Monday, December 2, 2013

Painted Rock Petroglyph Site, Arizona

Westbound on interstate 8 halfway between Tuscon and Yuma....the lingering light of dusk all but gone.
Night's descent while on a freeway is a REAL medium (source) of annoyance; campsites, difficult enough to spot while navigating a two-lane become totally chimeric on four-with-median.

SUDDENLY!!! Eggbert's headlights ricocheted off a sign: Painted Rock Petroglyph Site...twelve miles. Twelve miles would, I figured, be far enough from DER FREEWAY to provide some quiet. Hah!  seein' flyin' pigs agin, bro?

10:00 p.m. ---  the last of the OHVs trundle in.

For those that enjoy white noise there's a hum. It waxes and wanes - think inorganic beach waves.....all night long and still strong when I left the next morn at 11:59.

Around 6:00 a.m. the whitenoise was joined by the moanings of a large piece of equipment, perhaps an earthmover. This was so invasive the grizzly herd that had gathered to enjoy the odoriferous delights of my breakfast bacon fled.

After completing my ablutions I trod the trail. The diminutive hill is heavily signed with admonishments to: STAY ON THE TRAIL!!! 

Someone had thrown a bag of hamburger buns into the NO WALK zone. I watched as a privatized (it's the latest fad, dontchya know?) skyhook lowered a mountaineer -- succumbed to the monetary enticement -- who, without touching the ground, neatly plucked and dropped it into the industrial size, overflowing with McDonald's wrappers, waste bin. Ah, the amenities of a campground! Small satisfaction comes in knowing the NSA probly got the perps on vid and has them doin' 10 years tuh life fellating cattle.

It's an amazing site!!

Nutrias in Love -- Hunh, hunh!!

Speaking of campgrounds, they charge (money) to camp in the squalid BLM area that encompasses the site ($10.00? - I forget). Placed among widely spaced creosote bushes are picnic-tables-with-fire-ring. In the distance two, count 'em, separate installations of pit toilets grace the skyline.

There is a small area of non-billable BLM land on the left just before the campground (watch for the electrical relay station), but the rest of the surrounding property is Tohono O'Odham reservation.

But hey!! Tha's wha' happenz when yer out on the freeway at dark.

On a historic note the campground signs say the Gila River used to flow nearby. In them daiz thar wuz hundreds, maybe thousands of people and birds, beavers, deer and elk, foxes, otters (excerpted from the sign...not made up) grizzlies and goddess only knows what else roamed the land. Ah bet thar wuz probly even Pass'ng'r Pijjins an' Dodos. Well now, rest reassured you'll have my sympathy as you try to ignore the noise and reek of fertilizer. Ah, the fruits of Manifest Destiny.

Mebbe, like for me, the rock art'll save yuh from suiciding.

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