After checking out the new center, we headed over to the "Nature Heritage Trail" for a little hike. I had never hiked this trail before. Seems like every time I go to Vasquez Rocks lately, I find a trail that I didn't know existed.
The below photo shows the our hiking path as recorded on the MapMyFitness app on my iPhone.
Along the way, there is a Tataviam Indian archaeological site. There is a flat rock that they used for a grinding bowl plus there are some pictographs on the rock behind the grinding bowl. One of the docents told me that these are exact replicas and that the original pictographs are in a section of the park that is closed to the public so they will not be destroyed. The originals have been there since 450 AD.
Below are photos of the grinding bowl and the replica pictographs. The large flat rock that you see in front of the tall rock in the background is the grinding bowl. There were little indentations in this rock where they Indians had ground their seeds and other things into a dry paste.
Here are the replications of the original pictographs that are protected in another area of the park.
Below you see the pictograph of a rattlesnake
The next photo is of "The Witch's Hat" rock. We were told by another docent that you had to stand in a particular place to actually see the "hat". He was correct, because if we stood in other areas, it just looked like an ordinary rock.
Next you see a close up of the "brim" of the hat. As you can see, it is not even connected to the rock that juts up making the point of "the hat". In fact it looked like a flat rock that had broken off from somewhere and landed on these other rocks. Jean and I thought it looked more like a UFO up close.
All in all, we had a great morning where we learned some history and also had some good exercise.