An adventure of my life time!

Posts tagged ‘Petroglyph’

392.   Petroglyph National Monument, NM

Petroglyph National Monument stretches almost twenty miles along Albuquerque, New Mexico. It protects one of the largest petroglyph sites in the U.S. I only had time to hike one trail—Rinconada Canyon, which offers 300 petroglyphs. Here are samples of the large collection there.

371. Last Day of the Trip to UT, CO, and WY

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On our way back to Sedona, I took Libby to some rock arts on Potash Road near Moab. I’ve posted a few pictures about this petroglyph site before. But I have never had my own pictures taken there. This is one of the many advantages of having a travel companion which include camaraderie, friendship, safety, fun, laughter…

Another advantage is saving money. With my last minute timeshare deal, her economy car, free National Park days, and our frugal ways of living, we’ve spent $300 each for 10 days including accommodation, gas, park fees, and food. Not a bad deal, don’t you think?

I will start travel alone again one day. I’m sure I will miss her companionship very much.

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339. Dinosaur National Monument

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I had never been to Dinosaur NM before. It is nice to visit some place new. I was actually a little surprised that the park is pretty big. Most of the National Monuments are not as large. There are different entrances, one in Utah and the other one in Colorado. There is no road inside the monument to connect the two areas. I’ve only got time to visit the UT side of the park. If you like petroglyphs, this is the place for you.

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241. Sedona (43): V-Bar-V Petroglyph Heritage Site

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About half an hour south of Sedona, V-Bar-V is the largest and best-preserved petroglyph site in the Verde Valley. It consists of more than 1000 petroglyphs in 13 panels, as far back as 11,000 BC. Once the site was part of V-Bar-V ranch and ranchers did their best to preserve the rock arts from destruction.

Note: the site only opens Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

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197. Rock that Tells a Story

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Located about 25 miles southwest of Monticello, Utah, Newspaper Rock is a remarkable petroglyph site. This panel etched in sandstone records a couple of thousand years of early human activity.

No one really knows the true meaning of the figures on the rock. Do the figures represent storytelling, doodling, hunting magic, clan symbols or ancient graffiti? Without a true understanding of the petroglyphs, much is left for individual interpretation and imagination. In Navajo, the rock is called “Tse’ Hane’” –Rock that tells a story.

I am just happy to be there, to witness such history, in natural environment, with or without understanding the true meaning behind the figures. They seemed intriguing to me.

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PS. my photo website: http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/qing-yang.html

192. Seeing Friends at Great Gallery!

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As part of Canyonlands National Park, Horseshoe Canyon contains some of the most significant rock art in North America. The Great Gallery, the best known panel in Horseshoe Canyon, includes well-preserved, life-sized figures with intricate designs.

I’ve been to Canyonlands National Park several times already. However, I’ve never heard about the famous site until recently. The reason, as I found out, is it is quite remote—about 3 hours drive from the main district, Island in the Sky, of the park.

And the road to the Horseshoe is unpaved. I asked several people, including rangers, whether it is okay to drive there with my regular car. The answers I got were positive. “As long as it’s not raining and the road isn’t muddy.”

So I decided to visit this seemingly famous, yet not so popular place.

The unpaved road is pretty good, for most parts. It is hard packed dirty road. As soon as I felt good about driving, I encountered a problem—the wind was so strong that it blew a lot of sand to potions of the road. Driving on the sandy area was like that on snow. I felt my car sway, fish tailed from time to time. I even heard the noise sounded just like driving on the slush of snow! It wasn’t a good feeling, not at all! And worse yet, there was no one around. I kept on thinking that I wouldn’t recommend anyone to drive there with just a regular car.

After driving almost an hour and a half in about 30 miles, I finally reached the trail head. The information board alarmed me, again—the trail is called as “very strenuous”. After hiking some strenuous trails, I was worried about whether I was able to handle “very strenuous”. It turned out, though, the trail isn’t even close to strenuous, in my opinion.

Well, walking on sandy area, going up and down the canyon (6 miles round trip), takes an effort, and being exposed under scorching sun will be uncomfortable, but it is not strenuous. I was worried about scrambling some slippery rock faces or crawling on some high ledges—those will be very strenuous, to me.

As I was walking along the canyon, I was surprised to see a familiar figure in the not so far distance. “It can’t be him?” Yes, it was Phil, a hiker from Sedona. And soon, I met up with two more hikers, Jeanie and Becky, whom I’ve hiked in Sedona before!

Well, I knew they were coming to Canyonlands. There was a meetup event. In fact, that was where I learned about the Great Gallery. However, they should have gone back to Sedona a couple of days already. It turned out that they extended their stay! What an odd to run into people you know in a remote area hundreds of miles away! Besides them, there was only one group of five people I met during the trail (those people were cousins, and one was from Ketchikan, Alaska. When he heard I’ve traveled to Ketchikan before, he actually offered me a book about the area).

The rest of the day was fun and easy, with people I’ve known well. It also felt safe, when I drove back the “long” stretch of sandy road. I know, if I get stuck, that someone will lend a helping hand (with a 4 wheel drive). That was such a comfortable feeling!

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11. A National Park with More Than Just Culture or History

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Honestly speaking, I debated whether to go to Mesa Verde National Park. I wouldn’t hesitate for a minute, if it is any other National Park. However, from what I have learned, Mesa Verde is a National Park focusing on archeological sites, culture and history.

Any one of my friends knows that I am a “pure nature girl”. I don’t care too much about culture, history or politics. Almost all my photos contain just nature – scenery, animals and flowers. Only occasionally I would include a bit human artifacts in my pictures.

So, a place with lots of artifacts (even if they were from hundreds of years ago) and offering group tours doesn’t excite me. I tried to check online, hoping some pictures with beautiful scenery would convince me to go. I didn’t find any. All the pictures seem to focus on the dwellings and archeological sites!

What should I do? Go or not go? It seems such a shame to miss a National Park only a couple of hours away. I doubted I would come back to this area one day just for this park. So, finally, reluctantly, I went (4/21/13).

I wasn’t in any hurry. After all, I was there just because it is there. In fact, on my way, I actually stopped at a State Park (Mancos State Park) briefly before I went to Mesa Verde.

Well, as soon as I entered the park, I knew I made the right decision. The park is truly on top of a mesa which is so much higher than the surrounding areas. The view from the top of the mesa is wonderful. You could see the valley below and the mountain ranges (some with snow capped peaks) all around the mesa, from all directions! Just the first glance made the trip worth awhile.

Then I found out, there are plenty of trails in the park, some focusing on the archeological sites, but others just for natural beauty. The park is huge – even the main road is 20 miles, one way. Since I only had half a day in the park, I had to choose some short hikes (about 4 miles total).

One particular hike (Petroglyph Point Loop) leads to a site for rock art. Frankly speaking, the petroglyph isn’t that impressive; I have seen better in UT. However, the trail winds below the edge of Chapin Mesa with the cliffs on one side and the valley on the other. I love the scenery and kept on thinking “I am so glad I am here”.

By the time I left the park, it was getting dark. I didn’t get back to my accommodation until 10pm. I was tired, but happy and felt lucky I didn’t miss the park.

So, for those of you who are “pure nature” girls and boys, don’t miss Mesa Verde National Park. It may not be the park with the best scenery, but it is definitely worth your trip, time and money ($10 park fee; I paid $80 for an annual National Park Pass).

Oh, you don’t need to pay for guided tours if you are not absolutely crazy about the dwellings. There are plenty you can see on your own. 🙂

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PS. my photo website: http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/qing-yang.html

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