Georgia Guidestones

I was in mid-flight on October 8, 2009 to fulfill one of my fantasies, “Autumn in New York” and the fall colors of the Hudson River Valley when I read William Least Heat Moon’s “Roads to Quoz.”  Quoz is the mysterious, incongruous, odd or peculiar.  The unknown.  My mother long ago started me on the author’s prolific literary road by giving me a copy of “Blue Highways,” his first travel documentary.  His work is kind of like a memoir in present time, much more than travel documentaries, and inspiration for my work with Earth Walks.  Here are some quotes from “Quoz”:

  • 10…A genuine road book should open unknown realms in its words as it does in its miles. If you leave the journey exactly who you were before you departed, the trip has been much wasted, even if it’s just to the Quickee-Mart.”
  • 13…But for me it is the last reason which underlies all the others, for to go out not quite knowing why is the very reason for going out (on the road) at all.
  • 14…this fragment from a Navajo chant: “Remember what you have seen, because everything forgotten returns to the circling winds.”

On another dream come true, in 2010 I saw the South full springtime bloom when I visited a cousin north of Atlanta.  Boiled peanuts, bluegrass music, church services. And a “quoz” indeed:  the Georgia Guidestones, a mysterious Stonehenge -like monument near Elberton, GA.  Eight world languages were carved in the stones urging humans to preserve and protect the earth and life in harmony with the creator. Unfortunately, in 2022, a bomb was detonated at the site, destroying one of the stones and ultimately resulting in its dismantling.  The mayor and town were shocked and saddened at the senseless act.  See also: and

Walk in Beauty

In September 2016, Earth Walks traveled to the spectacular Canyon de Chelly with 12 participants.  It was a deeply memorable time, which included camping in the canyon under a blanket of stars, Dine (Navajo) friend and guide Daniel Staley playing his beautiful flute music to the echoes of the notes and his  ancestors and a day of service on the family farm of Kathryn Pemala.  Canyon


Our canyon campsite was on Daniel’s grandparents’ land where he maintains a fruit orchard and a traditional hogan.

daniel-with-apples-canyon-de-ch-2016One magical evening found us around the campfire with Daniel playing his flute and singing traditional Dine chants in his native language.  One participant had just acquired her first drum and she sent it around the group, asking each person to add their own drum beat, song or words to empower it for future drumming.  The group spent a day of solitude near the powerful Spider Rock.  That evening the group participated in a traditional sweat lodge.Spider Rock Canyon de Chelly Our final day in the canyon was spent in a service activity on the family farm of Kathryn Pemala, long time weaver, who has lived her entire life in the canyon.  As she weaves, she hears the voices and stories of her ancestors which are woven into the fabric of her work.

Dine (Navajo) weaver

Dine (Navajo) weaver

The group help harvest corn and plums, pulled weeds and enjoyed conversation with Kathryn and family members.  It was all too soon that we had to leave.

Helping Harvest Corn

Helping Harvest Corn

One of our participants, Sallie Bingham, is a writer and published author.  Her blog on the journey is well worth the reading.  You can view it at: 

Earth Walks plans to return to the canyon in the fall of 2017.  We will also travel to Chaco Canyon, NM in late May.  This coming spring, we will be based at Bodhi Manda Zen Center in Jemez Springs, NM helping with an organic farm in Jemez Pueblo  as well as making traditional flutes with Pueblo resident Marlon Magdalena

If you would like to join us on these or other journeys or create a special Earth Walks for yourself, family, friends or business please be in touch.  Meanwhile, Happy Trails and may we all Walk in Beauty!

Earth Walks Director Doug Conwell

Earth Walks Director Doug Conwell

Grand Canyon; Emerald Mile

13756There is a book definitely worth reading.  It’s called “The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of Grand Canyon” by Keviin Fedarko.

The first portion of “The Emerald Mile” focuses on the Spanish conquistadores’ discovery and history of the Colorado River, starting in Utah and highlighting the Grand Canyon portion. He outlines the efforts to protect and preserve the Canyon against forces of dam development. Fedarko finishes with telling the legend of the illegal  “speed run” by the Emerald Mile river raft that still holds the all-time speed record on the 277-mile stretch of river from Glen Canyon to the Grand Wash Cliffs during  the historic 1983 flood. It’s fast and engaging reading, much like the speed run, also giving a vivid picture of history, environmental conflict and the monumental building of the Glen Canyon dam.  The Grand Canyon is our “national cathedral” and deserves all the protection from tourist overflights to other threats we can give it.

Here’s a book review

Contact EarthWalks to create your own special journey in Santa Fe, New Mexico and the Southwest.  Whether one person or a group of family, friends or business colleagues, EarthWalks will help design an eco-tour experience that will be memorable and inspiring.

Taos, New Mexico and the Counterculture

19672642Here’s a new book that may be of interest to you:
Hippies, Indians and the Fight for Red Power.

David Farber of Temple University has this to say about the book:  “Sherry Smith’s book is titled Hippies, Indians, and the Fight for Red Power. In fact, the book doesn’t focus on “hippies.” Only one chapter is about hippies and Indians. The rest of the chapters, as Smith carefully explains, detail how Native American people in the 1960s and 1970s allied with “a disparate collection of liberal, progressive, and radical organizations, churches, and individuals of various races and ethnicities” to fight for greater economic and political power (p. 215). Judging by the endnotes, I think Smith started this project by researching how and why a set of cultural rebels in the sixties become enamored of Native Americans and where that set of feelings and relationships led.” The chapter Mr. Farber mentions deals specifically with the influx of Anglo counterculture people into New Mexico, primarily Taos.  If you are interested in this historical focus, I think it is worth a read.

Author John Nichols, whose book “Milagro Beanfield War” inspired the Robert Redford-directed movie of the same name, and who now lives in Taos has good advice to offer to any newcomer to the area in his book “If Mountains Die.” In it, he urges visitors and new residents to approach being in New Mexico as a pilgrimage. I would certainly extend that thought to anywhere we travel or live on our Mother Earth.

If you would like to design a special journey for yourself, family or organization here in the American Southwest or Mexico, get in touch. Contact me at: