There were powerful presentations by several Native Americans who work on behalf of those most affected by the mining of nuclear material and its aftermath, as well as talks and workshops by a broad spectrum of other nuclear experts and activists. We spoke about Proposition One In 2010 Campaign, of course, and were invited to speak in Kansas City, Missouri on our way back east by a strong contingent of creative folk.
A high point was the field trip to a “reclaimed” mine in the nearby Grants uranium belt, near the foot of what is now known as Mt. Taylor, known to the Dineh (Navaho) people as the southernmost of the four sacred mountains that border their tribal lands. At least the US was finally, recently, persuaded not to mine there further. . .
The final day of the conference took us all up to Bandelier National Monument, yet one more site of exquisite natural beauty, and another place that was once home to the ancient Anasazi, or Pueblo and Hopi ancestors. Our attempted hike into the backcountry with 10 intrepid nuclear abolitionists took us first up to the summit of the closest mountain (Frijoles Mt. – overlooking the whole area, even down into Santa Fe, some 40 miles southeast. Oh, and a solid hawk’s eye view of Los Alamos National Laboratory to boot — Bandelier’s next door neighbor). By the time we worked our way over to Frijoles canyon, it was too late for us to head down to the creek waters and the backcountry ruins and petroglyphs, so we had to content ourselves with knowing they were there, and head back to finish, and depart. . .
Leaving the conference, Proposition One determined to head north through Taos, and ultimately to take our friend Steve to help harvest fruit at the organic farm he calls home, the White Buffalo Organic Farm in Paonia, Colorado (the oldest organic farm in the state, right on the bank of the North Fork of the Gunnison River). Beautiful. Tough to leave, sad to leave him there, but after a handy repair job on the front of the trailer, and switching out the right rear tire, and a few hugs and warm goodbyes, we were back on our way.
More to come. . .
Jay, Ellen, Troy, and Sophia