Friday, May 23, 2008

Wednesday, The Cabin Path was visited by Don Wells and his wife, Diane. Don is a member of the Mountain Stewards, a group that is collecting data on signal/trail trees and Native America history. Using a GPS , Google maps, and mapping software, they are tracing the trails and and settlements around the SE United States. "MY" tree was blown down by Hurricane Opal, but it was a favorite place to sit, read, and dream as a child. I remember taking my horse, Penney, down the trails and jumping off of her and onto this giant, bent tree. It was a like woodland lounge chair with a gentle curved backrest. Thirty years later, I would tell my children about this magical tree, and they, too, played on it. When our oldest was a senior in high school, she took many pictures of this tree. It helped her to be awarded a photography scholarship to college, and it left me with my favorite photograph of this tree. A few years ago, I learned about signal/ trail trees. They were used by Native Americans as a road sign of sorts to mark important places. We believe that this one marked the rock circle on the hill that overlooks our lake.
The tree seen in the pictures is believed to be a Prayer Tree, and it is also located on the property. It will take a core sample to date it, but it has all of the characteristics of a tree that was used in prayer ceremonies. Pines were used by the Utes and Plains tribes. Evergreens would carry their prayers to the skies year round, and this group is finding that pines were also used in the Southern states. The Cabin Path seems to have an important Native American link to the past.

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