Dec 26 2012

After Thanksgiving Swell Trip

San Rafael Swell Rock Art X
Black Friday & Saturday, November 23-24, 2012

The Original Trip Report on ADVENTR.CO

After spending most of Thanksgiving Day at home it was time to get back out exploring again. Normally I take at least a few trips throughout the year to the San Rafael Swell, but I guess I was too preoccupied with the Paria Plateau this year since I still hadn’t made it out there. I decided it was time to at least make one trip out to the Swell this year, so that’s where I headed. I left well before sunrise on on Black Friday and was still surprised to see so many cars park at the mall that early as I drove out of town. I still can’t imagine getting up that early to try and get a deal among a large crowd of people, I’d rather spend my morning catching a sunrise in the desert. I spent the daylight hours of Friday and Saturday exploring, hiking and photographing rock art sites. I revisited a few sites and searched for some new ones. I spent the night at a hotel in Green River so I didn’t have to drive all the way back home on Friday night. Though many of the sites I visited were in the San Rafael Swell, I also made a side trip or two into the Book Cliffs and other areas outside the Swell. Here’s a few photos from my two days of exploring…

One of the new sites I visited this trip was the petroglyph panel near Mussentuchit Flats. When I first arrived, most of the panel was in direct sunlight, except for this narrow section, which happened to be one of the more interesting parts. As soon as the sunlight struck this section, it was almost impossible to see these figures.


Mussentuchit by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The fading Butch ‘Casady’ inscription under a shallow overhang.


Butch Casady by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Cracked mud in the early morning light.


Cracks by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I’ve searched for this Barrier Canyon Style figure before without success, so I was happy to come across it this time.


Top Half by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Faded red pictographs and handprints.


Three Hands by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Faded petroglyphs and red pictographs.


Faded by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A nice Barrier Canyon Style pictograph panel that I missed on a previous visit. Glad I was able to find it this time.


Inventory Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Pictographs above water, an uncommon sight.


Reflection by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A beautiful Fremont panel in the warm afternoon light.


Rainbow Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
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Dec 17 2012

Devil’s Canyon

Thanksgiving Day | Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Original Trip Report on ADVENTR.CO

On Thanksgiving Day I got out of the house for a few hours and headed over to Devil’s Canyon for a nice dayhike. One of my friends had tipped me off about the location of a petroglyph in the area, so I decided to try and find it.

I had no problem finding the petroglyph I was looking for.


Round Man by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Here’s a wider view showing the damage that was caused when someone tried to steal this petroglyph in the past. Thankfully they were not successful, though they left a scar that will never go away.


Damage by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After finding the petroglyph I hiked the loop trail up Devil’s Canyon.


Devil’s Canyon by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Near the far end of the loop there is an old cabin.


Devil’s Cabin by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

What a nice view from inside.


Dirty Window by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Inside the old cabin.


Inside the Cabin by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After finishing my short hike I made it back home just in time for some Thanksgiving dinner. It was nice to get outside for a few hours.

>> Devil’s Canyon Photo Gallery


Nov 18 2012

Along the Dolores

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Original Trip Report on ADVENTR.CO

It was one of those days that I just needed to get out hiking and exploring by myself, so that’s what I set out to do. Last year around Christmas I had planned to hike along the Dolores River near Bedrock but got a severe headache on the drive there and had to turn around and head back home. I hadn’t made it back that way yet, so I thought it would be a good time to try again. After leaving home and driving through Unaweep Canyon to Gateway, I then followed the Dolores River to Paradox Valley and turned off at the dead-end road by the Bedrock store to the boat ramp. One day soon I want to float the Dolores River from the Big Gypsum Valley to Bedrock and wanted to check out the takeout. After leaving the boat ramp the road I was on got a bit rougher, but I managed to drive a little ways further until I reached and area that was completely washed out. I parked my Jeep there and continued along the river on foot. The hike was easy and for the most part since it followed an old road that hadn’t been drivable in quite some time. After a few miles I reached a few boulders with petroglyphs on them that I had hoped to find.

On the back of the main boulder there were a few faint bear paw petroglyphs next to some nice lichen.


Bear Paws by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The front of the main boulder had a bunch of faded petroglyphs that have been vandalized over the years.


Petroglyphs & Graffiti by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Triangle body with big hands.


Long Arms by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Two more paw prints.


Prints by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After checking out the petroglyphs and thoroughly searching other boulders in the area for more, I continued my hike along the Dolores to it’s confluence with La Sal Creek.

Look closely and you can see a reflection of the canyon towering above.


Dolores Reflection by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

When I reached La Sal Creek I searched the area for rock art and tried to continue my hike up along the creek. At first there was a faint trail through the thick brush, but it soon disappeared. I was faced with the decision to either bushwhack my way up the canyon or turn around and head back. I wasn’t really feeling like bushwhacking at this time, so I turned back.

On my way back I decided to check a few more boulder for petroglyphs, and I’m glad I did. I ended up finding this large boulder with a layer that looked like petrified mud which had small tracks all over it. If you look closely at the photo below you will see at least nine of these tracks. From what little online research I have done, it appears that these are possibly small dinosaur tracks.


Circle of Tracks by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I’ve seen plenty of dinosaur tracks in sandstone before, but what was really unique about this site to me is that some of the tracks were still filled with the layer of sandstone that was deposited over them and helped preserve them. This is something I have not seen before, and it helps me really visualize the process in which these tracks were preserved and then revealed again. The photo below shows this well, and I have included my hand for some scale.


Track Size by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Hiking back along the old road towards my Jeep and Paradox Valley in the distance.


Old Road Hiking by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
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Oct 30 2012

Alstrom Point to Johns Canyon

Arizona Strip & Southern Utah Wanderings | Day 5
Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Original Trip Report on ADVENTR.CO

On Wednesday morning, after a great night sleeping under the stars on Alstrom Point, we woke up just as dawn was starting to break. I rolled out of my sleeping bag, grabbed my camera and walked a few feet to the edge of the cliff overlooking Lake Powell. Looking towards the sky to the east I had a feeling that there was going to be a great sunrise.

My campsite for the night as the sky begins to light up. I’ve had a lot of questions about my tentcot in the past, and another great feature of it is that I can use it as just a regular cot, too.


Morning View by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Lake Powell and the cliffs in the distance as the sky above turns pink.


Warm & Cool by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Right before the sun came up, the sky exploded with color! One of the best sunrises I have witnessed.


Alstrom Point Sunrise by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Of course I had to get a sunburst as the sun came up to the right of Navajo Mountain.


Lake Powell Sunburst by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A view of our camp after the sun was up.


Alstrom Point Camp by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Jared in the distance…probably taking a photo of me…


Jared Sunrise by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Nice warm light striking my Jeep.


Jeep Sunrise by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
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Jul 2 2012

Shavano Valley Petroglyph Park

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Original Trip Report on ADVENTR.CO

On Saturday I was invited by my friend Greg to visit the Shavano Valley Petroglyph Park near Montrose. I’ve been wanting to visit this site for quite a while, but never got around to getting permission to go, so I jumped at the opportunity. Amanda and I planned to head back up into the San Juan Mountains again this weekend, so it worked out perfectly since we would be driving through Montrose on our way. We left Grand Junction very early so we could meet Greg at the park around sunrise. We ended up spending a few hours searching the cliff faces for petroglyphs and taking photos. Here are a few photos of the petroglyphs…

Our favorite petroglyphs at the site were at the Bear Dance Panel.


Ute Bear Dance by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A closer look at the bear climbing a tree petroglyph. Very unique and cool!


Bear in a Tree by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

This was another large panel of petroglyphs next to the Bear Dance Panel.


Big Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

There were a few petroglyphs of footprints in the area.


Feet by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A faded panel with what appears to be a handprint petroglyph with six fingers.


Faded by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

This interesting panel was sheltered under an overhang. A nice setting for some petroglyphs.


Sheltered Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

These petroglyphs were found high above another large panel.


Up High by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

There were also a few historic inscriptions found here. These were the two oldest ones I saw.


Edwin Gravestock by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr


Joe Harrison by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Here’s another look at a bear petroglyph from the Bear Panel.


Bear Without a Tree by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

This panel was also located right next to the Bear Dance petroglyphs.


Prints by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

These two petroglyphs were found alone away from the other large panels.


Shavano High Panel by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Before we left the park and headed up into the mountains, we stopped at this horse petroglyph hidden among some lichen covered rocks.


Shavano Horse by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We had a nice morning photographing the petroglyphs before it started to get hot out!

>> Shavano Valley Petroglyph Park Photo Gallery