Besides its many miles, the best part of the hike was a lonely homestead perched on a rise in the sandstone. For the backcountry, where until the late 1860s Navajo raids made life unhealthy, this settlement was very early. Not even the shape of the house was left, just a heap of stones, but the trash—! Purple glass and thick white china reduced to confetti, buttons, shreds of wire, squashed Prince Albert tobacco cans and unrecognizable bits of rusty metal were scattered over acres.

It was support for my theory that early settlers, uneasy in the wilderness, liked to look at their civilized garbage.


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