I had planned on camping at Cliff Dweller Flat and hiking Eardley Canyon this weekend, but a 30% chance of rain scared me off. The long section of slot canyon in Eardley is no place to be during a storm given its huge drainage area. Instead, I slept in late at home and on Saturday morning made up my mind to hit Nine Mile Canyon once again. There were several sites I wanted to visit: some I’d seen from a distance on my last trip, some I’d gleaned from the internet, and others I learned of from a friend. At the very first site I hiked up to I encountered a small rattlesnake–I heard it before I saw it. The dogs had run past it twice before I realized what the sound was because from a distance it sounded more like an insect. I took the dogs down to the Jeep then hiked alone back up the talus slope to check out the petroglyphs. Funny–the main figure at this panel was a large snake.
The next site was a very short distance down the road and there were quite a few good petroglyphs there. Many of them were obscured by mud or patina, though their original artistry was still evident.
I passed up on hiking to a few sites that I saw and just photographed them from the road on the way to my next destination. The next stop held a few pit houses and some great petroglyphs. My favorite was a large elk that had some lichen growing in its peck marks.
Again, I stopped for some panels that I noticed from the road. I finally found the Santa and Reindeer Panel that was impossibly high on a cliff, though I think I figured out how to get up close to it–something for another trip! I also scrambled up to some granaries and wonderful white snake pictographs that I spotted during my last trip.
My last stop was at the Family Panel. I had been ridiculously close to it last time but didn’t spot it then. This time I had some info from a friend that helped me find it. The dogs were tired of being cooped up in the Jeep–luckily some clouds had moved in and made it possible for me to leave them there safely–and I drove home while consciously trying not to spot more rock art.