Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tracks...of Man & Animal

Often I hear the coyotes howling, yelping and barking early mornings or during odd times of the day. I see the occasional coyote track while running and wonder at their hunting strategies. Not only do they scavenge carcasses but I'm sure they put themselves into organized hunting packs. I've seen my dogs Trevor, Lady and Flo do this as I run the trails. Trevor the alpha male would be in the center while his two ladies are at either side. Trevor would flush out the cotton tail rabbits then Lady and Flo would follow chase.  While driving to work one early morning I saw three coyotes in the distance traveling in this form obviously tracking a predator. Seconds later they gave chase to a jack rabbit.

I'm an avid reader of Louis L'amour books and many military autobiographies. I find it deeply interesting to read how a tracker walks the earth and leave little signs of their passing through. The Native American culture consists of expert trackers throughout history on the north and south american continents. Currently the Shadow Wolves patrol our southern borders which consists of a dozen Native American " enforcement professionals who use time-honored tracking traditions". How do professional trackers move without anyone knowing they traveled through the area? As a tracker what signs do you look for when tracking? 'Time-honored' is correctly stated when a student learns from the master.

My novel consists of three teenage girls trekking approximately 200 miles along a ridge of the Chaco plateau. The time is around 1860 when the U.S. military initiates their quest to 'control' the Navajo people from unlawful raiding, stealing, intimidating and murdering peaceful families in the southwest region. The girls escape the initial capture on their homestead and head north. They travel along a ridge of the Chaco plateau and are tracked by a veteran tracker of the Ute nation contracted my the military. How does one travel as a group and beat an expert tracker?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

About Kialo Winters

Kialo Winters at Crow Canyon Archaeological Center in Cortez, CO USA

Hiking Huerfano mountain in Dzil-na-o-dilthle, NM USA

My name is Kialo Winters and am Dine'/Zia from Ojo Encino, New Mexico. This journey I am attempting is a memoir of sorts - which in context explains my research into a historical novel I am currently writing. I decided to create this blog to not only help organize my thoughts, but to give and receive insights from friends. The novel I am writing can be further explained in upcoming posts. My research will include the Native American understanding of trail running and the effects of exposing oneself to the environment. This was the major form of travel before the horse arrived in this region. Follow me on Google+ and Twitter @kialowinters

On the set during filming of "The Great Chacoan Escape" - Torreon, NM USA

Thirty foot petrified log near my home in Ojo Encino, NM USA

I have been running trails in my area of mesas, rolling hills, tired unpaved roads and sandy arroyos. Sage, different types of cacti, pinon and juniper trees litter all these landforms. I see the occasional petrified wood pieces the size of a man's fist and forearm, but recently I discovered a fallen petrified log the length of thirty feet. It was surprisingly intact and a great wonder for me.

Offering greetings to the sunset at Monument Valley, UT USA (photo credit: +Terri Winters)

Sunset on the Navajo Nation reservation 2012

Playing the native american flute at Monument Valley, UT USA (photo credit: +Terri Winters)

The area I run shows the horizon in all directions. The Cibola National Forest to the south with Mt. Taylor, Bear mountain and Cabezon Peak. To the east, I see the Santa Fe National Forest with the Jemez mountain range traveling south for about fifty miles and peaking at the tail is Sandia Peak. To the north, you cannot see the Rocky mountains, but another plateau ridge atop this massive Chaco Plateau. To the west, I see another thirty miles to the ending ridges of the Chaco Plateau. I wonder how our ancestors who lived and traveled this area could manage crossing this massive area and why. This question begins my journey...

Trailrunning on the Navajo Nation reservation

Crow Canyon Archaeological Center Park in Cortez, CO USA - Trekking for B-roll shots as the event photographer at a middle-school youth summit for Futures for Children, Inc.