I finally reached the southern part of Canyonlands National Park at noon after starting out from Moab at 6:00 AM. My first taste of the park was exploring a short trail that led to one of several different “granaries” constructed by the prehistoric, nomadic Indians who lived here, perhaps the same ones who had inscribed the petroglyphs I photographed earlier that morning.
I’ll have to admit that after spending the morning at Needles Overlook and photographing the magnificent scenery on the drive to the park I was a little underwhelmed by this short trail. In retrospect, though, I wondered what kind of “grain” they were able to gather to fill this granary.
As I walked back to my car and stopped to take a long shot of the granary, which was no longer visible even though I’d just visited it,
I was struck by how hard it must have been to find this place when returning after a long period of time.
I suppose seeing the petroglyphs and granaries early in my visit colored the rest of my visit because it was impossible for me to explore the park without wondering how a people could survive in this kind of harsh environment.
I was stationed in the Mojave desert while in the Army. It was a harsh environment, but not nearly as tough as this environment. For one thing, it was relatively flat. Yes, there were lots of hills and valleys, but it was nothing like this,or this. These natural “walls” must have seemed like The Great Wall of China to Indians walking these lands. I walked up the trailhead of one of the main trails in the park and found it daunting, and I was only carrying 30 or 40 pounds of camera equipment and water.
It’s hard to imagine what it would be like to carry all your belongings, not to mention young children through areas like this. It’s pretty clear they wouldn’t be worrying whether or not they should buy a new 27” cinema display for their Mac Pro.