Second thoughts about Rattlesnake Trail couldn’t keep me from my quest to find the petroglyphs but did lead me to grab my hiking poles. Now that the temperatures have climbed to a snake awakening warmth, I am much more aware of the need to watch for snakes and I took to heart the warning of a fellow camper who told me I should not hike without a big stick or a pole to divert a strike. I did not see a snake on this day, but I did see some lovely examples of petroglyphs.
I am fascinated by the writings left by these ancients who once dwelled in the southwest. How universal it is to want to leave a message; how important it is to communicate. I have no training to understand the messages that they worked so hard to leave in the rocks, but I delight in hiking trails that pass by these ancient messages. I wonder at the teachings that must have occurred for these symbols to be so similar throughout all the states I have travelled this past winter. I think of these people who lived so long ago and am grateful that I am having the opportunity to visit where they lived. Did they travel distant paths? I’m sure they struggled with hunger, frustrations, and misunderstandings. I imagine they also took the time to enjoy the beauty of the desert, and the quiet peacefulness of sunrises and sunsets. Did they wonder about us? Did they ponder those who would come after? These are some of the things I think when I am following these trails.