History Outside the Page
If you’ve ever been to a zoo, you know how cool and amazing it is to learn about animals by watching them instead of only reading about them. But when you’re out hiking in the woods and happen to spot a bear lumbering down his own path, nosing around a bush full of berries, not even twenty feet from you … Well, that’ll get your heart racing!
Did you know that history is the same way? Most people know that if you want to see history, a museum is a good place to go. But even better is when you can see it right where it came from.
I visited Shavano Valley in Montrose, Colorado, and got to a bit of history’s mark left right in the wild. There are dozens of rock carving panels—some of them 3,000 years old!—made over thousands of years by indigenous people. Some of the images there are ones still understood and significant to the Ute peoples today. It’s amazing when your history book is the rocks and landscape all around you!
Here are some my photos from that day. Click on an image to see it in more detail.
Above: Petroglyphs from an open tunnel that was believed to be written on by the spirits. On the left, what looks like a sword is a “spirit line.” I also see what appears to me to be two deer. What do you see?
Above: There’s a LOT going on in this panel! Notice the footsteps of the bear leading out of the crevice in the rock and out to the great tree that he is climbing? Near the center of the photo is an accurate map of the region.
Above: What can you make out among the cracks and lichen?
Above: I see a few tree petroglyphs. Did you know that the swastika is actually an ancient symbol that has been known in India for thousands of years? The mark on this rock resembles a backward swastika and is thought to be ancient.
Above: How many images can you make out in this photo?