Thursday, February 5, 2009

Stay Tuned

Day Thirty Six
It's great to have a Jeep in the desert; it saves a LOT of walking.  This afternoon I was heading to go out and do a hike near the Fish Traps and took a little detour.  I decided to drive out near the Martinez Landslide, a big section of that mountain fell off about a bazillion years ago, and see what I could find over there.  I drove the Jeep up a sandy wash until I got to where it was time to walk.

Usually, it's a sign like this that tells me it's time to walk.

There are some gnarly Pencil Cholla out here.  I gotta watch out for these.

As I walk toward the landslide I'm surveying the landscape and wondering if there's an Indian trail around here.  The Torres Martinez Reservation is not far away and there have to be trails reaching up into the mountains toward springs, hunting areas and pinyon gathering areas.  I notice this rock and from a distance wonder if those are cupules, small rock art indentations but upon closer inspection it appears to just be from gun shots.

This, however, is a little more interesting.  I don't know what this might be but ancient grave is the first thing that comes to mind.

Here's another little rock pile which had at one time been fenced off and now has some kind of survey marker near it.  Interesting.  Not seeing anything else in the vicinity I start heading back to the Jeep but decide to walk along the hillside still thinking a trail might be nearby.

And whaddaya know?  A trail.  I have a little time left before it gets dark so let's see where it goes.

It goes up.

It looks like there are several areas that may be sleeping circles, sections of land that are cleared of rocks for sleeping along the trail.  I don't know if that's what this is but it is certainly possible.

You can tell this trail hasn't been used much when there is a big creosote bush growing right in the middle of it.

It looks as if the trail keeps heading up toward this canyon but it's time to go so I'll have to find that out another time.

On the way down to the Jeep I notice another little small rock circle.  This is obviously manmade, but by whom?

I just knew one of those nasty cactus spines was going to bite me.

Upon returning to the Jeep, I notice that under the Closed to All Motor Vehicles sign is another sign.  This sign talks about protecting Native American antiquities and GRAVES.  I don't know if those are graves but this is the first hike I have ever been on that I've seen one of those signs.  It makes me wonder.

If nothing else, I know this place is a graveyard for old cars.

Finding a trail for the first time is always exciting because you never know where it will lead and what you may discover along the way.  It seems to me that there could be a number of trails out here that could lead to new routes (to me at least) to springs, canyons and areas of ancient history.  This hike is definitely to be continued......

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