Petroglyph: Images created by removing (carving or scraping away) a rock surface by a prehistoric people.
There were a number of "firsts" on this hike. First time making this hike. First time I've been in search of secret spots containing petroglyphs and/or pictographs. And first time hiking with a fellow blogger and virtual friend whom I had never met (Pat Tillett). We agreed to meet in a parking lot in Joshua Tree National Park and spend the afternoon hiking. Turns out Pat is a great guy and a wealth of information about JTree! He served as my informal guide on this hike, and we found not one but THREE areas with petroglyphs and pictographs! Plus a whole lot more I will save for a future date.
Petroglyph area number one was a real surprise. I've walked right by this spot a number of times and didn't know it existed! It's really close to an area that a lot of tourists visit, yet none of them know about it. It's hidden behind bushes and the pictographs are faint, but they are there. Also interesting is the weird way the rocks have eroded over the eons. Not to mention the site was once used for storage (look closely and you can see the remains of a door and rock & cement work). Joshua Tree holds so many mysteries!!
|My hiking partner, Pat Tillett|
The next destination is called "high noon" pictograph boulder by one local expert. There is a sun pictograph on the ceiling at the high noon position, hence the name. Pat calls it "hollow boulder", which is a good name too. You have to squeeze through the little opening, but once inside, the entire boulder is hollow and there is a surprising amount of room. Very cool!
|Pat inspecting the "crawl space" to get into "hollow boulder"|
Our third and final destination on this hike is sometimes called "surprise rock" pictographs. Another good name, because from the trail or wash area that people follow when hiking this area, it appears to be just another big rock boulder. However, upon closer inspection, the rock is really crescent-shaped, and surprise!... on the back of the rock (inside the crescent) are a big bunch of petroglyphs (and some pictographs too) that almost everyone walks right by. Another great JTree mystery and surprise!
|Pat (right) and some friends we met on the trail inspecting Surprise Rock pictographs and petroglyphs.|
|"Surprise Rock" pictographs and petroglyphs.|
Pretty amazing, right? This photo doesn't do it justice, there are all kinds of forms and lines and symbols on this rock. I hope Pat posts his photos because he has a special program (DStretch) that really makes everything jump out and much more visible.
I couldn't resist including this shot of "Valentine Rock" (hope you had a good one!).
Icing on the cake... we had some great afternoon skies, perfect for Skywatch Friday!
|Photo credit Pat Tillett|
|Along the trail...|
In summary, a wonderful hike, a great new hiking partner, and lots of Joshua Tree mysteries waiting to be solved (or at least photographed)! I took many more photos during this hike so stay tuned!
Linking with Skywatch Friday. Thanks for stopping by!!