Saturday, April 23, 2011

Rodman Mountain Petroglyphs Adventure

Back in March my son and I went on an adventure. Actually it was a chance for him to get some driving miles under his belt with his drivers permit...grin
Destination The Rodman Mountains.

View Larger Map
I'm really happy I figured out how to put Google Maps on the blog...grin Put your mouse in the middle of the picture and you can move it. By using the scroll on the mouse you can zoom in or out with the image or use the + or - tabs to zoom.
Geographically These mountains are between Barstow(Newberry Springs) and the Lucerne Valley, in the High Desert of Southern California.

It is a bit of a drive out there but the amazing things you will see will make it worth it.
We got some gas and some water and started heading east. You have to pass through the town of Lucerne Valley and then make a left way down the road and head out into the desert. There is no direct way to get there so we followed a power line road to get to Lucerne. I had the boy stop so I could get a picture of these small flowers that were making a purple carpet on the desert floor.

They are these tiny little flowers. I could barely get and image on my macro setting.

My son doesn't get me at these times. Here he is waiting impatiently in the truck wanting to drive down the road, and I'm laying on the ground taking pictures of tiny
Most of the drive is all graded dirt road. It is well travel by Off Roaders and there Motorhomes.
My son did pretty well, kept a good speed, doesn't white knuckle the steering wheel so much anymore. It was good experience driving on that type of road. At one point you are as far out into the desert trails as you can get then, there is a fork in the road. There is a Freeway direction sign here. You wouldn't see that Freeway for another 2 hours towing a travel trailer loaded with dirt bikes and such.

The other little sign to the right, if you can't read it, says "Cinder Pit 7 Mi."
Cinder Pit here we come. Along the way was this split rock that had paint all over the face.

It is the entrance to a mining operation of some sort. The satellite images show a bunch of holding ponds (dry now) up next to some hills. We went and took a look. Well I took a look my son waited impatiently in the truck waiting for us to go. I would leave the door open and he would move the truck back and forth trying to close it.
At the mine was this old Santa Fe Railroad boxcar. (Great more train
It is riddled with holes. I look at this and think that the National Rifle Association should be in charge of all gun ownership and you can't own one until you know what to shoot at and when to shoot at it. Stupid Idiots!

Maybe it is our failing California school systems, and these idiots can't read. It says Santa Fe on the side, not Shoot Here...sigh
We traveled on down the road and up and over a mountain pass. Heavy Trucks and Equipment travel this road, and you can see what they haul as you come around the bend. A Volcano! Ok a Cinder cone.

What's black on the outside and red in the middle...not mom's pot roast. All the cinder the State of California uses on Icy roads Comes from land forms like this. This desert was volcanically active a couple of hundred thousand years ago. The land scape is dotted with Cinder Cones and Lava Fields like this. You almost get to the gate at the operation there and a 4X4 trail on the right appears.
To the east of this Cone is a Lava Field. It must have been a special place for the Pre-historic man 10 to 15 thousand years ago. They liked chipping images into the basaltic rocks at the edge of the Lava Field.

I can't tell if this is new or not. Knuckleheads once again have to mess things up. It takes a while to chip and image through the desert patina on the rocks. The lighter the image the newer it is.
This is a Petraglyph or more likely a knucklehead glyph.
We finally show up in the area were the heavy concentration of glyphs are.

More Vandalism.

My earlier comments aside. I kind of see a reason to shoot at this sign. At the Bottom, in fine print is says something about the Bureau of Land Management. This part of the government is something of a problem here in the State of California. I understand we should be good stewards of the land and all that but The BLM Has closed off or confiscated a good portion of the Desert so people can't use it. Protecting some fly or something is there usual excuse. Maybe if the idiots with the guns would just shoot at the letters B, L, and M this wouldn't be too bad.
Stupid Idiots! I'm still talking about the BLM here. Not far from this sign the BLM installed a fence/guard rail contraption for reasons that are unclear. This fence thing is made of Aluminum.
My tax dollars at work. Some other form of environmentalist, recyclers, ok, lets call them thieves, have cut away some of the Aluminum. Grrrr.
I have controlled my breathing, 10, 11,12..
Here is a picture of another tiny flower to sooth me.

It is a bit of a climb to get to the area of the Petraglyphs. There is a little gap in the lava flow that water runs through when it rains here. That is where the glyphs start.
This is a very old one. You can see the patina forming over where the image was chipped into the stone.

I wonder what the image is. Is there a story or lesson that was taught by this image.

The sun and heat cause the patina to form so if some of these rocks are shaded they might look newer. Menorah?

They are everywhere, high and low. If you look close you can see where modern sub-humans have scratched the rocks with sharp metal tools...sigh

When the oldest glyphs were laid down on these rocks the Earth was coming out of an Ice Age,
The climate was much different here. Not so much desert, more greener, water more plentiful.
Mammoths wondering around.

grid patterns, weird figures, hash marks, I just don't get it yet.
Some still, are very interesting.

My son Climbed all over the hills looking at things.

I wonder if the grid square looking glyphs are representations of the Lava Field and it is part of a story of how they formed.

These are recognizable.

My son's hand in the
looks creepy.

This one is my favorite.

This next one could be a plant with the roots below.

The Sun, A Star?


Found some Desert flowers.

This is the little cleft we were in. Water ran through here at one time. You can see how it has smoothed the rocks in the stream bed.

Here is my son heading back out for perspective.

We found more on the way out. The Batteries in my camera were fading so I was grabbing images as I found them. This next one is interesting.

We figured this next rock was once up on the hill edge and erosion brought it down covering some of the glyphs.

I do think some intrepid Archeologist finally figured out what some of these grids, lines and boxes really are.

Dumb A-holes...Funny but still I kind of feel this is sacred ground and you should come look but not mess with everything.
My son was antsy to get back in the truck to drive some more. So we hiked back to the truck. The BLM in their infinite wisdom makes you park several hundred yards away, down near the road.
We had a great time and after this road trip he probably had 100 miles behind the wheel all day.

I wouldn't say that this place is spiritual. I never got that feeling while there. During a time when water ran through that cleft I bet it was a rather special place. I bet the Desert Tribes of 150 years ago were still chipping at these rocks.
A few weeks later I took the significant other out to see the glyphs. We took a picnic and walked around some. I took more pictures, but this time there were tons of flowers in bloom so I took pics of those. There were a bunch of these flowers.

The really good ones had this red center to them. It actually started out a dark orange fading to red then almost a purple in the center.

These orange ones with the yellow centers were pretty. but once again they were tiny.
I'm really getting a kick what you can see on the camera's macro setting.

When there is an area with all the same color I try to get down low to see if the color stands out better.

Didn't work so well
This was a great time to be out there. The color was in the desert. Even the color green.
Mostly yellow though.

Then there was this Blue number.

A breeze had started blowing. I waited for several minutes to get this picture.
It is a great area to visit. You would need a high clearance vehicle to get to the glyphs,
but a good truck would make it there. Now if we could just chase of the idiots with the guns, the vandals and the BLM.

1 comment:

  1. My husband and I went out there today with our Jeep to try to find these and walked all over the place from the little "parking" lot since they have the dirt road blocked off. We tried everywhere to find them but couldn't. We suspect that you have to walk down the closed dirt road to find them. If you see this comment and can email me and let me know how to get to them, I'd really appreciate it!