warriors standing shoulder to shoulder . Put in a circle, they could be mistaken for Stonehenge Monoliths.

For miles, the ridge top is sharp and tree or stray stone rises above the knife-edge clifftop...EXCEPT, for two SENTINALS standing perhaps 60 feet tall, shoulder to shoulder fifty feet apart. THE SENTINALS look out over their valley ready to give the signal of intruders..ready to direct the defenses of their hill to the thousands of stone warriors...a solid line beneath THE SENTINALS feet, poised to hurl themselves down the steep slope, joining the thousands of ancestors who sacrificed themselves in combat with ancient intruders.

Driving through, one sees some big rocks lying on the cliff face. Walking through one feels the ground shake, the thunder of thousands of falling stone monoliths, and the carnage left from eons of battle in defense of these ancient walls.

Drive slowly through SENTINAL VALLEY. Look high to the EAST. the two SENTINALS are watching you...evaluating the danger you pose, ready to unleash yet another cascade of 20 by 50 foot stone defenders onto you in defense of their domain.

I stood today in awe looking up at the ridge top... THE SENTINALS.

In moments like these, memories flash through your mind...deja vu...I been here before.

Ten years and six months ago, I stepped ashore amongst similar monolithic stone figures standing shoulder to shoulder in defense against an unseen intruder. The battle has been going on for some time, for at the feet of the standing line, across the valley floors, along the cliffs overlooking vast Pacific waters, lie hundreds of fallen comrades, having fought and died. In the volcanic stone of surrounding hillsides, dozens of as-yet unborn monoliths near completion, waiting, ready to take their place shoulder to shoulder facing unseen intruders.

This tiny spec of land, denuded of all trees, stands remote, alone, 1,000 miles from the nearest land.

It is RAPA NUI...

Google RAPA NUI...

Join me in this wonder of places so similar in it's being...its is SENTINAL VALLEY in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains leading to the vast plains of North America.

Today I walked among the giants of SENTINAL VALLEY.

I also walked among the giants of EASTER ISLAND, as did my one time cousin, aboard Kon Tiki.

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