Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Archaic Rock Art
Jack Sprague, chairperson of the Conservation and Preservation Committee for the ARARA submitted to Mr. G. Smith in 2008 that he was very distressed that Mr. Smith had published directions to a Barrier Canyon rock art site on the internet. I have spent 15 plus years investigating this remarkable (3000-4000 years old) style of rock art and my first inclination was to spout: "OK Mr. Sprague, so you can see this wunderbar site but no one else may?" Well, after having seen the sights for myself, I agree with Mr. S. this time. I rigorously object to a "don't ask don't tell" discipline regarding cultural resources, as I don't believe that most beer drinking vandals are willing to hike 10 miles to do their damage (I know it only takes one). I also find that if government personnel is pressed that they will give you just enough information to get you killed. When someone is sincere and determined to find a site in the desert, this is an absurd policy. However, the site which Mr. Sprague refers to is extraordinarily fragile. So I am not going to give you but clues here, unlike my usual hiking guides. By the way, Mr. Smith did cease and desist publicly announcing the position of this site. Alas, unfortunately this is a good thing.
I will tell you that there are many miles of rough road (you must bear south 32 miles after entering the main gravel road from the highway) and a 1700 vertical elevation (in 3 miles) climb out of this site. Not for most casual vandals, but "Annie", you have gone or are going to Hell-Karma says.
I will say that I am not as concerned for this site as I am for Sego and Buckhorn. Those two sites are extremely accessible. Horseshoe (the quintessential) is protected by Rangers.