We say we are bold and go where none have gone before. Our achievements stand on foundations built by our forbearers. How bold would we be if we built a civilization having magnificent structures without the benefit of the wheel or beasts of burden? We would be very bold indeed. The native peoples of the Americas did just that.
Whenever I visit the ruins in Chaco Canyon I am struck by the sophistication of a culture that could build such structures. They built not only in this place but many places across vast areas of desert and mountains. They knew and traded with the cultures of Central America and to the Pacific coast. Then they disappeared.
At night the star filled New Mexico sky and silence in the canyon can be unnerving for a city dweller.