Dec 26 2012

After Thanksgiving Swell Trip

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

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


Dec 17 2012

Devil’s Canyon

Thanksgiving Day | Thursday, November 22, 2012

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


Nov 18 2012

Along the Dolores

Sunday, October 28, 2012

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


Oct 30 2012

Alstrom Point to Johns Canyon

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

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


Jul 2 2012

Shavano Valley Petroglyph Park

Saturday, June 23, 2012

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