Monday, November 12, 2018

Where in the heck have I been?

I've received several inquiries about my lengthy absence, and figured I should at least offer up an explanation. The short answer is that I've spent the majority of the last two months on my couch. 

In early September I totally ruptured the Achilles tendon in my left leg. It actually snapped in half leaving my left foot dangling like a dead fish. The Achilles tendon is what attaches the bottom of the calf muscle to bone, so not only was my foot flopping around, so was my calf muscle. I had surgery shortly afterwards and until 10 days ago have been in various casts. Last week I was feeling pretty good about things, and what I thought was pain from the surgery turned out to be an infection! It was taken care of quickly and today I start several months of physical therapy. The surgeon said I'll be back to normal in about six months! 

Not only am I going to miss almost the entire "cool weather" exploring season in the desert, I also ALREADY have a major case of cabin fever! I've been physically able to post things and have a ton to post, but I just haven't felt like it. 

I'm starting to though...

Monday, August 20, 2018

Bloomington Petroglyphs - St. George UT

No one really knows when people first arrived in this part of the country, but throughout the ages several groups have called it home. In order, the known groups are Early Hunter/Gatherers, Desert Archaic, Ancestral Puebloan (aka Anasazi), and Paiute. They have all left their marks here. Most of the petroglyphs shown below were thought to have been created by the Ancestral Puebloans as early as 2,000 years ago. As with most of these places, all of what I just said can't really be attributed to exact time periods.

These petroglyphs are located in a little neighborhood park, but it's really just a small area set aside to preserve them. In some of the photos you can see some of the houses. I'm happy to report that we saw very little vandalism.

I'm glad the site is somewhat protected, but was surprised that they would allow structures to be built so close to it at all. A while later I was REALLY surprised to learn that there are also petroglyphs boulders in people's back yards!  When I say surprised, I don't mean it in a good way. It makes me wonder how much history was bulldozed to "develop" this area. It didn't take long for me to find out that many things were destroyed. Have I ever mentioned that I really dislike developers? I'll jump off my soap box now. On with the petroglyphs!

The petros are on those large rocks in the middle of the park. The house to the right is currently for sale. I thought it would be cool to live right across the street. Then reality hit me. There is always some grizzly old guy in the neighborhood chasing kids off his lawn. That guy would most certainly be me. Of course there aren't any lawns here, so I'm sure I'd be obsessed with protecting the petros instead.

 It must have been quite a sight to see that large rock split in half.

 Based on the angle of the petros on the front rock, It must have split a very long time ago.

 It looks like there are at least two layers of petros in some spots.

 The presence of a grinding surfaces tells us that this area was also used for some type of habitation. Maybe a seasonal, or temporary camp, or maybe even a village. We will never know what else was in the area.

These little depressions are known as "cupules" and considered by many to be a very early form of petroglyphs. 

 Large spiral

 Graffiti mixed with some petros

Although we were just in this area a short while ago, I'm chomping on the bit to go back. There is much to see and do.


Monday, July 30, 2018

JTNP - Lost Horse Valley Area - Petroglyphs 1

Although this post is about a small and obscure petroglyph site, most of the photos relate to the scenery instead. 

The general area is called Lost Horse Valley. I'll pipe down now, hope you enjoy the rest of the photos.

It's not much of a petroglyph panel, but I love it just the same.


Monday, July 2, 2018

Bernasconi Pass Petroglyph and Luiseno Creation Story

This very interesting petroglyph sits in Bernasconi Pass in Riverside County. It has not been dated, but Indians have been in this area for thousands of years.  Luiseno creation lore says that the symbols on this rock represents Tukmit (the first man) and Tomayowit (the first woman). When the hollow part on top of the rock fills with water, it flows from one depression into another representing the male, and then into the lower representing the female. Then it flows through the female symbol to the ground. This is how the people, the land, the plants, and animals were created. 

Following creation, their first born children were sent to the four corners of the of the earth. Tomayowit lay down and become the Earth Mother. Tukmit rose above it all to become Father Sky. 

Although information relating to most petroglyphs no longer exits, it is fantastic that we still have sites like this one. This spot is included in a no trespassing zone adjacent to a dam, and I was fortunate to be allowed to see it. The stone was moved down the pass to this spot about 60 years ago to save it from seemingly ever present bulldozers.

The back side gives no clues. 

 A view of the symbols.

 I used DStretch only to highlight the symbols. You can more clearly see the path of the water passing from the male through the female symbol (yoni).

A little scenery

There may or may not have been more petroglyphs further up the pass. If there was, they might have been destroyed when the road and dam were built. 


Monday, June 18, 2018

Rocky Gap Handprint Pictographs - Red Rock Cyn NCA

Handprint pictographs are always a treat for me. I think it's because normal pictos and petros are made with tools. Handprint pictos are created from the actual placement of the hand on the surface. When compared to most other symbols, handprints seem very personal. In my mind's eye I can picture the person placing their hand on the rock. The "rock art" in this area are estimated to be about 1,000 years old. That is seven or eight centuries before the first white settlers started arriving.

You can barely see them with the naked eye.

With DStretch much more is revealed. Notice where the middle of the palm didn't make contact with the rock.

This one shows five handprints.

The rocky surface is a very large, or multiple Agave roasting pits. 

 A nice sized rock shelter