So, why the return to Sand Island? We met a couple at Painted Hand Pueblo in Colorado (yes, will be writing about this on a later date) who told us about "dinosaur" petroglyphs they had seen at Sand Island. Really? We had not seen them when we had first gone to the area, but we did make one of the typical mistakes most visitors make. We concentrated on the main panel area when we knew better; explore everywhere, not just a main site.
This time we went to the end of the main road, parked and began to hike along the entire way. Well, lets be honest; I walked while my husband drove behind me in the vehicle. He was good to me though and made sure to remind me every 15 minutes to drink water. We did find one section where the petroglyphs could be seen as images of dinosaurs; interpretation is up to the onlooker of course.
End of the Road near Route 163
The glyphs in this area are questionable due to the graffiti; and some of the images seem oddly out of place compared to other glyphs throughout.
There is a turn around circle and these glyphs are just before you get to this area. In my other post about Sand Island, I mentioned they were 1/10th of a mile west of the main panel.
At the westerly end of the main panel, we found a figure in a headdress, and, what looked to us, like a scorpion.
If you want to see my photos of the main panel, click HERE; otherwise I'm going to continue on an eastward trek along the road. East of the main panel, the walls are fenced off and you cannot get near them; a zoom lens on the camera and/or binoculars help a lot, especially for those faded petroglyphs.
|Claret Cup Cacti Blooming; miniature rock gardens abound in Sand Island.|
Just keep walking eastward to the split in the road.
|Petroglyphs or Natural Scratches?|
|Weathering of the Rock Face|
At the split, you can go down to more camping sites, the ranger station, or the boat docks for sailing along the San Juan River. We began to see petroglyphs on the walls behind the ranger station and the first camp site.
|Natural weathering created the spiral on this rock face.|
As I walked past the other campsites, I found less evidence of petroglyphs and more evidence of desecration by locals and/or visitors. If any petroglyphs were on these walls, modern day persons made sure to destroy them.
As with any mystery, a death occurred in "Return to Sand Island"; sadly, I must announce the passing of my one year old...hiking boots. These brave, loyal soles traveled with me over rocky terrains; along precarious ledges and cliff edges; through sand, water, mud and all manner of vegetation. They danced a jig while trying to remove a bug from my personage (Get it off, it ain't mine!!!). My black, ankle hugging, hiking boots saved my ankles from breakage many a time; while the hot pink laces announced, "Here I am!!!" *sigh* Torn, tattered and split apart; these brave soles cried out for release from the pain. Goodbye my dear, dear friends; now I must search for a pair that will serve me as well.