I love the discovery of a new road, specially when it is a surprise, a Ghost Town and Petroglyphs included. I think everyone loves Ghost Towns, at the same time it does induce some sadness thinking that once a thriving old mining town is now barely a name not even found on the big maps. My Friend Brian who is also camping not too far from here had decided to join us for the day. “Warnings” where issued… I like to photograph, I get into a zone beyond riding, many U Turns, much waiting sometimes for the proper light and as Brian does not use a camera we discussed it all… he is a grown man, he can go on by himself or return if boredom sets in. Nothing personal…
We have not been moving too much lately. Monday afternoon should be my last round with the Dentist who I found out is “thinking” about bartering a portion of my fee in exchange for some photos for his own web site, but the pain in the ear/neck/ eye has just not gone away. This morning for the first time it has decreased and I am thinking that maybe I have found my own remedy by soaking the ear canal with hydrogen peroxide. Or maybe it is finally the mega dosages of antibiotics? There are no ear/nose/throat Doctors here, we might have to go to a big city if all does not calm down soon. Memorial Day weekend is approaching and I think staying here till the Tuesday following the Holiday might be a good idea as free camping north of here might be some tough real estate to find. Moab is definitely not a bad place to regroup, it is getting a bit warm, but we will manage for sure.
A Ghost Bus… that is what I thought when I saw it and made a detour to take a closer look at it. This was the first time Brian lost me and yet he did turn around and spend his time also inspecting it all, even pointing out about the horseshoe being open end up in the proper direction for “good luck” to rest within. A fact I was not aware off… Everyone in this Life can be a teacher if they would just communicate and share their thoughts as us in turn we will respect them. At one time seemingly a shelter for a family, all the indoor conveniences where now trashed, the Ghost Bus has turned into a billboard for a Cafe near by also by now defunct.
Surreal it was… a fire hydrant in the middle of nowhere.
I stop at everything that catches my attention, everything that I never saw before while looking ahead through my past voyages at warp speeds. They had their pleasantries also, the thrill off speed, markers going faster than my attention could keep up with, the Art of Motorcycle riding through the curves, the hair pin turns. Some of it subsides specially now with a good tail wind, a nice dirt road when some speed can make the hack slide in the direction wanted, but overall riding is now the icing on the cake for every other facets that have made their presence these past years.
These thoughts go through my mind specially quite often meeting other Travelers. Some… We met Gary on our social Moab parking lot at City Market, the first thing he said to his amazement was that they were two people he wanted to meet on his Journey, I was one of them… and of course, lets not forget Spirit. Actually I might have misunderstood him. Spirit himself might have been that fist person. He is from upstate New York on a three months or so trip, a nice and fair amount of time to experience quite a bit this country has to offer. But his ride report starts as “Ok, I’m already a day behind schedule…”. What schedule? Why a schedule? Not a good sign at all… I tried to make him stay a while in Moab, I would have gladly ridden Potash Rd and Schaeffer Trail with him, so many other sights he only skimmed while moving on to his next destination which will only make him again move on and on. And I smiled within myself, I recognized my own past path at one time when quantity took over quality. I know he will slow down… he might even be back some day.
We made it to Sego Canyon. About 3/4 mile before the Ghost Town are panels displaying Rock Art from three different Native American cultures. The styles are all different from each other, ranging from 7000 BC during the Archaic period to 1600 AD by the Utes and the Fremont tribe also living here in between, the Barrier period around 2000 AD. Of course there is a lot of damage even if in some places barriers have been erected for their protection. It seems like shooting has to be the favorite National pass time. Shooting refrigerators, old cars, walls… I don’t know what that means for our society, but it is an area I don’t approach it’s context. A bit too late for that one.
This wall has a number of different time zones represented in the Rock Art. Most of it is historic Ute (post 1600AD), as can be seen by the images of horses and men on horseback. One group of images seems to show the differences between “white” men and “red” men by scratching one’s legs white and dyeing the other red. It also appears as if the native war shield was being compared with the Host being carried by missionaries. Many animals are depicted on this wall. Graffiti has corrupted some of the site, but it is largely intact.
This wall is my favorite. The strangest and mysterious figures are adorning the walls and as Brian and I were discussing their origin, my own thoughts were that the Natives had seen such figures. They are not uncommon, also found in other areas, but could it be a coincidence seeing the same figures as extra terrestrial used so commonly? I just don’t think so specially knowing of this Art going back to 7000 BC. Nothing is sure of course, just some thoughts of mine.
The black top ends at the Petroglyphs with another 3/4 mile going to the Ghost Town and then on, to my surprise another “quite a ways” to the top where my GPS showed an altitude of close to 9000 feet. The best non paved roads I have ever ridden except just a bit rough when reaching the top. That was the icing on the cake for the day, not a single vehicle, no a single soul, only an incredible isolation.
More on the ride and the Ghost Town next time.
Almost three years of Photography is finally in order on Smug Mug… In “Your Favorites”, in “States”, some labeled “first year” and second year”, now also “Texas the third year”. Feel free to browse, you can even use the slide show mode and have fun. Merchandise is also available through Smug Mug. If you like to order prints, all sizes are available as I store the originals myself considering the huge bandwidth needed to upload them on the Galleries.
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Ara & Spirit