Monday, March 7, 2016

Part #2 - Every Long Hike Should Pay Off Like This One Did

In my last post, I only showed you the stars of the show. This post includes the rest of what I saw. When you put it all together, it adds up to an amazing and mind blowing experience. One of the most thrilling things about it was, the total and absolute absence of human footprints.

This two inch granite "point" (arrowhead or spear) was sitting on the ground in clear view. I placed it on a pottery sherd/shard to get some contrast. You can clearly see marks on it, that were left when it was transformed from a rock, into a tool. I put the pottery shard back on the ground where I got it, but the point was put where somebody just hiking by couldn't see it. Then, I kicked some dirt over it. Like I've said many times before, out here it's an awesome bit of history, but taken out of that location, it's nothing but an interesting rock in your sock drawer. Maybe even worse, it could become one of thousands of other points in a bag or box, locked in the back room of some NPS, NFS, or BLM office.

Another rock shelter and another spirit stick

I can't tell you the exact purpose of this, but it was clearly arranged by somebody a long time ago.

Another man-made rock arrangement. If the bush wasn't there, you could more easily see that it is, or was a circle.

The Ocotillo were very green and healthy looking

A shard that was once part of the lip, on of a piece of pottery

Shards were all over the place. 

This large boulder had a couple of spots that have been worn smooth by grinding seeds, or other food items with a handheld rock (Mano). These spots are usually called slicks, metates, or a milling stations. 

A little later we saw another one, that still had a Mano sitting on it.

Both the bottom of the Mano and the little concave portion of the large rock were worn smooth. I'm not saying that this Mano has been sitting there for hundreds of years, but maybe it was! To see the smooth spots on the large rocks is fairly common, to find the Mano, even just in the area, is very rare.

Just because I liked it

The obligatory black and white. This was a large desert tortoise.  

A couple of what I believe are called scutes. They cover the tortoise shell.

If you stood on a higher level, you could more easily see that this arrangement of rocks is in the shape of an arrow. It looks to be a little messed with, but it is clearly an arrow pointing through the notch in between those large rocks. I wonder what it is pointing at. Next trip...

Maybe some of you remember that a Yoni, is a female hoo-hoo, fashioned out of a natural crack in a rock. If you look at the bottom of it, you can see the tool marks. The tools were made of harder stone. These are fairly common in the southwest.

I think this large boulder looks like a Desert Big Horn Sheep head (sort of).

Desert Bluebell

Always nice to see the moon in the middle of the day. I think it completed the photo. Of course it might just have been a smudge of chicken salad on my lens.

And of course, there were also some petroglyphs nearby.



  1. Most people would miss those things, although hiding the arrowhead was a good idea. How old is the piece of pottery? And wild, I don't think I've ever seen a tortoise shell in the wild and I lived in Arizona for a while.

  2. Hello, a great hike and wonderful finds. I glad you found the arrowhead and left in a place safe. I like the shape of the Ocotillo and the pretty flowers. Cool capture of the moon. Great post, thanks for sharing your finds. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

  3. The petroglyphs I find particularly fascinating!

  4. You do find such incredible things and your captures are awesome as always!! Thank you so much for sharing!! I hope you have a great new week!! Enjoy!!

  5. I do enjoy reading about your travels and seeing your photographs all while sitting here in my cubical.
    The purple flower is a Desert Bluebell, one of the few desert wildflowers I have been able to grow on the rocky slope in my backyard.
    Any idea what the petroglyphs mean? prehistoric graffiti?

  6. Love the look of that arrowhead! So fresh and clear like it was shaped just recently.

  7. I always learn so much from your posts! Thanks~
    ~Cheryl Ann~

  8. It has to be spiritual knowing it's been a very long time since someone visited that area. Interesting that people carved the yoni, early American porn?

  9. I am beginning to think about you as an archeologist, Pat. I will never again will pass any rock in my hikes not studying it. Before I never paid attentions to rocks. Was impressed by spirit stick! Looked at the arrangements of rocks and thought why they were arranged in this particular way. Great post as usual, Pat.

  10. What an amazing place, and in such good shape. It's definitely one not to advertise the location of!

  11. That's a pretty nice bunch of amazing Pat!!!

  12. What an incredible reward and good for you for not displacing your socks with arrowheads!

  13. How awesome that this area seems so untouched!

  14. Another great excursion for you! That arrowhead is impressive!

  15. It's interesting to think how many people would walk by most of this and hardly see a thing. The riches you find here are stunning. Thank you for taking us along on this amazing hike!

  16. I love that you respect the land. And I love that you find all of these places and share them with us. I would have never known that so many of these places still existed! Thank you.

  17. Your always travel to interesting places and the things you found are fascinating as well!

    Love the flower, my favorite tint of purple :)

  18. I love the photo with the moon at midday. So many beautiful colors, and oh... that staggering sliver of moon!

  19. Still in awe. I love this place and am so happy to get to visit it vicariously. Thank you so much for sharing your finds (and but also for hiding it all from people who would not appreciate the treasure that it is).

  20. Alex J. Cavanaugh - There aren't as many tortoises as there used to be. People say it's because of development and other things. I say that it has a lot to do with people taking them home to their backyards (at least in part). Hard to tell about the age on the pot. Hundreds of years at a minimum.

    eileeninmd - Thanks so much Eileen! I'm glad that you enjoy seeing this stuff. You have a great week also.

    William Kendall - Petroglyphs are always a treat. To find so many different things in the same area really gets me going.

    Sylvia K - Thanks Sylvia! I hope you have a nice week also.

    mrsvle - Thanks so much for the nice comment. As to the petroglyphs, they certainly aren't graffiti and they are too close to the habitation area to be created by a shaman. Beyond that, the jury is still out. Thanks for naming the flower for me.

  21. Karen Jones Gowen - It is always nice arrowheads and other artifacts, because it usually means that VERY few people have seen been there.

    trav4adventures - Thanks Cheryl Ann! I'm glad that you like them.

    Wayne - You are so right Wayne. To me, these places have a feeling to them. Pretty much always positive. If there is a negative feel, I get the heck away from them. The Yoni isn't at all rare in the southwest. It is a fertility symbol, but not necessarily related to humans.

    Kaya - Thanks Kaya! I appreciate you saying that. Looking at every rock, certainly can turn a short of moderate hike, into a long one.

    Al - I agree Al. Being so pristine always blows my mind.

  22. Brian - That it is Brian! A whole boat load of amazing.

    sage - Yep, it was a great reward. The only things in my sock drawer are socks and drawers. I do it that way because it sounds odd to say "my drawer drawer."

    Ms. A - I agree! Hopefully, by the time the next person sees it, our footprints will be gone.

    Montanagirl - It sure was! (on both counts).

    robin andrea - You are right, most people would walk right by it. Of course 99.99% of people, wouldn't do the work to even get there in the first place. That is part of what I like about them. Thanks Robin!

  23. Baby Sister - Thanks Amanda! I imagine that there are a lot more of them than we realize.

    Icy BC - Thanks so much! I do my best on both parts!

    Nevine Sultan - Thanks Nevine! I really like that photo also.

    Sallie (FullTime-Life) - Thanks Sallie! I also love that place. If I was sure that the next person who saw it, would appreciate it as much as I do, I'd just set it right back down.

  24. That boulder most certainly looks like a sheep head.
    You're amazing and you discover the most amazing things, Pat. Thank you.

  25. love the ocotillo and the blue sky photo!

  26. Pat, it's fascinating to see all the amazing treasures you find on your hikes, so thank you for sharing them!

    I like what you said..."Out here it's an awesome bit of history, but taken out of that location, it's nothing but an interesting rock in your sock drawer."

    I agree, and I think it's awesome that you respect that.

    Once again, fantastic photographs! I especially like the one of the daytime moon. Great capture!

  27. You have such a keen eye Pat! I would walk by and miss it all. I love the blue sky and warmth of each shot. I learn a lot about a land I will never visit but am curious about. Love the moon.

  28. Your posts are so interesting. I wish I could be there looking myself :)

  29. Great post - and a good idea to put that point back. I'd love to just see some of these places.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  30. Your trips in the desert are always so interesting:) Was kind of waiting to see if you would post something for this week.
    But I'll go ahead and hope you'll join the fun at Seasons meme. My link is open Mon-Wed 7pm, so there's still time to link up with one of your captures here. Have a great week full of good surprises and hope to see you there!

  31. - Thanks I guess just you and I think that it does. Thanks Robyn!

    DEZMOND - Me too DEZ, there was just too much to see out there.

    Ron - Thanks Ron! It is my pleasure. I wish I had been the one to discover it! I guess some people have a lot more interesting things in their sock drawer than an interesting rock!

    Nora - Thanks Nora! Don't feel bad, walking right by is what almost everybody does. It makes me happy that you enjoy the things I post.

  32. NatureFootstep - Thanks! Maybe someday you can...

    Stewart M - Thanks Stewart! Maybe the next time you in the the U.S. (southwest), I can show you some things.

    jeannettestgermain - They are also very interesting to me. We don't have an internet signal where we are camped right now and we just drove into town to get on the internet. I'll try to connect to your meme.

  33. Thanks for linking to, and being a part of Seasons this week!Yes, where there's a little water, things start growing - even in the desert! Also love the flowers you saw, and the mano-s. Looking forward to your thumbnail for next week:) Have a good one!

  34. Hi,
    Great shots. Thanks for sharing.
    Have a great day!

  35. Fascinating post filled with lots of great photos. I enjoyed them all very much.

  36. This was so interesting! It is amazing to find places like this, filled with so many ancient artifacts, preserved for the ages! You did the right thing leaving everything as is, Pat. The hikers credo of "Leave only footprints, take only photos."

  37. jeannettestgermain - You are most welcome!

    Sherrie - Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

    Ida - Thanks for the nice words! I'm glad you enjoyed them.

  38. It's almost overwhelming, this incredible amazingness.

    On a less exciting level - I decided it would be funny to have a 'testimonials' page on my blog (They always look suspicious!) and I've included a quote from you and a link to this blog.
    Hope this is ok and that the idea amuses you. If not, I can easily remove the quote and the link. Let me know. Best wishes. Esther Montgomery.

  39. If the obligatory black and white came my way, I would take it:):) Hope you'll be back this week for SEASONS between Mon and Wed. Till 7 pm with one of these amazing photos! Really happy your blog is okay!

  40. You find so many treasures. I guess that's what happens when you hit the trail less traveled. And really look.

  41. This is so amazing. You always manage to find really interesting stuff to photograph and talk about. I WANT TO BE IN THE DESERT! Well, you knew that...

  42. Pat-- These are some beautiful photographs. I could just bathe in them all day. Lovely. THanks for sharing.

  43. Esther Montgomery - Thanks Esther! Using my comment is no problem at all. Thanks for the including the link!

    jeannettesgermain - Sorry, I couldn't post Jeannette, we were camped in an area of no cell signal (or very little) for two weeks.

    Sharon Wagner - Thanks Sharon! I can't take any credit at all for finding this place.

    VEG - Hey you! You are right, I totally know that you love the desert.

    Linda - Thanks Linda! I appreciate the comment.

    msmariah - Thanks so much! It is my pleasure.

  44. Desert light is so singular, and you capture it better than anyone I know. (A rock in your sock drawer? Let me ponder that one.)

  45. Ah very nice. I see you're still exploring the harsh desert and finding treasures. Wow! I never find anything like that. Shards everywhere! Those Ocotillos did look really healthy! I love that plant. So Pretty. Exellent photos.

  46. altadenahiker - Thank you so much Karin! Very nice of you to say that (I'll pay you later). By the way, I do not have any rocks in my sock drawer!

    Sandy - Hi Sandy! Yep, still getting out there whenever I can. Going back for a couple more weeks on Monday. I wish I had actually found this place myself, but I am lucky enough to have a good friend who did.

  47. Pat, I am in awe of how great these shots are. Composition, subject matter, and your comments make reading these posts a lot of fun. Very cools travels, my man.


  48. So cool to come across this on a hike! Take care of yourself!!!

  49. Chuck - HEY Chuck! So nice to see your comment (and sorry about the delay on this). Thanks for the nice words. I'm hoping to see something from your travels also. Yeah?

    TheChieftess - Sometimes I hike just for the sake of hiking. Other times, I want, and or need some kind of a payoff.


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