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Snow Day in the Swell

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Bright and early Saturday morning, Amanda and I got up and headed west to the San Rafael Swell. We knew it was probably going to snow on us, but we didn’t realize just how much it was going to snow and for how long. We were meeting our friend Dave at the Rochester Creek Panel at 8:30am, and I gave us what I thought was plenty of time to get there. Unfortunately, once we reached the San Rafael Reef, we hit the snow. The interstate was covered, so driving was slower than I had planned. We finally made it to the Rochester Panel shortly after 9am, and I was expecting to find Dave waiting for us. However, he ended up arriving about 20 minutes later because he got stuck driving slow in the snow much longer than we had since he was coming from the Salt Lake area.

After he arrived we hiked to the Rochester Creek Panel in the snow. I pulled my camera out to take some photos, but after a few minutes it was completely soaked, so I put it away and didn’t really get any good photos there on this trip. When we returned back to the Jeep I grabbed my S90 point and shoot camera and used that for the remainder of the trip.

Snow Grill by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Our next stop was a visit to the petroglyphs along the Moore Cutoff Road near the Molen Reef.

Our Jeeps by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Snow Snake by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Petroglyph Boulder in the Snow by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Snow Snake / High Contrast by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

This is an interesting petroglyph on a nearby boulder that we found.

The Circle by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The Molen Reef towers above the large snake petroglyph in the snowstorm.

Snake in a Snowstorm by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After finishing up there we bashed through the snow up into Short Canyon and then hiked the rest of the way. The snow was about 5-6″ deep at this point and had not let up on us once. We got soaked, but it was still a lot of fun…especially scrambling up to the rock art!

Dave up on the ledge at the first panel we visited.

Dave by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Wavy Arms Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

This guy was one of my favorite pictographs we visited all day.

Wavy Arms Guy by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Horned Bulls-Eye by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I have no clue what this thing is, but it is pretty cool and interesting.

Legged-Square with a Dot by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A lot of pictographs and petroglyphs found at this site. This is just one of the panels located here.

Short Canyon Pictographs & Petroglyphs by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A look up at the last panel we found in the canyon this trip.

Last Short Canyon Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Short Canyon Anthropomorph by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Looking through a small arch nearby.

Through the Arch by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We visited this panel on our way back to the Jeeps. It’s pretty well preserved.

Red Sheep Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Red Sheep by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After finishing up in Short Canyon we made our way back to the main road Along the way I found a nice white patch of snow that had no grass or trees sticking up out of it so that I could take this photo, which I think turned out pretty cool.

WhiteOut by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We tried to find one more pictograph panel before calling it quits for the day, but we were turned around by a steep and slick road and it was starting to get late. We will have to return when the weather is better.

>> Snow Day in the Swell Photo Gallery

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