It has been awhile since my last blog post. After catching up from my New Zealand/French Polynesia trip of last March, I spent about a week in late spring in the Cedar Mesa and Canyonlands areas photographing Native American rock art and ruins. There are a small number of images in that category that consistently are photographed and exhibited by landscape photographers. I find it more interesting when I'm able to travel and hike with individuals who are a bit more expert in locating these hidden bits of history, and capture images that are not so well known.
This last outing to find and photograph ruins and rock art was with my friend Laurent Martres and several other hiker/photographers from San Francisco and France. We spent five days hiking together and driving to remote locations of Cedar Mesa and Canyonlands National Park. The most strenuous effort included a fifteen + mile hike through Sheik, Bullet and Grand Gulch canyons. The highlight of the trip was photographing the Green Mask at the bottom of Sheik Canyon. It's rare to find pictoglyphs in colors other than various dark earth tones. The Green Mask, located high up on a vertical wall, employs green and yellow dyes, as well as red. Amazingly, in spite of centuries of exposure to the elements and ultraviolet, the colors are still reasonably vivid.
One lesson I re-learned on the hike was the need to stay hydrated and eat snacks to maintain energy level. I let myself fall down on the energy curve and had it not been for a high carb energy gel with sugar and salts, I would have had a very difficult time making the last several miles. As it was, when we reached the exit point in Bullet Canyon, we were depending on GPS co-ordinates to lead us out through some obscured switchbacks up the canyon wall. Instead, our co-ordinates were for the entry point to the parking lot about a 1/4 mile away, causing us to delay finding the out point until almost dark. And at that point we had all run out of water. All of us in the group were/are experienced hikers/backpackers but it served as a reminder to us as to how quickly something can go terribly wrong, especially when depending on man made gadgets to get you safely home.
More of my images from this hike are located in the PUEBLOAN RUINS AND ROCK ART GALLERY. I'll be returning to SE Utah to photograph additional locations this fall...after summer temps moderate a bit.