Thursday, August 27, 2020

Return Visit to Water Dagger Petroglyph Area

I made this hike back in late January 2020. It's just too dang hot to hike right now, so I'm looking back in my files for hikes that I haven't shared. Let me set the stage for this hike.

My friend Mark and I were looking for an excuse to hike together again. I mentioned I had recently discovered a Native American site that, in my opinion, is the largest and most significant in the NE Joshua Tree area. It's got it all... pictographs, petroglyphs, a large grinding site with mano, pottery sherds, bedrock mortars, even a water source. If you want more detail, click here. My specific goals for this hike: [1] Try to get into the area via a new route (from the west) and [2] Check on water levels at the water holes I had found. I told Mark that if we go here, he is sworn to secrecy regarding the location. He said "yes" and "yes", so off we went!

These rocks appear to be sniffing at the clouds!

Early in our hike, we discover this beautiful little arch. Lets go take a closer look.


Hey Mark!

View through the backside of the arch, looking NE.


As we continue down the wash, the rocks on either side of us get interesting. Does anyone remember the movie "Tremors", with the giant worm-like monsters hungry for human flesh??

We come across this little baby arch. Look closely and you might be able to see Mark's hat as he peaks out from behind the crack in the rocks.

The thing about these small arches is they photograph well. You might mistake this for a big arch because there is no frame of reference.

Not sure what this is, but I see an ear, an eye, and a nose that looks like it's being used as a kick stand!

As I was planning out this hike route on Google Earth, I remember thinking this section looked kind of sketchy. It was in the shadows so I couldn't make out much detail. I was hoping it wouldn't be full of rocks, making it impassable. One of my biggest fears of hiking off-trail like this is getting blocked and having to turn around. As it turned out, it was passable, but with difficulty. By the time we came out the other end, my clothes (and skin) were full of stickers and thorns. I remember concentrating hard on just getting through, and I didn't even think about taking pictures. I also remember thinking "let's never go this way again!" But not so with Mark. We got to a spot that he seemed very interested in, and I couldn't understand why. I found a shady spot and let him do whatever he was doing. I needed the rest anyway!

Photo by Mark Robben (https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=10220862535887476&set=pcb.10220862708171783)

Mark later shared this photo with me and said this would make a great location for a night sky shot of the Milky Way. Really Mark? I figured he had been out in the sun a little too long. Didn't look like anything special to me. Plus, are you kidding me? Hiking to this remote location in pitch black middle of the night? Impossible! You would get hopelessly lost, or worse!!

Well, hang on to your hats. Here's the shot he took at this exact location a few months later.
Photo by Mark Robben (https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=10220862535887476&set=pcb.10220862708171783)
 WOW!!!!! Did I mention Mark is an astrophotographer? I see a lot of Joshua Tree night sky photos, but Mark's are consistently the best!
OK, continuing on our hike...

Bedrock mortar

A narrow space that leads to the water source

Large rake and cowboy hat pictographs are faint but visible.

Water source (east side) is a deep water seep under a large boulder.

Water source (west side) is deep hole in the bedrock.
It was about a month ago when I discovered this mini water canyon with the two water sources, and I'm happy to see water is still available.

On our hike back to the car, we pass by the dancing rocks.

Echinocactus polycephalus

A quick photo of "rip curl" rock as the sun sets and the light turns golden!

Somewhere straight ahead awaits our car!

Linking with Skywatch Friday.
Thanks for stopping by.
Stay safe & stay healthy!!

42 comments:

  1. Magnificent surroundings! you certainly endured quite a bit of stress to get through this hike, and Mark later captured an unbelievably beautiful Milky Way.

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  2. ...I'm glad that you are able find your way in this rugged and beautiful landscape. Thanks for taking me along, I couldn't do it without you!

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  3. Hello,

    I always enjoy going along virtually on your walks. I love the arches and rock formations. Your photos are beautiful. I also love Mark's night sky photo. Just stunning. Take care, enjoy your day! Wishing you a great weekend!

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  4. Love the keystone of the little arch! You have storehouses of photos and experiences. Thanks so much for sharing

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  5. these rocky landscapes are always more surprising under any light. It is an enchantment.
    Otherwise to answer your question, were the times that we considered normal so much so?

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  6. Witaj serdecznie Cię pozdrawiam piękne zdjecia.

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  7. wow your archives holds beautiful photos - I understand the too hot now time - It's in the 100's here in Florid and humid too

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  8. Massive rock formations make me feel so insignificant sometimes!

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  9. Such dramatic rocks! Beautiful.

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  10. Continually amazed by your explorations. Your friend Mark's photo of the Milky Way is superb. I can't imagine taking across snake heaven at night to get in position.

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  11. I think I can kind of see an elephant with a truck in that rock formation.

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  12. Yes, that was a great shot of the Milky Way at night. But I can see how it would have been a nightmare to hike out to it.

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  13. Wonderful place, Thanks a lot for sharing amazing pics.

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  14. Wow! gorgeous pictures. Milky way was splendid

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  15. I love your interpretations of those rock formations. You´re like a Medicin Man on Mescaline. Maybe you was a Native American in former life. Or just plain Hippie in this life. ;)

    That aside, I love the Light in the second last pic. That orange light plays well with the blue skies. Looks like a magic moment.

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  16. Stunning photos and Mark must have known the Milky Way was in that direction to get the beautiful night photo, Those rock formations are amazing

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  17. Great photos. Mark’s may be the best I’ve ever seen of the night sky!

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  18. Oh my, such beauty in that area. The rocks are just like sculptures and each are so interesting. Thanks again and thank Mark too
    MB

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  19. Sitting at the breakfast table in the RV here in LV we are enjoying the pictures. WE broke down again near Boron and finally made it to LV. We leave in the AM for the closest route to NC and leave dreams behind of ever seeing these sites in person. Thanks we all have enjoyed the dialog and pictures.
    Sherry, jack & JJ on the road for the last long ride.

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  20. Wow! What a beautiful and awesome place ~ great photos! Mark's photos are amazing of the night sky ~ thanks so much for sharing these beautiful photos ~ ^_^

    Live each moment with love,

    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

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  21. Always amazed at the scenery you captured but Mark took the prize this time with his Milky Way photo; it literally took my breath away. You probably heard my gasp from thousands of miles away! (OK, OK, I still like your photos, too.)

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  22. What a hike that was, so much beauty. Thanks for taking us along!
    Have a great weekend!

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  23. Your work is amazing--- I have may have said it before, but you would have made a great cinematographer for John Ford or David Lean.

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  24. That might sky is incredible!

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  25. Amazing blue sky captured and that picture by Mark is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

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  26. Thank you for sharing this wonderful post keep your awesome work
    I have many hobbies. I love to travel and read. But my favorite hobby is cooking. Let me tell you why! First, I'll tell you a little bit about why I started cooking. Secondly, I'll give you some information about what I like to cook. Third, I will say how I use the Fooddy Blog for cooking.

    When I started cooking, I was 10 years old. My mom wants me to be a chef. She has always believed that girls have to make different types of food, because one day they will get married. In my country, it is normal for girls not to cook. I feel lucky because I can cook many dishes. Now that I cook some of the dishes my children and husband love, I become happy and proud of my mother and myself. foody

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  27. Well, never say never - that picture of the Milky Way is spectacular. You hang out with some pretty cool people - you know that, right?

    I like the sixth picture - it reminds me of an old man's teeth! Thanks for visiting my blog via Skywatch Friday!

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  28. The most amazing rock formations! I see a bull there, and awww, so much beauty. It reminds me a wee bit of some deserts in Australia.
    Haha, "too hot". Coldest summer here I can remember.

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  29. Beautiful as always and the way of roman aquaduct building perfectly illustrated by the first few photo's of the arches with two loose stones held up as an arch by gravity.

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  30. What an extraordinary and beautiful place!Wow!I think there must be very very hot there and alot of cactuses!For me it is a dream place!Thanx for sharing this beautiful landscape:)))

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  31. These are the most unusual rock formations ever! Very cool!!! Glad you had a great companion on this adventure.

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  32. Fantastic photos...as always. That first arch made me think of two giants butting heads. Mark's Milky Way is stunning! All in all, another beautiful trip into the desert.

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  33. Beautiful and amazing rock formations. They are all created by the force of nature. No wonder you love the deserts.

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  34. The rock formations are unbelievable in the desert SPP and you show them superbly here. Your hiking friend Mark's photo of the Milky Way is stunning 💜

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  35. What more can I say that hasn't already been said in the comments preceding, but OK I will add my own and say that these photos are simply A-M-A-Z-I-N-G and such natural beauty all around. Although quite honestly I can;t image hiking among all those rocks and glad Mark did get that night shot which was just so beautiful. Thanks for sharing and photographing too. Curious as to what type of equipment you carry with you on these adventures.

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  36. Incredible geology! And the night photo is spectacular!

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  37. I am amazed by the many unique and unusual rock formation in Joshua Tree NP! I wish I had more time on the visit I made there many years ago. I'm glad you shared more views of this area from your files. That shot of the Milky way is stunning---I hope you have that enlatged and framed in your home--so worthy!

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  38. So beautiful! Day and night sky, the rock formations ... and water! It really says something about the awe-inspiring hikes you do when an amazing discovery like this one was not immediately posted because you had another hike to blog about! Every one of your JT hikes would be once-in-a-lifetime adventures for an ordinary hiker.

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