I went inside and tracked clockwise around the perimeter of the store. I paused in toys to see if there was an electronic YAHTZEE game. I lingered in hardware and automotive. I checked out the guns and hatchets in sporting goods. I came upon a big box of discounted books, mostly hardbacks, and stopped.
When we are on the road, far from home, as we were that day, I like to buy something different to read. I like to broaden my view, so to speak. Usually, I buy a magazine dedicated to some esoteric subject with which I am unfamiliar. This time, a science fiction novel would do. As far as I can recall, I have read only one other science fiction novel. It was a paperback that I took on a long bike-packing trip. I kept my place in that book by tearing out the pages I had read and discarding them whenever we came to a trash receptacle. That way, the load I was carrying became lighter as we traveled.
I enjoyed this most recent book of science fiction. I may even read another, although science fiction is not my favorite genre. I found myself intrigued by the use of magic circles in the formation of spells and the craft of witches. Whether magic or sacred or demonic, there were always circles.
I know where there is a weird circle formed of large, river-smoothed stones upon a small mesa above an Anasazi ruin in a broad canyon. I have never seen anything else like it in all my wanderings throughout the low country.
I was studying a distant ledge through my binoculars. There, to one side, sat a small complex of ruins. Closer study revealed a nice petroglyph panel. The petroglyphs attracted me most and I decided to hike up there and take photographs. I scouted a route through the binoculars and headed toward the cliffs.
I angled left and climbed until I was on the ledge where the ruins sat. I could not see the ruins, which were beyond a sweeping curve. I followed the ledge easterly until it began to narrow tightly between the ledge on my left shoulder and a drop-off on my right. I was alone. There was no reason to take risks. I retreated to come back another day.
I returned a few days later with Steve Keele, a friend. We circled around the east side of the little mesa and climbed up from the back. We crossed over the top and came down easily onto the ledge where the ruins and petroglyphs were. We photographed the petroglyphs. There was a nice Kokopelli figure reclining with his flute resting upon his knee.
When we were finished, we climbed back up on top of the little mesa. While poking around there, we came upon the circle of stones. We were amazed. The circle was roughly eight feet in diameter and perfectly round. It was formed by a border of large river rocks around its circumference. There are countless smooth river stones in the area, but these outlining the circle were unusually large. Someone had gone to considerable effort to locate large, smooth stones and to carry them up onto the mesa and arrange them into such a circle.
A thoughtful person cannot look upon such things without wondering, “Why?” I’ll leave it to the science fiction writers to make up a good story about it.