Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Early Fall at Nine Mile Canyon - Part Two.

Here's the continuation of our first visit to Nine Mile Canyon in October; click Here for the map and legend I posted in Part One.  I just finished going through the December photos, there were 245 of them; all total, we took 409 photographs of the Nine Mile Canyon area.  Several of the photos, in Part Three and Four, will be of sites you'll see in Part One and Part Two, but in December lighting and weather; what a difference just one month can have on a landscape!

Daddy Canyon Complex (mile mark 44.0) is just that, a complex of rock art panels off the main road, and trails stretching back into the canyon holding even more rock art.  There is also a cave off the main road with rock art inside.  A very important issue is the desecration of these sites; self proclaimed artists, of the 20th and 21st centuries, believe their names or drawings belong as much as the ancient Native cultures.  Idiots!!!  This is not simply artwork left by the ancient ones, it is their history; their "books" about themselves, and the lives they have led.

Daddy Canyon Complex

At 45.9 miles is the very primitive trail up to the Fremont Village; we didn't do the climb this time, but will feature this area in Part Four of this series.  It is a very steep climb, so just warning you now.

Now when I had first heard of Nine Mile Canyon, it was from seeing photos of the "Big Buffalo" and the "Pregnant Buffalo"; I was determined to see them; lets say it was on my bucket list.  At 46.1 miles, the sign for Big Buffalo points to a dirt trail heading northward; you have to descend into a dry wash and out again; it's not too deep though and the walk is about 500 feet to the panel.  The trail to the Pregnant Buffalo is no longer accessible, and fenced off; better bring a decent pair of binoculars and a camera with a good zoom lens to see, and photograph, this beauty.  Besides these two panels, we found other buffalo rock art, but you'll have to wait till Part Four to see those photos.

Big Buffalo Panel

The Big Buffalo

The Pregnant Buffalo; she's an absolute beauty!!!

The Pregnant Buffalo

"The Great Hunt" panel is only 2/10ths of a mile (46.3 mile mark) from Big Buffalo; there is rock art stretching along the walls, but the panel is the most impressive.  The first thing we noticed about the panel is the similarity to "The Hunt" located on Montezuma Canyon Road (CR 146), in San Juan County.  One of the photos shows drawings of the stages of the moon; here's the rub, was this done by the ancient Natives, or by modern man?

The Great Hunt

Moon Phases

On our way back to Route 6/191, we were lucky to be able to watch a cattle roundup; the ranchers were very friendly; smiling and waving as I photographed them.  This was a perfect end to a perfect adventure.

The horses of the Southwest are so beautiful!

Parts Three and Four will be chock full of more photos; wait till you see what we found!!! Until then, Happy Holidays from Roy and myself.

Mary Cokenour

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