Wednesday, May 29, 2013

More Unexplored Areas Of Vasquez Rocks

I've mentioned before how much I love Vasquez Rocks for hiking and for photo ops. My neighbor Jean (who is also Hiker's groomer) and I went up to visit the newly opened Interpretive Center at Vasquez Rocks County Park this morning. If we had known that their Grand Opening was tomorrow, we probably would have waited until then because we saw some cool t-shirts we wanted to buy in their gift shop but we were told they could not start selling them until tomorrow when they "officially" open. Oh well, gives us a reason to go back again.

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.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Previoiusly Unexplored Areas Of Vasquez Rocks

My brother Keith was visiting last week and one morning he and I decided to pack my dog Hiker into the car and we headed up to Vasquez Rocks. This is one of Keith's favorite areas to explore and I love photographing the area. We have hiked there so many times that we decided to head off in a direction that we had never taken. We found ourselves on the Pacific Crest Trail.

As we followed the trail, it took us along a ridge in the south eastern part of the park. From this vantage point, we saw beautiful view of the rocks and the surrounding area.

From the ridge, we could also see the trail twist and turn down into the canyon and then start back up over the other side.

The panoramic views were spectacular.

Keith took this shot of me and Hiker with the mail rock in the background.