Saturday, February 21, 2009

Red Lady of Joshua Tree

Day Fifty Two
Joshua Tree National Park is only a little over an hour from my home but today the drive there seemed interminable. My two boys just would not stop bickering. I love those kids but sometimes I just wish I could hike alone, or at least drive alone.
I took the boys to do the hike over in Hidden Valley. It's easy, interesting and I figured I could herd the boys like these cattle if necessary.

It's very hard for boys to stay on the trail in this area.

Boys! Get down from there this instant! Your mother would have a heart attack if she saw you up there. Oh wait, those aren't my kids. Never mind.

If things get too bad I can always tie them to this tree.

We survived the hike and then headed over to the Barker Dam parking area. We stop to watch a climber finish "The Flake" on Intersection Rock.

When we get to our next stop Harrison, my oldest son, doesn't want to go but wants to sit in the car. Fine with me. So I set out with just Nikolas. From the parking area, we head out to look for some different artifacts. We see some petroglyphs, like the one above.

We also go look at the Red Lady of Joshua Tree. This pictograph is in an area that is very symbolic and has great importance in Indian tradition.

The rock in the foreground has a ceremonial mortero. On the day of the spring equinox at twelve noon a ray of light pierces the rocks and enters the bedrock mortar hole. This symbolizes the fertility of the season to come.

Here is a closer look at the mother mortar. It is surrounded by cupules, smaller indentations that are generally associated with girl's initiation rituals. They were also used to grind paint for pictographs.

Here is another rock in the area covered with cupules.

We walked over to Uncle Willie's Health Food Store and found it closed for business.

There is a little storage area near Uncle Willie's,

where we find another bedrock mortar,

and another pictograph.

It's nice to see that the park is environmentally conscious with wind power.

I wish I could stay all day but I'm afraid by the time I get back to the car it'll look like this. We've kept Harrison waiting WAY too long.

I do love Joshua Tree. I cannot wait to go back but next time--I'm going alone.


msugarpants said...

gosh, i have hiked in the hidden valley area and pretty much missed seeing any of this stuff. Maybe it has been far to long.

Hal Summers said...

The Red Lady is not in Hidden Valley but near the Barker Dam parking area.