Friday, January 20, 2017

Pictographs and Morteros

Our day hikes take us to visit the sites of pictographs of the Cahuila and pictographs and morteros of the Kumeyaay.

The holes, morteros, represent hours of grinding - likely by women.  Once the holes are there, they were also used to cook - by dropping a fire heated stone into the ingredients in the hole.  The same story is told of the indigenous people who lived on Grand Island near
Munising, MI.  We paddled our kayaks into Trout Bay where we saw underwater, a boulder with very similar holes in a circular pattern.

It is a remarkable feeling to stand beside the evidence of early dwellers of the desert.

Our overnight camp is at the foot of Ghost Mountain. As we are settling into a sandy, but well landscaped (by nature) site, we notice a golden eagle soaring on thermals.  That beauty adds to the peaceful feeling.

In the morning we will hike to the top of Ghost Mt to see the ruins of the Marshall South family home. The campsite backdrop is a huge boulder that makes a terrific wind screen.  The wind has been a nearly constant presence all week.  It is heavenly in the warm sunshine when the wind stops.

While we are still inside Q sipping morning coffee, we have trouble imagining why Marshall and Tanya South chose to build a homestead on a mountain top miles from water and supplies.  It was during the Great Depression that the couple went looking for a way to live off the land.

The hike up the mountain is a mile.  It is a lovely mile climb.  We don't have to wait to reach the top to understand the appeal of the place. It remains difficult to imagine the work of hauling building material and everyday supplies up the mile climb.

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