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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Shooting Stars, Petroglyphs, Cacti, Watertanks, Hawks, and Anything Else That Moves Or Doesn't Move

Ironwood National Monument: "Rancher Jesus Arvizu, whose family has been ranching here since 1847, said all of his No Shooting signs have been shot to pieces. His livestock water tanks are full of holes. He wants to see the target shooters restricted to designated areas within the monument. 'I just had a guy out shooting next to my corrals,' Arvizu said. 'Yesterday a guy shot a hawk and stuck him on one of my fences. Just spread him out. Why would you do a thing like that? It's not safe anymore. It's a major problem.'" Los Angels Times

We are getting ready to head back into the isolated and stark desert beauty of Ironwood National Monument this morning. You hear and read about things that happen in Ironwood... it seems to draw innocent foragers like the Wiseone's, Susan and Maikel, and Bobbie and I... you know, hunters of petro's and photos and seekers of solitude. But it also seems to draw the lunatic fringe... the "crazies," the four-wheel motor heads, the shooters, druggies... the Angry Men. It's that last couple of groups that bothers me. There's nothing much to stop a stray bullet in Ironwood when it misses it's intended "star," Saguaro, or Barrel Cactus target. Last time I checked, Newton's law of gravity still read, "What goes up, must come down." It's enough to make me want to put on a bullet proof cap and gown, but I don't have either one. 

On our last outing to Ironwood a couple of days ago, Bobbie "shot" a Thunderbird. Did you happen to notice it in today's lead photo? The "great and powerful" Thunderbird is highly symbolic to Indians, but it seems to mean different things to different tribes across North America. The symbol seems to have made its way down from the far north; it was long used on Totem Poles of indigenous Alaskan Indians. By the time it reached the desert southwest it came to be associated with thunder and rain... the lifeblood needed for agra-based culture, as indians transitioned from nomadic hunter/gatherers to "Sticks and Mud" permanent pit-homes. No rain, no grain. 

So now we are off to play "Accidental Targets." Wish us luck.

More petroglyphs from our hike to Wasson Peak in the Tucson Mountains. Take the "Wash Route" from the parking area to see these etchings. They are small, so you must go slow... and most of them are near where the wash reconnects to the Kings Canyon Trail from the parking area. 
Peace Out!
Now go take a hike!

Speaking of "shooting" and "Ironwood," Bobbie      

This is a photo from the internet... a northern Minnesota tribe's depiction of a Thunderbird.

The Goofies... bringing southwest adventures to your laptop :)) I should get a "Tip Jar!" Naw.


  1. Excellent pictures again. Boy do we miss Arizona this year.
    Don't come to come to Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama in the winter unless you enjoy lotsa very wet rainy weather.

  2. You really need to stay ahead of us with your blog. We hiked up Wasson Peak but knew nothing about the petroglyphs. Darn! Now we are in Wickenburg, heading to Vegas, then Valley of Fire. I still have your email with less populated hikes. Very excited to get there.

  3. Ouch, I can feel the prickles from the cactus photo taken from bottom to top. What a great study in perspective.

    With all those "wash" hikes you've been doing, you're either very clean or need to do some loads of wash. (Hogwash)

  4. "The Goofies" -- I'll have what they're having!

  5. What? A rancher that's there since 1847??? How can that be??? Ever'body knows the evil RANCHER is destroying the land!

    How could they survive for that long?

    You mean... maybe... they Protect and Nurture the land? contrary to what PETA and Sierra Club promote???

    I'm SHOCKED! :))

    though... it sounds to me like the real damage that is done to those lands is done by errant itinerant respectless townies... shooting cactus, water troughs (That water Deer and wild critters too!!!)and brain dead bozos on their ATV's that for some simple minded reason can't seem to keep them to the roads and trails...

    What an old grump I am! :))

  6. Those little tiny pincushion cactus are almost the same color as those rocks. What a splendid photo! Did Bobby tell you we have more petroglyphs to see over Pickture Rocks Pass? Next time, eh? -Wise One Too

  7. Seems like traveling/hiking in a group is necessary out there with the "crazies" around. Stay safe out there. Maybe the Indians should have stayed hunter/gatherers and nomadic rather than depending on rain to produce grain.


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