Thursday, April 12, 2018

Revisiting Samuelson's Rocks

I wanted to revisit the mysterious carved rocks of Joshua Tree, aka, "Samuelson's Rocks". My cousin and his daughter joined my on the hike and I was looking forward to showing them the area. I last posted about this fascinating spot about a year ago: Part 1 is here and Part 2 is here.

WAKE UP
YOU TAX AND
BOND SLAVES.
A POLITICIAN IS A BIRD
THAT GETS IN ON THE TAX
PAYORS POCKETBOOK FOR A FAT
RAKE OF AND HIS FREE KEEPS.
HE LEADS YOU BY THE NOOSE
WITH ONE HAND  WITH THE OTHER
HE DIGS IN YOUR POCKET
A FRIEND OF THE BANKER AND BIG
BUSINESS WHY?

Food for thought, spelling errors and all, with April 15 nearly here!! John Samuelson, a Swedish immigrant, carved these stones in 1927. This part of the desert would have been extremely remote, with little or no connection to the outside world. News probably spread word-of-mouth, and there would be very limited opportunity to "shoot the breeze" with others. Makes me wonder how Mr. Samuelson formed his opinions and ideas. A fascinating individual who liked to tell tall tales that stretch the limits of credibility. Some of Samuelson's stories were later published by author Erle Stanley Gardner (how many of you remember the TV show Perry Mason??). Gardner was a huge lover of the desert and used to find remote locations to do his writing. Just by coincidence, he was camping in the Quail Springs area (near what is now known as Samuelson's Rocks), met Samuelson, and over a few drinks, was so impressed with the man and his stories that he paid $20 to publish them!

A perfect day for a hike, with mild temperatures and beautiful cloud formations!

We paid a visit to the old rusty car...
Cousin Scott going for a ride!
We checked out the old collapsed homestead cabin (basement still intact!)...
Photo courtesy K. Wessel
From inside the "basement" or cellar, looking out. Somebody get me out of here!!

We even managed to find an old pump house in the area, which I had never seen before. I'll save that for a future post.

Finally reaching Samuelson's Rocks, we took turns resting on the old rusty bed springs. Although I have no proof, I like to imagine that this was Samuelson's old bed. Why would anyone haul this out to the middle of nowhere, except for Samuelson, who had a cabin on this very hill??


I can imagine Mr. Samuelson being totally inspired by the views from the top of his little hill. Perhaps that inspiration crept into his rocky inscriptions??

 THE MILK OF
HUMAN KINDNESS
AINT GOT THICK
CREAM ON IT FOR
ALL OF US
ASK HOOVER

GOD
MADE MAN
BUT HERY FORD
PUT WHEELS UNDER EM
THO A MASTER
OF THE GOLDEN RULE
HE MUST DIE
TO BE. APRRICIATED

The above carving is the toughest of the eight rock carvings to get to and is often missed. I ended up making the climb, with camera and fisheye lens in hand, but just couldn't get a decent shot (with a fisheye, you need to be really close to what you are shooting). Frustrated and perplexed, I ended up climbing further up the rocky hill so I was looking down over the top of the carved words.

An interesting and unique perspective!! Who knows, may be the first time Samuelson's Rocks has been photographed using a fisheye, and very likely the first upside down shot of one of the carved rocks!
MOTHER TIME
NEITHER WEALTH LAWS NOR ARMYS CAN STOP THE
HUMAN MIND FROM CREATING NEW OR EMPROVE UP ON
THE PRESENT DAY RELIGION AND GOVERMENT
WATER IS SAFT ONLY HARD IN THE CHEMICALLS
BUT WITH TIME THE OCEAN CAN GRIEND
THE HARDEST GRANIT TO A POWDERED SAND
SO WITH TIME WILL THE HUMAN RACE GRIEND
OUT ITS OWN DESTINYS REGARDLESS OF THE
OPPOSITION OR PARTY IN POWER

Same photo, but I used the lens correction function in Photoshop. It stretches the image so it goes from a circle to a rectangle with no vignette.

Of the eight mysterious carved rocks, this is the only one that John Samuelson signed and dated (1927).

"Twofer" shot, and one of my favorites.


The above two shots were taken on the hike back to the car. A great hike, and one I would definitely recommend.

Linking with Skywatch Friday.
Click on the link to check out great skies from around the world.
Thanks for stopping by!!

41 comments:

  1. Wow, enjoyed the revisit. You are having way too much fun out in the desert.
    It sure looks like the old man printed his thoughts for eternity.

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  2. A so-so hike better than a great day in the office. Nice shots.

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  3. A hike with a lot to see. Must be a real character that Samuelson.

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  4. You hikers were having way too much fun out there, I can tell!

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  5. I was in the Arizona desert last week. As much as I love my Colorado mountains, I think the desert is beautiful also. Your shots are always amazing--thanks for sharing!

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  6. Very nice! The upside-down fisheye shot of the carved rock is perfect.

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  7. Marvellous photography as always and thank you so much for introducing the wisdom of Samuelson.

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  8. Whoa...that next to last shot is my fave.. Such blue skies we rarely see in Rochester, NY...sigh...

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  9. Outstanding set of images. And as Will Rogers said, "There are people running this country that shouldn't be allowed to play with matches."

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  10. Again wonderful pictures! I so much love the American West and Joshua Tree is a very special place. I‘ve been there a few years ago and would have loved to stay forever.

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  11. Fabulous shots, and I love those carved sayings on the stones.

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  12. The cloud formations add so much to these pictures - glorious! And what a fascinating history about Mr. Samuelson ... not many people get to leave their thoughts for all to see in such a durable way!!!

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  13. Wonderful place, Truly awesome clicks.

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  14. Grand scenery, the thoughts of Mr Samuelson and even a comfy bed, few walks have so many attractions. Sad that a man who could see the truth about politicians and taxes so clearly could nevertheless be so easily persuaded to sell his stories for just $20.

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  15. I can tell you had extra fun this time--- love the shot from inside. I think Mr. Samuelson was prescient.

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  16. Wonderful post, Peter, I have enjoyed the beautiful pictures and the story behind it from start untill the end again.

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  17. interesting place. The writing seems to have been done with a typewriter. Strange! I don´t think that bed was nice. :)

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  18. Amazing and amusing place and photos!

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  19. I really liked coming along on this hike. One that I would like to take. Though, maybe not into that basement.

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  20. Oh wonderful, each visit is a joyful experience for the arm chair traveler like me.

    Worth a Thousand Words

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  21. Stunning work! ANd those clouds are perfect for HDR captures :)

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  22. Realmente curiosas esas rocas talladas.un bonito paseo.

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  23. Great post, wonderful hike and awesome photography, you make me want to get a fisheye lens

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  24. I think this area is one of the best I've ever seen for hiking. So much interesting stuff!

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  25. Great sky shots and quotes carved into rock ~ fun photos too!

    Namaste,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

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  26. Fascinating pictures, every single one!

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  27. It's always a buzz to find new things when you explore.

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  28. See you had fun in the desert! A new thing for this city slicker, that on the country side - and now also in your post in the desert, people leave all kinds of messages! Kind of cool to leave one's mark in some way! Had to smile, because it's so true that the golden rule is someone must first die before he is appreciated! A great comfort for me as a painter:) Wow, I love those telescopic and stretched images. That's an amazing cloud in the first photo!

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  29. So, so amazing, the places you've taken me. I love this follow up on the posts of last year. You take me where I would never go myself.

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  30. Absolutely beautiful photos. I love all of Mr. Samuelson's quotations. It does make one wonder how he got his news and information enough to formulate opinions but I think back then people travelled back and forth a lot and exchanged information that way. I'm sure you enjoyed having company on your hike and showing your guests some really cool places.

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  31. What a beautiful place ! and your photos are very beautiful too !

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  32. Interesting! I did not know about those rocks.

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  33. A great hike, beautiful view and thank you for sharing the desert beauty with us.

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  34. Beautiful country! I had to laugh at the old bed! That's cool!

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  35. Lovely pictures! A big contrast too my spring garden?!

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  36. Spare Parts, Samuelson was a man ahead of his time. Thanks for sharing.

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  37. Thank you so much for this. I never heard of this guy, a fellow Swede who, like me, loved the desert. He must have been such an interesting person. So glad he escaped Sweden before the welfare state and its really, really high taxes came about. As always, I love your photos.

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  38. He carved "the key to life is contact' but he lived a hermit's life! To me that is the most interesting thing he 'wrote". I do remember Perry Mason and ESG of course, but had no idea he published stories about this fascinating man. I'm going to go back and re-read your earlier posts on this as soon as I have time.

    Love experiencing this hike virtually and all your pictures..... (I could do the part of it where you try out Mr samuelson's bed!! )

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  39. What a fun post! - full of interesting perspectives. Yours with the fish eye lens and Sam's rocky thoughts.

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  40. Spectacular cloud formation in the second shot

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