We get up walk to the Observation Point. It’s about a 3 mile walk round trip, with about a 400 ft incline. It’s such a great walk that it becomes our normal morning walk.
From the Visitor’s Center make our way back through the rocks. I start to follow Sherman and he leads me right back to our campsite. I knew we were within a 100 feet or so, but, come on buddy. How do you do that time and again.
Coming into the site I lead him to the spot where the boy was so excited last night. This enclave has smoke on the walls in places where people have hunkered down out of the wind or rain with a fire for many, many, many years.
In a corner, between two fairly close rocks is a petrograph. Cool!


After breakfast we head to the Visitor’s Center to ask about the petrographs. Turns out there’s a “secret” map that they have behind the counter with directions like “Between site 6 &7 find the oak tree with a branch almost touching the ground. Stand by the trunk of the tree and look to your left. There are 3 big rocks. On the middle rock about 3-4 feet from the top is a 8″ tall dark Kokopelli.” I still can’t find this one! I finally found the tree. See more than one group of 3 big rocks. Don’t see anything on them…
As we near our site, I see a few people following a ranger. We follow to one of the pictographs I couldn’t see. A cross…
Almost a quarter of the way down from the top of the right rock. Three quarters of the way over from the right edge of the right rock.
Closer
Closer
…on a rock put there by the Spanish. It totally missed it. The story goes that there when the Spanish came through here they had some gold and were concerned about it being stolen by Indians. So they made a cross on this rock, another one a bit behind it on a higher rock that is visible from a few miles away in the right light, and hid the gold in a small cave – big indent? – in a rock there and walled it in with rocks and mortar. There is mortar and a few rocks still at one end of the cave/indent. So… Maybe…
The ranger says we’re close to his favorite pictograph in the park. He gestures, follow me, and we all do. We walk around the corner to another site, 20 ft up a path, and he pulls a 5 inch flattish rock out of a hole from air pocket in the molten ash that made these rocks. Inside the hole…


… is a 5 inch painting of Kokopelli. How cool!
We go back to camp for lunch, then I get ready for the rain expected during the afternoon. This means putting anything outside that may be unhappy getting wet in the van and organizing the van so that Sherman and I can hang out there for a few hours. Or, from then to overnight…
We take a nap and are both awakened by a drumming sound. It’s hailing! We get 1/4-1/2 inch of small hail in 15 minutes, then it turns back to rain and the hail starts to melt.
We go back to sleep for another hour. The rain has stopped. So we go for a walk. Our normal activity in between eating, sleeping, writing, resting, reading, showering… Or are those our activities between walking? Seems like walking is the primary activity.
We head back to site 6-7 to look for the big Kokopelli. We meet a couple from San Rafael walking amongst the rocks who don’t now there are petroglyphs here. I tell them what I know and that there’s a “secret” map at the Visitor’s Center. We all try to find the right oak tree and the Big K. No luck.
But…
We do find the pictograph they call “The Hunter” in site 10, and meet a photographer from Santa Fe who’s been on the road for about 6 months. Mostly in New Mexico. We shared a number of wonderful visits over the next few days.
They go to get a map. Sherman and I wander through the rocks. The 6-7 Kokopelli has become a puzzle I have to solve. I go back to 6 and start over. I find the oak with the branch over the trail! But I can’t find Kokopelli… 🙁
We head back to camp. The San Rafael friends are there and have found the head-dressed figure. I tell them how to find the Oak tree with the branch almost touching the ground by site 6. Maybe they can see the Kokopelli there.
At dusk walk we walk up the road around the Pegasus section of the camping area with the fairly common stunning sunsets,



eat dinner and get into the van for the night. It getting cold and windy.