Grand Canyon Diorama

This is the proposed sketch for the new Grand Canyon diorama. Due to possible governmental budget cuts (by shortsighted bureaucrats and other government officials with comb overs), where our National parks’ funding for upkeep and improvements is considered a frivolous and unnecessary expense, we have been contacted by the state of Arizona to create a diorama that would be viewable from the various lookouts and other vantage points most used by visitors today. This would be undertaken to help offset some of the detrimental effects that would occur from this shortsighted but lucrative action.

The officials of Arizona, where some of you know the Grand Canyon is currently located, have indicated a growing concern for the likely loss of tourist dollars if large portions of the Grand Canyon are closed to view. The new Wingnut in charge of overseeing our Nation’s National Parks and wildlife’s well being and good health as well as other parts of our citizens lives and freedoms here in our good but not great enough yet country, is proposing that not only should funding be cut for the maintenance of our park system but actual use of the parks should be curtailed as it would be more beneficial to the overall public good if those individuals who insist on visiting our national parks and take nonprofit advantage of its beauty, would stay home and tend to their coal burning furnaces and visit places more suited to enhancing our economy, such as the various golf courses, gambling casinos, high-rise hotels and other privately owned profit centers.

To aid in encouraging this new type of activity large areas of the Grand Canyon will simply be blocked off and closed to viewing. Some of it may simply be filled in and leveled off for building new golf courses, gambling casinos and high-rise hotels and to make it simpler to mine the minerals that may lie beneath now useless land under the Colorado river drainage. This hither to now unused property has not yet been fully developed to extract profits that could be gained by strip mining, river diversion, etc.

Well this could be an unmitigated disaster as there are many people here in America who like to go to these areas, especially the Grand Canyon, just to look at it. They like it. It makes them feel good in a way that is different from losing their money at the craps table in high-rise hotels with gambling casinos. They, the visitors, spend money on bumper stickers, frybread, the occasional hotel room, binoculars to look into the Grand Canyon and other national wonders, t-shirts with pictures of the Grand Canyon on them and phrases like “I’m with Dumbass” and arrows pointing in different directions indicating where dumbass might be, margaritas, sunglasses to replace those that fall into the Grand Canyon, new $8000 digital cameras with even more expense lens’s and straps to keep them from falling into the Grand Canyon when they’re leaning closer to get better pictures, sunburn prevention systems, and tattoos of the Grand Canyon, as you can see the list goes on and on.

With all of the possible catastrophes that could and probably will befall our most scared traditions and places we like but don’t really make the kind of money that large commercial ventures make, the officials of Arizona called and said “Hey, looks like we’ll need some dioramas. Better get busy.” What you see above is the first draft of one of the new Grand Canyon dioramas we are preparing for installation as soon as word comes down to kill the parks. This will be slightly different than our usual 3-D dioramas such as the one in Yellowstone National Park as we cannot get the necessary permits to construct and install our normal fiberglass and concrete dioramas. Instead this will be a 6 mile wide by 47′ ¾” high canvas roller, much like the old window shades you used to get at Woolworths. Remember? The kind that if you let them go before they got to the bottom they’d snap up and roll around the wooden spring thing at the top of the window making this cool flapping sound, then the canvas is mounted on tasteful cast iron or aluminum 60′ uprights shaped like Saguaro cactus in front of each view that you can no longer see as it is gone.

We’ll only be installing these on the South rim as there won’t need to be any for the North rim. Access will not be available to the public as that is where the bulldozer ramps and conveyor belts down to the canyon floor will be set up. Plus the tailings from the ore extraction will be dumping back into the river and that would be dangerous for the public to go wandering through that stuff.

We’d prefer to do the old style diorama as we have to cut slits in the canvas of these new ones to let the wind through so they don’t shred themselves. But since we can’t, there it is, make the best of it. Since most people have short little spans of attention they most likely won’t even remember what the real deal looked like anyway.

It looks like we’ll be making dioramas for the full 137 miles of the canyons length as once these new directives go into effect they’ll be busting hump to get this place shut down and development underway. Let us know if you like the new look of the replacement or not. We’re  going with it regardless but it’s always fun to hear  what you think about it.

In the interest of full disclosure the image above is a photograph taken at the Grand Canyon then run through several versions of software that includes Photoshop (Yes Virginia there is a Photoshop and we use it) to produce an image that looks like a painting. But then you knew that just by looking at it.

Cloud Cutting

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Many of you long time readers are aware of *The Institute’s weather modification program. We developed this ability to modify and even create certain kinds of weather early on in The Institute’s development. This was done for many reasons, all of them altruistic, but mainly for money. The Institute is expensive to run and maintain and we seek funds wherever we might find them.

We have different projects in the works constantly to fund our operation, from our innovative metal can retrieval program from the roadsides of our Nation’s highways to assisting NASA with their Space Program by supporting probes to Uranus and beyond. We have an outreach program where we have housebound or incarcerated individuals address envelopes for various corporations to help keep the Post Office’s Junk Mail program alive. That keeps untold dozens of postal workers busy and gainfully employed. There is no project too small if it assists us in maintaining the integrity and longevity of The Institute and brings in a buck or two.

Our supremacy had been untouchable in the weather modification arena and we had been so far out front that you had to jump up in the air real high to even see our dust. Then the Aussie’s got in the game. Man, they are tough. Their program to limit rain and cause desertification of huge areas, if not all of their country, has been unassailable. Our program to “drought up” California has been good but we can’t even touch what the Australians are capable of. Which is difficult for us to admit. Right now they’re the ones we watch.

Because of their (we’re talking about those miserably overachieving Aussies here) ability to make inroads into the weather modification business in general, we have had to look for other areas of the business to augment our extensive programs. We believe we’ve hit on something the rest of the WeatherMod group hasn’t touched yet and that is the untouched field of Boutique Weather. This is a small business at this time but we think the potential is absolutely enormous.

There are many very wealthy States that have incredible tourism businesses. States like Colorado, Utah, Arizona ( a biggie ) Montana, parts of New Mexico and when they pay their bills (which is why we have them in a “droughtie” right now) Northern California that are looking for that edge to keep those tourists coming in and to keep them there longer. That’s where we come in. We are already supplying many of those states and other small touristy kind of countries with custom-designed sunrises and sunsets. With our new custom “Cloud Cutting” ability we can custom tailor those sunrises and sunsets by ‘cutting’ the edges and shapes of the clouds so that they can feature or highlight a tourist drawing element, by allowing the light to be directed on them for maximum viewing pleasure. Think, Devil’s Tower, or parts of the Grand Canyon, Isis for instance, where before you had a pleasant sunset that sort of showed off the various elements of the scene, but now with our Patented Applied For “Cloud Cutting” technology, those individual elements can be seen by those money-toting tourists much more clearly and colorfully than ever before. Talk about making it rain greenbacks, we can hardly keep up with the demand for these new custom tailored clouds. Now coupled with our ability to create clouds of any size, shape or profile we feel we have a real winner here. Need God beams, we can do that. Need tiny or large holes or openings in your cloud for extra special effects? We can do that. Right now the sky’s the limit, so to speak.

The image featured above is over the Eastern edge of The Institute’s testing grounds where we work on many of our new weather projects. This is the program at work using the new “Sun nibbling” feature where we are sculpting the edge of the cloud to perhaps highlight a small secluded cove on the Eastern Seaboard, or perhaps one of the little canyons that feed into the Grand Canyon, or a meadow up in Yellowstone where elk graze in the early morning or evening. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

We have high hopes for this new element in our Weather modification program and already interest is running high for this unique new addition and we see big things on the horizon. Watch the sky above and stay tuned for further innovations.

* Note: For those of you unfamiliar with The Institute and what it does, please see the page labeled The Institute on the Menu Bar above. That should explain everything. You shouldn’t have one single question remaining regarding The Institute after reading it. None. For those of you favored few who already know about the Institute, Nevermind.

 

Yellowstone Diorama

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This idyllic scene of a herd of grazing buffalo in the Lamar valley is not what it seems. It is a specially constructed life-size model prepared by our master dioramaticians here at *The Institute. Many of our readers know that there are many divisions, departments, sections, areas, teams, worker bees and bee-ettes, programs, units, centers, groups, systems, agencies, bureaus, commissions, that make up The Institute. We even have an office just to keep track of all the different divisions, departments etc. where important work is done.

One of our lesser known departments is the bureau of Procurement, Construction and Installation of Dioramas or PCID as it’s known in the trade. It is there that we make the amazing dioramas that you see in many of our National Parks and other places where they don’t have adequate scenic areas for the public to view.

If a National Park or even a scenic-poor state such as Utah or parts of Arizona want to dress up their highway systems with dramatic views they will contact The Institute where we will develop a plan to add interest along some of their more desolate roads, thereby transforming those roads into revenue-producing Scenic Byways. The State or National Park then has the option of adding roadside stands, local entrepreneurs, and whatever local color they think might add interest.

Another use for our patented, modular, fade-resistant, weatherproof dioramas allows game-poor parks such as Yellowstone National Park to have animals in scenic environments on demand for those times when the live animals are not present or have been killed off by local residents around the park.

Our unique but uncanny ability to mimic local conditions, coupled with incredible taxidermy techniques allow our experts to create dioramas such as this Diorama of a buffalo herd along the roadside in the Lamar valley, that defy detection by anyone cruising by it at 45 – 60 mph. Plus our patented Extend-A-View ™ Dioramas let us create dioramas that can extend for several miles along an otherwise dull and boring road, keeping the occupants interested and thinking of lunch or possibly souvenirs of the amazing “Scenery” they are passing by. We can also supply a more complete package with our dioramas that include a complete line of scenery specific souvenirs, knock-down roadside stands, trained actors that can simulate the local culture and color, plus accessories such as a live horse that can be tied to the side of one of our retail units providing sure-fire traffic stopping appeal. Other animals available upon request.

No detail is spared when you order one of our complete dioramas. The diorama above, our deluxe Buffalo Extravaganza, includes approximately 1800 full size American Made, Plains or Mountain Buffalo, each with life-like glass eyes and true-to-life coloring, plus a large assortment of cottonwood trees all with drip tube watering systems, or if necessary due to budget constraints, these trees can be constructed of a special weather-resistant Paper Mache guaranteed for 3 years, and our own proprietary turf made of recycled tires.

Many of you have driven by our dioramas and didn’t realize it. Those of you who have visited Zion National Park and marveled at the Desert Bighorn sheep located near the tunnel at the east side of the park will be surprised to know that was our model “Desert Bighorns and Laser-etched Rock Formation #66903”. Or perhaps you have been to the Mt. Evans Scenic Byway in the Rocky mountains where you will have seen one of our largest installations, the “Mountain Goat and Craggy Scary Drop-off Cliff  installation,  #994216-a”. We provided all the natural looking gray boulders that litter the mountainside and installed close to 3000 life-like Mountain Goats and Bighorn Sheep all over the 14,000’+ mountain, some of them animatronic in nature to provide movement and interest for those hardy tourists wheezing by the side of the road.

We are currently working on a secret installation of a completely different nature than we have ever attempted before, for a not to be named city near Puget sound. The parameters so far are for us to provide a complete aquatic diorama that will include sea life such as ship-resistant whales and animatronic Orcas, or killer whales, that can do tricks such as flip baby seals into the air and catch them in their mouths, plus many other items too numerous to mention. Estimated date of installation will be early 2019.

The next time you’re on a vacation in Yellowstone and see some spectacular looking scenery look for the little brass plaques saying “This Scenery provided by The Institute” to the trees and other hard surfaces and give one of our buffalo a good rap in the side to see how life-like it feels. You’ll be surprised.

* Note: For those of you unfamiliar with The Institute and what it does, please see the page labeled The Institute on the Menu Bar above. That should explain everything. You shouldn’t have one single question remaining regarding The Institute after reading it. None. For those of you favored few who already know about the Institute, Nevermind. Return to your daily activities. Thank you for your support.

Terraforming – Good or Bad?

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Since our post titled ‘Behind The Ridge’ http://www.bigshotsnow.com/behind-the-ridge/ was posted the other day our mailboxes have been filled with a huge amount of mail, some protesting vehemently our misuse of our Nations natural resources, “How dare you move a national landmark!”  “We’ll see you tarred and Feathered you….!”   “I’m telling my congressman, you bastard !!!”    “We’re coming out there and when we get our hands on you you’ll wish you were….!” These were just a few of the printable comments we received from those with a slightly different viewpoint than ours.

We also received many comments in support of our project.” Rad, Dude.” was one.  “That was awesome!” was another. “What are you guys talking about anyway?” This one kind of fell in the middle so we put it in the plus column. But the one we want to focus on is this one ” How did you guys do that and like, not screw up the earth, man?”

This question points to something that goes right to the heart of The Institute’s core values. Which as we have stated countless time before is “Do No Harm. None. Not Any.” If there might be harm, like my dad used to say “Doan Doit…I mean it, You doit you get  a whippin.” So our prime directive is in place and guides us through all of our major projects. Even the ones where it looks like we are defiling, but not raping, that would be bad, the land.

How is this possible then, you might ask. How do you move a mountain and not leave permanent damage. The answer of course is Terraforming. Terraforming is a term that simply means the Earth-Shaping of a planet, moon or other body and is the hypothetical process of deliberately modifying its atmosphere, temperature, surface, topography or ecology to be similar enough to the environment of Earth to make it habitable by Earth-like life. That’s all there is to it. Put it back like it was. Or how it should have been had it been done right in the first place, or even make it cool again after you screw it up.

Moving the mountain in the first place was fairly simple. We simply drilled holes in the bottom of the mountain, set pins with hook eyes in them, glued them in with gorilla glue, tied a whole bunch of helium-filled balloons to the hook eyes until it lifted, then hooked a small plane to the front and hauled it off. Our tow plane was a 1946 PIPER J3, C-65HP, TTA 1286, 260 SMOH with a midnight blue paint job to cut down on visibility. We timed it to start shortly after sunset on a moonless night and just headed up the Rockies until we got to The Institute. We cut the balloons loose and it dropped right into place. Easy-Peezy. We’re making it seem pretty simple but a lot of planning went into this project. Some of it we have to keep confidential to protect our phony baloney jobs due to slight violations of air space between states, some antiquated laws regarding taking mountains across state lines, endangerment of wildlife excepting birds, some property damage due to falling rocks, but by and large it went pretty well.

The other half of the problem took quite a bit more work. Due to the laws of the sovereign state of Arizona you can not just go off in the back country with D9’s, backhoes, unlicensed four-wheel drives and start rooting around there in the wilderness. That ‘s sacred cow stuff to those folks due to the possibility of contaminating the land, water, and ozone layer. So we had to resort to old-fashioned methods and repair the hole by hand. We sent three eighty passenger busses full of interns down there with all the tools they’d need, like shovels, hoes, Pulaski’s, steel-toed boots, come-a-longs, baseball hats, seven or eight cases of bottled water and set them to work terracing the slopes of the hole we left when we yanked that mountain out of there.

We think it turned out pretty good. We got it all terraced, set in our own patented erosion control material, even put in a road to get  down to the bottom if you wanted to, absolutely free of charge. The toughest part however was getting the color right. We gathered images from all over the Southwest to get a handle on how we should finish this and we came up with a pretty good color scheme. Fortunately we had and old Sikorsky helicopter left over from another project and after fitting it with a customized spray painting unit on a 360°, computer-controlled laser guided gimbal with integral spray head we went to work. Gallons later of paint, varnish, stain, india ink, crushed up pastel colors, liquitex acrylic paint, custom-made oil finishes, buffing compound, and liquefied stone stabilizer, we were finished. I’d say it looks like it has been there for years myself. One of the city council guys who went out to check on the work couldn’t even find the spot we had done, it looked so real.

So to all those whiners out there who would complain if they were hung with a new rope, we say “Look. Go on out there. We dare you to find where we made the switch.” The proof is in the terraforming. We leave it up to you to answer the question “Terraforming – Good or Bad?” We think good.

 

 

 

Behind The Ridge

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Those of you who have visited The Institute know that there is more to it than the cluster of magnificent buildings housing some of the most high-tech equipment and knowledge on planet earth. You also know about some of the other activities we have in progress that require their own set of buildings, such as our world famous Observatory placed on the mountain top that overshadows and shelters The Institute.

And there is our world-famous weather modification program that is housed its own tuff shed because of the intricacy of the equipment needed, and the need to keep that equipment out of the weather. We use a lot of tuff sheds because we can get them from Home Depot and have them delivered right to the compound complex. They’re tuff enough for the modifications we make to them to handle things like the hook up for the incredible amount of electrical power needed to change the weather. We bring some of our power in from the outside world and have to use 36″ culverts for conduits which makes it heavy and difficult to connect. It takes three interns just to pick up the plug and stuff it in the socket installed in the side of the tuff shed. Plus if we have to unplug it the tuff shed walls can withstand the force of the pickup pulling on the plug to disconnect it. So we need to use tuff sheds for some of the larger installations. We’re dealing with 111,000 amps here with a three-prong plug nearly 8′ in diameter so a tuff shed is the only way to go.

We have the command center located in the middle of the Institute complex that we call the Big House, which is where our very own Director maintains his own living quarters so he can oversee the immense multiplicity of activities that take place here, and have the kind of living space that he has become famous for, and only the misuse of huge amounts of Institute funds can provide. We have the staff quarters where we house some of more lucid PhD’s, and the compound where Tent city is located to accommodate the many interns that come and go. We have the zoo, the 1.2563 million gallon aquarium, our own high country botanical center with specimens from around the world plus the new ones we have developed right here in-house. We have our own privately owned shock-collar wearing Wolf pack that patrols the property itself. It took nearly herculean effort to bury the power cable around the perimeter of The Institute so the collars would work and apply the necessary voltage to our canine friends to keep them from leaving the property, but not totally kill anyone who accidently wandered onto our property. But it was necessary to keep the pack contained. I mean one or two of the villagers kids go missing and there is a hell of a row. We just don’t have time for that.

We have our incredible data center where we have our very own Cray super computer that we purchased for pennies on the dollar from CSU when they were going to throw it out, if fact some of it was already in the dumpster and we had to dig it out.  Plus, not to mention the hundreds if not dozens of specially modified IBM 8086 floppy disk drive PC’s, daisy-chained together with usb cables and 4″ link log chain to produce another super computer, plus cut down on theft. They were modified because originally the 8086 IBM computer didn’t have a usb connector. We didn’t realize that many of our readers weren’t aware of that. We weren’t either when we purchased them. We just thought we got a good deal. But live and learn, fortunately our trained IT technicians were able to weld the proper usb connectors in place so we ‘re good to go now. The only other issue we’re dealing with is where to store all those millions of 5″ floppy disks that have been accumulating. We may have solved that problem already as our head IT person found storage in the magnetron building where we store all of our spare magnets. So our backups are secure now.

We could go on and on about the yacht harbor on the North Fork of the Cache La Poudre river, our helipad, the Bentley restoration garage, but The Institute is more than these shallow but very cool and desirable things that many of us could not live without. These items mentioned are just the trappings of a wildly successful Institute that brings in bales of money. The projects come and go like financial raindrops. Sometimes you have a torrential monsoon of wealth literally falling out of the sky, other times there is but a drizzle and we’re as broke as the Ten Commandments.

What we also have in abundance is the property itself, and that is what some people think is the most important part of our operation. The miles and miles of limited access wilderness that we oversee. If you have been following the blog for any time at all you know our property encompasses every thing from the driest deserts to the highest mountains and everything in between. Do you have any idea of how much razor wire it takes to fence a spread like this, lots, like really a lot. We have trains full of it pulling into our siding every day.

Recently we have acquired this new piece of property and had it shipped here with everything you see in the image above. The trees, the rocks, the fog, the light. It was simply going to waste in Arizona and because their state budget is strapped because of housing all of the illegal aliens and even some of those from other countries, plus the money it takes to keep that wall polished and in good repair, we were able to get this property at a tremendous discount. Plus all we have to do is let some of the guys in the city council down there come up here and hang out on it every so often and we can even defer the interest on the promissory note for it. I’m telling you, we made out like scalded cats on this deal.

There were some objections raised about the feasibility of moving another mountain here by some of those on our board of directors but after we made known our plans to bring back the Lamprey Surprise menu at the commissary and cut off their contact with the outside world, which meant no internet, no running down to the 7-11 for Slurpee’s, no conjugal visits, they changed their minds and welcomed the idea.

Plus we were able to shoehorn it in where we had that disastrous hazardous waste dump site that was so lucrative for us, until they stopped running a lot of those nuclear power plants and prohibited shipping those 55 gal. drums across state lines. Man did we take it in the shorts on that deal. Dealing with all those EPA guys and losing all those interns we sent down there to try and bury that stuff. That was about as much fun as a tornado in a trailer park.

Right now we haven’t exactly figured out how we’re going to monetize this property but there has to be an angle where we can produce some kind of revenue stream, even if it is only charging a rather expensive but excessive rescue operation for those city council guys that come up and want to use it. That’s some rough country down there before you even get to the hazardous waste dump place. Plus there’s some really deep areas, bottomless ravines and stuff, and cracks that go on for miles. So where we had some install problems fitting that property in there makes it a little dicey to navigate through. You don’t just casually drop a new mountain in place without having something not fit right. So there are places where if you go you might never be seen again, but that’s wilderness, Right?

Any way we thought you might enjoy being brought up to speed on some of the improvements happening here at The Institute. Stop in sometime, but make sure you call first. Seriously, call. Ever since the election started our security people are kind of jumpy. They don’t know what kind of  weirdo might be trying to get in and access our people, so they tend to be rather liberal with the use of those depleted plutonium bullets they carry. Just a warning, especially if you have an expensive comb-over. We’d like to see you but call first.

Closed For The Season

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Eugencia and Pepe Gonsalvos run a nice little cantina that caters to the locals down near the bottom of Arizona. Usually the place is filled with sheep herders, some pistoleros up from the border taking a break for a while, a working girl named Lumia occasionally sets up in a spare room next to the bar, a couple of the gringos born and raised down at the bottom of the canyon, more or less all the folks that know where La Barra del Caballo Mal, or Bad Horse bar, is. If you hear someone say “I’m headed for the Bad Horse” you should go along even if you have to rent one of their half-broke ‘stangs they keep in the corral down at the foot of the trail. It’ll be good for your education. Something to tell the Grandkids about.

Eugencia was a raving beauty when she was younger, a real heart breaker. She’s still got a beautiful soul but you should know that she carries a knife and cannot abide rudeness. Pepe’s name makes him sound like he’s fast but that would be wrong. Pepe is about the size of a mid-sized tractor and he’s in perpetual low gear. When there’s trouble Pepe simply lumbers over and picks the offender up and drops him over the edge. Things quiet down after that.

One time a tourist flushed with excitement at being at the Bad Horse and hanging out with real men finished a whole gourd of mescal and put his hands on Eugencia. Not only did that upset Eugencia who marked up the offenders face with that knife of hers, but Pepe took particular pleasure in dragging the hapless soul over to the edge and flinging him out into the rest of his short life by his foot. Unfortunately that got the attention of the Sheriff who decided that a reckless act like that could not go unpunished. Pepe’s doing 8 up in Maricopa county with Sheriff Joe at Tent city for Second Degree Manslaughter. He’s got 3 to go and he’s anxious to go home. But he’s not sorry about tossing that dumbass tourist.

Eugencia ran things for a while but it was hard without Pepe. The state decided that the entire canyon where the Bad Horse is located is up for urban renewal and sent a paving crew to improve the road, or actually  to make a road, as the goat trail to get up there is not a road. It’s hardly a trail. Goats have fallen off of it. As usual when you have a half-assed project things get done in a half-assed manner. The Paving crew was out of Phoenix and were unused to some of the high spots and switchbacks and consequently the paver went over the side on one of the really tight turns. The driver got out in time but as luck would have it the flagman was too close and it took him over too.

Some one up in the highway department realized that they hadn’t done an adequate survey and feasibility study and called the crew back until they could get to it. So far no ones heard from anybody so the project just sits there. Shovels, picks, even lunch boxes just laying all around. The waste of taxpayers money is just disgusting.

Eugencia realizing that she couldn’t run it without Pepe has put up a sign at the bottom of the trail. “Closed For The Season” it says. Everybody knows that it means until Pepe gets out, so in the meantime they’ve found a new place to hangout down near the highway. There’s a lot more trouble down there. Lots of knife fights, a shooting or two. The girls are meaner and a lot more expensive. Part of that is due to the truckers who just write the costs off on their expense sheet. So the local boys tend to have issues with the truckers and the tourists who think they’re in a place like the Bad Horse. They’re not. Not even close.

Stone Eagle

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Back many eons ago when Mother Earth was still forming and changing and the people and animals were unsure of who they should be, many of the creatures we know today and think we understand had not yet assumed their final shape and purpose.

During that time there was no thing such as good and bad. There was light and dark but not yet, goodness or evil. The people being the latest creations were also the smartest but they were weak and easy prey for those much bigger and stronger. They couldn’t out run the wolves, or fight with the giant bears, or hide from the eagles who would come and steal their children. And although they were many at first they soon saw that they would be gone, wiped out, by these other animals if something didn’t happen to help them soon.

They called out to Mother Earth saying “Why don’t you help us. They are killing us. They steal our children and we can do nothing. Soon we will all be gone.” Mother Earth replied “But I gave you everything you need to survive and make this earth your own. It is why you were the last to arrive. You have the power to overcome the wolves and the bears and even the mighty eagles who swoop down from the sky. This power lies in your ability to think and plan and work together. No other creatures on earth have this power.”

The people went away and studied her words and saw that this was true. They did something they had never done before and that was gather and choose a leader and decide what to do. They made a plan to capture their worst enemy which was the eagle because it stole their children, catching them as they tried to run and carried them off to their nests to feed their young.

The plan they chose was very smart but very dangerous and it needed someone to put themselves in harm’s way so that all the children would live and be safe from now unto forever. A young man-child of the people came forth and said he would do it, he would be the one. His parents cried and screamed and scratched their flesh in mourning but ultimately gave their blessing and he prepared to be the bravest of the brave that day.

Nearby where the people stayed there was a cave, a magical cave that was filled with living stone. It was fluid and changed shape and color at will. The people knew this but the eagle did not, and it was their plan to have the young man lure the eagle after him by running just fast enough to keep the eagle close but not catch him until they entered the cave. The eagle being arrogant and haughty could only see that the boy was trapped now and easy prey.

The eagle dove into the cave flying faster than it had ever flown before and seeing the boy at the end of the canyon reached forward with its terrible beak to catch him and found itself trapped in the narrow confines of the stone walls. Nothing had ever overcome it before and it began to scream in rage and frustration as the living moving stone slowly enveloped it and turned it into its final eternal shape.

The people were over joyed at their victory and celebrated long into the night, happy that they had saved their children and overcome a mighty enemy. But they were saddened too, because the young man who had so bravely offered himself up to the eagle could not get out of the canyon and he too was slowly turned to stone. He can be seen today as well as the eagle, as a small rounded boulder below the eagle’s wing.

The centuries have added the colors to both the eagle and the boy and they glow in the light of the sun that illuminates the canyon daily, caught there forever in their final struggle. Now visitors to this hallowed ground walk past and note how the stone looks like an eagle but they have no knowledge of the incredibly heroic struggle that took place here in the beginning of time, as the people took the first steps towards taking their place as the favored ones and becoming the caretakers of this earth.

We know this place as Antelope canyon and you can go there and see the eagle and the boy and watch the colors change but you can’t stay long enough to see the stone move.