Memorial Day Weekend
Sunday, May 29, 2011
After a very windy night, I was up early and on my way south down the Comb Wash Road. I crossed through the Comb on US 163 and drove to the trailhead for Lower Butler Wash. I descended down the old wagon road on foot and made my way towards the San Juan River through the thick vegetation. Once I neared the river, I started to come across some rock art.
At the first large alcove I explored I found this unique petroglyph. I’m not sure what it might represent…any ideas?
This ‘lizard-like’ stick figure was nearby, too.
Once I reached the mouth of Butler Wash along the San Juan River I came across a bunch of petroglyphs. Many of them were hard to see, like this panel.
A rider and bighorn above the San Juan River.
Here’s one of the larger basketmaker-style anthropomorphs. Even though it’s still hard to make out, it’s a pretty cool petroglyph and it appears there is a smaller figure on it’s shoulder.
Here’s a couple of riders that are standing up on the backs of the animals.
Just a triangle-shaped anthropomorph with a small head.
Another very abstract figure that has a stick-figure person within.
While I was searching the area for rock art the wind had really started to pick up. I especially noticed it as I hiked out of the canyon on the old wagon road. Once back at the Jeep I crossed the highway again so that I could visit the Wolfman Panel since it has been a few years since I was there last.
Looking up at a portion of the Wolfman Panel.
This portion of the panel is to the left of the section pictured above. There are a number of petroglyphs spread out here including a cool shield-like figure and one that might represent some kind of mask.
While this figure most likely doesn’t represent a ‘wolfman’ since large hands and feet are common in basketmaker petroglyphs, it certainly looks like one to me!
After visiting the Wolfman Panel I crossed the canyon and climbed up to the ruins on the other side. There was plenty more faint rock art to be found here, too.
The wind was really blowing and kicking up a lot of dust throughout the hike, but I just had to go search out one more petroglyph that I was hoping to find this weekend…
At last! I finally made it to the Big Crane petroglyph. It’s an amazing petroglyph and has been quickly added to my favorites list!
After finding the Big Crane and getting thoroughly sandblasted, I was beginning to get a little tired of the wind. I decided to head to the Twin Rocks Cafe in Bluff for some lunch (and to get out of the wind) and then I would decide what to do. After my burger was gone I decided that I would visit a few more rock art sites and then head back to camp so I could pack up and head home a day early.
Here’s a panel I wasn’t expecting and spotted just off the road near Bluff on a large boulder.
I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to stop by the petroglyphs at Sand Island since I was nearby. I seem to visit this panel at least once a year. The masks in this section remind me of The Green Mask I visited in April.
A sheep playing the flute at Sand Island.
When I finished up at Sand Island I headed back through Comb Ridge and up Comb Wash again. The wind was really picking up the dust.
Even though I ended up going home a day earlier than I had planned, I still managed to have a great weekend. On Memorial Day I even managed to catch up on some much needed rest and relaxation for a change!