Sunday, January 30, 2011

Another Martinez Canyon Adventure

A couple weeks ago I went on an adventure to Martinez Canyon with by buddy, Mike.  The area is filled with a wealth of things to discover and it very seldom visited.  Judging from the footprints in the canyon, since we were their two weeks ago only one other person has hiked there.  I'm hoping we can find a trail leading from the village site we were at a couple weeks ago but you never know what you'll actually discover on one of this expeditions.  The joy, however, is in the looking.

I always feel that you cannot have a truly great adventure until you draw blood.  This day is starting off just right.

We leave the canyon after a couple miles to see if we can find an easier path overland on the mesa above the canyon.  We don't find a trail but we do discover that other's have been here before us.

There are a number of grinding slabs in the area where Cahuilla made their meals.

Pottery sherds are also quite prevalent.

This large flat stone would be the perfect kitchen table.

This area would have been the master bedroom.

This would have been the kid's room.  After traversing the entire mesa we decided to go up instead of down into the canyon.  We thought we might find an easier pathway down to the place we wanted to go.

We didn't.  It's a LONG way down

But the Ocotillo are starting to green up and the views are outstanding.  We also know which way NOT to go.

When we finally make our way back to the canyon--after I have a nasty encounter with an agave--we find remnants of a recent visitor.  With all the things out here that can stick and cut you I don't know why anyone would want to leave their clothing behind.

More recent remnants of inhabitation are some barbed wire fences that we used to keep stock.

This area is an incredibly rich in archaeological interest.  Pottery sherds are everywhere.

Old and newer litter abound.

The newer ones will doubtlessly disappear due to rust.  The Indian remnants will remain.

We make our way back up to the site we were at two weeks ago to look for a trail.  I have a new respect for Agave like those pictured here.  I've got some new body piercings and a few of the tips still remain in my flesh.  My wife tried to dig a couple out last night to no avail.  I'll have to wait until they work their way out, I guess.

Although we saw over a dozen bedrock mortars at this site we come upon a few more that we missed.

We work our way up a ridge but, alas, no trail.  All we're met with is wonderful views in every direction.

We've barely tapped the potential of this wonderful section of the Santa Rosa Mountains.  As we leave today the only thing that's exhausted is us.  I'm looking forward to many, many explorations in this remarkable area.


  1. Looks like you guys are having fun back in there Hal, well, except for the Agave.

  2. Hope your tetanus is up to date, Hal!

  3. Steve,
    It's my new favorite place. So much to explore.
    Thanks. Like most men, I only go to the doctor when necessary, like when I have hemorrhoids or epididymitis. And I hate shots. Looks like I'm going tomorrow.