I uploaded these pictures a couple of weeks ago, but I’ve hesitated to share them. They’re very nice shots, but they pale in comparison to the subject matter – encountering this panel of finely pecked, richly detailed rock art, previously sight unseen (I had never laid eyes on a photo of the panel or read a description of this place) – was one of the most astonishing moments of my life.
I followed some brown BLM signs that simply said Rock Art, down a long washboarded dirt road that ended abruptly at a canyon. An obvious, ancient footpath cut down canyon, winding between big blocks of brown sandstone, out to a prominatory above two creeks, both running thick and muddy.
When I turned that corner and discovered this arcing rainbow of beastly, humanoid figures, swirling in a mad, mysterious atavistic story, the figures wholly captured me and I sat in their thrall for a long time, until swarming biting gnats drove me away. Rochester is the kind of place that stays with you; I barely slept that night, my ears uncomfortably itchy with bites, the ancient figures still dancing behind my restless eyelids.
So please accept my apologies for posting these and ruining your chance at stumbling upon this place, sight unseen, as I did. I hope that next time you drive by a brown sign that says simply Rock Art, that you make the turn and drive down the washboarded dirt road and park at the end and follow the trail down canyon to where it turns the corner around a big block of sandstone.
Love Rock Art? Me too! Check out some of my previous petroglyph and pictograph posts: Writing on the Wall: Sego Canyon, Utah Petroglyphs, Urban Petroglyphs & Geologic Unrest and Writing on the Wall: Backyard Petroglyphs. I also recently hit two other famous collections at Parowan Gap and Buckhorn Wash.
I hope you all had a fantastic solstice! I celebrated with a hundred other Sun-loving art geeks in the middle of the Utah desert at an art installation called the Sun Tunnels, which line up with the sunset and sunrise on the longest and shortest days of the year. I heard of this place for the first time three days ago and happened to be in just the right place at the right time to catch the alignment. Gotta love that road trip serendipity! Stay tuned for a post!