newspaper rock   5 comments

Posted at 5:14 pm in history,trees,Utah

This will be the third to last post about my autumn 2010 travels between eastern Canada and southeast Arizona. For those who are following my journey and wondering where I am right now, I left Arizona on April 1st, and arrived in eastern Ontario on the evening of April 9th. I spent the better part of nine days driving from my starting point in Arizona, through New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York state, to an end point just north of the Canadian border. Quite a number of these states were new to me. I particularly enjoyed my brief stays in New Mexico and Oklahoma. I hope to return to camp in Oklahoma for a few days – perhaps next April.

Gas was costly on this trip, although total mileage was much less than my usual route. As the weather was reasonably warm most of the way, I was able to camp on all eight nights. Campsite fees worked out to about $110 in total. They were very reasonable in the west, and increasingly expensive as I moved east. Sage and Sabrina managed the trip just fine, but I ended it feeling quite tired and stressed. From about Arkansas onward, I found the freeways busy and the parks much more developed than I prefer. Luckily, there weren’t too many other campers, or things would have seemed a lot worse.

I’m glad to have the journey out of the way. Now I’ll try to rest up, take care of some business, buy a few tools and materials, pick up my canoe from friends who have stored it for me for over two years, and head east to work on the old house in Nova Scotia that I acquired about a year ago. I took a lot of photos along my spring route. Once the last of the autumn journey posts is up, I’ll work on a couple of pieces about the high points of this spring’s travels.

By the second week in November (2010), I was moving southward through Utah, on my way to visit Chaco Canyon in New Mexico. The weather was getting cooler and it was only a matter of time until I would have to deal with snow. Before leaving Moab, I spent a morning driving up and down a few canyons to visit petroglyph sites. Later that day, I headed south, returning to camp at Sand Island near Bluff. However, there was one last stop to make along the way — a side trip to see Newspaper Rock in Indian Creek Canyon.

The panel is described as being about 200 square feet, located on an expanse of sandstone which is partly sheltered by a rock overhang. Almost every inch is covered with petroglyphs varying in age from decades to about 2,000 years old. There are many figures of animals, but also geometric shapes, a good many “footprints” and also a number of human type forms.

Of all the images on the panel, the above is my favorite. To me, it resembles some of the petroglyph depictions of the manitou type spirit creatures found up in Ontario.

I studied and shot a number of photos of the panel, then readied to leave. From here, I would drive back out to the interstate and south through Monticello, Blanding, and on to the campground near Bluff. Once again, there were very few campers at that location. We spent a quiet evening camped in the same site we had occupied a week or so earlier.

The cottonwood yet retainedg their bright yellow autumn leaves, but would soon begin to lose them to the winter winds. The tree down below was actually photographed at Moonflower Canyon near Moab. I thought it a particularly beautiful example of a cottonwood in autumn. Click on all of the above photos for larger views.

Written by bev wigney on April 11th, 2011

5 Responses to 'newspaper rock'

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  1. I’m glad to hear the bulk of your trip is behind you and that you can rest a bit before you move further east. A nine-day trip into increasingly populated areas certainly would make me feel stress, especially after spending several months in relative peace in a much less-sparsely populated area. You deserve a break!

    Enjoy the trip into Nova Scotia. I trust you’ll take it easy and won’t push too hard on getting the house in tip-top shape; there isn’t a rush, is there? Relax a bit and enjoy!


    11 Apr 11 at 7:07 pm

  2. John – I’m quite relieved to have arrived here in Ontario. The contrast between some of the western states where I have traveled (AZ, NM, OR, and UT) and those in the east, is quite incredible. To me, it highlights what has been lost by not protecting more natural areas. I don’t think most people realize that it is soon “too late” to designate wildlife refuges, parks, and other protected areas. That’s just one of a several things that make me feel rather depressed.
    I will be taking my time before moving on to Nova Scotia. Although I have some major work projects planned for the summer, I do intend to make more time for hikes and taking the canoe out for a paddle from time to time. I’m not worried about getting the house into tip-top shape. In truth, I don’t think it will ever be much more than a sort of Robinson Crusoe type of summer hideaway, but that suits me just fine. It may be too rustic for most people, but for me, it already seems quite luxurious! (-:

    bev wigney

    11 Apr 11 at 8:09 pm

  3. We were in that general area last fall at the end of September and beginning of October. There is so much interesting stuff out there.

    Camping in the East feels kind of closed-in to me. And the further east you go, the higher the humidity. Of course that’s not as much a problem in fall or spring, but it can make camping pretty miserable in the summer.


    12 Apr 11 at 9:54 am

  4. Hi Bev

    As always your shots of the rock art are quite moving. You really caputred the
    beautiful colours and structure of the cottonwood. Good luck in Nova Scotia this summer.



    13 Apr 11 at 8:47 am

  5. Mark – There’s a real difference between most of the campgrounds I’ve seen here in the east, compared to those in the west. The one exception is some of the state parks in the southwest which are more like big parking lots. I tend to avoid any place where the campsites are close together. In fact, I usually look for dispersed sites, or the kind of campgrounds where the sites are a bit isolated by rock formations and trees.

    Funny that you should mention the humidity. By the time I got into Arkansas, I really noticed the humidity. It seemed very oppressive and just became worse the further east that I drove. When it was warm, it felt like the locker room in a gym, and when it was cool, everything felt soggy and horrible. I think it was more noticeable because I’ve been in the desert all winter. It felt pretty unpleasant. Guess I’m getting used to living in a very arid place!

    Hi Guy – Thanks! That cottonwood was such a beautiful tree – but then, I saw a number like it last autumn. I seemed to be moving along right in sync with their leaves turning to that lemon yellow.

    bev wigney

    14 Apr 11 at 6:34 am

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