Thursday, December 31, 2009

Palm Canyon Trading Post to Bullseye Rock


Bullseye Rock is a place in the Indian Canyons that holds an interesting place in the history of the Cahuilla Indians. It was known as the You coo hal ya me?, The place of many brains. The story goes that the Indians of Palm Springs had a dispute with the Indians of Seven Palms and a raiding party was formed. The Palm Springs warriors slaughtered their foes and carried their heads back in nets to Bullseye Rock. Here, their heads were rolled down the rock and dashed to bits. It is easy to see how this could have been done. There's a little trough running down the face of Bullseye Rock and a head would probably roll down it quite nicely.

Starting at the Trading Post, the trail to Bullseye Rock has a sign now. Sort of. Bullseye Rock is not listed on any sign but it is in the vicinity of Indian Potrero, an old village site.

You go through the Palm Canyon Oasis and its over 3000 palms including the Rainbow Palm.

The trail goes straight through the palms and then ascends up out of the canyon and onto the ridge.

From there, the hike goes overland and offers great views of the San Jacinto Mountains to the west and Santa Rosa Mountain (seen here in the background) to the south.

After about a mile, you come to another sign near Dry Wash. Off to the right there are some non descript looking rocks that are very significant in the history of the Cahuilla people.

This area of rocks was basically the maternity ward for the Indians of this region. The rocks in the foreground that are pock marked are covered with cupules. These little petroglyphs are placed here to represent and significant event, probably a birth or a pregnancy.

There are dozens of them.

Here's a closer look.

After leaving the birthing rocks, I continue on to Indian Potrero. Potrero is a Spanish word meaning meadow or pasture. It is easy to see why this area got its name. This nice little flat is littered with mesquite bushes, a major food source for the Indians.

It doesn't take much looking around before I find a bedrock mortar. This one is filled with water and I place my pole basket near it so you can get an idea of its size.

A little more searching around brings me to this rock shelter. There is a significant amount of pitch on the top of this shelter so it's obvious it was used for a long time.

There are two large bedrock mortars here and a mano. A smaller mortar is just out of view.

A couple more bedrock mortars are nearby.

On the way to Bullseye Rock, I find a couple small pottery sherds.

This is Bullseye Rock. If you enlarge the picture and look close you can see the groove that a head would roll nicely down. Beyond the rock is Bullseye Flat and beyond that, Mad Women Spring. I won't be going there today but will save that for another trip. The Canyons are closing early today and I got a late start. Bullseye Flat has more Indian areas of significance and there's an old line shack with provisions at Mad Women Spring. They'll have to wait for another day, another year. I'd love to do a backpack trip here and do some real exploring.

The Cahuilla had names for all kinds of places, streams, rocks, geologic features. I wonder what they would have called this leaning rock?

On my way back I find more pot sherds without really even looking for them.

There are also some more areas where rocks were used as a kitchen.

It has been quite a hike and quite a year. I plan on doing an overview of my favorite hikes and pictures of the year in the coming days.

It has been an incredible experience to hike every day this year. I have discovered places I would have never known existed and now have leads on more places to explore in the future. While I will not be hiking every day in the coming years, I will not be giving up blogging or hiking. What I intend to do is concentrate more on quality instead of quantity. I also want to add video and other multimedia components. Keep coming back and if you have a favorite hike or picture, post a comment or send me an email.

Thanks for your love and support. Have a great 2010.



Libby said...

I have read every post of "Hike Every Day" and it has been a remarkable achievement. Best of luck with posting and hiking in the future.

darlene said...

i tried calling you the other day. i wanted to find the mines you saw off red cloud exit. i think i drove the wrong way though. after getting off I-10, i went under and to the north. then i kept driving east on the dirt road that parelled the interstate. eventually i took a left and headed back toward the hills, but all i found was the canal and hayfield road. i scrambled up and down a bunch of rocks, but saw no evidence of mining. anyway, congrats on acheiving one of the toughest new years resolutions i've ever heard of! looking forward to the favorites list!

tina fiori said...

Hal, this is great....:)

tinaballina said...

Hal this is great...:)