Our Grand Canyon Adventure…… The Petroglyphs

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September 23, 2009 by torqdog

Viv & I did manage to tear ourselves away from the “edge” and go do a little sight-seeing. I had done a considerable amount of research on the area and found that there are a few Archaeological sites worth checking out. The one we really wanted to visit was replaced when we discovered that to get there it required hiking 3.25 miles down approx. 2200 feet.

As you have seen in some of the previous photos, much of the terrain in this region is pretty much straight up and straight down. Viv & I just didn’t feel comfortable considering the remoteness of the region. We did a hike a year ago that ascended 2,000 feet in approx. 3 miles and it wasn’t a problem but it was in an area that was covered in Pine Trees and about 20 degrees cooler. Trees in this area are few and far between and the Sun is brutal. Sure could have used a couple of Horsies.

At any rate, the reward at trail’s end is an area only discovered in 1986 that has elaborate, well preserved cave paintings some think may be as old as 20,000 years making it one of the oldest in North America. You can see some photos here and once again never mind the “Zion” reference in the web address. Maybe next time we’ll make it. http://www.zionnational-park.com/images/album2/index47.htm

After all this paralysis by analysis, we decided to go with plan “B”, a much easier mile long hike. At the end of the “easy”, one mile long trail, we were rewarded with an outstanding array of petroglyphs dating back to about 500 to1,000 B.C. They call this the Nampaweap petroglyghs but many refer to them as the “Billy-Goat” petros due to the large number of Goat drawings.

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A common theme to petroglyphs in the western U.S. are these spirals. Seems like I see them at just about every site we visit.

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This panel had many different petros. The faded ones near the top are supposedly older than the brighter ones. 

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Is it a Goat or a Big-Horn Sheep?

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A panel of well defined petros. The spiral actually looks as though it might be a Rattlesnake with it’s triangular shaped head in the center. 

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This panel was different than the rest. See the cross in the upper right corner?  The “thing” just below it is unusual.

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This one is interesting. We have what looks to be a depiction of the Sun and could the pattern be that of a Snake skin?

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I especially liked this one. They petro on the left kinda looks like their version of the ying/yang thing. Or is it two coat hangers……. hmmmmmm!

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These two photos show the area where the petros are found. It seems like a strange place to hang out and make pictures but the terrain would suggest that maybe it is a place where they could guide game animals they were hunting and with the jagged basalt cliff, the animal would be trapped. I dunno, but it sounds good, eh?

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Next up…… views from in and around our campsite.

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