Friday, June 16, 2006

I have always felt a pull to the west and all things that make it what it is. Petroglyphs and Pictographs are one of the things that fascinate me about the wide open spaces out there. While on my way home from a trip from California, I found a remote little canyon that has hundreds, even thousands of these images on rocks dating from 7000 BC to this century! I was in heaven there! I had only planned to spend a few hours, then head home, but ended up being there all day. Every where I looked was a new image, a new look into the past.

It is rumored that Butch and Sundance used to hang out in this canyon when their trail was hot, including many other lawbreakers. You can even see the inscribing of cavalry men and their units written on the red rocks. They live through these written reminders. This is probably a ranch hand that worked cattle through this canyon. You can even see full shifts of cowboys that passed through here, leaving their mark. This canyon
vibrates with our past and history.

As I look at these images, I wonder, what were they trying to tell us? What message were they trying to relay. It is very easy to romantasize these carvings, what if they meant no more than the gang markings on the underpass on Hoover Blvd in Downtown LA? Who knows? I prefer to think that they just wanted us to remember them as they watched themselves become extinct. A simple gesture that says, I am, I was.

These are Pictographs, images painted on stone. Petroglyphs are pecked into the stone. As I sat in front of these, I had to think to myself if these people used these images as representations of their Gods, or maybe something else. Bear with me for a minute...Don't they look like what we draw as aliens today? Big heads, large eyes, slender bodies and appendages...just a silly thought. Any way you look at it, this amazing stuff. I understand the rush that archaeologists get when they see ancient writings and discover tombs never seen before. Even though I am one of thousands to see these amazing writings, standing in front of them, I feel like I am the first one there! Treasure these writings and records, and preserve them. So many are so defaced, that they are unreadable...that is a shame. Just because they felt the need for graffiti, does not mean that we need to write over them. Respect their history.

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