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Utah Day 2: Peaks and Petroglyphs

sunny 100 °F

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Our first stop was lunch at a highly recommended Mexican/ Salvadoran restaurant in the town of Parowan, which is just down the hill from where we are staying. The food was delicious. Their chile rellenos are especially different from what they are normally like, but in a very good way.
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We then drove to the Parowan Gap.
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Which is the location of the famous Parowan Petroglyphs. These were carved into the stone by various Native American tribes over the years. It seems as though the area was a common stopping point during migrations or hunting expeditions, and that various groups over the years added to these glyphs. There are various possible explanations for the different images, with different tribes and archaeologists sometimes having very divergent ideas of what they might have meant. It is interesting that the local tribes were generally agricultural: we had a bit of a discussion about the relationship between agriculture and religion, and how ceremonial images might become more important to a culture that farms rather than hunts for their living.
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There are petroglyphs in most of these images, especially on the darker parts of the rock. Some of them seem to depict astronomical events, such as meteors falling to earth. A modern observer is likely to see some of the figures as aliens (some of the human figures have what look like antennae) but it is important not to read too much into your own interpretation (these figures could simply be, for instance, a shaman wearing antlers). It is hard to imagine what caused people to carve these things into the rock. You wish that you could understand what they were thinking and why they organized the images the way they did.
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We also stopped briefly at the Dinosaur tracks site, also in the Parowan Gap. Since it was very hot we didn't do much of a hike there.
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Next we went to Cedar Breaks National Monument, where we could see the "Chessmen," supposedly formations that look like chessmen but in fact formations that just look like rocks. Nevertheless, it was beautiful.
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These "amphitheaters" in the sides of mountains seem very common here. They are all like miniature Grand Canyons.
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You are able to drive to the top of Brian Head peak, which we did.
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It is over 11,000 feet high.
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There is a small shelter at the top which was nice to shield us from the wind.
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We watched the sunset from the peak and then headed back down to our resort.

Posted by danielcatherine 15:06 Archived in USA Tagged mountains food petroglyphs dinosaurs amphitheater peaks parowan brian_head cedar_breaks chessmen Comments (1)

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