Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Huntington, UT–Huntington State Park

I was at Huntington State Park May 30 – June 2.  The first and last night I was there, there were only 4 or 5 other RVs in the park.  But on the weekend, it was full.  That’s to be expected at a state park, especially one with a lake.   From my campsite, I watched prairie dogs and birds.  Below is a Bullock’s Oriole.

One of the places, I went while in Huntington was 9-mile canyon.  This canyon is actually more than 40 miles long.  There are several theories as to why it is called 9-mile, but I don’t care it was fun!

This canyon has a few parking areas along the road, so you know there is rock art around those areas.  But there are so many petroglyphs in this canyon that you just have to keep an eye on the rocks and pull over when you see something.  

This canyon had more doodles (squares, dots, lines…) than I have been seeing. 

Above is one of my favorite in the canyon.  This one was in an unmarked spot and I just happened to see a few petroglyphs.  So I stopped the car and looked around a bit and found this one.  I can’t decide if this is a fancy hairdo or ribbons or antenna, but I think it is interesting.  Also, note he has toes and fingers, most do not. 

Some of this canyon is private property and obviously some land owner got mad at all the people “tresspassing” on his property.  So he defaced a pictograph (and misspelled trespassing). 

I stopped at one of the side canyons, Daddy Canyon, to do a bit of hiking. 

It kind of looks like the man in the center of the photo below is juggling!

The petroglyph that 9-mile Canyon is known for is the Hunt Panel.

The one above is called the Big Buffalo.  His head was a little larger than my hand. 

By the way, if anyone likes the looks of this and does some research on the web, keep in mind that all of the information that I read talked about the rough dirt road thru the canyon  It is now paved to at least the Hunt Panel, so that makes it a bit easier to visit!

One day, I went to a couple of places in the San Rafael Swell.  I first went to the Wedge, known as Utah’s Grand Canyon.  I got there a bit early and the shadows were messing up my pictures so I went somewhere else and came back several hours later.


Not far from the Wedge is the Buckhorn Wash Road.  This road is very scenic and has some very interesting things to see.

Mat Warner was an outlaw at the time he signed his name of this cliff.  This area was a popular hideout for outlaws.   At one time, Mat Warner worked with Butch Cassidy.  He was finally caught and served 3 years for one of his crimes.  When he got out of jail he changed his ways and became a Justice of the Peace and Deputy Marshall in Price, Utah.  (I thought that only happened in the movies!)

Another Dinosaur track --

Scenery along the road -

And what this road is known for-- more Rock Art.  This is the Buckhorn Wash Pictographs.  These are more than 2000 years old!Below is the cliff with the drawings and a few people looking at them.

Headed back down the road, I noticed a cute petroglyph on a cliff just a short walk from the road.  Unfortunately there is a lot of graffiti around it.

My third day at Huntington I relaxed, walked around the park and took it easy. 

From here, I headed to North Salt Lake.  I hope you are not to tired of rock art yet.  While in North Salt Lake, I didn’t see any.  But I am currently in Vernal, UT and I saw more today at Dinosaur National Monument and am going to a place tomorrow that some people say has some of the best, if not the best, petroglyphs in the world. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Torrey, UT–Part 3

While in Torrey,  I  went to a couple of spots known for their petroglyphs and pictographs.  The first spot was the Rochester Rock Art Panel near Emery, UT.  The trail to the petroglyphs is about a half mile along the side of the canyon.  It was a nice trail, even before getting to the rock art.


In a few places the trail was a bit close to the cliff and there were a couple of places you had to detour around small rock slides, but that’s what made it fun!

This part of the trail was along the top of a ridge.  I didn’t know it at the time, but the rocks in the middle of the picture is where the petroglyphs are.

This rock art panel has etchings mostly from the Fremont culture, which dates from AD 700 to 1300.  There are also more “modern” etchings.  I have mentioned before that it is difficult for the experts to date the petroglyphs.  One way of doing so is by the figures that are drawn.  This petroglyph contains some horses, so they say these etchings are more modern since horses were not introduced to North America until the 1600th century. 

One of my favorite etchings was this owl--

I spent 20 minutes or so studying this art panel.  I was intrigued by the animals below.

The animal on the left reminded me of an alligator.  Who knows what it and the others really are.

On the way back to the parking lot, I ran across another rock with the measles! 

From this spot, I headed to the Head of Sinbad area.  This area is mainly a place for 4-wheel drive vehicles, I saw a lot of ATVs.  But I had read that a regular vehicle could make it within 3/4 mile of the rock art.  So I drove to just before the interstate underpass and  walked the rest of the way.  tor_head_of_sinbad_trailThere were no signs, and a few intersections that I questioned.  But I figured it out and found the pictographs.  The drawing below is quite often referred to as the best preserved pictograph of the Barrier Canyon style.  This means that these drawings are 1200 – 4000 years old.   Several people who study rock art say these are about 3000 years old.

This is the other set of pictographs at the Head of Sinbad.  Unfortunately the one on the left is being destroyed by mud that is slowly eroding down the cliff.  But you can still see why many people say he has a face like ET.  It’s unfortunate that this one is fading because I found it more interesting than the other one.

I wondered what the small “antenna head” figures between the 2 characters (bottom left in the picture above) were.  Also, I wanted to know what the circles to the right with the feathers or hair are.  Of course, nobody really knows!

On the way back, I had a good laugh at the underpass.

While I was walking thru it, I noticed this--

The hole on the left had a corresponding hole on the right. I am guessing it is some type of drainage pipe that was there before the underpass.  If not then somebody must have thought the water would jump from one side of the underpass to the other side.  That would be a sight to see!!  I’m guessing in heavy rains that the underpass gets flooded. 

From Torrey, UT I went to Huntington State Park.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Torrey, Utah–Part 2

I also hiked the Grand Wash Trail. This is walk in another wash. There was a rock with a couple of holes in it near the trail, so of course I had to take a picture thru it! 




I found the alcove above, where I enjoyed the shade! I also liked the stripes on the cliff on the left.

The rock below interested me, it looked like it had the measles. The rock was formed from many layers (like the rock in the bottom right). I think the “measles” came about because the red in the rock eroded faster than the white.


Another day, I drove back down Scenic Highway 12.  I enjoyed the scenery from the road, but my main destination that day was the Devil’s Garden in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.   This area is similar to Goblin’s Valley, but the formations are fewer and larger. 

This was another place with no real trail. But it was easy to walk around and thru the rock formations. Below is one of 2 small arches in the area.

In part 1 of Torrey, I mentioned that the Western Tanager’s were camera shy.  I spotted a lizard that was not camera shy at all. In fact he seemed to follow me for a while.