Thursday, September 29, 2016

Petroglyph Point, Lava Beds NM

Tule Lake was a large lake on the border of California and Oregon that mostly dried up in the last
Some of the best carvings
 few hundred years and now contains much bird refuge and agricultural land. It once contained a handful of islands and peninsulas, former tuff rings and small volcanic vents, and one island in particular became a hotbed for Modoc spiritual activity. They would paddle out to this island in their cedar dugout canoes and carve on the soft rock their symbols and musings. As the lake level dropped, more lake standlines were cut into the island, and more petroglyphs were carved. The former island called Petroglyph Point was handed over to the NPS some time ago, and now, in an effort to curb the vandalism that so often plagues rock art sites, a large chainlink and barbed wire fence has been erected around the site. As you view these pictures, imagine that the rock is surrounded by meter deep water and swaying reeds, with windswept plains mantling the far distance and waterfowl crowding the sky. Imagine the carvings are fresh, crisp, and exactly as they were so many centuries ago.