Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Change In Plans

Our original plans for Utah included several days at a remote campsite in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. To be more specific, we were going to stay at back country site called "Horsehoof" (of all things). The problem was that the site is situated deep within the back country and requires that you either hike in (we weren't prepared for that) or traverse a rather serious 4wd trail known as "Elephant Hill" to get there. Our intentions were good, but one look at the weather report (forecast was for rain) and a good, long look at the first section of the trail sent us looking for, well, shall we say, less cumbersome adventures.

I had planned to spend my time there in relative seclusion (few tourists visit due to the difficult access) photographing in an area of the back country known as "Chesler Park." The place has been described as a photographers paradise, and getting into it will be at the top of my list next time I visit, even if I should have to hike in. But as we surveyed our situation at the gates to Elephant Hill (arriving in the park with only a few hours before sunset didn't help) we all decided that it was best to head back to Moab and Negro Bill, where we couldn't get rained-in if the weather turned foul.

So a new plan was hatched. One that would keep us safe regardless of the weather and allow to spend more time in Arches National Park than we had originally planned. On the way out of the Needles section we stopped at a site known as "Newspaper Rock." Hundreds of years of signs and symbols have been pecked into the patina of the cliff walls here, and no one has any good idea of what the symbols mean, when they were created, or even exactly who left them.

The first of today's pics was literally taken roadside as we were leaving the Park. The second shot is from NR, and it's one you wont see in the guidebooks. It was taken to the left of the main panel as I was trying to show the whole environment rather that just the rock art.

Next stop, Arches NP.


pnfphotography said...

Amazing images and what a place to visit !! Your entire story was wonderful to read about and just goes to show sometimes when plans change it all is for the better. Fabulous place to visit for sure

pnfphotography said...

ohhh...outstanding images as well picture post card worthy!!!

Ted Byrne said...

Once upon a recent time in Sedona, I came up with nothing! Nada! Zilch.... It seemed so easy to just point in any direction and of course the images would dance, jiggle, wriggle, and whoooooopie! None of mine did. All of yours are... d,j,w &w-ing. it is bummer making. Um, of course I am happy for you. Reeeely happy and all that... yeah. Happy. Grumble.

Seriously, this is terrific work. A learning experience. But the second in this series has me especially fascinated. Andreas Menessinger and I have gone around about graffiti images. I'm of the opinion that they are the self-indulgent dropings of brats. I asked him recently if he thought that the incidence of graf in the past couple of decades is an indication of a collapse in parenting or the availability of cheap, small, spray paint.

And then there is your image of ancient graffiti. Now I've got, I suppose, to rethink this whole thing. At dinner tonight I discussed both this image and Andreas's with friends along with my brat theory. One woman wondered how my ideas squared with the hand prints found in ancient French caves.

Perhaps my theory is still a work in progress? Is there something distinctly different in your mind between the etchings you recorded here and the sprayed excretions which Andreas is finding on the sides of Europe's most elegant buildings?

Or was parenting a problem to the Anasazi?

Hmmmm... Inquiring minds want to know....


advman said...

Do you know that Napoleon's soldiers left graffiti in Egyptian pyramids? But there are much older things as well. Have a look at Wikipedia for a long list of examples, and for everything about the shady role that Philadelphia, Pennsylvania played for modern graffiti :))

Why it is so prevalent today? Of course it is cheap, small, spray paint. Can you imagine kids walking around with buckets of paint? And how inconvenient it would be, to run away when they're caught?

Btw: here is another link about the history of the aerosol spray.

Ted Byrne said...

This site is too quiet. The rabble is starting to chant... The crowd is growing surly. We need a McMurma rush! Need... need... need... NEED! Need... need... need... NEED! Need... need... need... NEED! Need... need... need... NEED! Need... need... need... NEED! Need... need... need... NEED! Need... need... need... NEED! Need... need... need... NEED! :)

advman said...

Funny, I just wanted something along these lines, but of course Ted was first again :)