I went out today to see if I could find the fire. Nothing.
Maybe kids built a huge fire with tires out on the rocks. That happened once before, and it's almost halloween.
Anyway, since I was out there, I decided to go take pictures for you of Gutman and some petroglyphs. I will put together a little travelog. You can follow along in the pictures as you read or if you are impatient just do it however you want.
This is called Seven Mile Canyon because it is seven miles from this canyon to the Colorado River. In the old days that was 7 very rough miles, so this was a good camp spot for wagons before they made the rest of the trip down to the river. It was also a highway for the ancient indian cultures who roamed, sometimes farmed, and hunted here. This spot where I too the pictures is at a fork in the canyon. The South Fork gently leads up to a spot where it is easy to climb out onto the plateau and then travel over to the canyons that lead to the Green River. The Green River and the Colorado River come in at angles and then join and run on together through the Grand Canyon. So, the two rivers form a triangle. Because of the number of highly significant pieces of artwork in this area, one can surmise that it was a gathering place and perhaps a site of festivals/rituals.
1. Walking toward the cliff face. This is a cliff face of windblown sandstone topped with a harder layer of river deposited sandstone. (Wingate and Kayenta formations) Water runoff creates a darker surface on the rock known as desert varnish. This is actually a living layer with minerals and bacteria. Some is brown and some is nearly black. The black kind can reflect the sky and appear a strange blue. If you notice the black part in the lower right of the cliff face, that is where we will walk.
2. These are petroglyphs of what is known as the Archaic style or sometimes Barrier Canyon style.
3. These are big horn sheep, a favorite prey for the hunters. The plant at the bottom is a fremont barberry -- it produces a bitter berry.
4. A detail from the left hand side of the panel.
5. Gutman. Gutman is so called because the middle figure of the three grouped figures has a sinuous line running from the head through the torso. This line appears to be intestines. One can't be sure what the artist intended, but this middle figure appears significant with his arms raised. The raised arms are unusual in the archaic paintings. With a very good camera, you can see the line is unbroken. I have a picture taken by a local photographer showing it in exquisite detail. All three figures are highly decorated. I enhanced the colors to show it a bit more. I just had my camera with me for photos.
6. Black and white sometimes give as different perspective.
7. The Gutman panel at more of a distance.
8. The Gutman panel in perspective with its surroundings
9. The panel disappears at a distance.
10. The cliff looking down canyon
11. The cliff looking up canyon. You can see the road that goes between the two cliffs at the left of the picture. A road has been blasted into the face of the canyon.