Nomadic woman passes through Fallon in horse-drawn wagons
November 28, 2007
Finisia Medrano travels through this world, but she is certainly not part of it.
She is at the helm of a one-woman wagon train pulled by three weathered horses. Her two wagons look like something straight out of the Old West, except for the rubber wheels. Medrano’s clothes are styled like those of a modern-day pioneer woman with a long skirt and button-down shirt topped with a beaded buckskin poncho, sneakers and a ball cap.
Unlike many travelers along Nevada’s back highways, Medrano is not traveling to raise awareness for a cause or to raise funds. She’s traveling to keep the old ways alive.
“I’m migratory, like a bird,” Medrano said. She is traveling the Sacred Hoop – a journey that takes her around the western United States – planting wildflowers and following the growth of breadroot.
She said she can accomplish three things on the hoop: Picking the seeds of various plants and planting seeds and digging roots to feed herself. She said by trying to stay in time with the plants, she’s trying to leave more behind so generations after her will be able to appreciate wildflowers and wild vegetables like sego lilies, onions, bitterroot and lomatium.
While her task of planting seeds and following the blossoms sounds like a quiet, idyllic life, she rails against the modern lifestyle that pushes and pulls, tears and tugs at the earth to make it give up goods.
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Finisia is perched on her bed, which takes up the back third of the first wagon. Four large jugs of water lie in front of a small gas stove with three burners. Adjacent to the stove is an old, cast-iron wood stove, cast with “Jesus” on the door. Utensils of all sorts, along with knee-high leather boots and a medicine bag, hang from hooks inside the wagon. A rifle is stuffed into a leather case near the bed, and a small pane of stained glass adorns the wall that separates the front driving section from the living section. Surprisingly, the wagon also has a solar panel that runs a small fluorescent light.
“Civilization is a rabid dog,” she said before launching into a memorized sermon about the injustices inflicted upon the American Indians. She’s also had a lot of “stinkin’ thinkin'” time to ponder the state of the world these days.
Medrano acknowledges Mother Earth as the giver of life, but she also speaks of God. She said she’s tormented that mankind, “the lamb of God,” would allow the slaughter of innocents and the destruction of the earth.
She said her ranching friends in Idaho have supplied her with 1,000 pounds of seed to plant while she travels the hoop, living the hunter/gatherer lifestyle while the world around her lives the industrialized and farming lifestyle.
“How come I’m alone in this good thing?” she asks with tears filling her eyes. “I’m living in a world full of monsters. I look around and see I’m all alone in a good thing.”
She said she’s is not crazy … she’s just stopped telling herself lies about modern life and mankind.
“I’ve given up my psychosis and embraced the truth,” she said.
When asked if she’s happy, Medrano thinks for a moment before the tears preceded her answer.
“I’m not happy. People won’t see the truth to change it. All I can do is plant back and try to love God’s lambs.”