Monday, October 23, 2017

Twin Tanks Post #2 Wilderness Area - Joshua Tree National Park

This is the long overdue Part 2 of 3 posts relating to the greater Twin Tanks area in JTNP. If you are so inclined, here is a link to Part 1. The following photos are examples of the spectacular sights to be seen in this area. As I said in post 1, this area is very rugged, and great care should be taken while there. Even very experience hikers (such as my friend Peter) at "Spare Parts and Pics" can hurt themselves here. Right Peter? Click on the link to see Pete's sprained ankle, and other beautiful photos.

This one is posted first, for no other reason that I love it. Take a bite!

I was headed that-a-way! Except for the first 50 yards or so, it is very rugged...

 ...and looks like this. Looking back to where I started.

A happy little rock creature is slithering towards us 

A bear?

Very remote grinding slick

Nearby pestle (or mano). I couldn't find any other rocks made of this type of material in the area.

Pottery shards!


Twin Tanks Area Post 3, will contain some petroglyphs, pictographs, and maybe even a habitation site!

Monday, October 9, 2017

San Luis Bay Chumash Habitation Site - California Central Coast

We really enjoy finding these ancient sites. Sometimes though, there is an equal amount of disappointment involved. This is one of those places. I had seen an old photo of it (without the pier), but that was all. We had no references, or other clues as to where it was. I have a pretty good idea where many of these sites can be found, but it is still a lot of work.

We basically followed the Pacific Coast Trail along the bluffs for a few miles on foot, and several more by car. We never did find it the first day, but we figured it out that night, and pretty much drove right to it the next morning. 

This is where we went. It all started with a very pleasant view.  Better than that actually, because there was so much more to see than we expected.

This site could easily be thousands of years old. I stopped counting mortars at 75. There were also depressions that I believed to be the remains of many others. Also, no telling how many are under that concrete on the left.


 A look across San Luis bay.

A view from across the bay, back to the mortar site.  Imagine this scene a thousand years ago. Nothing made by modern man would be seen. It would be hundreds of years, before any white person even laid eyes on the area. Now imagine a Chumash village in the area of those buildings above the far pier. There were probably some of village women grinding food in the mortars below it. The village had everything they needed, with no danger of using up all the resources in the area. It was perfect! Right up until the Spanish, Mexicans, and Americans did all they could to wipe them from the face of the earth. Their crime? They were here first...

In one form or another a pier has stood on this spot for well over a hundred years. Every single version contributed to the demise of this important historic cultural area. 

In some cases, they actually reshaped mortars to use as post holes. It amazes me that people would do this without giving so much as a second thought about what they were destroying. (see the square shape inside the round mortar).

 While I'm knee deep in mortars, my wife (who is much more observant than I am), finds some other treasures.


Also, some Cormorants.
This mortar site is just a few feet away from, and below the road. Based on the geography, I'm positive that the related village was very close by. Unfortunately, I'm sure everything was destroyed by construction of the road, and grading of the slope and shelf above it.