Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Hueco Tanks Historic State Site

Day 89: El Paso, TX. Just west of El Paso is a pretty amazing state park. Because it has been given a historic status, they only let 70 people into the park at one time. The day I visited there was only one other person beside myself. The park is named so because of bowl-shaped caverns that have been carved by erosion in the rocks. Some of these "huecos" are still filled with water, even during the hot desert summers.

Besides huecos, this park is also famous for indian pictographs. I was given a descriptive map that showed and explained reference points for climbing the mountain(there were no marked signs or trails to follow). The ranger made it sound pretty simple and straight-forward, but it was difficult orientating myself on the rocks. Two key points of reference were the rock formations resembling a duck and a crocodile. They look very obvious in these photos, but finding them was not easy...especially the crocodile which was a pretty good hike away.

Eventually I did find the cavern, but it was a very tight squeeze to get in. I had to get on my belly and crawl through a crack that was less than two feet tall. I remembered hearing the ranger say that I would have to "spider" my way through it! :( About 15 feet in, the cavern opened up to about 4 to 5 feet high. Inside was 8 face-mask drawings. One of them kind of reminds me of Carl Weezer.

After checking out those indian drawings, I decided to go check out some more that were closer and would be easy to find. As you can see all of the "easy-to-find" drawings have been vandaled over the years. It was actually difficult to see the drawings with all the grafitti directly on top of them. I was surprised to see that some people had signed their the late 1880's!


Blogger tomsaville said...

Vandalism before the turn of the century? someones gotta do something about this historic park! I blame the the late 1880s!!!

7:21 PM  

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