Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hueco Tanks State Historic Site El Paso Texas

We have made a change to our blog. From now on the picture captions will be under the phote instead of before.

Guess what, we have moved again. This time we are in Texas, about 35 miles east of El Paso in a State Historical Park called Hueco Tanks. Very interesting and historical area. About 2/3 of the park is closed to any access except with a park guide as there are over 3000 paintings that depict religious masks, caricature faces, complex geometric designs, dancing figures, people with elaborate headdresses, birds, jaguars, deer and symbols that date back to 8000 BC.

This is the main entrance into the park and just a small portion of the rock formation out in the middle of nothing but flat lands. The rocks are full of caves and places to get in out of the weather. It's more like huge rocks piled on top one another with spaces to crawl into a larger open area. Or just huge overhangs that was used as camps.

Some of these areas have very large cracks in the rocks that will fill with rain water and could be used for months. It is assumed that some of them have never gone dry.

After setting up our home it was off to hike some of the trails that we could travel on. We did run across lots of graffiti dating back to 1849. They had to close off most of the areas to prevent further damage to the Pictographs and Petroglyphs.

We never miss a chance to got some pictures of the wild cactus. Spring is just starting down here also and the leaves are starting out on the trees.

And some of the beauty of the desert is starting to show itself.

We went for a guided tour of part of the park, with Park Ranger Charlie. Most of what we saw we had seen yesterday. He told us some of the history of the area. Wow, what a job to get up to this location.

Late in the walk he took us to Comanche Cave which included quite a bit of climbing on the rock. Jackie didn't make it as far as the cave, but Dick did. This is one of the areas that has a very large area that holds water and it can still be used. You have to crawl way back into a tight space with a bucket to get too it. Someone had written on the ceiling in large letters back in the 1800s "Watter Hear". I guess he was trying to tell the next person who found this place that there was water here.

The Ranger offered to show us and another couple where "Cave Kiva" was. It is very difficult to get to and if you look close you can see the arrow where it is at. Except you have to go a long way around to get to it. He took us all the way up there and then had to get back to work.

You can just see Jackie crawling under the rock to get into the cavern.

And inside there are 8 pictographs that range is size from about 4" to 16", and as you can see they are in two or three colors.

We didn't post all the pictures but this will give you an idea of what we found.

And another very faint, but the digital flash brings it out better than you can see with the naked eye.

Our new friends took this as we slid out of the cave. It was a pretty tight fit but once you got inside you could stand in a few spots.

Because our trek back was across the rocks without a path, Jackie was able to lead us down safely. It took us a little longer to get down than it did to get up. We went down a couple of times when we needed to go up first but she did a good job.

On the way down we had to be careful not to be eaten by the alligator, so we gave it a wide birth.

This one I think you will have to click on to see the arrow of the truck where we started this climb. We had a great hike and a good day and it was nice to meet Kent & Sharon Hoover. We wish them safe travels and hope to meet up with them at our next stop, Carlsbad Caverns New Mexico.

Today is Thursday and we spent most of the day in El Paso running errands and it's a good thing because the wind is bad today, with gusts up to 50 mph. The other problem when we leave on Friday is there is snow forecast at the caverns, but by Sunday it's should be in the 80s.

To be continued...

1 comment:

Jen said...

I love keeping up on your (very athletic) adventures. Deanna, Darin, and Daisy arrived safe and sound at our house yesterday. Darin's allergic to our dogs, but otherwise, we're all happy to be together. :)