Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Winds of Eden - Life and Death Ten Thousand Years Ago!

Click to Order Winds of Eden
I often times wonder what it would be like to have lived a hundred or a thousand  or even ten thousand years ago like my characters in the Shadows on the Trail Trilogy. I do not know if my wondering about the past is common or unusual. When I used to ramble on about this to my mother while growing up, she always used to tell me that I was born in the wrong century. I think she was right.  
Figure one. The World of the Folsom People in the
Shadows on the Trail Trilogy.
How about you? Do you imagine yourself in a different time and place? Can you imagine living or visiting the late Pleistocene / early Holocene around 10,700 years ago and let’s say the high plains of Colorado or Wyoming? Hmm…for me, I have to admit that’s an interesting scenario. We could go visit a time and place when and where the characters of the Shadows on the Trail Trilogy were alive and breathing. You are probably thinking that it might be time for a padded room for me. “Don’t you know the Shadows on the Trail Trilogy is a work of fiction?” you might ask me. I would answer, "Yes, I know the Trilogy was fiction, after all, I wrote the books and much of  the story line came from my imagination. Still, those people really existed!"
So, let's go back to the past. Let’s board our make believe time machine and set the dial for 10,700 years ago. Now, close your eyes. Here we go!  

Ah, we made it! We now climb out of the time machine and look around. We had just left a modern and overcrowded city in the year 2016, but the same place 10,700 years earlier is empty and I mean really empty. There are no buildings or vehicles. There are no jet contrails across the pollution-free, crystal blue sky. there is just wide open space - beautiful, very wide open space!  
Figure two. Extinct American lion to the right, comparing its size
with a human on the left and a modern African lion in the middle.

Those glorious modern conveniences that we love and take for granted will not be invented for thousands of years in the future. For the rugged people who lived in North America at the time the Shadows on the Trail Trilogy took place, it had to have been a rough environment. Every day, the Folsom People must have fought just to survive another day and when the sun went down, watch out. They were on the menu for several nocturnal animal hunters of the night. The Folsom People had two critical items to survive; stay off the menu of the predators that hunted them and find food before they starve. Finding food was not easy. There were no grocery stores to walk into and pick the meat under cellophane. The Folsom people found their own food or you died.
Then, there was the climatic change that had North America in its grasp at the end of the Pleistocene. The continent was heating up and the glaciers were melting. The Folsom People not only had to fight climate change, but they also had to worry about dangerous wild beasts, such as those mammals that were heading for extinction, but not quite there, such as dire wolves, the American lion, small-faced bear, and sabre tooth cats. Not to mention those wild beasts and predators that were efficient enough to ultimately survive the Pleistocene and not go extinct, such as mountain lions,
Figure three. How do you think prehistoric people
explained these phenomena and disasters?   
wolves, and bears. If these beasts attacked and injured a prehistoric human, there were no hospitals or doctors to help. I am sure the Folsom People had some of their own remedies, but the remedies were primitive at best. There are numerous examples of archaeologists finding prehistoric human skeletons and discovering in the autopsies that these prehistoric people had all kinds of maladies such as unset and healed broken bones, raging abscesses, teeth worn down to the nerves, stone projectile points stuck in their bodies, skull fractures, eye sockets damaged, and many other untreated injuries. It sounds like the NFL and Obamacare was nowhere to be found.

If the Folsom People got into trouble, how did they handle it? They could not just dial 911 and expect help. There was no police department or fire department or hospital or ambulances. They were on their own in a super tough place to live. How did they protect themselves from these wild beasts and how did they fill their bellies with fresh meat? By our standards, the Folsom People's weapon systems were primitive and as I mentioned earlier, some of the animals the Folsom People hunted, hunted them.

Makes me glad we have a time machine and can travel back to good old 2016! Read the Shadows on the Trail Trilogy and see my version of the Folsom People's trials and tribulations. Then, tell me what you think. 

      I wish all of you a safe and prosperous 2016!

Winds of Eden - The Finale of the Trilogy 

Shadows on the Trail - first book in the Trilogy 

 Ghosts of the Heart - the second book in the Trilogy