Sunday, December 30, 2018

New Obsession: Waterglyphs

Double glyph that I found in Kanab, UT

There's a new type of petroglyph that I'm currently obsessed with 😁. These very distinct rock carvings are seen around the Arizona Strip region of the northern Southwest. And here in Kanab where I live, there's a whole bunch of them -- and I'm on a quest to find them all. ALL

So what ARE these glyphs, exactly? The locals call them water glyphs, because often they are found on rock outcroppings at the tops of mesas either pointing to or overlooking a water source. But, after finding a bunch of them, I'm not so sure that they have anything to do with water. I mean, why would Native Americans (research by Michael Louis Terlep in a 2012 thesis concluded that these petroglyphs date between the Basketmaker II and Pueblo II periods - 500 BC-1150 AD) need to carve into a rock to indicate water? Water is either seen easily from the glyph, or nearby and not hard to find.

Stumbled on this one during one of my trail runs 👍
The more proper name for these glyphs are "cup and channel". As noted in Terlep's thesis, "Cup and channel petroglyphs generally consist of several deeply pecked elements: a large circular or oval element measuring 35 cm to 75 cm in diameter; a narrow linear element, measuring from 2 to 5 cm wide, that spans the diameter of the circle; a wider exterior linear element, measuring from 10 cm to 150 cm long, by 6 cm to 10 cm wide, and up to 6 cm deep, continuing from the end of the interior line and circle; and one to four cupules measuring 3 cm to 7 cm in diameter."

Another cool one hangin' off the side of a rock - found on a trail run

The kiddos helped me find this RAD rad rock

I'm excited to find more of these fascinating petroglyphs. Keep following me to how I do :) And, what do YOU think they mean?

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Sand Hill Crack: Steep and sandy and rock-arty

Human centipede weirdness
Finding new rock art sites makes me happy. Today my friend Jen (who's just as obsessed w/ rock art -- maybe more -- than me) said she knew of a place that had some amazing panels and thought we could easily hike to them in a winter's day. The sun was shining and getting to the start of the hike took some off-roading (right off highway 89A in AZ) but the trusty jeep easily got us to the remains of an old ranch which is where we started our trek.

Looking through

Starting point
The first mile was pretty chill -- we had loose directions but knew that our ultimate goal was getting to the top of the Vermilion Cliffs -- and by foot there is pretty much only one way directly up: via the sand hill crack. We also knew it would get steep and sandy -- so we looked for an obvious sandy uphill route. Burning glutes. BURN!

trail pooch, andy :)

On the trail (I think?)
We saw the sand hill looming in front of us --- and the crack. The petroglyphs are on the left and right of the crack, inside the crack as you go up, and I think there's probably even some more going down the other side (we didn't get to those on this day --- but I'll be back!)

So enjoy this collection of super rad rock art -- :)

walk like an Egyptian guy

Lizard dude

There were so many different types of drawings here. Many were super faded but totally awesome. Check this out:

These dudes might have been my favorite (besides human centipede :)
Alright -- that's all for now. Onward to the next adventure!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Santa Clara River Reserve: My favorite rock art site in southern Utah

Mars Man
One of my FAV rock art sites in southern Utah is super accessible and completely amazing. Every time I visit the Santa Clara River Reserve (in Ivins, UT) I discover more and more art --- and every time I find myself asking "how did I miss this last time?!" :)

foot prints
The name of the trail is the Tempi'po'op Trail (fun to say!!) and is listed as "moderate". Both of my kids (under age 10 when we first hiked this trail) had no trouble at all. It's just over a mile to get to the rock art and once at the top of the trail you will see hundreds of petroglyphs on practically every rock! (looking for directions to the trail head? Click here.)

Harry tagged along with me on my last trip to the glyphs. We had so much fun, climbing up an over rocks, through cracks, and over mountains. I love spending time outside, exploring and finding treasures of the past. We like to make up stories about the drawings -- what they must have been thinking or how the landscape may have looked different.

After our exploration gig, we hit up Menchi's and Costco OBVS :)

I love you, Tempi'po'op! Thanks for another fun day.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Brain Rocks and Petroglyphs

After nearly 14 years living in Kanab, UT, I thought we've seen most of the most magnificent, weird, and magical of landscapes -- until this past weekend. I was researching some petroglyphs online and happened upon this wacky looking lunar landscape just a short drive east. We didn't have specifics. But I had a good hunch about where I wanted to explore.

The boys on brain rocks :)

I saw pictures online with some very vague directions that hinted to the location of these magnificent etchings. Going on intuition, and looking high and low (mostly high!!) we FOUND THEM!

SO HAPPY that I spied these big boys way up high!

How many glyphs can you spy?

Taking a little rest ;-)

A very happy Swagger in the middle of NOWHERE!

I love you, solitude.

This area is my new favorite secret spot. My lips are sealed :)

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Good-bye, Mack.

Mack -- aka The Scrunt, Mr. Mack, Mackie Mack, Mack Attack -- passed away on Friday night. It seems unreal. Just a week ago we were hiking around the cliffs of Kanab looking for arrowheads together. And tonight he is gone. We miss you, Mackie. We'll love you always.

Born as a stray in the wild west, Mack was troublemaker from the start. He was found by tourists driving through Monument Valley, Utah. He was a scrappy little rez mutt, no more than 8 weeks old. They stopped to ask a tribal member about the pup, who said he was chasing them on horse, and they should take him. The couple took him to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, as they could not keep him, and so begins his story.

It was 2005 and Steve and I had recently moved to Kanab, UT to work for Best Friends. Best Friends was still a tiny animal welfare organization -- but that would change. Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and we were thrust into National news for the work we did saving animals during and after the storm. As part of the efforts to help animals, foster families were in desperate need to care for all the displaced pets. We became foster parents to a tiny 4 lb yorkie named Yoda.

I fell in love with this little squirt, but as fate would have it (and very happily so!) his family was found and so we had to say good-bye. I was heart-broken. It was bittersweet.

This is the same time that Mack arrived at Best Friends.

Knowing that I was mourning my loss, adoption specialist Kristi seized on the opportunity. I remember the convo going something like this "hey, we have this new terrier that just arrived. I know you're really sad about Yoda. I think you'd really like him. Are you up to fostering him?"

In my mind I was picturing another 4 lb designer dog, specifically one that I could carry around in my purse, go to coffee shops and basically be the Paris Hilton of Kanab. "OK!!" I said. "When can I meet him?!"

I drove up to the Sanctuary and let the staff know i was there to meet "Mack". I went around to the back of Dogtown Headquarters, and there in a crate was a wiry, scrappy tank of a puppy. He was NOT happy. He had a drastic underbite and looked like he was somewhere between being really happy or possibly quite annoyed. If he could talk I'm sure he would have been cusssing and demanding he be LET OUT.

I drove home and told him he was safe -- he'd have a big ol' yard and a brother dog (Gandalf) and sister (Tae). He did not seem impressed. What was this crap about brothers and sisters?

First impressions -- not so good. This little 8 week old puppy decided he was now the boss. Our husky, Gandalf, was found cowering in a corner. Tae was not impressed. Mack growled and snarled. I told Steve "I do not like this dog."

Steve, always the voice of reason, said "he is a baby. he's been through a lot. He is scared. Let's give him time."

That night he slept like a rock. he woke up and was a little bit less grumpy. He ate like a champ. He decided this was a pretty nice life.

A couple weeks passed and it was time to get his pic up on "petfinder". Ok good -- I thought. This is good.

The second I saw his scrappy little mug up on the website, I broke into tears. "WE HAVE TO KEEP HIM. I CAN'T LET HIM GO." And so, that very day, he became Mack Williams.

Over the years there has been a few consistent traits about Mack. 1.) He HATED gandalf (and generally any dog that had wolf-like qualities -- except Flora). 2.) He LOVED people. He wanted nothing more than to be with his people. 3.) He was fiercely loyal. He NEVER strayed on hikes. NEVER. "oh, see that bunny? I didnt.. I'm staying right here with you, my people!" 4.) He was WHATEV about cats -- but cats LOVED Mack. ha! why? we still dont know.

When I birthed out human children, Mack was ecstatic! "more people!!!!" yes! he loved his boys. He made them laugh when they were tiny tiny babies. He protected them from that big ol' wolf, Gandalf. And they loved him back.

Over the years, Mack never changed much. If he was upset, you knew it :) He looked just like Stripe from Gremlins. It was funny and terrifying. When he was happy? He looked like a grateful dead bear. He was the dog that would come with us everywhere, because he could be trusted to stay right by our side. He never strayed.

A couple years ago when Gandalf suddenly died and our family was thrown into utter depression, Mack gloated. It was Grateful Dead bear 24/7. He was SO happy, that little shit. Seriously, SO HAPPY. It was maddening.

Then, a month later, we acquired Swagger. :)

Oh, that was not a joyous day. Mack was SO MAD. He didnt even pretend to be OK with it. He snarled, grumbled, growled. But, after a while he was "OK". He learned to deal.

As it happens with life, time goes by, kids get bigger, life gets busier. Mack was always our "GO TO" dog for any adventure. He was dependable. We loved to give him special MACK time -- one on one w/ his family --- time to be spoiled and let him know he was DA MAN. He was so predictable!

Last week Mack started to cough. A LOT. He just didn't seem like Mack. He was sluggish. He seemed a little out of it. We got him an appointment w/ the vet and it was discovered he was in the late stages of lung cancer. We were stunned.

We decided that we'd do whatever it took to  make sure that no matter how long he had on Earth - we'd make it count.

It's crazy to think that the diagnosis wasn't even a week ago. And here I am tonight -- writing this tribute to my best friend. Mack lived his life fully -- and with so much love and emotion. He was fiercely loyal to his human family.

This weekend has been a blur of memories and tears -- we'll never have another Mack. Mackie, we love you. I hope you are somewhere over the rainbow, causing trouble and scrunting around. You'll always be remembered as the little gremlin with the biggest heart. I wish we could have more time with you, buddy.

Love alway, mom, dad, Harry and JJ xoxo