Mother Nature's Tears
I had to drive up to Flagstaff through a major storm yesterday, and decided to return home through Oak Creek Canyon. It was gorgeous and I was filled with excitement. The low clouds were hanging on the guard rail just below the road, with liquid chocolate flowing downstream, dancing from rock to rock. I was concerned about rocks falling into the roadway ahead of me, of which I saw a few, and two hours later there were some temporary road closures as rocks were falling everywhere. Yet, even in her harshest times, Mother Nature’s majestic beauty shines gloriously. Then sometimes, she is just correcting something that is wrong. As was the case of a situation I became aware of a few days ago. It was unsettling, and I woke this morning with a vision of mattresses floating from a cave and washing downstream.
An awareness came about recently regarding an Airbnb page promoting a stay in an actual alcove ruin site here in Rimrock. The “amenity” (loophole) was access to an actual legally permitted, bed and bath in the host’s home. I’ve watch the natural decay of this site for years. From when you could actually see the walls, to when the walls were washed out by spring floods, and only the vigas in the rocks remained. So obviously, the owners know the risk and doesn’t seem to care about destroying a sacred site.
The County doesn’t seem concerned about a commercial enterprise renting this ruin site out, or the structural integrity of an unpermitted commercial rental. Not to mention the illegal electrical wiring it took to set up the television and lamps in the cave, or the string of lights illuminating the rocky trail down a hillside. I wonder if they put up a rail for the safety of the renters as they ascend into their ancestral way of life? Hmmm…
Then, there’s the Archaeology Center who has their hands tied due to it being on private property. They get numerous calls about violations of this nature, and there is nothing they can do to protect such sacred sites. The law’s the law, even when you are breaking it.
But the biggee, to me, is the online rental site, of which most are aware of their services. Calls were made to alert them to an operation like this being advertised on their web site. It appears that they don’t want to be bothered with it. Who cares if the rental is legal or not. Oh, the irony of the tale of two “sites”, past and present.
So, the Ancestors spoke… The flood like conditions I was experiencing with joy last night, made its rounds. I heard this morning that the owners were dragging out wet carpets from the cave. Obviously, the renters for last night were either sent elsewhere, or had to stay in the alternate “amenity” only to risk being flooded in. Either way, they would be leaving with visions of their main rental as they cross the river just below the alcove site. I also heard that the not legally permitted river crossing may have been destroyed enough to make it more difficult for the residents living further down to gain access to their homes. Oh the justice of Mother Nature…