Petroglyphs and Grinding Stones – BACK ROADS AND OTHER STORIES

Petroglyphs and Grinding Stones - BACK ROADS AND OTHER STORIES

The desert beckoned us to come for another hike.  Our campsite was south of Quartzsite at the edge of the BLM lands.  We complied with the desert and went looking for petroglyphs and grinding stones

We headed south west and across several washes until we reached a very wide wash.  Google map labeled it as French Creek, but we’ve seen some references to Tyson Wash.  We followed the wash/creek south until we reached a right angle turn in dry river bed.

We were looking for the grinding holes and petroglyphs that we heard about. After wandering around a bit, Tony spotted the petroglyphs on the rocky outcrop on the east side of the wash.

At close inspection, the petroglyphs started popping out and became more visible.

Petroglyphs and Grinding Stones

I had to darken the photos a bit so that you can see them as clearly as possible.

Petroglyphs and Grinding Stones

They weren’t many of them,

Petroglyphs and Grinding Stones

and just like most petroglyphs, we weren’t able to decipher the story behind them.

Petroglyphs and Grinding Stones

but there is definitely a story here.

Petroglyphs and Grinding Stones

Some of the images long faded, while others are very clear and bold.  Are these snakes?

Petroglyphs and Grinding Stones

It took us a while to find the grinding holes.  The petroglyphs are on the right of the photo.

The grinding holes ended up on the other side of the wash, on a small hill.

Petroglyphs and Grinding Stones

We passed by caves and rock hangings to reach the top of the hill.

Petroglyphs and Grinding Stones

From the top, we had a clear view of the outcrop on the other side of the creek. You can see how this area is unique in the flat landscape.

We finally found the grinding holes tucked away on the south side of the hill.

Petroglyphs and Grinding Stones

These ancient grinding holes are where the native peoples would ground mesquite pods and other beans into meal.

Petroglyphs and Grinding Stones

These mortars, also known as morteros can be found in Arizona and Mexico and are believed to be around a thousand years old.

Petroglyphs and Grinding Stones

Other depressions in the bedrock might have been used for corn grinding or sharpening tools, although they seen a tad too deep for that.

Petroglyphs and Grinding Stones

It was cool to explore around these rocks, but it was time to go back.  We followed the wide dry creek back to our campsite.

There is a story that a safe full of gold was carried away and buried in the sand during a major flood.  Did it make it here?

We should have brought a metal detector along with us!

Until next time.  Stay safe and warm wherever you are.


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