After we have crossed the Red Desert and begun our drive north, we find a ridge, banded with white and pink strata, that runs east to west. We go east along this ridge through a plain of sagebrush and shadscale. Sand makes mini volcanoes around sagebrush. There are pale umbels of buckwheat flowers and tight yellow heads of Rabbitbrush flowers.
We stop at a
crooked finger of beige stone that points southward from the ridge. Shallow caves have been hollowed from
the base of the stone. On facets
of stone near these caves we find petroglyphs. We walk from facet to facet and most are crowded with
designs. Incised striations and
hatching or arches appear to be abstract, and, yet, a zig-zag line could be a mountain
range or string of days. Many
designs are doodle-like but others offer a story that even those us who emerge
from cars can read. There is a hunt scene. There are various animals—elk, deer, dog, and bear. There
are many humans. Stick
figures. All are composed of
deeply incised lines.