Sunday, February 06, 2011

Hoodoos, walls, and who do you think built those walls?

I've been wanting to take the Ranger out near Apache Leap. Things are changing out there all the time and I didn't know where I might be able to unload, so I drove out there by myself yesterday to check it out. I found a couple of great parking places and also found out the road I planned to explore was much smoother than it was the last time I was out there.

It's been cool out there. There was ice on most of the puddles.

One thing I like about the area is the balanced rocks.

I thought about hiking out to Apache Leap, but it was just a little bit too cool for my liking. Instead I just drove around on some of the easier roads. I found a new road in a canyon I had hiked about a year ago. It seemed strange to be driving through what used to be an isolated area.

The new road goes to this drilling rig site. The rig isn't here yet.

I took pictures of things that I probably have a dozen pictures of already.

I've never taken a picture of this before.

I got out to take some pictures of balanced rocks next to a canyon and was wandering around a little and came across a rock wall. I've seen them in in other places out there. They are built across stream beds. I don't think they are intended to be water dams, though. They are much to porous for that.

Rock wall across the bed of a wash.

I found several of these walls on this day. They are all low walls across the bed of a wash. They all have lots of dirt accumulated behind them.

Another fine wall.

The upstream side of the previous wall, showing all the soil accumulated behind it.

I may have discussed the walls in a previous blog. I don't remember if I said what I believe they are for. I think they were built to catch soil and form areas of deep, rock-free soil in which to grow crops. The ground away from the washes is mostly solid rock with a thin veneer of soil. It would be difficult to raise any crops there. Disturbing that soil would just allow it to erode away in the next rain storm.

I'll have to call the ranger station to find out who built them. I'm guessing that it was native Americans. That's why I'm careful not to disturb them; don't want to damage cultural artifacts.

Click below to see all of the pictures.



Atom said...

Those pillar type of hoodoos remind me of Africa. I half expect to see monkeys on them or lions passing underneath.

Art said...

That would be cool. There are mountain lions out there, though I've never seen one while hiking. I suspect that there a black bears in that area, too, which is why I make noise while hiking out there (to "announce my intentions", as you say).