Newspaper Rock, Agate Bridge, and yellow

Posted: October 18, 2022 in Nature, Travel
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Independence Rock in Wyoming along what might be considered the Route 66 of the day, the Oregon Trail, is a giant, mounded rock filled with names of those passing by in their covered wagons. Newspaper Rock might be considered the petroglyph version of Independence Rock. Thankfully for the preservation of the markings, the rocks are down below the lookout area and in a place where it would be difficult to go. It was far enough down that I went back to the van for my telephoto so I could get some decent photos.

Petroglyphs last longer than rock art paintings because there’s nothing to wear off. While there isn’t a story as such, there are spiritual meanings, family meanings, as well as calendar events, as interpreted by modern American Indian groups.

The archeological site known as Newspaper Rock is neither a newspaper nor a single rock. The site boasts over 650 petroglyphs covering a group of rockfaces within a small area. High concentrations of petroglyphs like this mark a place as hugely significant. Many generations of people saw these markings and contributed their own. The petroglyphs were created by ancestral Puebloan people living, farming, and hunting along the Puerco River between 650 and 2,000 years ago. Some of the ancient artists may have lived at Puerco Pueblo, located less than one mile north of this site. ~The NPS website

Next up on our route is one of the most historically popular attractions, Agate Bridge, which of course isn’t actually agate but petrified wood, now supported now by a concrete beam. It’s about 100′ in length, 4′ in diameter, and goes across about 40′ of the chasm. In the early days of the park, many people had their photos taken on the log and the railroad finally paid to have the first supports put in so that the log wouldn’t collapse.

Finally there were some bits of bright yellow to offset the cloudy day. This first plant is the perfect example of plants being able to grow almost anywhere, even when it seems there’s nothing to serve as a growing medium.

Tomorrow we’ll be wandering around Jasper Forest so bring sturdy shoes even though there won’t be the steep slopes there were earlier in the trip at Blue Mesa. And be ready to see a lot of Petrified Wood!

  1. how interesting…. and what a timing… it wa in tv last night… but to read about it via a blog makes it more “real” than a tv documentary LOL

  2. Sue says:

    Love your petrified forest posts!

  3. macmsue says:

    Wow! I’d never stopped to think that there would be equivalents to Australia’s cave paintings done by the Aboriginal people. Those petroglyphs are wonderful, thanks for posting your images.

  4. Nature – always a lesson to learn and beauty to behold.

  5. Very interesting! Love the yellow flowers!

  6. peggy says:

    Another great post. Great pictures that show Arizona’s beautiful and interesting landscapes.

  7. Beautiful petroglyphs! Were there any horse and rider images that you saw?

  8. restlessjo says:

    I did enjoy that uplifting splash of yellow, Janet.

  9. belocchio says:

    How thrilling to view Newspaper Rock. Once can only stand in awe aware you are in the presence of uncountable years of visual history.

  10. Resa says:

    You certainly get around, Janet! I enjoyed seeing the petroglyphs, and love the education. Thank you!

  11. Wind Kisses says:

    Newspaper rock is such a clear depiction of life as they lived it. I went back for the binoculars and my telephoto lens as well. It is worth it to get close and I am glad people can’t get to it.