Monday, May 19, 2014

Creepy Cold Storage Cave - Joshua Tree National Park

I have many more historical desert related posts coming, so I hope you aren't getting tired of them yet. We've spent so much time in the desert the past couple of years and seen so many things, that I've become totally backed up (posting wise). In addition, I had no idea exactly what would happen when I decided to combine  my old written blog with my photo/travel blog a few years ago. Now I know.  If I am to ever catch up, I need to start posting more and doing it on a regular basis, If I do, I hope you will still find them interesting enough to comment and thereby validate my fragile existence.
Enough of that...  I have read and been told that some people find things like ancient rock art and artifacts kind of creepy. I understand, but don't feel anything like that myself. At least, I didn't until I first saw this little spot the winter before last.

Just some bare winter trees and branches. Nothing creepy about that, right? I walked right past this spot and didn't give it a thought. My wife was about twenty yards behind me and called out my name. Being a more astute explorer than myself, she parted the branches to see what might be on the other side. I walked back to her and took a peek. I believe my response was something close to...

Oh shite!  
Because to me, this looked like the teeth, gaping mouth and jaws, of something scary and not-of-this-world. I could even see right down its throat! I admit it, I got chicken skin (chill bumps) in about one second.

A closer look cleared it all up. There was some wild erosion on this spot and it hollowed out a large boulder. At some point in the distant past a Shaman (most likely) painted a couple of pictographs in the cavities of the cave. Later on, some rancher/settler type, used the rightmost cavity as what looks to be a cold-storage cave. It's pretty nice stone work, but today, it would land him with a hefty fine and/or jail time.  Rightly so, I might add! There is also a bedrock mortar (or mortero) in front of it. 

The pictographs aren't very bright now, but we could still see them pretty easily.

Even better, when enhanced with DStretch

A closer view. This "rake" looking pattern is believed to represent rain.

A better look at the bedrock mortar

Cactus growing out of the top of a nearby rock formation

Although it looks like old trash, these very old and rusted cans are also historic. They aren't held in the same regard as pictographs, petroglyphs, or cupules, but are historic just the same. In the context of this place, they are part of the story. If you find things like this, in places like this, please let them lie where you find them.

I recently took my granddaughter to this place. You can tell by her face, what she thinks of it. We may have a budding archaeologist on our hands. She denies it though and says she wants to be a baker. 

I have something from JTNP that is is even creepier than this! Coming up soon...



  1. That cave entrance looks like something out of a science fiction film! Good thing your wife took a peek.

  2. Oh wow what a find Pat.. Your reaction made me lol, mine would have been similar for sure... Can't wait to see what you have for us next, sounds scary :)

  3. These kinds of sites are fascinating to me, with the ideas of history and people everywhere.

  4. Oh, that is AWESOME! Where is that in the park? You can email me...I'd LOVE to see it!
    Cheryl Ann ~~
    About blogging...I TRY to post every day, but sometimes it is every other day. If I don't blog, my mind isn't at rest...

  5. Whoa- I would think twice before venturing into something like that! Very interesting, though, and your granddaughter is a beauty!

  6. holy shite is right! :) jeepers creepers! but really cool, too! and, yes, i'd love for you to post more often!

  7. Great post and photos, Pat, as always and what a fascinating place!! I little spooky, but fascinating! And, your granddaughter is beautiful!! Thanks as always for sharing the history and the beauty of so many places that I will never see!! Your posts are the next best thing to being there myself!! Have a beautiful week!!

  8. Yikes! That looks like a big open mouth to me too!

  9. Yea, that is a lot freaky. I would have never guessed the can would be considered historic, thanks for the info.

  10. Oh so cool, Pat! This cave is truly fascinating. Any chance the scarier thing is Skull Rock? :-)

  11. I saw that cave entrance the same way you did, like some beast's maw waiting to swallow you up! Very cool though :)

  12. It's a beautiful cave! And yes... the skull visual's quite apparent.

  13. That cave does look like it wants to eat you! Nice shots and interesting pictographs.

  14. Consider yourself validated - the caves look like something form the Alien series. Darkness and a camp fire would be a bit much I think!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  15. Oh, you so had me with the giant mouth and teeth.

  16. Eeeks! That second photo does freak me out! Your wife has keen eye sight :-)

  17. I have loved seeing the pictographs. You had me, too. I thought it was big teeth and a big mouth. Keep the photos coming. I love them.

  18. Yes, wonderful photos, I really like, I especially love the entrance to the cave! He looks very happy her granddaughter!

  19. that really looks like jaws and some other pics like blood traces

  20. It was my biggest dream to get one day to this park.

    Pat the first photo is fantastic. A tree is wonderful and there are some green leaves on it and light also very nice.

    The enhanced pictogram is beautiful! And I love the cactuses.

    Your grand daughter is beautiful!

    Best wishes from me to you.

  21. Well, I don't find it creepy. Which perhaps says something about me that I'd rather acknowledge.

  22. Alex - It sure does and you should see it in person. Creepy!

    PerthDailyPhoto - It's a great (although creepy)spot. The creepy factor goes way up in the next one.

    Karen - I'm right there with you Karen. You have a TON of historical things where you are now.

    trav4adventures - Back in the beginning I posted every day and had few or no comments. I just might think about re-posting some of them. This is one of those places that isn't on the maps or brochures.

    Shelly - Thanks Shelly! That's my little buddy. Heck, I thought twice before even walking around the trees.

    TexWisGirl - Oh yeah! It is cool and creepy. I'm going to try and work out the posting more thing. It's all about time.

    Sylvia - Thanks Sylvia! That's a good way to put it. Spooky, but fascinating. I'm really glad you enjoy these places. Hope you are having a nice week also.

  23. Brian - That is exactly what I thought!

    Wayne - Yep, a lot! The cans are really old and from the early mining period there.

    Sally - I agree! Nah! Skull Rock, while spooky in its own right, is vanilla compared to the next place.

    mshatch - Yep! That is exactly what I thought.

    William Kendall - It is quite a place.

    Al - It did have an odd feeling to it. Thanks Al!

    Stewart M - Thanks Stewart! It felt and looked pretty alien, that's for sure.

  24. altadenahiker - It kind of felt like Jonah and the Whale.

    Nat - I'm sure it was equally creepy way back in the day. My wife does have a good eye.

    genie - I'm glad you enjoy them Genie! Plenty more to come.

    Leovi - thanks Leovi! Yes, the entrance is something to see.

    DEZMOND - Oh yeah! It all looked like something that ties into the creepy theme.

    Kaya - I hope your dream comes true. Thank you so much for the nice words. I really do appreciate them.

    Geezers - HA! Try stepping inside...

  25. Reminds me of the middle scenes from "Alien" look and see it's vertebra, and moan "no, don't go in there.."

  26. I don't think your posts about the desert is creepy at all. I find the places that you're exploring and shared are very fascinating, interesting, and very unique!

  27. That mouth looks positively freaky!
    Your granddaughter looks like she's loving it - brilliant bonding time which she will cherish her whole life.

    I get the fascination with nature, rocks and artifacts. It's not creepy - its awesome!

  28. First of all (to validate ...;>)), I would love it if you found time to post more often and I'm sure I'm far from tne only one.

    Second, your discovery (your wife's really) is fascinating! Layers of history there... I love this find. A little scary at first glance, but not really creepy, just fascinating.

    I'm sure I've said before, but it is so neat to be able to bring up those pictos. digitally.

    Your granddaughter could do things with either or both of her loves and talents!

  29. Should Fish More - It does! But then they walk in anyway.

    Icy BC - Thanks so much! I totally agree with you. In a way, I'm very glad that most people aren't in love with the desert.

    Anthony J. Langford - It is freaky! She does love it and she has been very close to us since she was born.

    Sallie FTL - Thanks Sallie! I'm trying to find the time. It is a scary looking spot. I'll bet the local Indians thought the same thing. DStretch is amazing. I hope to get better at using it pretty soon.

  30. Ummm wow. That looks like a giant mouth!! So creepy. And I love that your granddaughter goes with you. That is awesome.

  31. Baby Sister - The split second I saw it, I thought it looked like a giant mouth also. My GD will be out of school for the summer in a couple of weeks, so we'll spend some time baking in the desert looking around.

  32. Hey Patrick! We are out in Joshua tree shooting for a music video and this cave would be perfect. I've tried to look up any other information but your post is the only one I can find. Do you have directions to it?

  33. Anonymous - I'm sorry, but you are most certainly NOT in JT, shooting a video. If you were, you'd already have a permit to do so. On that permit would be the locations that you've submitted to them, in advance. Even if I believed that you are shooting a video, I wouldn't give you the directions to it. You just saw my post on it, so of course I know where it is. In addition, why in the world would you ask me under the cloak of anonymity? That really doesn't matter though, because I wouldn't give the location to you even if you had used your name.


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