Friday – Sunday, March 14-16, 2014
On Friday morning, Diane and I headed south towards Cedar Mesa in southern Utah to spend a long weekend hiking, camping and searching for some new rock art sites along the way. While the weather was nice during the days it was still a bit cold overnight and in the mornings, especially on Sunday morning when it dropped down to the low 20’s when we woke up around sunrise. Friday was a little breezy with nice clouds in the sky but Saturday was very windy. We got sand-blasted on Saturday pretty good while searching boulders for petroglyphs in the afternoon. When Sunday arrived the winds had finally calmed down and the skies had cleared. We had a great weekend and managed to find everything we were looking for.
Cedar Mesa hiking at it’s finest.
Just a small panel of petroglyphs we spotted above.
Looking up at the amazing Hunt Panel.
A better view of this panel. I had to climb a tree for this shot…
A view of Cedar Point from the Muley Point overlook.
The wind kicked up quite a bit of dust around Monument Valley in the distance.
There was nice spotted light in the canyon of the San Juan River when we made a quick stop at Goosenecks State Park.
On our way to visit a few well-known petroglyphs.
A quick stop at the small Dotted Man panel right next to the road.
The impressive Duckhead Man.
A lonely desert road…does it get any better?
Duckhead figures and lines of dancers seemed to be the reoccurring theme this weekend.
This was an amazing panel we came across. The evening light and clouds in the sky cooperated, too!
The striped surface of this boulder creates an interesting backdrop for the petroglyph panel.
Searching a jumble of large boulders for scattered petroglyphs.
Following the glow of reflected light through a small passage.
As we were setting up camp for the evening I looked up and couldn’t help but notice the almost-full moon rising above the canyon rim.
Our camp under the winter skeleton of a large cottonwood tree. I’m sure this setting would look even more impressive in the fall.
Evening shadows on the canyon walls as the sun gets ready to set for the day.
Saturday morning brought more exploring through large boulders.
We visited this unique panel known as The Obelisk.
A closer look at the petroglyphs.
We spent much of the very windy afternoon searching for petroglyphs on many large boulders…
…until I finally found the boulder I was looking for: The Tilted Boulder! The interesting thing about this boulder is that the oldest Glen Canyon Style petroglyphs found on it are rotated 90 degrees since it appears the boulder has fallen over since they were originally created. Newer petroglyphs were pecked into the same boulder in it’s new orientation. Very cool!
Here’s a closer look at the older petroglyphs, rotated for easier viewing!
Nice spotlight on Cedar Mesa is created by fast moving clouds in the sky.
Before driving into Bluff for an early dinner at the Twin Rocks Cafe we visited The Dancer Panel.
After dinner we visited Pedestal Ruin before finding a spot to setup camp for the night.
A closer look at the precarious location of this ruin.
Our shadows in the warm evening light.
The full moon makes an appearance over the sandstone as we setup our camp along Butler Wash.
On Sunday morning we started out our day by hiking up to the impressive Fishmouth Cave in Comb Ridge. I had made this hike years ago, but didn’t really remember much about it, so I wanted to refresh my memory and hopefully take some better photos.
We passed a few alcoves containing ruins in this short canyon.
The reflected light was nice when we reached this large alcove filled with ruins.
Besides the unfortunate amount of graffiti in the back of Fishmouth Cave there were a few reverse handprints.
The view out of this massive alcove.
We passed these more recent petroglyphs of a horse and elk on our way back to the highway.
Our next stop was to try and find the Polychrome Shelter, which we did. There were plenty of pictographs in this small alcove.
Hard to see, but there are two green figures painted in the middle of this photo.
A lot of small flute players found here.
We made one last stop at Three Kiva Pueblo before starting our drive home. The light beam was nice!
I’m not sure when or why these moki steps were carved up to this alcove in Montezuma Canyon, but it must have been important for someone to go through all the trouble?
One last quick stop along the Colorado River for a photo of the Fisher Towers.