Hey now, howdy..Well, it turned into a petroglyph sort of weekend in Southern Utah. When I was at the Wolfman Petroglyph Panel down in Bluff, the day before, a couple came down off the rim to check out the panel too. We were admiring the fine petroglyphs, and I mentioned that I was heading up to Moab later that day. They told me to check out the petros just off of Hwy 191 in Moab..pretty cryptic directions, but I filed the thought, and on Sunday, I only had one appointment, so after that was done, I decided to try to locate the Courthouse Wash Petroglyph & Pictograph Panel (on the list of National Historic Sites, but I hadn't heard of it before). I visited Serena Supplee, the wonderful Moab artist who I rep for, and asked her about this panel, and she sort of told me how to go..it took some doing on a really hot day, but I finally found the site with Serena's phone help. You've got to hike up the slickrock, until you get to a series of cairns leading you to the glyphs, located within Arches National Park. There's a large panel about 19 feet high by 52 feet long..ghost-like pictographs fading into the sandstone canvas..multi-hued pictographs, and Anasazi petroglyphs.. "You will see large painted ghost-like illustrations typical of the Barrier Canyon Style Archaic figures on the red-orange surface. The numerous figures include human forms, bighorn sheep, shields, scorpion-like illustrations, possible dogs, a long-beaked bird and abstract elements. You can see evidence of painted multi-colored figures superimposed on other pictographs. On the desert varnish surface you will see human and animal-like figures as well as abstract forms. This site is on the National Register of Historic Places because of its representation of a Barrier Canyon Style rock art panel." (quotes from US Interior Dept website). It was exhirarating to climb up & see the panel, and the great views of the Moab valley down below, the Mighty Colorado rolling past, the cliffs leading out to Potash & Canyonlands, the EVIL ATLAS URANIUM TAILINGS (it's going to cost us taxpayers lots of bucks to move the contaminated waste away from the Colorado River, where it threatens the drinking water of millions of folks downstream..anybody care for a sip of Uranium Water? It glows! I didn't think so. The Courthouse Wash Petroglyph Panel was heavily vandalized back in 1980 (I think?), and the damage is quite evident, and sad to see. It is so cool to find one of these special places, and to see somebody's initials carved into the sandstone is a bummer.The pictographs were probably done at different times, as there are single tone, as well as multi-hued glyphs. After leaving Courthouse Wash, I headed over to Matrimony Springs to fill up the water bottles, and then headed out to one of my favorite Moab-area hikes, up in Negro Bill Canyon, past the creek, looking out for poison ivy, and checking out all the great rock formations in this beautiful canyon. About a mile in, I started hearing thunderclaps echoing off of the sandstone walls, and a stiff , cool breeze came through, and it felt like a monsoon was about to hit..this kept up for a few minutes, and since I didn't have anything to protect my camera if it started raining, I decided to bag the two more miles to the end of the canyon, and the stately Morning Glory Arch that awaits you at the terminus, and I headed back out to the trailhead (as it turned out, the wind & thunder was just a tease, and it never rained, so I missed out on Morning Glory on this trip. I highly recommend this hike if you're ever up in Moab. It's not too strenuous, and there's a big payoff when you get to Morning Glory! It's 243 feet long, and thought to be the 6th longest land bridge in the US. There's lots of vegetation on this hike, and gorgeous scenery all the way! So, come on in & check out the second part of Petroglyph Weekend. Enjoy, Peace, joel, comments always welcome..email@example.com..all images copyright 2,008 by Joel Tarantal
P.S. A big shout out to Bob & Pam, and Greg & Laura & Serena for helping to make my time in Moab a peak experience! Woohoo. I'm nuts for MOAB!