Sunday, February 22, 2009

Anasazi Ridge

Anasazi Ridge

I have been desirious to look at the petroglyphs located above the Santa Clara river for several months, but either due to weather, or lack of time I have not been able to go. Saturday I decided I would find them. As my wife and I drove towards St. George to run errands, I asked if she cared if we went on a little adventure. Luckily for me I am married to someone who understands me! She told me I had an hour, I would like to remind any reader she is over 6 months pregnant and hiking is not high on her list of things to do right now. As we hiked along there were several indicaters of rock art left by the Anasazi who lived in the area, and we found several panels on the top of the rocks. These petroglyphs are a little strange compared to the others I have seen. Traditionally they are carved on a verticle rock, most of these ones were carved on the top of horizontal rocks. After an hour my time was up and we decided it was time to turn around. As we began hiking back the same route, I heard voices coming below us. The voices were stationary so I assumed they must be looking at something. We hiked toward the voices and found the best panels of the entire hike. One shaman figure on one rock, and on another rock two very large goats with what appears to possibly be a mountain lion following them. Finally after my hour was well up, I thanked my beautiful wife for coming with me. I told her that finding these sites is like a pirate finding his treasure.

There is quite a bit of photographic potential here. On a clear day with the sun shining on the red cliffs behind it could be quite amazing.

The mountain goats are actually quite large the bodies are at least 1 ft x 2 ft. I dont know for sure but it looks like a mountain lion following them at the bottom right.

I wish we knew what this meant! A calendar? A map of some sort?
Amendment-Upon further research a similar pictograph I have seen was thought to be a blanket here is the link

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Monument Valley Trip


Over the summer I went on what basically amounted to a field trip for teachers. It was a memorable trip, but one with several missed opportunities. One of these opportunities was Monument Valley. We drove to within view of the monoliths but that was it. After the trip I decided to return someday. The ole wife, cory (bro-in-law) Jackson (nephew), Trevor(bro) and made the trip, this time to actually explore Monument Valley. The trip was a quick two dayer and we covered a lot of ground. We were up by sunrise and didnt put our heads down till well after sunset. Our first stop was the Betatakin ruins of Navajo National Monument. Unfortunately for us the rangers werent willing to hike with us down to the ruins and without the guides you are not allowed down to them. Fortunately for us they wouldnt go because it would have been a long cold, hike into the snow filled valley! In fact just hiking to the overlook young Jackson slipped on ice and threw a fit that could have awoken a hibernating grizzly. NNM is surely a place I will return to.
Monument Valley, while being a little commercialized, was an amazing location. The driving tour around the weathered landforms was well worth the time, and the two hikes that are allowed without a tour guide we found ourselves without any human company as we hiked around one of the "mittens." Day 2 of our trip we decided to head further south, and made our way to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Being at over 7000 ft it was frigid but at the same time was exhilarating. The air was clean and crisp and visibility was amazing. In fact we were able to see the Arizona Strips Mount Trumball from the South Rim. I would recommend a trip to the South Rim for everyone living in the southwestern United States. It is only a 4-5 hour drive from Southern Utah. I know the North Rim is much closer but going to the South Rim is a completely different experience from that of the North Rim.