Saturday, May 5, 2018

Prince and Bobo at Sears Point

Not wishing to test the Gigi’s tolerance for visitors we head back to the desert. This time we take I-8 and make a stop by the Desert View Tower to check up on Prince and Bobo. A distressing For Sale sign hangs on the fence. This is too sad, as it seems like Ben and his brother are the perfect tower hosts. $2 million, if you are looking for a fine new business venture.

Close up view of Prince and Bobo in the mural
The real Prince and Bobo

New bumper sticker purchased: “Homeland security on guard since 1492” features four Apaches with rifles.

Our first stop after leaving Prince and Bobo is one recommended by Ben - the new Desert Life Museum near Ocotillo. It is not quite complete, but is promising. Their collection of huge ollas is impressive. They offer a tiny, but real olla in the gift shop. It isn't hard to imagine it not surviving the travel yet to come. It looks adorable on the shelf as it is.

We opt to camp in one of our favorite spots near the southern border of ABDSP. It is a hill overlooking the Butterfield Stage route, just past the giant wind turbines that cast moving shadows over SR-2. We camp among chollas and observe bicyclists climbing the grade early the next morning.

We head for our next petroglyph site, Sears Point in Arizona. It isn’t an easy exit from I-8, but Q handles rough roads and deep sand well. The glyphs are on basalt boulders facing northeast. We expect western exposure so spend sometime hunting before finding cliff panels loaded with art. One looks a bit like Prince and Bobo.

The basalt boulders provide a huge display of petroglyphs.

Sears Point holds glyphs in several styles including western archaic (>2,000 BC in age), Gila Hohokam style (~300 BC to 1400 AD), and Patayan. The Patayan style shows "digitate" anthropomophs. Human history foreshadows our current preoccupation with all things digital? The Patayan human and animal art includes fingers and toes.

It makes me laugh thinking of Vernor Vinge's Fire Upon the Deep in which dogs (or wolf-like creatures, "Tines") are the intelligent species - but they must work cooperatively because they don't have our big fingered hands. Okay, the story is a lot more complicated than that suggests, but somehow the ideas are connected. Fingers and hands are important, but we humans could be a whole lot better at cooperative & collaborative work.

We read of a request that we not disturb the hives and honey bees, but don’t see hives. After our climb and hike up and down and all around, we settle into a sweet campsite nearby. While we’re enjoying a meal of tortillas and beans, hundreds of bees arrive to see if we have any water to share.
Bees on and in the kitchen faucet inside Q
When i play the ukulele, they seem to enjoy the harmonics or vibrations and come to rest on the neck, sometimes right on the string - until it vibrates.
Alex proves correct when he says that they won’t stay after the sun goes down. It is a peaceful, quiet sleep over a night that sees the outside temperature drop to 17 degrees.

The morning sun brings an opportunity to view the east facing cliffs through binoculars - a view almost as good as being right up close in yesterday’s late afternoon light.

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