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At 12:30 a€?Cheta€?, from a€?Over the Road Toursa€? picked us up in a twenty seat tour van. The city itself is enormous, stretching some 40 miles in across and encompassing several large mountains. We enjoyed a few hours of shopping, then stopped at a Starbucks for some of that strong nectar.Then, we walked back along the boulevard to the Doubletree, enjoying the sunshine and warm temperatures. Frank Lloyd Wright first came here, in 1937 at age 72, to found a Winter sanctum, to cure his ailing lungs.He ,his wife and acolytes camped in tents for four years, until the prarie-style masterpiece took shape and was completed.
The foundation that runs the property is a functioning architectural firm, that admits 11 architectural students a year to mentor with working architects. It was late afternoon and we were tiring, in spite of the arhchitectural brilliance of Taliesin West. We met Jerry and Muriel from Boston, cousins Michelle and Jane from New Jersey and a whole passel of friendly Canadians. It was sunny and nice out, with an azure sky, as we continued up along Oakcreek Canyon along Rte.#89-A. The line of cars, waiting just to enter the Grand Canyon, was an hour long.We sat patiently, awaiting our turn. We walked along the narrow trail, looking out some ten miles across to the North Rim of the Canyon, 1,000 feet higher in elevation. We walked back to the Maswik lodge and had coffee and danish in the small lodge.Everyone else was up and about. We were approaching the Glen Canyon Damn.The huge project had created a 200 mile long Lake Powell and filled the huge Glen Canyon to the top with the water from the Green, the Escalante, the Colorado, the little Dirty and the San Juan Rivers, over a 17 year period. We sat with a Canadian couple and Kim Durham, chatting while everyone trooped up to the breakfast bar. We took a side road into the a€?Gouldings Trading Post.a€? It is a complex of gift shops, trading posts, a small museum, two dining rooms and a small hotel. Mary and I walked through the museum, the Dukea€™s shrine, the gift shop and then looked all around us at the towering mesas and wierd stone pillars, all covered in a dusty vermillion paint.
After lunch, we saddled up in the back of two very large pick-ups for a tour of the valley. Kanab, a small metropolis of eight thousand souls, had been an outpost for the early Mormons, who ran their buisinesses under a a€?United ordera€? concept, something like a benevolent socialism, where a€?each got according to his need and gave according to his ability.a€? I found it interesting to see this pocket or socialism so deeply embedded in the American West. The country side was getting more snow-covered as we rose in altitude towards Bryce Canyon.
The kids from Florida were laughing and throwing snowballs, unused to playing in the white powder. At a€?Sunset Pointa€? we saw a vast panorama of bright orange hoodoos, with alabaster tops. We stopped by the Zion Lodge for breakfast and then returned to our room to put our bags out and prep for the day. The terrain was getting flatter and browner as we approached the desert mecca of Las Vegas.The passengers were stirring with anticipation at so fabled a destination.
After a€?T.Ia€? as it is now called, we walked to the Mirage, former home of Sigfried, Roy and their Tigers.
After breakfast, we walked down the strip towards the Luxor Casino, that huge pyramid and assemblage of all things Egyptian. We caught an early dinner in the Zanzibar cafe, at the Alladin, before setting our for a walk along the strip to the Luxor and our show for the evening.
Afterwards, we walked back along the crowded strip, amazed as always at the sheer throngs of people streaming by. There are numerous important revolutions that have dramatically changed the world that we live in. The decline of feudalism, the emergence of the Renaissance and the Reformation, the expansion of trade with other distant countries and continents, and the discovery and exploration of new cultures awakened a desire to explore the nature and workings of the universe that surrounds mankind. And so, appearing on the scene in Europe at the same time the explorers were searching for new routes to the Spice Islands, to China and India, others were engaged in new scientific studies. In 1491, Nicholas enrolled at the University of Cracow (Poland), where he took an interest in astronomy. Copernicus is the first to propose a new view of the solar system--the heliocentric view of the solar system in contradiction to the traditional geocentric view. Because Copernicus merely stated his ideas as a hypothesis, he was not considered dangerous to the Roman Church, as Galileo was a generation later.
Even though Copernicus made sense to some, the traditional geocentric scheme simply would not disappear. Kepler was a German mathematician, astronomer and astrologer, and, although a student of Brahe, disagreed with his teacher. He was also one of the first to say that Ptolemy was wrong (Ptolemy taught the traditional geocentric view of the solar system) and maintained that Copernicus was correct--the earth did revolve round the sun, and not vice versa. These announcements, published in his work, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, brought Galileo (1564-1642) into conflict with the Roman Church.
In 1992, 350 years later, Pope John Paul II stated that errors were made in condemning Galileo. The case of Galileo is perhaps the best-known illustration of the tension between science and religion. Bacon is considered by many historians to be the a€?founder of modern science,a€?A  although by training and vocation he was not a practicing scientist.
Empiricism -- the theory that reality is discovered through the senses, through experimentation and testing. Induction -- drawing conclusions from onea€™s observations and testing and from that developing general principles. By Bacona€™s rejection of ancient authorities, namely Aristotle and Ptolemy, a new science exploded on the scene, producing a plethora of discoveries and inventions that has continued nonstop to this day.A Under Ptolemy, there would likely not be television, iPhones, or space shuttles. What Bacon attacked was medieval scholasticism--the idea that everything we need to know has already discovered in the past. Scholasticism denied the very idea of experimentation and taught that the only thing left for the learned mind to do was to clarify was had already been discovered in the past! Sir Francis believed that, in fulfillment of Daniela€™s prophecy, man would increase in knowledge in the last days by casting off unbiblical authorities like Aristotle and investigating Goda€™s natural revelation (creation) with minds that had been created in His image. His major works were The Advancement of Learning (1605), Novum Organum (1620) [the New Order], and New Atlantis (1627).
Harvey was a physician in England and was a lecturer at the Royal College of Physicians in London and a Christian. Following his death on April 1727, Isaac Newtona€™s body lay in state in great honor n Westminster Abbey for an entire week.
He developed the answer, he believed, and published his work in his masterpiece, Principia, published in 1687. Among the greatest scientific geniuses of all times, Isaac Newton made major contributions to mathematics, optics, physics, and astronomy.
To Newton, the very orderliness and design of the universe spoke of God's awesome majesty and wisdom. Seeking to further understand God's methods, Newton studied and developed formulas for specific phenomena such as ocean tides, paths of comets, and the succession of the equinoxes. Newton spent a tremendous amount of time studying the Bible, especially the prophetic portions of Scripture. Though he outwardly conformed to the church of England, Newton privately was an Arian Christian. List and explain what new social and political conditions existed in Europe to make possible the scientific revolution. Explain why the Copernican hypothesis was so startling to the populace and so threatening to the Vatican and to Luther and Calvin.
Explain how the relationship of Galileo to Copernicus was so similar to that between Hubble and Einstein in the 20th century and how they had similar impacts on the thinking of their generations. Describe how the scientific discoveries impacted the world of politics and urged men like Hobbes to pursue a new course of reasoning. The dissatisfaction by many with patterns of government and the practices of absolute monarchies in Europe and Asia created a hunger to find (1) new and better ways to govern, (2) ways that would better cultivate tolerance for diversity in religion and thought, (3) ways that would promote and value progress rather than tradition for traditiona€™s sake, and (4) where processes of social justice would acknowledge and protect natural rights of the individual. In simpler terms revolutionary thinking emerged especially in France, England, Scotland, and Germany which generally sought the following: (1) eliminate absolutism in government, (2) toleration for faith and thought, (3) openness to progress, and (4) freedom for the the individual. Major events in the late 17th century set the conditions in Europe for a revolution in thought. The New Attitude: By the 1700s Europeans were quite certain that they could make the world a better, more comfortable place to live.
The New Question: If there are natural laws that govern the physical universe, certainly then must there not also be natural laws that govern the spheres of religion and rationality? The new conclusion: If we must use mathematics and the scientific method to discern the natural laws of the physical universe, we must use the same tools to discover the natural laws of the spiritual world.
In other words, what can be known about God, eternity, spiritual laws and commandments, and other related items, can be discovered through human reason using the tools of the scientific method.
And if we can discover the natural laws of the spiritual world, we can also discover the natural laws of how to live with each other in this world, including how to govern and to be governed. The Renaissance questioned traditional thoughts and principles and sought to discover better principles by studying the ancient Greek and Roman philosophers. The Enlightenment, likewise, questioned the traditional ideas about how to discover truth and how to live together on earth. If we are to discover the natural laws governing the spiritual world, how will we discover them?
If human reason with the scientific method as its tool can discover the natural laws of the physical universe, why not the same for the spiritual world?
They met to discuss and debate, in the spirit of the scientific revolution, what the natural laws were that were to govern all people in their personal, social, and community lives.
There were the common people who knew and cared little about those philosophers fortunate enough to sit around and debate natural laws!
The printing press that had aided the Protestant Reformation now became the instrument to spread the ideas of the Philosphes. The Philosphes and their disciples tended to occupy seats in the faculties of the universities.
They also tended to arrive at a new conclusion about religion: If we must use mathematics and the scientific method to discover the natural laws of the physical universe, then we must use the same tools to discover through human reason the natural laws of the spiritual world.
The Renaissance questioned traditional beliefs and principles and sought to discover better principles by studying the ancient Greek and Roman philosophers. If we are to discover the natural governing the spiritual world, how will we discover them? While the leaders the scientific revolution were for the most part orthodox Christians (and believed that they were discovering evidences of Goda€™s intelligent design expressed through the laws they discovered and described), many of those who became leaders in the revolution in thought were deists. However, as we shall see, the new thinkers in the Age of Reason were not the only people in town. In France the philosophes (a€?the philosophersa€?) gathered often in private homes (salons) hosted by wealthy women to read their latest essays.
Although they dealt with a variety of topics, for our discussion we will concentrate primarily on their views dealing with politics and government. He viewed government to be ideally a function of free and rational men -- not simple-minded men who lived as serfs within feudalism or blindly obeyed the dictates of a prince or king. Obviously, his ideas were a direct threat to Roman authority and to the absolutism of Louis XIII and Louis XIV. Baron de Montesquieu was a member of nobility in France, a judge in a French court, and one of the most influential political thinkers of the 18th century.
In his major work, The Spirit of the Laws (1748), (French, De la€™esprit des lois) he concluded that when all power rests with one leader or even several leaders, despotism inevitably develops and human freedoms disappear.
Yet, Montesquieua€™s political thought was one of several basic ideas that was used to found the Constitution of the United States of America. His openness to ideas and toleration was exemplified in his marriage in 1715 as a Roman Catholic to a French Huguenot woman.
Montesquieu believed that if natural laws were found that could best explain the natural world, then certainly there are laws that can teach us how to live with one another in peace and harmony in the world of culture and society. He also believed that educated persons best discover what these natural laws are that produce harmony, and, therefore, educated people govern best. Governments are best shaped by the people and their surroundings, the climate, the environment.
Voltaire was an opponent of Roman Catholic religious dogma and spoke strongly against blind obedience to the pope. One of his major and most important works was A Treatise on Toleration (1782) that raised havoc when it was circulated within the last days of the reign of King Louis XVI.
After returning to France in 1734 he had to again flee imprisonment due to comments made about the absolutists French government in Letters to the English.
These personal examples created in him a hatred for oppression of any kind, whether by a despotic king or a democratic mob rule. Concerning politics, if Voltaire could choose one best form of government, it would be an enlightened monarchy.
He opposed war of any kind and called it a€?sophisticated murder.a€? This did not sit well with many in France who basked in the glory of Francea€™s hegemony under Louis XIV, which was achieved in large measure through warfare. Perhaps his best known work was the novel, Candide (1758), in which the central character, Candide, is a joyful, optimistic world traveler.
Organized religion is led by charlatans who exploit the weak and who foist ignorance on the uneducated. Religious leaders maintain power by oppressing anyone who disagrees with them on even the simplest theological matters. Material wealth provides some comforts and power but in the long run drifts away at he hands of corrupt government officials (taxes, bribery) and dishonest merchants.
A great earthquake takes place in the story of Candide which was based on a real earthquake that hit Lisbon, Portugal in 1755 with great loss of life.
Voltaire expressed in Candide the opinion that God is either indifferent towards, or lacks the power to prevent evil within human history. As a youth he was educated by Jesuits, and was not an atheist, as some maintain, but bitterly opposed religious oppression of individual rights, and who believed that what can be known about God comes not through revelation and church dogma but through human reason.
It can probably be said that Voltaire was at best an agnostic, that the God who was championed by religion, as Voltaire experienced it, was at the core of a suppression of individual thought and freedom and therefore should be discarded. Voltaire maintained that the only places on earth where there was true freedom of religion and speech were in England, the Netherlands, Prussia, and Switzerland. Diderot was an atheist who believed that all mankind are born with a totally free will to live life as they wish, with no accountability to a divine being.
His Encyclopedia was a critical attack on and mocking of Christianity and resulted in his flight from France to Russia where he was protected and supported by the a€?enlighteneda€? ruler, Catherine the Great.
Born in Geneva, Rousseau was orphaned while young and placed in the care of a strict uncle. Rousseau was a brilliant thinker who is claimed by Geneva today as one of its most prominent sons. Probably as a result of the harsh upbringing he experienced while living under his strict uncle, Rousseau had much to say about education and how young children develop. He promoted the idea that children develop through specific stages and should be raised and educated accordingly. The truly educated person is one who has been trained to be self-governing by making rationale choices. Rousseau was among the first of the French to promote the ideal family as being a nuclear family (father, mother, and children) with a mother serving at home as the manager of the family affairs. Rousseau promoted the concept of a democratic, Christian Republic where the rights of the individual were carefully protected and where the Christian faith was part of culture. In his Social Contract (1762) Rousseau describes man as being inherently good, born both free and innocent, who is increasingly corrupted by culture and society. He personally had deep religious roots, first as a boy who was born and lived in Calvinist Geneva, then as a Roman Catholic while living in France, and then returned to Calvinism when he moved back to Geneva in his later years.
A great faith arose about the ability of human reason to think, weigh, argue, and conclude rather than mere faith on the one hand and the mere gathering of knowledge on the other. By observing human behavior we can discover natural laws that govern how we are to live together and then use these laws to draw up patterns for communities and patterns for governments that will produce harmony, order, and the preservation of individual rights and dignity. Once these natural laws are discovered and agreed upon, the common people are to be taught these newly found laws and trained in the use of reason. Once this system is at work, old institutions that rely upon traditions, unjust rules, and unreasonable patterns will be swept away for they keep the human race from progress. A new world will be created, a new society will be built, governments will be reshaped, and there will follow unlimited human progress.
Every person is (1) capable of reason and the human mind can discover any truth and the human spirit can achieve any ambition; (2) innately good, potentially virtuous, and every society can become perfect. While some rejected religion altogether (Descartes and Hume), most still held to the values and principles of traditional Christianity. The printing press, which greatly promoted the ideas of the Reformation, now also greatly enabled the philosophes to spread their ideas quickly, inexpensively, and widely throughout Europe. Locke lived during the time of the restoration of the monarchy under Charles II and James II and was a strong supporter of the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Locke taught that all people have innate, natural rights that no one has the right to diminish or deny. Locke transferred these observations about the nature of each person to how he or she is to be governed--each person is to be in charge of how he or she is governed and to participate in how society as a whole is governed. Lockea€™s ideas about government were contained in his work, Two Treatises of Civil Government. He also opposed the idea held by those who supported the divine right of kings, that men are not naturally born to be free. However, in order to preserve his life and his property a man has to choose to enter into society and to live happily with others in a government where the will of the majority rules. Government, therefore, is a social contract between those who govern and those who are governed. Because men tend to misuse one another, Locke saw the necessity for a government that contained (1) a written code of laws, (2) laws that exist for only one purpose -- to protect the good of the people, (3) legislative and judicial branches in government to enforce and define those laws, (4) no taxation without the consent of the people, and (5) no war or treaty powers are given to anyone without the consent of the people. Together with Montesquieu, Locke provided three of the foundational concepts that formed the new United States: (1) the necessity for a division of powers (Montesquieu and Locke), (2) the necessity of government to protect the natural rights and property of the individual (Locke), and (3) the formation of a commonwealth as a social contract where those who govern are selected by the people and remain in office so long as the people agree to such (Locke).
Locke was not an atheist, but he resisted any religion that did not grant freedom of thought and belief, especially the Roman Church. He pictured in his work, Leviathan (1651), the all encompassing necessity of a strong central government that extended into every area of life. And yet Hobbes also called for the preservation by government of the natural rights of all citizens, and viewed the monarchy as existing only at the will of the people through a social contract.
The absolute monarchies of Europe, and France in particular under Louis XIV, tended to practice mercantilism in the realm of economics and industry. Adam Smith took on the mercantilistic establishment with the publication of his work, The Wealth of Nations in 1776. In his work, Smith maintained that man is at heart selfish in the sense that if given the opportunity, he will use industry to further his own economic well-being. Smith maintained that mercantilism is contrary to human nature and is ultimately destructive to a nationa€™s economy. Rather than the governmenta€™s hand, there would be an invisible hand to guide a free market, marked and fueled by competition. Competition among producers to acquire the best workers raises the level of salaries of workers.
Competition among producers increases not only their own wealth but that of the nation which taxes their profits. Producers, if allowed to reinvest their profits back into increased machinery, workers, research and development, produce a better quality of goods, sell more of their products, and make a greater profit. Money should circulate freely among men as blood does in the human body, a concept he learned from the revolution in science. Colonies in North America where free enterprise was either allowed to occur, or occurred because the people were too remote to be controlled, tended to become more prosperous than the economies they left behind in Europe. Adam Smitha€™s theory became the economic policy of the newly formed United States of America.
Deism was a popular religious belief based on a God who created the universe, set it in motion with a set of specific, orderly, natural laws, then stepped back to let it operate itself.
The Deists often compared their view of God to that of a clockmaker who, having once created a clock, then wound it up, moved off, and let it operate in an orderly fashion on its own, governed by natural laws. Deists believed that all religions could be reduced to the worship of an orderly, rational God who does not perform the miraculous in violation of or apart from his natural laws (hence, no virgin birth, no miracles, no resurrection), and a moral code that human reason and common sense can agree on. While some of the philosophes rejected the notion of any kind of God at all and became atheists, most remained loyal to the Christian church.
To Diderot and the contributors to the Encyclopedia all religious dogma was absurd and the result of human imagination. Voltaire disagreed with the atheists and said their atheism had a religious dogma of its own. If religion is either not important for good government or not important for good society, and if principles for living together in society is based upon a commonly accepted set of values derived from common sense, what happens to people who my their own free choice choose not to live by those principles or standards? The general conclusion was that if someone disobeys a€?reasona€? or what the majority decides is a€?natural law,a€? that person has to be either removed from the perfect society or be a€?re educateda€? so that they use more enlightened reason. The Enlightenment thinking led not only to societies and governments where great, unheard of levels of human freedom were to be realized (which took place in Englanda€™s Glorious Revolution and which we will see in the American and French Revolutions), but in reality also produced some of the most cruel and totalitarian governments ever before realized in human history.
The Enlightenment that helped to produce both the United States of America also led, as well, to Hitlera€™s Nazi Germany!! The Big Question: Was this really an a€?enlightenmenta€? or is it better called the age of deifying human reason? There was another side to the Age of Reason where Christian men and women lived and taught and where spiritual movements took place at the same time as Locke, Voltaire, and Rousseau. The outbreak of Christian revivals in England and America in the 18th century greatly impacted the social, moral, financial, spiritual, and political aspects of culture in Great Britain and America so that these cultures differed significantly from those of Italy and France.
The Great Awakening in America turned the colonies upside-down and prepared the way for independence from Great Britain. The Baroque Age in Music broke with tradition, and produced a radical departure from the music of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Spener was born in Alsace, whichat that time was a part of Germany, but is now a province in Eastern France. Later posts in Berlin exposed Spener to much criticism from other Lutheran ministers because of his emphasis upon personal transformation and cleansing through a spiritual rebirth.
Although he is called the a€?father of pietism,a€? he, himself, did not teach nor practice what the later pietists called for--an emotional experience of salvation as a proof of conversion and the separation of the Christian from all secular life. Spener founded the University of Halle, a center of opposition to the ideas of the French philosophes.
Early in his career Spener became widely known as a vocal opponent of the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes (see Hobbes above). The Age of Reason had begun to infiltrate Lutheran Germany and presented a new threat to the Lutheran churches.
Spener taught that the cure for the cold dogma in the Roman Church and the dogma increasingly developing in German Lutheranism was not rationalism or human reason, but a deeper, personal commitment to Christ. His grandfather moved the family to Germany to avoid forced conversion to the state-religion, Catholicism.
With wealth received from his family Zinzendorf purchased an estate in East Saxony, Germany (at the intersection of Saxony, Poland, and Czechoslovakia) where his intention was to create a community of people who desired to follow the teachings of Spener and to publish books which might awaken Lutheranism from what he felt was its stupor.
Within months a request came from Moravia and Bohemia, now sections of present-day Czechoslovakia, from a group of Protestants who were the dominant group in Moravia and Bohemia before the Thirty Yearsa€™ War (1618-1648), but were now a persecuted minority. Zinzendorf worked diligently to unite the various groups coming from a variety of cultures and Christian backgrounds into a unified Christian community.


Zinzendorf continued to view the new community, not as a new reformation, but as a means to breath new life into the Lutheran churches. When civil authorities grew suspicious and concerned about Zinzendorfa€™s community, they banished them from the estate.
Zinzendorf is mentioned here because, like his godfather, Spener, he emphasized the necessity of the new birth and of an intimate, personal relationship with Christ as the cure for the cold dogmas of Rome and the increasing coldness of the Lutheran Churches. Rather than an emphasis on human reason, Zinzendorf was faithful to biblical teachings and to cultivating the spirit and the new heart. Edwards is considered to be one of the most brilliant Amercian-born philosophers and theologians. Edwards was a Calvinist minister in Northampton, Massachussetts and preached during some of the first revivals connected with the Great Awakening in (c. As with pietism in Europe, the Great Awakening emphasized an intensely personal relationship with Christ, brought the Christian faith to the common man, and was marked by prayer, bible study, intense introspection, and a personal commitment to a biblical standard of morality. The Great Awakening impacted the attitudes of the colonists towards authority and especially to the government of England. The impact of the Awakening produced a revolution in the American colonies that was totally distinct from the revolution in France that occurred about 15 years later. At Oxford he joined the Holy Club, a group of deeply committed Christian students who met regularly to pray and study the Bible. Because he was not assigned a pulpit by the Anglican Church, Whtiefield preached wherever people would gather, in parks, in public squares, in marketplaces. One of Whitefielda€™s most ardent supporters was Benjamin Franklin, who published all of Whitefielda€™s sermons and tracts in his Gazette. On one occasion in Philadelphia, Franklin walked from the outdoor pulpit area where Whitefield was preaching on Market Street down to the Delaware River, just to see how far his booming voice would carry.
Although Franklin did not agree personally with Whtiefielda€™s message of repentance and faith, he nevertheless admired him as a friend.
It is said that Whitefield preached to more people in his lifetime than another other person prior to Billy Graham, and all without the benefit of air conditioning, PA systems, and closed circuit TV! Whitefield crossed the Atlantic to the American colonies numerous times to conduct preaching campaigns from Massachusetts to Georgia. His preaching in Wales and England did much to prevent English society from being impacted by the humanism of the French philosophes. Earlier, the Wesleys had traveled to Georgia in the American colonies to do missionary work among the native Americans.
It is understandable, therefore, that under the direction of the Wesleys many of their followers became leaders in major service projects and organizations, leading the way in prison, orphanage, hospital, and social reform. The Wesleys were abolitionists and were friends of William Wilberforce and John Newton, other English leaders in the anti-slavery movement in England. It can be safely stated that the words of John Wesleya€™s hymns have been sung by millions around the world and are words memorized by millions.
List five major members of the Philosophes in France, England, and Scotland and explain their particular contributions to the Age of Reason. Explain the roles that natural reason and the newly discovered laws of nature played on the thinking of the leaders of the Age of Reason.
Discuss specific Christian thinkers of the 18th century who opposed the French philosophes. In a brief statement be able to summarize the impact of Montesquieu, Rousseau, and Locke on the framing of the American government. Explain how Hitlera€™s Nazism and Americas democracy could flow from the same fountain called the Age of Reason. Explain why many of the philosophes had trouble accepting the claims of the Scriptures concerning the virgin birth, the resurrection, Jesus walking on water, etc. And so, appearing on the scene in Europe at the same time the explorers were searching for new routes to the Spice Islands,A  to China and India, others were engaged in new scientific studies. Or, if you prefer, you can download and install any of these other free web browsers: Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. Earth Rangers is a non-profit organization that works to inspire and educate children about the environment. Earth Rangers is a registered Canadian charity (#892200528RR0001) whose mission is to educate kids about the importance of biodiversity and empower them to protect animals and their habitat. Hand washing may seem elementary and second-nature to most people, but it's entirely possible that they have developed bad habits. As we are thinking about how to wash our hands, it is a good time to consider why it is that we wash our hands. So when it comes to how to wash your hands, also remember that when you wash them are just as important. Calling your health care provider if you are pregnant and symptoms of glucose intolerance develop. An oral glucose tolerance test between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy is the main test for gestational diabetes. Individualize guidelines for carbohydrates based on the type of diabetes you have and the control of your blood sugar levels.
We had tried to check in on-line, with Southwest Airlines, after midnight , and had no success. Two pools, tennis courts, exercise facilities and a restaurant and bar make this a comfortable place to stay. Several shiny new bank buildings, a huge sports arena and convention center compliment the state capitol building complex to make an attractive downtown area.
Camelback, South and newly named Piesowa Mountain, which was renamed from Squaw Mountain, to honor the first Native American woman soldier recently killed in Iraq dominate the skyline. It was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and has two eighteen hole golf courses on its grounds. The concierge had recommended a nearby Southwestern restaurant, called the a€?Tequila Grille.a€? It was a great find. We were headed for the very pricey a€?Fashion Island Mall.a€? The sun was shining and it was warm and in the 60a€™s out. We had decided to make a pilgrimage to Frank Llloyd Wrighta€™s a€?Taliesin West a€? this afternoon. Low slung and angular, the house, in Wright tradition, seems like it is part of the surrounding land itself. First year students are required to sleep in tents, for a year, to get the feel of the land and the wind and their relationship to the buildings. We had salmon and a glass or two of cabernet, as we chatted and became acquainted with a table-full of fellow travellers.Everyone seemed amiable enough and would prove to be good travelling companions over the course of the next week.
Most of the town lies along both sides of Rte.#179 and extends a mile or so along the road.
We packed our bags and put them outside the door.Then, we set off for a sunrise walk to the Canyona€™s rim. Every time, the canyon came into view an appreciative a€?ooha€? and a€?ahha€? rose from all of us.
We drove across the bridge, admiring the chasm beneath us and the huge expanse of the damn itself. The original Gouldings had come to Monument Valley in the early twentieth century and set up shop. Mary and I elected to wash off the trail dust and enjoyed a welcome shower before venturing over to the dining room. An all female city council and mayor had first appeared here in the late nineteenth century and done a good job for the town too.
We could see ranges of snow capped mountains along the skyline.Winter hangs long and departs slowly in these parts. In brief, after an uplifting had raised the Colorado Plateau, from beneath an inland ocean to the 8,500 foot level, rivers and winds had eroded a huge portion of the upraised Colorado plateau, shaping it in the form of a Grand staircase, that runs from here, in Bryce Canyon at the 8,500 foot level, down through Utah, Arizona and Nevada and finally reaching the floor of the Grand Canyon at the 3,000 foot level. A peak-roofed,wooden sided, two-story dining room, reception area and gift shop are flanked by several two story wooden lodges with guest rooms.
We waved to several of our fellow travellers and then were seated by a€?Jonathana€? at a nice table for six. We crossed over the time zone into Pacific Standard Time and all set our watches back one hour to accomodate the change.
The sidewalks were awash with families and hordes of young people, streaming up and down the strip. We stood patiently, until the water falls in front erupted into the controlled fire of a small volcano. We walked back to the Alladdin and decided to catch some sun on their sixth floor pool deck. At the Alladin, we bought some quarters and fed the video poker machines for an hour, enjoying a glass of wine, as we threw our money away.
No longer were men and women content to simply trust the traditional explanations for what seemed to drive the universe around them. The magnetic compass and astrolabe and new maps were enabling ships captains to better navigate the uncharted waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. He then continued his studies at the University of Bologna (Italy) where he met scholars who challenged Aristotle's traditional cosmologya€”that the earth was at the center of the universe known as geocentrism. It was thought to be genuinely a€?Christiana€? and a€?biblical.a€? Brahe came up with a variation of an earth-centered model that was satisfactory to many.
He disagreed with the Copernican idea that the planets travel in circular routes around the earth. He heard of a new spyglass that had been invented in the Netherlands and set out to build his own. The Jesuits saw in his teaching the worst consequences for the Church of Rome--they would be seen to have been in error and that their interpretation of the Bible was in error! There were others before and since, but whenever the topic of science and Christianity is discussed, Galileo usually is introduced into the argument as the primary example of one who proved the Church wrong. He is credited with being the first researcher in the Western world to describe in exact and correct detail the circulatory system of the human body and the process used by the heart in pumping blood around within the body. At the funeral, his coffin was carried by three earls, two dukes, and the Lord Chancellor of Great Britain. If the planets revolve around sun in elliptical orbits, and all at different rates of speed and tracking different pathways, how is it that this is all so orderly?
Everything tells us mathematically, said Newton, that once on a trajectory, the planets they should continue on out in a straight line, like an arrow or a missile, and never return. He concluded that the same force that drew the apple downward was the same force that kept the planets and the earth in orbit -- gravity.
He discovered the law of gravitation, formulated the basic laws of motion, developed calculus, and analyzed the nature of white light. This theory explained quite fully everything from the movement of the planets through the skies, to the movements of the tides, to the velocity of falling objects--and more. The design of the eye required a perfect understanding of optics, and the design of the ear required a knowledge of sounds. He believed history was under the dominion of the Creator, and prophecy showed how the Creator was to establish His earthly kingdom in the end.
He believed Jesus Christ was the Savior of the world, but he did not believe He was very God. Whatever forms of government the nations had used to govern, it seemed to the new thinkers that inevitably they always resulted in war.
The so-called Enlightenment began in the late 17th century and continued through most of the 18th century.
In other words, what can be known about God, about eternity, about spiritual laws and commandments, can be discovered through human reason using the tools of the scientific method. The Reformation questioned the traditional beliefs, teachings, and authority of the Roman Church. A deist is one who believes in a God who created the universe, wound it up like a clock, and then walked away from it, allowing it to operate on its own under fixed laws.
The common people of Europe knew and cared little about the philosophers who could sit around and debate natural laws: a€?We have to work for a living!a€? There were also great ministers and Christian theologians, especially in England and Scotland, who challenged the conclusions of the new thinkers. It was more or less an undercover exchange of ideas within the context of an absolute French monarchy that was generally opposed to the ideals being discussed by the philosophes.
Some were committed to the basic truths of the Bible but knew that something other than absolutism had to be embraced (whether absolutism in government or the Roman Church) if God-given individual rights were to be set free. Although he did not fully develop his ideas concerning government, the later philosophes claimed Descartes as their forerunner. The most fundamental idea of Montesquieu was the idea that all men are prone to evil and men with power are exceptionally prone to evil. For in his day, Rome was enamored with absolutism--especially if the Roman Church was in charge or if one of its hand-picked monarchs was on the throne. Montesquieu was widely read by the American colonists and was the most frequently quoted author in the letters and books of colonial writers in the period 1740-1780. Her belief system greatly impacted his view of government and faith, and he saw no reason why she should be suppressed and censored because of her beliefs. If we can tame the natural world, then we can do the same with government, society and culture. Thomas Jefferson picked up on these ideas from Montesquieu and championed the idea that in the new America only the educated should be given the right to vote and to serve in public office. There is no one system that fits all, he concluded, BUT whatever form of government is used, it MUST grant freedom to all of its citizens. He advocated religious freedom for all and the guarantee of civil liberties, fair trials and freedom of thought and speech.
There he learned to admire the freedoms that the English enjoyed under the parliamentary monarchy, where, he said, "The English, as a free people choose their own road to heaven.
He distrusted a democracy as much as a despotic king, because mob rule, to Voltaire, was as despotic as one-man rule. What he soon finds is hardship, disappointment, and treachery everywhere as part of the human condition.
That it occurred is an indication of to Voltaire of Goda€™s indifference towards mankind and perhaps even his cruelty.
The true God of heaven was suppressed by the false gods created by religions--especially the Roman Catholic Church. Of all the philosophes, Diderot was the most outspoken critic of all religion, not simply because of the arguments raised by Voltaire and others, but simply because he believed that human reason excelled all forms of human religion.
She did so in exchange for his willingness to sell to her his extensive and expensive art collection, something needed, she felt, if Russia was to enter the 19th century as an enlightened nation of Europe. As suggested by Locke earlier, both the rulers and those ruled should live by means of a social contract. His trust in the general will of the majority to do and to rule in a good fashion was viewed as extremely idealistic. They valued the concept that all men were created in the image of God with certain innate, inalienable rights. Each person enters the world as a blank page, a tabula rasa, but as each grows older his or her experiences in life shape their personalities.
Second was a mana€™s right to work his property and to own and control what he makes from it. This was an excuse, per Locke, to justify some men ruling over other men without their consent. One of his important works was the defense of the Christian faith in his work, On the Reasonableness of Christianity (1695). Written during the English Civil War (1642-1651), Leviathan presented an absolute monarchy as the only hope to prevent mankind from self-destruction.
In this system the government controlled production of goods, the pricing of goods, setting of tariffs and taxes to control the flow of goods in and out of the country, and in general controlled most aspects of the economy.
If the government allows its citizens to use personal greed in production and in buying and selling, it will motivate towards great economic progress. The most healthy and prosperous economies, said Smith, would be those were government takes its hands off of the economy. Investors will purchase stock to enable the producer to even further invest in machinery, workers, and research and development. When Thomas Paine moved to France from America, where, complained, the new nation was too religious, he joined them. While many of the concepts of Locke and Montesquieu helped shape the new government that was created in the United States of America, the message of the philosophes in France created an increasing agitation that led to the French Revolution and to the European revolutions of 1848. So heavily involved were ministers in this movement towards American independence, that the resulting war between Great Britain and America was called a€?the Presbyterian Revolta€? in the Parliament of England. Music in England and Germany tended to strengthen the spiritual dimensions of culture and inspired people to faith. It resulted in new musical forms: polyphonic music, the opera, the ballet, the oratorio, the symphony, and compositions where instruments accompanied vocal music. He was troubled by the worldly attitudes of many Lutherans, by the wide-spread reliance upon infant baptism as a guarantee of salvation, and by the seeming coldness of many towards private communion with God. Any idea that unaided human reason could arrive at absolute truth, or that mankind could achieve harmony and a just society apart from God, were ludicrous for Spener.
He began to advocated communal living and taught that the community was more important to onea€™s spiritual and emotional development than even the nuclear family.
Many resettled in other areas of Germany, but many settled in the new colony of Pennsylvania in English America. He was among the first 29 persons to be inducted in 1900 into the Hall of Fame of Great Americans.
Edwards son-in-law, David Brainard, became a missionary to the native Americans in New England. Because he had no funds, he entered Oxford University as a sevitor, or student of the lowest rank who earned his tuition by serving the needs of tuition-paying students.
There he met the two brothers, Charles and John Wesley, and together with them formed the Methodist movement within the Anglican Church, which later separated and became the Methodist Church.
And on another occasion when Whtiefiled urged the immense crowd to give financially to the spread of the Gospel, Franklin emptied his wallet!
He once admitted to Whitefield that, a€?You have almost persuaded me!a€? Franklin once remarked that after Whitefield had preached in Philadelphia, Franklin walked through the streets and almost everywhere heard families in their homes singing psalms.
Together with his brother Charles he framed an outline of Christian disciplines, which, if followed, could lead a person into a deeper, more intimate relationship with Christ. Upon returning home, however, they both realized a deep emptiness in their hearts, and spoke about this with a Moravian in England who was waiting for a ship to sail to Georgia. They are still sung today and remain to form far more vibrant ideas than anything written by their contemporaries, the French philosophes. One of many important steps in this process is filtration, which uses layers to sift contaminants out of the water. Wash your pop bottle, then cut it in half so the top with the lid is separated from the base. Take the cap off and secure a coffee filter or J-cloth to the top of the bottle with the elastic and then with tape.
Pour a layer of fine sand into the top of the pop bottle, followed by a layer of coarse sand, and then the rocks. Rediscovering how to wash your hands is an effective step to defend yourself against germs, bacteria, and viruses.
To wash your hands thoroughly, it is recommended that you rub your hands together with soap for approximately 15 seconds or more. Given our tight time frame today, we were apprehensive about boarding our flight later this afternoon.
Green Park areas, several restored 19th century homes and a general aura of clean prosperity greeted us as we drove around the bustling city.
They then start to sprout a€?arms.a€? The Cacti can grow to enormous size, live without water for up to seven years and exist for over 300 years.
Casual and comfortable, we had some Dos Equis beer and a plate of Que Sedias that were wonderful A basket of Mexican corn chips and several tangy dips were also great to the tatse. Sited on the brow of a desert bluff, (Taliesin is Welsh for shining brow) just below the crest of a nearby Mount McDowell, you can look out over 90 miles across the desert and seeTuscon,on a clear day.
Second year students have to design and build their own quarters.They also work the kitchens, to be familiar with what design elements should be incorporated in well designed kitchens. Kim Durham introduced herself as the Collette representative and gave us an overview of the week ahead of us. We watched the desert scenery flash by, enjoying the various flora and the remarkable a€?green carpeta€? on the desert floor.The area had enjoyed bountiful rains this Winter and the desert was blooming with flora. They were replaced by scrubby pinon trees , thin ponderosa pines and short, flat, prickly-pear cacti.
Jewlery shops, art galleries and the entire array of tourist support structure lay waiting for us.We browsed several of the stores and bought some decent Indian jewelry.
We were ascending onto the Colorado Plateau, at the 7,000 foot level, as we traversed the winding switchbacks.
We saddled up and drove over to move into building #9, room 6904.The rooms were pine-panelled and basic, but clean and had all the amenties. Whole families took up tables for eight and ten and were busily going through the various psycho dramas that families endure at dinner time on vacation.
We stopped for a brief time at the visitora€™s center.They have all manner of schema on the dama€™s functioning and its construction. They were big enough to have a knife and fork in their fins, as they wolfed down the floating cheesbits.
I think the hotel manager has to kick some butt here to get ready for the coming tourist season. The practice of Polygamy of course is the nettle that stuck in the rest of the countrya€™s craw. We left Rubya€™s and drove higher into Bryce Canyon.The snow pack was much deeper here, often several feet thick. There are vast coal deposits there, a source of much wealth for Navahos in the future, should they elect to expolit their most sacred site. Each had on snow shoes, with iron pitons attached to the bottoms, for gripping the slick ice. Along the way, weirdly beautiful shapes of all sizes and colors had been created by the forces of erosion. Several sheep and cattle farms sit along the fast running Virgin River here, giving the area a visage of quiet prosperity. The traffic was building heavily as we entered Las Vegas.The place grows yearly by leaps and bounds, reinventing it self in the process.
We walked down to the Venetian Casino and sat down for a light supper and a glass of wine in a small cafe, bordering the canal. The sidewalks were thickly jammed in front of the Casino, with other griswalds waiting to watch the show which appears hourly. At one point ,during the performance, giant rolls of crepe paper pass over the head of the entire audience. Some musician had finally securred his gig in Vegas, even if it was only playing on the pool deck of a casino.
A kindly businesman shared his cab with us, or we would have been waiting at the airport still. They are mankinda€™s achievements as we attempt to fulfill Goda€™s command to subdue the earth and have control over it -- germs, bacilli, water, weather, steam, fire and all the other resources that God has so graciously given to us.
But an increased interest in astronomy to further assist navigation also resulted in a re-thinking of astronomy itself. Medieval theologians embraced the teaching that the earth was the center of the solar system, proof that humankind was the center of God's attention.


He proposed a model in which the eartha€™s moon and the sun revolved around the earth, while the planets revolved around the sun. His mathematical calculations convinced him that the planets moved in elliptical orbits around the sun.
Man, created in Goda€™s image, said Bacon, has the responsibility to observe Goda€™s creation and learn from it and learn about it. Behind all his science was the conviction that God made the universe with a mathematical structure and He gifted human beings' minds to understand that structure. His Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms Amended used astronomical data to argue that the Bible was the oldest document in the world and that the events of Biblical history preceded all other ancient histories.
Newton believed the Athanasian creed and the doctrine of the Trinity diminished the sovereign dominion of the Almighty and corrupted the purity of the church for centuries. The lives of common people were turned upside-down, agriculture and industry destroyed, and all of Europe involved in military buildup. The Enlightenment, or Age of Reason, questioned the traditional ideas about how to discover truth and how to live together in harmony on earth. Some of the philosophes were skeptics, questioning much of everything, including Christianitya€™s basic claims. He also concluded that not only religious people can do this but all can engage in it, hence, religion is not necessary to harmony in society. Here the nobles are great without insolence, and the people share in the government without disorder" (Voltaire, Letters on the English, 1733). In the end, these events do not seem to achieve any apparent good except to point out clearly the cruelty and folly of mankind and the apparent indifference of the natural world and its God. However, he also predicted that Newtona€™s law of gravity would eventually (within one century) overthrow Christianity as it was then known and practiced. He advocated allowing children to set their own agendas in school and granting them freedom to study what was of interest to them. In his own personal life, Rousseau had four children by his live-in a€?wifea€? who bore him four children. This was in opposition to the Calvinism of Geneva with its twin doctrines of original sin and predestination. Every person, if allowed to live a life of freedom, has the innate ability and capacity to reach perfection here on earth and to share that perfection with his or her fellow humans! The duty to preserve onea€™s life is so strong that he neither has the right to end his own life or to subject his life to slavery.
As creatures of God each person has the capacity to take charge of their own destiny and can regulate and improve their situation in life. However, he did not say that a man could amass property without limits or to the hurt of others. The king and queen would be subject to the input, the laws, and the regulations of those who they governed. His view of government, therefore, called for a strong central government necessary to thwart mindless revolts. Although Austria was a Roman Catholic country and Vienna was the seat of the Holy Roman Empire, the Zinzendorfs had converted to Lutheranism. His father was an official in the government of Saxony but died several weeks after Nikolausa€™ birth. The American War for Independence was heavily impacted by the Great Awakening, and whatever impact the French philosophes and the Enlightenment had on American thinking, it was greatly tempered by Edwards, the Wesleys, and George Whitefield. They later parted company with the Moravians because they rejected the a€?quietisma€? emphasized by the Moravians.
The hymns emphasized the free grace of God expressed through the death and resurrection of Jesus, emphasized the personal relationship that the Christian is intended to enjoy with God through Christ, and those practices of the Christian life that Methodism developed.
See how water gets cleaned by building a simple filtration system from recycled plastic (the real process is a lot more intense, but this should give you an idea of the basics of filtration).
Here are some great techniques for improving the way you wash your hands and to keep them clean. In addition to clean water, you should have either antibacterial bar soap or antibacterial liquid hand soap, as water alone cannot effectively kill bacteria and germs. They are used everyday and touch many things such as food, pets, and common items like doorknobs and handles. We were surprised to be able to sail through everything and make the a€?Ba€? sectiona€? of our Southwest flight. It was the beginning of a delightful caloric onslaught that would stretch out over the next 10 days and engulf us in some memorable tastes and aromas.
The entire area is set in the huge Sonorran Desert that stretches for 2,000 square miles all around us. Wright also held many soirees at the school, so that prospective students would become accustomed to socializing with wealthy patrons and learn how to secure commissions for work.The man thought of everything.
Most of the rest of the gang had just arrived, in the last few hours, and looked pretty tired. The huge red sandstone expanses of Bell Rock, Cathedral Buttes, Snoopy and Thumb Peak all stood like vermillion lamp posts in the morning sun. Then we settled into the a€?Canyon Breeze,a€? on their open back deck for lunch, joining Gerry and Muriel.
The vistas, back across the valley, were awesome, not comfortable for acrophobics on the narrow road. Cars were parked everywhere along the roadsways, while their occupants walked the rim path. Gerry, Muiriel, Mary and I settled into a small booth and ordered up a martini, manhattan and glasses of wine to take off the chill.
We rode back up to the lodge, then returned to our rooms for a half hour break, before we were to set off, in the landcruiser for Monument Valley, deep in the Navaho Reservation.
Harry Goulding had taken pictures of the colorful Buttes and traveled to Hollywood, in the early 1930a€™s.He camped in director John Forda€™s office, until he got in to show him these great vistas. Next, we droped by the diner, where efficient and pleasant Navaho waitresses serves us some tasty a€?Navaho Tacos.a€? We much enjoyed them.
We chilled out, had a glass of Mondavi Cabernet and enjoyed a decent, if very slowly served meal.
We browsed through Dennya€™s., had some good coffee and delicious maple fudge and then took pictures of ourselves standing in front of a large wooden bear and a replica of an old stage coach.
You could but look and silently admire them as they sat there in quiet stillness and let the wind and the snow swirl through and across them.
And then, we came upon the first a€?window.a€? An enormous a€?windowa€? had been carved from the rock and looked out over a vast canyon of stone. They were pine-panelled and pleasant enough, with views to the Virgin River just across the grassy entrance way.
We watched a parade of gondoliers singing for their tourist fares, as the poled up and down the small canal. We entered the Luxor and retrieved our tickets for the evening performance of a€?Blue Man Group.a€? ($105 each) A tram took us back to the storied castles of the Excalibur and we then walked along the strip, past New York, the Monte Carlo and other palaces.
You find your self pulling madly on the crepe covers and throwing it onto the seats beneath you, in a mad frenzy.
We managed to get to our castle in time to change the clocks back for the Spring time change. Chinese and Arab insights and discoveries often suggested new explanations for natural phenomena. The telescope, first produced in the Netherlands and improved by Galileo in Italy, led to the discovery and confirmation of the new way to conceive of our solar system--heliocentrism (literally: a€?sun-centereda€™). He was the first to discover the moons of Jupiter, the first to see spots on the sun, the first to realize that the Milky Way is made up of a myriad of stars and to suggest that the moon is mountainous. If something is empirically true, it has been proven to be so through the senses, through experimentation and testing. Man is to trust God for new insights and new revelations about Himself and his created universe.
They remain in motion due to an immense force that set them into motion and, they remain in their course because of a law that holds them in orbit. Therefore, onea€™s religious beliefs should not be the test of being a good, acceptable citizen.
Corrupt government officials work hand in hand with dishonest clergy against the common people. Violating his own stated ideal for children and the family, he required her to place them in homes for orphans. Coupled with this was the notion that a nationa€™s economic health was directly measured by the amount of gold and silver it was able to accumulate. His mother requested Philipp Jakob Spener to serve as Nikolausa€™ godfather, and sent the child to live with her mother, who was a godly, pietistic Lutheran. Place it inside the bottom half of your pop bottle (with the coffee filter end facing down). Once it has made its way through the filter, compare the two samples (FYI, DO NOT drink the water samples).
The cacti, flowers and other flora were a delight to us, just coming from the frozen tundra of Buffalo. Early city leaders had built 130 miles of aqueducts to carry water in from the Salt and Colorado Rivers, in the nearby White Mountains, to nurture the city. We enjoyed our narrated tour through the small and nautically designed living and sleeping quarters, admirng the many unique architectural features that brand the man a genius. We could see the white expanse of snow covered Mt.Humphrey, far along the skyline in the San Francisco peaks. We enjoyed their rust-red beauty and took photos of ourselves with the rock formations as backdrops. In a brief time we reboarded the bus for the short hop over to the Bright Angel Lodge, sitting right on the Canyona€™ s Rim. A pleasant waiter, from Providence, Rhode Island, served us up some decent River Trout, steaks and wondefrul deserts. It was quiet as we walked.Only a few other brave souls were out and about in the morning cold.
The Navaho Reservation stretches across 27,000 acres in parts of three states and encompasses mountain ranges, deserts and rivers. You first encounter the massive red sandstone pillars of a€?stagecoach butte, a€? a€?the two mittens,a€? a€?rabbits earsa€? and many more colorful stone monuments. Ford was so taken with the area, that he, John Wayne, Henry Fonda and Ward Bond filmed several classic Western epics in the valley.
The Utah area, comprised formerly of native Paiutes and Utes tribes had first been scouted by the same Spanish priests, who recconoitered Arizona, Fathers Escalante and Dominguez in the late 1700a€™s. You can but gaze intently and try to capture the images in your minds eye, as you enjoy the vast panaroma before you.
In that the Emerald Grotto trail wound upwards for several hundred feet in elevation, we drew a by.
We would love to visit here for a longer time and spend a few days wandering the hiking trails.
We noticed the graceful, slim brown envelope of the new a€?Wynn Casino.a€? It would open in a few weeks. We walked back along the boluevard to the Bellagio and stood waiting for the hourly a€?fountains dance.a€? In a small lake out front, computer controlled fountain jets orchestrate an hourly dance of fountain sprays, accompanied by classical music. For $19 each, we sat down to coffee and an enormous selection, of every type of food available, in the many stations in the huge buffet. We browsed through the pricey boutiques, admiring the casual opulence on display and wondering who actually buys all this stuff?
We put our bags in the check room and walked next door to the Paris Casino complex, where we walked a bit and then settled into sit and watch the throngs go by. If human reason coupled with the scientific method can discover the natural laws of the physical universe, why not the same for the spiritual world? Montesquieu attributed Polybius, ancient Greek philosopher, for many of his foundational principles. Newtona€™s discovery completely overturned ancient superstitions, including those of the Roman Church.
Dead formalism was replaced by excitement, enthusiasm, spiritual fervor, and individual commitment to Christ. Someone from Collette Tours was supposed to greet us at the airport and transport us to the Doubletree Hotel in nearby Scottsdale. We walked across the busy boulevard and headed through a subdivision towards Camelback Mountain in the distance. We had called the local tour company and arranged for a Phoenix city tour in the early afternoon. Paul Harvey and Glen Campbell still called these impressive haciendas and faux Roman Villas home.
Row after row of shops, like Nieman-Marcus, Nordstroms, Gucci and dozens of other fashion names command your attention. He had a feel for the land and thought of the house as a ship sailing on an ocean of desert. A huge landcruiser, from a€?Tour America West,a€? was parked out in front of the hotel, presumably our a€?ridea€? for the next week. Snoopy,a€? and several other red sandstone creations, in the noon day sun.These are the real attractions of the area. The bus took us out of the park and drove through Grand Canyon Village to the small airpark outside town. The locals were hoping that the heavy Winter snows and ensuing Spring run off would put back another 50 feet of water into the huge Canyon.
They are varied in shape and a dusty vermilion in color.You can read images into them like you do when staring at the clouds.
I can see even now, the a€?Dukea€? charging at the head of a cavalry troop, or riding long, lonely days with Jeff Chandler in a€?The Searchers.a€? Every time that I see these great epics again, I will think of Monument Valley and smile. Each yeah an entire hillside, with hundreds of actors, draws tens of thousands of tourists there to watch a four-day pageant, acting out in light and song, the history of the mormons. Then, the Mormons came to this forbidding land in the mid 1800a€™s to develop it as a mining and agricultural complex, which it remains today. The casino was featuring a small impressionist collection of Moneta€™s and works by Sissler, Pissaro and Renoir in its gallery. We sat for a time, at the end of the mall, waiting for the hourly performance of the a€?talking Roman staues.a€? They performed as they always do on the hour, never tiring of their own preprogrammed ribald comments and hearty laughter. We would have no plastics, no machinery, no cures for infection, no successful surgeries, we would walk everywhere, and have very limited knowledge about and communication with the rest of the world -- and even with communities that exist only 100-200 miles away! The Army Corps of Engineers had turned it into lush parkland and a golf course, much enhancing the area. Novel touches, like an acousitcally perfect recital hall, and reflected light everywhere kept our attention riveted to the house and the tour guide.
We walked along the rim, past the Bright Angel Lodge, Look Out Point Lodge and a few other early structures, some now undergoing rennovation, enjoying the solitude and the light effects as the sun hit the far canyon walls.
A heavy magnezium content colored some sands green, iron dyed them red and sulfur, a yellow to give the far away desert floor a multi colored hue in its vast expanse. The Vermillion Bluffs, Echo Bluff and Navaho Montain all crowded our skyline and drew our appreciative glances. Carrot cake and coffee finished off this lovely repast, as we dined quietly, enjoying the momentary lull in the pace. I remember well these scenes, from the many times I had watched the Western classics.And now, I was here amidst them. The terrain is hilly from erosion and the roads earthen and rough, with no improvements.The spiky chapparal and sage didna€™t do much to hold down the dry, red dust that coated everything and everyone. Kim put on a video of a€?October Sky.a€? We watched it during the ride back, our thoughts remembering what we had seen, and realizing that we would never this way walk again. The viewers were into the window surprise, as we flashed through the dark and winding cocoon of bored rock. It was a mind shift for us, to go from the grandeur of erosive stone to the manufactured brilliance of the enormous casinos on the Las Vegas Strip. They had some interaction or other and, with lighting and sound effects, one of the huge ships sunk into the small lagoon. For $20 each, we wandered through the crowded gallery and admired several of Moneta€™s dusty mauve works of Cathedrals and seascapes. It is actually interesting and enjoyable, if you let yourself get into the madcap performance.
Luckily there were only five of us on the tour, so we could spread out and minimize the noisy and cramped seats.
Huge forests, high mesas and mountain ranges, with suguaro cacti everywhere, are beautiful. Crowds of kids were headed to the Cinemas and more crowds of locals were off work for Good Friday.This is a very busy place, especially during the Summer months, when the outside temps can reach and stay in the 100-plus temperature ranges for weeks on end.
We were only to be 33, so it promised not to be as crowded and claustriphobic as some we have experienced. One intrepid female was already sitting on a rock face meditating on the rising sun.Another couple read their bible as they looked out over the canyon. We ogled the Canyon from its eastern end and enjoyed the shadings and sculptings of the canyona€™s walls.High above us, a giant condor floated on the heated air currents rising from the canyon walls. Finally, we arrived outside of Bryce Canyon and stopped at the very large and comfortable a€?Rubya€™s Complex.a€? Conference center, lodge, diner, gift store, provisioner and a€?old towna€? amusement center, Rubya€™s has everything. And then, we emerged into an even more fantastic lanscape.The Virgin River had carved the canyon into weirdly shaped formations. Interesting as it had once had been, we now found the whole show somewhat tacky and inconsequential, compared to the physical grandeur that we had experienced during this last week. We had coffee and muffins, in a small cafe, and then walked back into the casino area, to throw some more money into the video poker machines at Caesara€™s.
We ogled the Grand Cassas stretched out before us, in neat rows, like small movie sets in the desert. Much of Arizona is federal land (54%) Another 17% of its land is on native American reservations. We laughed, thinking of doing a a€?Chevy Chase.a€? (standing and looking out across the canyon for 30 seconds, then walking back to the bus) It was a scene from National Lampoona€™s vacation and we mention it often when we are touring. The place does that to you, brings you back to the things elemental like nature and religion.
For $10 each, we sat through a stomach lurching visual of an aerial ride over and through the Canyon.The photography was magnificent.
When the bus came to a crossing, the lead cow stopped the ones behind it, until we crossed over the road.
We arrived in Kanab (a€?willow basketa€? in Paiute) and stopped at a very prosperous a€?Dennya€™s Wigwam.a€? Besides the requisite jewlery, Dennya€™s carries an expensive line of Western clothing. Brigham Young took over the reigns of the religion, which exists and prospers today as the Church of the Latter Day Saints. We wandered around the huge gift store and adjacent art gallery, admiring the western and native trinkets and baubles.Except for the pricey sculptings and paintings in the Gallery, things probably hadna€™t changed much from the time when beef jerky and oxen feed were the staples.
The crowds were still building as we walked across one of the overhead crosswalks to the east side of the boulevard. I find that if you step back about 12 feet from these works, and catch them at about a 45 degree angle, they snap into sharp focus from their diffused frontal perspective. I was tiring and had come down with some malady or other from breathing all the recycled air during the last week. Our hotel is located about 13 miles from the airport, so we settled back to enjoy the new surroundings. Mystic figiures like the a€?Kokopellia€? petroglyphs embellished the surfaces of these majestic rock faces. The day was fast cooling, as we stood on the stone flagged terrace of the hotel and looked out ovet the canyon.The setting sun cast a thousand differing shadows, as it set behind the West Canyon walls. A narrator gave early history of the area and included Major Wesley Powela€™s expedtion exploits through the Canyon.
At one stop, an obliging Navaho, sitting on his horse, posed on a stone mesa and let us all photograph him. It was interesting to see how fast the transition had occured from native American to a€?westerna€? in only so few a number of miles.
The sky was a bright, turquoise blue, and the sun was shining benignly on a wealthy land of milk and honey. The indians had learned to scrape away the dark, a€?desert varnish,a€? that is a form of algae, and leave inscribed figures on the rock faces, depicting animals, rain and other tribal mysteries.
We talked with Jane, Michelle, Gerry and Muriel as we watched the lights go out all along the Canyon. It had been a good, albeit brief, visit to a phenomena that would be here for eons after we shucked this mortal coil.
When the others rejoined us, they all spoke of the breathless beauty of the helicopter rides. A small room, off the trading post, also lists all the films that had been shot in these environs, including the a€?Eiger Sanctiona€? and those crazy car commercials that show a vehicle airlifted onto huge pillars of stone. After the gallery tour, we stopped at a small ice cream parlor, in Bellagio, and had coffee as we watched the swirl of people drift by. A small rail shuttle took us out to the Southwest terminals.They were jammed with Griswalds.
The temps were dropping into th 20a€™s tonight and we were all lightly dressed, so we ambled back into the Bright Angel and milled around with all the other Griswalds. The bus dopped us off and we scurried to our various rooms, to pack for the morning departure, settle in and crash from the long daya€™s travel.
Huge chunks of red sandstone, some bigger than the bus, lay along the roadside, testimory to the enormous rock falls that occurr here regularly. The colorful Dale Chihuli glass ceiling, in the Conservatory, is always worth a look as well. A former collection of huge citrus groves, and named for 19th century army general Winfield Scott, the area now bustles with 225,00 residents. Through it all, Rosie filled us in on Navaho customs and even tried to teach us some of the language.
We made our goodbyes, to our dinner companions, and walked back, through the inky and cool darkness, to our room. We walked through the busy casino area, of the Alladdin and rode the elevator to our aerie, where we settled in to let the sand man whisk us away. We settled in to read and pass the time, as the overloaded behemoth off-Lifted into the Nevada sky and flew eastward towards the frozen tundra of Western New York. It had snowed all day in Buffalo and we knew not what we faced.The cold and flu hit me hard, in the air, on the flight back. We made our case, got checked in and even had coupons, provided by the manager, for breakfast tomorrow morning. Most of the residents of the reservation do what they can to survive economically, but I think they fair not well. It wouldna€™t take a large mind-blink to revert back hundred of years here, to a land and a time when the gods of thunder had walked the earth and cast large shadows amongst and above the few primitives who huddled here.



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