Thursday, November 03, 2011

Hiking in the Wilderness

Yesterday, we went hiking in the Superstition Wilderness, just a few miles east of Mesa.

We took the Hieroglyphic Trail, a short, easy hike to see some ancient petroglyphs.

They were made by the Hohokam inhabitants of the area, probably between AD 700 and AD 1100. There is debate whether they depict hunting scenes or were used by shamans to depict the origins of life. Unfortunately, there are also recent graffiti and early Christian petroglyphs of crosses in among the ancient drawings.

In addition to the rock art, we saw some birds and animals:

A Cactus Wren

A Warbling Vireo (I think)

A Curved Bill Thrasher

A very small chipmunk, maybe a Lease Chipmunk

This Saguaro looks like someone wearing a knight in armor costume for Halloween. Is he waving at us?

A dead Saguaro had fallen over. Note the hollow base, the fresh green arm and the liquid that has drained out of the base.

It was a very popular day for hiking. When we passed Silly Mountain, a hiking spot between Valle del Oro and where we hiked, there were 14 cars parked. When we arrived at the trail head for the Hieroglyphic Trail, we were the 14th car in the lot. When we returned to the trail head, there were still 14 cars. Since a number of people came down the trail after we did, we know more than 14 car loads had been there. If you click on the photo below, you will see at least 10 people in the area where we found the petroglyphs.

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