Saturday, February 20, 2010

Per The Previous Post

I've been trying to find some "Official" information concerning the original creation of the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site.

I have not yet found the information that I was searching for, I'll have to make a trip to the library and do some digging there.

When I get it, I'll also have some pictures for you, from one of the canyons included in the site, and the murals that one owner painted on the living rock. Murals which were promptly used as target practice once the Army got a hold of the land.


Old NFO said...

Looking forward to the info... That sucks on the murals!

mustanger said...

Would they have blasted murals done by the local Indians? PC. But they'll blast murals done by presumably white American residents. I'd be curious to know what the murals depict to have even more context.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

East of their area is the Picture Canyon Campground area that has old rock art and rock carvings. Most have been vandalized. Vandals come from all walks of life, military included.

Farmgirl said...

Well Seasoned Fool-

I actually live quite close to Picture Canyon and ride there during the summers as often as I can manage. It's one of my favorite places in the area.

It's true that there are places where the pictographs have been vandalized, and several people have added their names to the rocks where early settlers carved their initials and date of arrival, BUT... for the most part, the locals highly respect the historical significance of the area, and a lot of the best places are difficult to get to by vehicle, and difficult to find unless you know your way around.

And now that I'm thinking about it I'm hoping for the weather to warm up and my cold to go away so I can go ride the trails again.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Envy your access to that area. Have only visited the cave to the South of the camp ground past the bog as I only had a few hours to spare.

My youngest has studied Norse runes extensively. He thinks some of what I photographed looks Viking.

Farmgirl said...

Authorities tell us that there is quite a bit of Ogham writing down there. The way I understand it, some of it has been translated, and made sense, although I haven't delved too deeply into the matter to figure out what exactly they say it all means.

The cave you saw is Crack Cave, which has Ogham in the back of it. The sun only hits the markings twice a year, on the equinoxes. Usually we have a little local festival during that time, and I can remember when people from all over would come to make the trek down to see the sun strike those marks, but it's been years since it was big.

There are a dozen other places in Picture Canyon that are worth seeing, some of which are quite easy and quick to get to, if you know where to go, and some of which take some more effort. I'm not the best guide, since I tend to go alone or with someone who feels like me... the wide open space with a horse between my knees and a fresh breeze in my face is enough excuse to go.

There's a place in the canyons here (and I won't tell where, partially because I don't exactly remember myself, I've only been once when I was a kid) that has a fossilized whale on the canyon wall. An amazing sight.

Ritchie said...

What were the ancient Irish doing in "indian country"? And whatever it was, shouldn't that make the area a cultural historical reserve? Growing wheat is one thing, cannon fire has already been shown to be quite another.

Farmgirl said...


Picture Canyon is actually part of the Comanche National Grasslands. The other place I spoke of, with the whale in the wall of the canyon, is privately owned, along with dozens of other spots where history is preserved, not by the government, but by the landowners.

Much like the sprawling ranches where tiny communities once thrived, where the ranchers fence around the cemeteries, or mow around the headstones that can no longer be read.

We know where we came from, here, for the most part, and we honor those who came before us in our own quiet ways.

Chas S. Clifton said...

The best book on the "Colorado Ogham" issue is William McGlone et al., Ancient American Inscriptions: Plow Marks or History (Sutton, Mass.: Early Sites Research Society, 1993).

You can also see videos about Crack Cave, etc., at Denver videographer Scott Monahan's Old News site.

I wrote a little paper on them myself about a decade ago, but it was published in British Archaeological Review, which is hard to come by over here.

Chas S. Clifton said...

Also, I would not say that locals always respect the rock art sites.

Vogel Canyon, south of La Junta, for example, was all shot up and spray-painted ("Class of 19XX") until the Forest Service cleaned it up in the 1990s.

Many hours were spent doing stuff like repainting the rocks with the precise color of paint to cover graffiti.

They did a video about it -- you can probably borrow a copy at the grasslands ranger station in Springfield!