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Okay, Ranger Kimmie Henkel proved that I’m not too old to learn.


I’ve been hiking here since 1986.

And almost daily since I moved out here in 1994.

I know the Vista Verde Trail blindfolded.

Yet I learned things entirely new to me today, that are even older than the pueblo peoples.

Now that’s a trick.

They’ve been here more than a thousand years!

No exaggeration.

 ‘Glyphs that Kimmie points out on her Interpretive Hike date back three or four thousand years!

She called them

“Pre-Pueblo ‘Glyphs.”

I’m not telling where they are.

You’ll have to get that on a ranger hike — best it be one of Kimmie Henkel’s Interpretive Hikes.

Let me tell you why I especially like Kimmie’s interpretations.

When one of us asked, “What do they mean?”

Kimmie casually, “What do you think they mean?”

She waits for their answer.

“Your interpretation,” she says, “May be the exact meaning.  They were carved so many thousands of years ago. Who knows?”

Kimmie knows a lot and tells us a lot about the geology, the bluebirds, the sex and age of a male big horn we see.

And she let’s us in on her Hobbit-ish fantasies of some of the mini-meadows the trail goes through along the way.

As we are leaving one of Kimmie’s Hobbit-ville fantasies, single-file through a narrow passage between two boulders she whispers, “Close the door behind you.”


I’ve always wanted to know

— more about the mysteries of the rocks on this fascinating trail, but have been far too leery of Googling the answers or digging them out of books.

It is far more fun to go out with someone like Kimmie who can tell me the stories.

I’m that kind of guy.

I love hearing the stories about what’s out there.

And I find reading about them to be just too, too anti-septic compared to being there and hearing the stories.

I have that sort of the “campfire mentality.” I’ve cherished it all of my life.

Thank you, Kimmie.

Your love of the land says so much more than even what you say about it.

I see why the managers of the Forest Service and BLM vie for you when they’re hiring their summer rangers!

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