We did not travel fast today. Salt Creek Canyon in Canyonlands National Park has a surprise around every corner and we had a hard time not checking out every side canyon and cliff for rock art and ruins.
I am not going to post pictures here of many of the pictographs and dwellings based on the Park Service’s request but for anyone considering hiking here it is a special place. There is much to be seen for those who are curious. The hiking is not hard and permits can be obtained up to 4 months in advance from the Canyonlands National Park website. I do have to say that we were blown away by the All American Man panel which is easy to find and listed on topo maps, in books and on line. The navy blue color in it is so unusual. What did they use in the paint to create this color? Because I am a geologist by training I can usually look at different colors in rock paintings and can attribute the color to a mineral or rock that could have been used in the paint. This color is an unusual navy blue which makes me think it has plant material mixed in it to make the color.
I can see why for a long time it was hotly debated whether the All American Man panel was a hoax created by cowboys in the 19th century or created by the Ancestral Puebloans. The debate was put to rest in the early 1990s when it was radio-carbon dated to the 14th century. Yes, it is an authentic Native American panel.
In addition to the pictographs and dwellings, there are several places where there are waterfalls and flowing water. Somehow this always feels more special in the desert where water is more precious than gold.
I plan to get to bed early tonight (it is easy out here!) as we have a long day ahead of us tomorrow. We are planing to hike 18 miles going up in elevation from 5900 feet to 8600 feet. We will be crossing Beef Basin and are headed to Big Spring which is our next water source. The weather is windy and cloudy and tomorrow it is supposed to rain and get colder. Yikes we may be in snow again.