There is a recent advertisement on BYUTV that ends up asking, "A hundred years from now will anyone remember you". I pondered this question trying to decide if any one will remember me a hundred years from now.

It seems that we all have an innate desire to leave our mark or do something to be remembered by. This is expressed in many different ways. One is the very obvious one expressed by the old saying, "Fool's names and fool's faces are always seen in public places". I think that when someone writes their name in a conspicuous place it relates to the deep internal instinct to want to leave our mark.

In Mexico we see along even the isolated roads in the mountains where someone has left their name in spray paint. I guess it depends on how we want to be remembered, how we express that desire or how we leave our mark.

Some years ago on our way to Utah we stopped along the way to find where Naoma's Grandfather had written his name on a sandstone cliff. The place used to be a stage stop in the desert. It is north of Cameron where the highway crosses the Colorado River on the Navajo reservation. We found Grandpa Peterson's name scratched high on a sandstone cliff. It was very visible along with many other names. Among them we found a Cluff name and many others that we recognized. It was interesting that many years ago the men had left their mark on these ancient cliffs while stopping briefly at this out of the way stage station in those early days.

In many places in the mountains in caves and on  sheltered walls ancient peoples or ancient artists drew pictures. Did they do it to leave their mark or did they leave a message? I have often wondered if they had a desire to leave something of themselves for all of the world to see. There are many such sites where people come from all over the world to see the ancient pictures and as the Mexicans call them Garavatos (scribblings). Up on a branch of the Chico River there is a Canyon call the Garavato Canyon because of the many pictures and drawings in the caves and dwellings. It seems that we are very interested in what ancient men have left behind. The more ancient the more interesting it seems.

Satan, as the destroyer, has extended his temptations even into the field of destroying  the things of beauty left behind that might be interesting to others that come after those ancient peoples.

Once on a Back Packing hike with the Dublan Explorers Scouts we stopped to see a very interesting Cave Dwelling. We had left the trucks at the end of the old logging road on top of the highest peak around, called North Mountain. The peak is North of Chuhuichupa and can be seen in the distance from there. The north end of North Mountain is a series of cliffs at different levels down the steep north side. We found our way down between these cliffs and traveled along a very steep ridge. Most of the boys were eager to get down and forged on ahead. Some of us went to find the Cliff Dwelling that Emilio Burgos had told me about.  We went along the narrow trail on the face of the cliff to gain access to the one little keyhole door of a big walled up cave. We had to take off our Packs and put them through the little door first then stoop down almost double to enter that little door. I thought at the time. How ingenious that door for protection. A man standing inside with a club could keep off and army.

Inside the cave we could see, in the dim light from the little door, the two story dwellings on the right with many rooms or compartments where many people must  have lived long ago. In the center of the big cave was a big basin about twenty feet across. This basin had been carved in the rock of the floor undoubtedly to store water. On one side and in back of the basin was a big storage area where plenty of food could be stored. We all decided that these people were prepared for a long siege. They could come into their homes and place a guard at the door and be safe for many days or even months. The Narrow trail along the cliff would allow only one man at a time to come to the little keyhole door. Only a foolish enemy would stick his head in that door to be clobbered from within.

About twenty years later I took a group of explorer scouts from the  US up Horse back to find that interesting dwelling. We wound our way up and through the narrow rock passage through the big rocks and cliffs. We dismounted and went to find the dwelling. When we got there we found that the cave and all of it's interesting dwellings had been completely destroyed. Someone had dynamited the cave and the roof had fallen in leaving it open to the rain and snow. The dwellings and the basin were covered under tons of dirt and rocks from above. We went back into the corner at the base of the cliff where there were other dwellings. We found many of the little houses were destroyed and all of the courtyard in front of the dwellings had been dug up. I guess they must have been looking for treasure or burials. I can't imagine why people might think that these poor ancient cave dwellers would have any kind of treasure. Those destroyers really left their mark.

On one of the trips with our family we went down the Cebadilla Canyon and camped on the Gavilan River where the Cebadilla empties into the Gavilan. We rode up the river looking for a cave dwelling that we had not seen as yet. We finally found it high on the steep side of the mountain at the base of a cliff. We enjoyed going into the many rooms of the well preserved two story dwelling. We took many pictures of different members of the family looking out of the little keyhole doors of that beautiful dwelling. We noticed how the walls had been plastered very smoothly with white clay and some of them had been painted different colors  Some had designs painted on the front by the door we thought that they might be to identify the owners.

A few years later I took a group up to see this same dwelling. We found that someone had apparently put a charge of dynamite in the center of the bottom dwelling and had really destroyed most of the little rooms of the dwelling. There were only a few little rooms left intact on the bottom. Again someone had left his mark of destruction on the beautiful place.

Our family on many occasions would go by Cave Valley and climb up to the Olla Cave. We loved to see the two story dwelling with its many thin layers of plaster. Some places we could still see the color on the plaster. One time when we were there our son Anthony was exploring down below the entrance of the big cave. He brought up to show us the Skeleton of the tiny baby. When I saw that little skeleton wrapped in a little woven straw mat. I could just imagine that little Indian mother tenderly wrapping her dead infant in the little straw mat that she had woven especially for it.

We decided that someone had dug up this tiny little one from it's grave and had thrown it carelessly down the cliff out of the cave. We took it up to the Lopez home and turned it over to them. They were indignant that people would come in and dig in that ancient dwelling and destroy it. They had been trying to preserve it for many years but they could not watch it day and night. The said that they would go and bury the tiny remains in the dwelling where it belonged.

The fist time I was in Cave Valley I marveled to see the names of two men high on the wall of the second story. They had scratched their names and the date there for all to see. I think I remember the date as 1886. The top stories of the dwellings were torn down so those names and date disappeared with the walls.

In comparison across the canyon high on the wall of the cliff outside the Cliff Swallow Cave there are some pictures that are still visible. I don't know how they were able to draw them there They are about 200 feet from the bottom of the Cliff and about 100 feet from the top of the .cliff. They would have to either use a very long ladder or a very long rope from the Top down. Who ever did that wanted to make sure no one would destroy their art work.

When I was a boy we went to Cave Valley on a Scout Hike. We went down river a little ways from our camp near the Olla Cave and turned up a little Canyon and followed it to the west until we came to the end and there was a big cave. The ancients had walled the entrance all up except for one little keyhole door. They had also made some little peep hole windows about eye level of a short man. Inside was a large open court surrounded by many large rooms. The room in the middle facing the door was circular and had  quite a large door. On each side of the entrance there was an Olla about four feet high and about five feet in diameter. Undoubtedly these were used to story corn for the winter. They were plastered very smooth so that the Rodents could not get in to eat their corn.

Looking out the peep holes that faced the canyon we could see down the canyon a long ways. We decided that these were placed there to watch for the enemy without being in danger.

As we have gone back many years later the front walled up portion has all been torn down and there is not even any evidence of the two storage Ollas near the entrance. On one side facing the canyon there is still a piece of the wall left and two peep holes are still there to look out off down the canyon. Many of the rooms have been torn down but the circular room is still there and a few other rooms have not been totally destroyed.

Now Cave Valley has been made a National Monument and a Watchman has been hired to take care of the sites  so we hope that it will stop some of the destruction.

As I went back each time to some of these places in the Sierra Madre and have seen the destruction of these ancient relics I have thought that someone must take pleasure in just destroying. They have certainly left their mark of destruction but they cannot be identified by their mark for they did it in secret not wanting anyone to know of their deeds.

In all our travels in the Sierra Madre we have been very careful to not destroy anything not even the live trees. We have been always careful to leave a clean camp. At first we would bury our garbage but when we would come back another time we would find that the animals had dug it up and had scattered cans and garbage around. So we adopted the method of taking out our garbage especially the cans. 

We will all leave our mark in this life may it be a heritage for those that come after us. May we be remembered for the good we have done May we build our dwellings of kind deeds and service to others.

I can't help but Think of  the Mark that the Savior left to mankind. Even time is measured from the time of his coming. Before it is BC and after it is AD. He is our supreme example. If we want to really leave our mark we must follow him and do what he has asked us to do. If we keep his commandments then we don't have to worry because our mark will be left to our posterity and for all to see.