Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Week in Benson AZ, day 2

Wednesday, March, 25.
Cold last night, the heater came on several times. This morning was cool but clear. This afternoon the wind is starting to blow, but not to bad yet.
The last time we were here we took several trips out to Cochise’s strong hold It is the Dragoon mountains in an area that has some beautiful rock formations.

We had heard that there were some Pictograph’s there but we never found them.
Yesterday while we were talking with Sue and Jerry the subject came up and Jerry gave us directions to find them. Also I looked them up on the Internet under “Council rocks Pictographs” and got the GPS info.
We started off around 11:00 and drove south from the RV park about 20 miles to Middle March Rd. and turned east toward the mountains and drove about 10 miles where we crossed a cattle guard at a “Y” in the road. We turned north at the “Y” crossed another cattle guard and followed this road for 6.3 miles until we came to rd. 685 K where we turned east and went a about 100 yards to the trail head.

There, we had lunch and I checked the GPS. The numbers matched up close enough that we knew we were at the right place.
We were told that the Pictographs were only about 100 yards up into the rocks

and we would know we were going the right way if we saw ancient carved steps going up. My leg has been bothering me lately so I used my “Cane Chair” to help me climb. After a climb of about 15 minutes we came to the Pictographs.

This area has been used by Native Americans for hundreds of years as a shelter and
as a hideout.
During the Apache wars, the Apache chief Cochise and his band eluded the Us Army by hiding in these mountains. It is thought that near here is where he finally surrendered in 1872.
The pictographs are painted on the underside of a large boulder and are accompanied by several grinding mortars in the rocks that were used with a pestle to grind seeds for food by early peoples.

From this place you get a panorama of the land to the south and west. Any one approaching from there would be seen long before they could arrive.
The rock formation’s are beautiful and some of the Hoodoos take on strange and
wonderful shapes. There is one to the north of the Pictographs that is called the “Virgin Mary” Probably named by Catholic Missionaries but it is easy to see why.

There are many others, that with a little imagination you can see other figures and creatures.

As we were climbing back down through the rocks Patti got another of her famous wildlife picture.

We had a good ride out there and were glad to finally find the Pictographs.

Trip Time = 5hrs
Trip Miles + 77.2
Middle march Rd. N31 44’ 10.5” W110 05’ 01.3” 4353 ft.
Turn off at cattle guard. N31 50’ 46.1” W110 00” 09.9” 5071 ft.
Pictographs N31 54’ 23.6” W110 02’ 16.1” 4924 ft.

If you remember in the post about Alamo lake There was a picture of a rattle snake.
I got to wondering about what type of rattler it might be so I looked it up on the web. As it turns out the snake was a “Mojave Rattle snake” and it is the most dangerous of all the rattlers in the US. It’s venom is supposedly 10 times more lethal than the Western Diamond back. The difference in appearance between the Diamond Back and the Mojave is that on the Diamond Back the “black” stripes on the tail are wider than the white ones. On the Mojave it is just the opposite.
Otherwise they look pretty much the same.

I enlarged the picture and counted the rattles and instead of 3 as I first thought, there are 6 on this guy.
I hope I got all these facts right but ether, way if you mess with one of these guys and he stings you, you are in big trouble.

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