Desert Flowers… & Petroglyphs

Winter 2017 in Southern Arizona has been a relatively wet one… and the desert shows it.   During a couple of recent return exploratory hikes at the Sears Point Petroglyph site, not only did we come across some new (for us) Petroglyphs… but we also found a desert in bloom.   This post, mostly pictures, shares the contrasting beauty we saw… 

We first visited this remarkable Petroglyph site in February of 2016.   It is quite large… and we soon learned that it would take several more visits to see all of it. So this year, 2017, we were able undertake two more trips before the early onset of warm weather… ‘warm weather’ meaning… rattlesnakes getting active!

Below is a satellite map of the volcanic basalt mesas of Sears Point…. located approximately 80 miles East of Yuma, AZ, adjacent to the Gila River.   The green line outlines the area that we were able to hike this year.   The map is interactive… Click on ‘Map’ button (upper left) and ‘zoom out’ button ( -, lower right) to see the geographical location of Sears Point on a map of SW Arizona. 

 

Our starting point – The BLM trailhead, 7 miles off of Interstate 8 on County Road 76E – click HERE to see more location detail from our trip last year.

The BLM Trailhead for Sears Point.

The BLM Trailhead for Sears Point.   Note the bright, and warm, sunshine.   Click on picture to expand in new window.

Heading out, we soon came upon two parallel lines of rocks, or ‘Rock Alignments’, shown in the picture below.   The picture does not do justice to the size… each row of rocks being about 50 yards long.

Ancient Indian laid lines on the hillside...

Ancient aligned Indian rock lines on a hillside… Click on picture to expand in new window.

This is a big area… so we split up to cover more ground, looking for Petroglyphs or other signs of Early Indian habitation.

We split up to cover more ground...

We split up to cover more ground… Barbie Rupiper & Alice walking the low ground. Click on picture to expand in new window.

As we expand out, our good friend Al Rupiper heads towards some higher ground.   Note the beautiful plant with the yellow flowers… called a ‘Desert Brittlebush‘.

As we hiked and headed up to some higher ground... we found these beautiful yellow flowers all over the volcanic rock upland.

As we hiked and headed up to some higher ground… we found these beautiful yellow flowers all over the volcanic rock upland. Click on picture to expand in new window.

Once we reached the top of the Basalt Mesas, we found a great view… and more Brittlebush flowers.

This beautiful plant, Desert Brittlebush, was blooming profusely all over the desert. Click on picture to expand in new window.

Indeed, all through these two hikes, we found flowers.   The slideshow below shows the many types found at Sears Point, and County Road 76E.   To view a full-screen, high-resolution slideshow of flowers seen, click the β€˜curved arrowβ€˜ just below the picture on the right.   To return to normal display, hit [Esc] key.   Otherwise, place cursor over the picture to display the slideshow control buttons.

As we continued our search for Petroglyphs, we came across several Aboriginal Foot Trails, such as the one below.   These trails are little understood, and no one knows who started them or just how old they are…   The stand out clearly on the ‘Desert Pavement’.

Is this an 'Aboriginal Foot Trail'?

This Eastern part of Sears Point had several ‘Aboriginal Trails’ criss-crossing the area. Click on picture to expand in new window.

The below rock configuration had, and still has, us mystified.   Due to the ‘sinking’ in of the rocks in the Desert surface, it appeared to have been there for a long, long time.   The direction of Cross… is to the sunrise East.  

Solstice marker?

Solstice marker? Not quite sure… but it pointed to the East… and had been in place for a long time. Click on picture to expand in new window.

As we hiked back towards the BLM parking lot, we encountered more petroglyphs…

More Petroglyphs... Click on picture to expand in new window.

More Petroglyphs… Click on picture to expand in new window.

And more…

More Petroglyphs... Click on picture to expand in new window.

More Petroglyphs… Click on picture to expand in new window.

Looking Northwest from the top of the Basalt mesa.

The BLM parking lot is below us... and our car.

The BLM parking lot is below us… and our car. Click on picture to expand in new window.

After a nice rest at the parking lot, we packed up our car and headed out… 7 miles of the road below, with some washed out areas providing quite a challenge in not getting stuck.

Looking back.   Saying good bye to Sears Point and the Gila river Valley.

Looking back. Saying good bye to Sears Point and the Gila river Valley.

This concludes our pictures of this trip back to Sears Point.   The flowers were such a pleasant surprise, and the petroglyphs as stunning & mystifying as usual.   Thank you for viewing.   Any questions or comments please feel free to contact us!  

Thank You.
Jim & Alice LaPeer

To view a full-screen, high-resolution slideshow of Flowers Amidst the Petroglyphs., click the ‘curved arrow‘ just below the picture on the right.   To return to normal display, hit [Esc] key.   Otherwise, place cursor over the picture to display the slideshow control buttons.   Comments are Welcomed!

 

 

2 thoughts on “Desert Flowers… & Petroglyphs

  1. Thanks Jim and Alice for keeping us up to date with your travels.
    always an education when I read your notes and gaze at your beautiful pictures. I trust you are both well. We will se you when we see you πŸ™‚

  2. Hi Jim,

    Pic Petelle here – Jim’s brother. I enjoyed your photos and descriptions. My wife and I explored Picketwire Canyon in Colorado a few years ago (in 108ΒΊ heat!). You might be interested in checking it out sometime if you haven’t already. We hiked to the dinosaur footprints (largest array in the US). Pretty brutal hike, but well worth it.

    Cheers!

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