Calendar Photos… Holiday Schedule

Crater Lake NP in Oregon decked out for the Holiday Season.

Not knowing exactly where or when we will be this holiday season— it’s the Age of Covid— I decided to simplify my blogging life over the next two weeks by posting National Park and Monument photos Peggy and I used in two family calendars we designed for this year. (And likely used in blogs. Grin.) The pictures come from trips we took in 2019-20. Plus, I’ll slip in the slightly PG rated Christmas Card we sent out this week featuring the Corral, Chorale, Choir. I designed and drew the card several years ago but decided we needed a sense of humor more than anything else at this point in time, so I reproduced it. I will continue with my Blog-a-Book Tuesdays with stories I’m putting together for It’s 4 AM and a Bear Is Standing on Top of Me.

With out further ado: Calendar photos, starting with Crater Lake featured above. I’ll be posting six or seven photos with each blog.

Canyon de Chelly National Monument
Petrified Forest National Park
Petrified Forest National Park log.
Monument Valley
Grand Canyon National Park

That’s it for today. Next Tuesday it’s back to blogging my book. On Wednesday, it’s time for the Christmas Card featuring Cow Girls. Christmas Eve, I’ll be posting more National Park calendar photos.

Adios Arches… Hello Road Trip

I had originally intended to conclude my series on Arches National Park with photos of several of the more famous arches. But when Peggy and I were driving out, the late afternoon sun created photo-ops I just couldn’t resist. As Peggy drove, I snapped away.

Beneath Scotts Bluff, Nebraska: We are camped at the base of a towering bluff that once stood as a major landmark to pioneers traveling west in wagon trains. My great, great grandmother would have passed this way and stared up at it in awe with the welcome knowledge that she had left the Great Plains behind. And, indeed, we too are breathing a huge sigh of relief, glad to be back in our much loved west. The bluff was named after an employee of a fur trading company who had the misfortune to die not far from where we are camped. He likely would have been glad to live on and leave the bluff with someone else’s name. I, for one, prefer the Native American name, Me-a-pa-te, which translates ‘hill that is hard to go around.’

As I work on this post, Scotts Bluff looms in the near distance. This notable landmark once served to guide wagon trains on their way across America.

It has been an interesting couple of weeks as we have made our way west from Virginia. This past week we kept ahead of a major storm that whipped through the Midwest with winds up to 100 MPH. We also avoided numerous motorcyclists— most with a similar look and without helmets— as they dashed around us on their way to Sturgis, South Dakota and whatever fate awaited them.

One of many groups of motorcyclists that zipped past us on their way to Sturgis and a possible confrontation with Coronavirus. Those unfortunate enough to come in contact with the disease would carry it home.

Yesterday was particularly interesting. We started our day at Buffalo Bill’s historic ranch camped out on the North Platte River and then hopped on one of America’s most historic backroads, US 30, otherwise know as the Lincoln Highway. It was America’s first cross-country road. But that’s only a small part of its history. For thousands of years it served as a major route for Native Americans. In the 1850s it was part of the Oregon Trail. Pony Express riders used it on their two year ride to glory and the nation’s first transcontinental railroad was built beside it. In 1908 it became part of the greatest road trip/road race ever, the New York to Paris Road Race, which will be the subject of my next blog.

A view from our campsite on the North Fork of Platte River. Buffalo Bill’s historic home is less than a mile away.

But today, it’s time to say goodby to Arches National Park.

One of the many late afternoon views we had as we drove out of Arches National Park. I’ll share a few and let the photos speak for themselves.
A final view. Goodby Arches. Hello road trip.

NEXT POST: What better place to start posts from our present journey around the US than what I consider to be one of the greatest road trip/races of all-time: The 1908 race around the world from New York to Paris. I’ve been meaning to do this blog ever since I came across the winner of the race at the National Auto Museum this time last summer. It’s epic!

The Arches of Arches… Finally!

While every arch in Arches National Park shares a ‘see through look’, each arch is unique in the space created and in the surrounding rocks. One of my favorites is Turret Arch, shown here in a photo by Peggy.

“But where are the arches?” my brother-in-law John asked Peggy about my series on Arches National Park. “There is more to Arches than arches,” Peggy had responded. John readily agreed but there was still a plaintive ‘where are the arches’ tone to his voice. This post is for you, John— and for all of our other followers who have been wondering about how anyone could do a series on Arches National Park without arches.

They aren’t hard to find. There are over 2000 in the park, the highest concentration of any place in the world. Of course you would need a month to find them all plus put in a lot of miles hiking. We only had a day and the 100 degree F heat (37.7 C) discouraged much roaming in the time we had. Not to worry. The road plus a little walking took us to some of the most famous in the Park. So without further ado, I’ll start with the arch I featured at the top of the post, Turret Arch, named for its resemblance to turrets on castles.

This was my view of Turret Arch. The turret rises above the arch on the left.
This shot facing the arch provides a view of a smaller arch forming to the left. The dad and child seen through the arch give perspective. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
Here, Peggy captures the yin and the yang of the smaller arch.
We were fortunate that impressive clouds added depth and interest to our photos.
I couldn’t resist using the arch as a dark frame for the clouds.

A walk up to the Turret Arch easily includes two of the Park’s other Arches, North and South Windows.

This is the view of North and South Window Arches from Turret Arch. I won’t hold it against you if you see two eyes and a large nose instead of windows. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
I took a close up.
A view of the South Window Arch with the nose looking a lot more like a massive rock!
The North Window Arch is more popular with an easy trail leading right to it from the parking lot. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
This photo by Peggy gives an idea of how massive the arch is. Note the person enjoying the shade! Also, check out the large crack, a reminder that these arches do come tumbling down.
My shot looking up shows how thick the arch is. You can see the beginning of the crack.
Which Peggy caught.
We both had fun using the clouds as a backdrop. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
My contribution.
And finally, I thought a black and white rendition of the North Window Arch would be interesting.
The famous Double Arch is just down the hill from the Windows and Turret Arches. New arches can be seen forming on the right.
You have undoubtedly seen photos of this Arch even if you haven’t visited the Park. Or perhaps you caught it at the beginning of the Indiana Jones’ movie “The Last Crusade.”
While we have hiked down to and around the Double Arch in the past, I took this photo from our air-conditioned van!

No trip to Arches is complete without a trip to see the Delicate Arch, which many consider to be the National Park’s most scenic arch. Rather than make the gentle three mile round trip at 3 P.M. when we were both hot and tired, we took an alternative one mile trip straight up a steep slope for an overlook. Hmmm.

Peggy’s telephoto worked best for capturing Delicate Arch.
I’ll conclude my post today with this shot of a towering cumulous cloud and tiny people making their way to the arch. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

NEXT POST: As we drove out of Arches, I took several photos from our van that will serve as a closure to this series.

Rocks, Trees, Early Inhabitants, and Towering Clouds… More of Arches NP

I am going to start at the end of the main road in Arches NP today. This is the trailhead to the Devil’s Garden.

Purcellville, Virginia— outside of Washington DC: We are at our daughter’s home where she lives with her husband, Clay and her kids, Ethan and Cody. They are renting an old home that was built in 1880. The main house next door once was part of the Underground Railway for slaves escaping from the South. I’ll do a post on the houses later.

Our visit to Arches National Park today takes us back to the end of the paved road and the beginning of the Devil’s Garden trail. We hiked a way on the trail but the 100 (37.7C) degree heat encouraged us to make it a short. We then doubled back where we checked out the historic Wolfe ranch and some interesting Ute petroglyphs.

Like so much of Arches, impressive rock monuments filled the area.
I was particularly impressed with this pinnacle.
And took a close up.
Gathering clouds added to the area’s scenic beauty.
And called for a black and white photo.
As always, I was drawn to trees. The red rocks provided a contrasting backdrop for this one we found along the Devil’s Garden Trail.
The sky provided the backdrop for this tree near the Wolfe Creek Ranch.
The rock foreground and the splash of green caught my attention here.
Here, it was the La Salle Mountains looming in the distance.
Wolfe Ranch provided a perspective on how the early pioneers in the area lived. This home was built in 1898 and occupied by his family for a decade. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
This old corral was part of the Wolfe Ranch.
The Ute Indians occupied the area before the Europeans made their way into the area. They were quick to adapt to the horses that escaped from the early Spanish. These petroglyphs reflect the Utes hunting Big Horn Sheep with their dogs. The rock art would have been carved sometime after 1650 CE. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
Water was and is the lifeblood of the desert Southwest. This small creek would have provided water for both the Utes and the Wolfes.
I’ll conclude today with a final photo of storm clouds gathering over Arches. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

NEXT POST: The arches of Arches!

From the Garden Of Eden to the Fiery Furnace and Beyond… Arches NP

You can easily drive the road into Arches National Park and get a feel for the beauty and geology of the area. On a hundred degree plus day, it’s tempting to do just that! We didn’t, but I’ll confess that our walks were short.

Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina: Peggy and I have now moved on from our large beach house on the Outer Banks (OBX) of North Carolina where we were entertained by our kids and grandkids for a week. Peggy was treated royally in honor of her 70th Birthday. (Okay, I was spoiled too.) Eventually, I’ll do a post on OBX. Presently we are in an RV campground in Roanoke Rapids, not far from the Virginia border on an unexpected layover day.

When we arrived here yesterday, I noticed that we could get a mobile RV service to come by and fix the water line running to our pump from our fresh water tank. It hasn’t worked since shortly after we left home. Given that most RV repair shops are booked solid for weeks during the summer, we hadn’t had an opportunity to repair it.

Rufus and Cleve arrived at five in Rufus’s brand new ‘shop,’ a 2020 Hemi. It would be hard to find two guys more country— from their looks to their accents. But they were genuine, fun and knowledgeable. Eventually, they found the problem. The plastic water tube buried beneath the water pump in an extremely difficult place to get at was twisted and frayed. Cleve returned this morning with new tubing to finish the job.

The plastic tube delivering water to our pump was twisted and frayed with a pin-prick sized hole in it. The tube was buried down in the innards of our van.
Cleve had a rooster ringtone on his phone and a rooster tat on his arm. I asked him about it. “I just really like roosters,” he explained to me in his deep country drawl.

Today, I am continuing my series on Arches National Park. So far I have done posts on Balanced Rock and the road into Arches. In this post, I will start just beyond Balanced Rock at the Garden of Eden and follow the main road on to the the Fiery Furnace and beyond.

I am not sure why this section is called the Garden of Eden. I don’t think Adam and Eve would want to live here. Where would they find an apple tree? On the other hand, there are plenty of serpents. And lots of impressive rocks. The woman hiking up to the pinnacles provides a perspective on their size.
The big fellow on the right is known as Owl Rock.
Here is a close up of the giant pinnacle with its ‘owl head’ staring down at me.
The Garden of Eden also has some impressive cliffs.
Visitors are welcome to wander among the rocks in the Garden of Eden as long as they stay off of the easily damaged desert soil.

A final view before heading on to the Fiery Furnace.

We were amused to go from the Garden of Eden to the Fiery Furnace. Turns out it isn’t so fiery if you go walking along the rock and tree shaded trails. The trails were closed because of Covid-19, however. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
This jumble of rocks was found nearby.
As were these colorful pinnacles. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
I thought of the rock on the left as The Troll. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
Continuing our drive into the park we came on these dramatic fins.
A more distant perspective.
There was a path that led back into the fins. Peggy posed for me. Because there were a number of people on the narrow trail, we used our masks.
As the day went on and the heat increased, clouds began to form and create a backdrop for our photos. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.).
I’ll conclude today’s post with this scene from along the road.

NEXT POST: Peggy and I drive to the end of the road and go for a walk along the Devil’s Garden trail.

When Arches Isn’t About Arches— plus Strange Times

Impressive pinnacles with ‘unique’ personalities are found throughout Arches National Park.

Outer Banks, North Carolina: We have been on the road for a month now— zig zagging across the country— climbing over mountains, crossing rivers, traveling through deserts and forests, zipping through urban areas and moving more slowly through rural. We’ve traveled from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic and driven through 13 states so far.

Let me report: It’s strange out there when it comes to the pandemic. Some states are doing everything possible to reduce the the number of people catching Covid-19 and the resultant deaths. Others are like, whatever. Or they feel that restarting the economy takes precedence. Sadly, had they aggressively fought the pandemic to start with, we would now be in a much better position to get people back to work.

We drove through Atlanta a few days ago where the governor of the state was suing the mayor of the city because she wanted to implement a city-wide mask ordinance. Thankfully, more and more people are voluntarily wearing face coverings. Even the President is declaring it patriotic. My sense is if wearing a mask can save just one life, it’s worth it.

It isn’t strange, however, that Arches National Park has a lot more than arches to ooh and aww over. In fact, I find the fins and pinnacles located throughout the park equally awe-inspiring. I’ll provide some of my favorite examples over the next two to three posts. My last post on the park will be dedicated to arches.

This is a close up of the pinnacle I featured at the top of the post.
And this knobby guy— with my help— provides a perspective of just how large the pinnacles can get. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
A different view.
These would-be/will-be pinnacles are known as the Three Gossips.
A different perspective suggests that one of the gossips might have dinosaur blood. Gossiping about it might lead to getting your head chomped off.
This is one of the views that greets you when you when you enter the park. If you look to the right, you can see a precariously balanced rock.
I think it is more impressive than Balanced Rock if only judged on its odds of teetering over. But who knows? Maybe it will hang out up there for another thousand years. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
This is another view that welcomes visitors to the park.
This fin is known as Wall Street. In other words, some person at some time thought that these eroded rocks had a skyscraper look.
Here’s another view of Wall Street
Most of the major landmarks have names given to them over the years. I find it more fun to look at them for the impressive monuments to nature and geology that they are.
Or provide your own names. Peggy saw this as The Hand.
Here, she demonstrates why.
Here’s one I can easily see, the Sheep. Its nose was once part of an arch. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
We found this interesting. “Petrified” sand dunes frozen through chemical reactions in ancient times. The La Sal Mountains serve as a colorful backdrop.
I’ll conclude with a couple of scenic views Peggy and I found at the beginning of the park.

NEXT POST: Peggy and I travel farther into Arches.

Off to a Rocky Start: Arches NP… The Backroads Series

It looked a bit like Snoopy at first glance, making a sarcastic comment to Woodstock. But it wasn’t Snoopy. It was the famous Balanced Rock of Arches National Park. Someday it will come tumbling down. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

We’ve started our journey around America traveling over the country’s backroads while wearing masks like bandits. The beginning of the trip was in Fallon, Nevada, which might seem strange given that we live in Oregon. Getting to Fallon, however, involved traveling over I-5 and I-80, two of Americas busiest freeways. Freeways are to be avoided and ignored in this series— even though Peggy and I have to use them on occasion.

It’s scary out here in America’s hinterland as Covid-19 makes its way from state to state. The lack of a clear national policy is apparent. Peggy and I, as well as our traveling companions, Bone and Eeyore, are all wearing our masks. So far, we seem to be the exception. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

In Fallon, we climbed on Highway 50. Its claim to being the ‘loneliest road in America,’ gives it genuine backroad credentials. I’ll get back to it. There is much to tell about the legendary highway I grew up near. But given Covid-19, our two to three month backroads exploration is off to a rocky start— and there are few places in America rockier than Arches National Park. Peggy and I know. We took 572 photos of rocks there. Peggy promises you won’t have to look at all of them. But there will be quite a few. Grin. I love red rock country.

Today, I am going to start with just one, the famous Balanced Rock. Its total height is 128 feet. The boulder on top makes up 55 feet of its height and weighs in at 3500 tons. If you have been to Arches, the odds are you have a photo. Millions of tourists have stood and stared up at it in awe.

It stands as a testament to the fact that there is much more to see in Arches than just arches. A lot more. Geology is the reason for the park’s unique look. The rocks that make up Arches have been layed down over hundreds of millions of years under a wide range of circumstances ranging from deserts to seas. Their different makeup impacts how fast they erode and that leads to the fantastic rock sculptures and monuments seen through the park. There will be more on the geology in coming posts.

In addition to its unique look and geology, the thing that fascinates me about Balanced Rock is how its look changes drastically from different angles as you walk around it. And that is the subject of today’s photos.

The mushroom look.
A more traditional look of Balanced Rock with a companion. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
A modified ‘Snoopy’ look.
Side view.
A long view including Peggy. She’s safe, but is she balanced. (Grin) Another rock stands behind.
A more human look. Possibly a thumbs up with a thumb ring? (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
I’ll conclude with this view of looking up at Balanced Rock from its base. It gives a perspective on how massive the sculpture is.

NEXT POST: We’ll start at the beginning of the park with Wall Street, the Organ, and the Sheep.

Earth Day 1: 50 Years Ago… It Changed My Life

Sand dunes in Death Valley. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.
The world is full of incredible beauty that is worthy of our love and protection. These are sand dunes in Death Valley National Park.

I was recruiting for Peace Corps on the Davis Campus of the University of California on April 22, 1970, 50 years ago. For those of you not familiar with the date, it was Earth Day I. At the time, I was running the Peace Corps’ Public Affairs office for Northern California and Nevada out of Sacramento. Curiosity pulled me away from my recruiting duties to check out the event.

UC Davis puts on great fairs. It probably has to do with an event it calls Picnic Day, a rite of spring with roots as deep as humankind. The birds are singing, flowers are blooming, and the snow is melting in the mountains; let’s have a party! All of the departments become involved, put on shows, put up displays, and do silly things.

The flowers were blooming.

Earth Day at Davis was similar, but it incorporated a vitally important message.

Somehow we had forgotten where we had come from in our rush toward progress and the good life— and in the desire to maximize profits. As a result, we were chopping down our forests, polluting our streams, poisoning our air, destroying our last remaining wilderness areas, and saying goodbye forever to innumerable species whose only evolutionary mistake was to get in our way.

We had forgotten that birds can make music as beautifully as any symphony, that peace and balance can be found in the wilderness, and that somehow, in some yet unfathomable way, our fate might be tied to that of the pup fish. It seemed okay that the last brown pelican was about to fly off into the sunset forever so we could squeeze one more bushel of wheat from our crops, and that it was appropriate for the great redwoods, silent sentinels who had maintained their vigilance for over 4000 years, to die for our patio with a lifespan of 20-30 years.

Brown pelicans, once near extinction because of DDT used on crops, have made a dramatic comeback since the use of DDT was banned. I took this photo south of Santa Barbara, California.

Rachel Carson, in her landmark book Silent Spring, had sounded a clarion call to a Holy Crusade: saving the earth. Others, too, were raising the alarm. Earth Day I was an expression of growing concern. Its message struck a deep chord with me. The years I had spent wandering in the woods while growing up, my exploration of the rainforest around Gbarnga, Liberia during my Peace Corps assignment, and my hiking in the wilderness as a backpacker, all came together in a desire to join the environmental movement and help protect the wilderness I had come to love.

Some of my happiest moments as a Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa were spent exploring the rain forest surrounding where I lived.

I wandered between booths on campus, talking to the representatives of various organizations and picking up materials. There was information about the redwoods, over-population, water and air pollution, land-use planning, mass transit and the protection of valuable farm lands. I learned about all the species that had become extinct because of our activities— and that many more were threatened.

Giant redwood tree at Redwoods National Park. Photo by Curtis Mekemson.
How could one not feel awe when confronted by giant redwoods in their cathedral like setting at Redwood National Park. It seemed terribly wrong to me that the life of a 2000 plus year old giant should be ended with a chainsaw to meet our short-termed demand for wood products.

I went home that night inspired, concerned, and more than a little frightened about what we were doing to our planet— the only home we have. Three weeks later, I had left the Peace Corps and become Executive Director of Sacramento’s first Ecology Education/Environmental Action Center, working 50-60 hours a week for one hundred dollars a month. I would continue to devote a significant amount of my time to supporting environmental causes for the next 20 years of my life, working beside some of the most dedicated, selfless and talented individuals I have ever known.

Our efforts, and those of hundreds, even thousands of others, made a difference. The majority of people in the US as well as in numerous other countries around the world became convinced that protecting the environment was a worthwhile endeavor. Air pollution was reduced, waterways were cleaned up, wilderness areas were saved, and a number of endangered species were brought back from near extinction. Once again, eagles soared, buffalos roamed and wolves howled.

But the progress has never been easy and the war is far from won. Nothing represents this better than our present battle against global warming, a reality that was dramatically brought home to me two years ago as I hiked down the Pacific Crest Trail dodging huge fires in Oregon and California. A drought created by climate change had killed millions of trees and those trees were burning.

The massive Carr Fire near Redding sent fire tornadoes shooting into the air, reduced visibility to close to zero, and filled the air with choking smoke for hundreds of square miles. This was the view I faced on the PCT near Chester, California.

The 50th Anniversary of Earth Day 1 is an excellent time to take stock of where we are in our efforts to protect the environment. The news is not good. Over the past three years we have seen our national government withdraw from international efforts to combat global warming, eliminate many of the protections that we have fought so hard to put in place over the last 50 years, back away from using science designed to measure the impact of pollution, and systematically dismantle the EPA. Continuing down this path will once again lead to air filled with pollution, waterways poisoned, wilderness areas eliminated, and species exterminated. This isn’t an exaggeration; it is reality.

But it doesn’t have to be. The time to renew our commitment to the environment is today. Each of us can take action on the personal level to reduce our negative impact on the environment, support positive efforts on the local, state, national and world level, and insist that our political leaders do the same. The future of our children, grandchildren and future generations depend on it.

Grand Tetons National Park photo by Curtis Mekemson.
A final reminder of the beauty that exists in our world. This are the Grand Tetons. Happy Earth Day. May we have 50 more!

7,000 Year Old Rock Art… And Wile-e-Coyote

Are these vacant eyes staring at you from the ancient past? Probably not since these two 7,000 year old pecked indentations are merely two out of many that cover a rock at the Grimes Point Archeological Area.

I took a detour on my trip down Highway 395 from Reno to Mt. Whitney last summer to drive east on Highway 50 to the town of Fallon, Nevada. I was excited to visit the Grimes Point Archeological Area with its ancient rock art five miles east of the town. They represent some of the oldest petroglyphs in America. The oldest are located approximately 60 miles away at Pyramid Lake.

This sign greeted me at the entrance to the site. The strange lines on the left represent one of the petroglyphs found at the site.
Highway 50 stretching off into the east from Grimes Point across Nevada claims to be the loneliest road in the US. The grooves you see on the right are to wake up motorists who fall asleep while driving the road.
The circles and wavy lines represent some of the oldest petroglyphs found at the site. Rock art is made by using a rock to peck away the dark, desert varnish that covers rocks exposing the lighter colors underneath. You’ve seen many examples on my posts over the last three weeks. These petroglyphs are almost the color of the rock, which means that the desert varnish has had time to cover the rock art, literally thousands of years.
This is another example of pits, this time with grooves connecting them. It almost appears to be horns on a steer-like head, but who knows.
One of the pit covered rocks. Peggy and I found similar petroglyphs on the Big Island of Hawaii. Information at that site said that the pits had been used to place umbilical cords in.
This is what the countryside looks like at Grimes Point. A pickup hauling a trailer can be seen on Highway 50. Having ridden my bike across Nevada on my 10,000 mile bicycle trek and driven across the state numerous times, I can attest to its lonely, wide-open spaces. No problem with social-distancing out here!
Lichens added some fun color to the rocks.
There were some discernible figures such as this leaping or dancing stick figure. Is it “Come to me sweetie,” or “Gads, look at the size of that snake!”
I wonder if this asterisk-like petroglyph represents the sun.
Those with an overactive imagination might see a UFO landing!
The most mysterious to me was this horse-like figure. Horses went extinct in North America around 11,000 BCE and weren’t reintroduced until the 1500s CE. Petroglyphs at nearby Pyramid Lake date back to 10,000-14,000 BCE, however, so horses could have been around then. Maybe we are looking at a dog, coyote or wolf. Or maybe none-of-the-above.
Here we have a much more recent petroglyph from Canyon de Chelly showing Navajo hunters in pursuit of a deer. Note how light the petroglyphs are in comparison to Grimes Point.
I’ll close my coverage of Grimes Point with another pit covered rock. We can only wonder why.

I’ve enjoyed sharing petroglyphs with you. I can guarantee there will be more if for no other reason than the fact that Peggy and I enjoy them and are always searching for new sites. There are thousands throughout the Western United States. I can’t resist a few more from the Petrified Wood National Park and Canyon de Chelly National Monument.

This interesting collection of petroglyphs is from Canyon de Chelly. Check out the top. You’ve heard of having your ducks in a row? So, apparently, did the early Americans…
But how about having your turkeys in a row? These are pictographs at Canyon de Chelly, painted instead of pecked. The figure on the far right is Kokopelli playing his flute.
The ‘newspaper rock’ in Petrified Wood National Park is one of my favorites. Check out the figure to the right of the nudes. Could it be? Is it possible…
Yes! It’s Wile-e-Coyote! That does it for the day. Grin.

NEXT POST: I’ll take you on a visit to Crater Lake National Park.

A Bit of Humor Among the Rocks… The Petroglyphs of Three Rivers

Who would have ever thought that we would find a cow on a pedestal giving us ‘the look’ at the Three Rivers petroglyph site in New Mexico! Wait, there weren’t any cattle in North America when this petroglyph was made and the ‘cow’ isn’t standing on a pedestal, it is standing on its tail. And a big tail it is!

My blogging friend Cindy Knoke, who also likes petroglyphs, commented on my Sego Canyon post that it is “fun to try and interpret” rock art. And she’s right. Rock art can range from being a few hundred to several thousands of years old. The best we can do is make educated guesses about what the petroglyphs mean— and this, in turn, gives us a lot of room to use our imagination. Today I am going to take even more liberties in my interpretation and go looking for humor among the rocks. Hopefully the shamans won’t zap me.

I know that some of you are punctuation geeks. Obviously, I’m not. But I depend on Peggy to catch some of my more glaring errors. For example, I am constantly adding an apostrophe to “its” when none is needed. I know the difference, but apparently my fingers don’t. I ask all of you, however, do you think an apostrophe is required here?
I had to look twice, and maybe even three times. These shamans have created an imaginary bus for their journey into the other world— and imaginary seats.
This woman (or girl) is having a bad hair day. “I recognize that, ” Peggy says.
Speaking of having a bad day, I’d say that this Bighorn sheep qualifies. And that’s definitely a ‘why me’ expression on its face.
The problem for the guy with arrows is minimal comparison to this fellow who had turned around to see why his front legs are missing and discovered a badger draped across his body eating his back legs as well. The expression here is more like ‘What the…!”
The only solution is to get out while the getting is good, as fast as you can.
If you think your life is complicated… The rabbit is keeping its distance while the stick figures throw up their hands in dismay. Meanwhile a lizard uses its laser eyes to avoid the confusion. Don’t you just hate it when your day starts like this one.
A sure sign that big foot was here.
Bigfoot’s big feet.
Lest there be any doubt, a really big Bigfoot. The turkey can only look on with awe. But just how big ?
Cat Woman has an idea. And check out her expression.
I kid you not. And I certainly wouldn’t pull your tail. Ouch!
Okay, it appears that this frog has learned how to juggle. But sitting on a pointy thing while juggling? It brings the art form to a whole new level! Forget your flagpole sitters. This is the real thing.
It seems like Kilroy was here. With that thought, I’ll conclude today’s post.

WEDNESDAY’S POST: I have been working on my backpacking book, “It’s Five AM and a Bear Is Standing on Me.” I’m to the point now where I am writing the section on the 750 mile backpack trip I did two summers ago down the PCT to celebrate my 75th birthday. I’ve been going through my photos of the journey for inspiration and as a reminder. I decided it would be fun to rerun some of the photos in categories: trees, flowers, rocks, streams and lakes, etc. The should keep us busy for a few Wednesdays.

FRIDAY’S POST: I’ll do a wrap on Three Rivers Petroglyph National Recreation Area.