Rock Art and Sun Spirits

This weekend was the big solar eclipse in So. Utah.  Harold and I decided to drive down to view the rare annular eclipse, initially heading to the Kolob, but, freaked out about the numbers expected in that area, decided to try the lesser known Parowan Gap.  I'd been there years ago with an old friend, Tom Gardner (anthropologist, architect, and sheep herder from Paragonah) in his old pickup truck with two dogs, two joints, and a six pack.  Sadly, Tom is gone, but his memory lives, and that long ago adventure proved valuable in out search for the ultimate eclipse view spot.

We arrived early, and spent some time checking out the numerous petroglyphs in the area.  Apparently the Parowan Gap was an early native astrological site, wonderfully significant for the day's future event.  What follows are a bunch of photos of these petroglyphs.  As usual, click on the pic for a bigger display.

There was a fair amount of traffic through the gap, people enjoying a Sunday afternoon drive, climbing the rocks, checking the petroglyphs.  We spent a little time trying to convince the young girls that at the moment of full annular eclipse, we needed to rip off our clothes and cavort around in the ancient Indian rituals.  We didn't really get anywhere with this, at the time, perhaps because there were several local County Sheriffs with drug sniffing dogs looking for drug addled hippie pervs thinking what we were thinking.

Kinda strange having three patrol vehicles and an ambulance for the small amount of folks gathered, mostly families and the Ogden Astronomical Society, but then...  to serve and to protect...  

We decided to drive down another road away from the main group so we could engage in drug addled hippie perv activities...  at least try to achieve some shade from the direct sun.

Finally the big moment arrived...  the moon would take nearly an hour to traverse the sun to the point where we could view the "ring".

Somewhat disappointingly, it did not get dark as the full annular eclipse took place, but the light did change in a strange and wonderful fashion.

And then the full annular eclipse...

Suddenly a bevy of naked and nubile young women lept upon us, ripping off our clothes, and ravishing us in unmentionable ways.  At the height of our pleasure, they plunged obsidian knives deep into our chests, then ripped out our hearts, and tumbled our bodies into a nearby ditch, left for the coyotes to devour in finality.  And so was created another myth passing into the history of the Parowan Gap.


Geezers Get Gone...

Cinco de Mayo, and the annual trek to the San Rafael desert.  More sadness this year with the passing of the event's founder, Harry Sellers.  But a great turnout just the same, as nearly everyone is now retired and ready to play.

To stake our territory and ward off the uninitiated, we called on Rafael, patron saintess of the Cinco weekend.  She need some preparation for the task at hand.

And then to desert bondage, all in the service of a successful weekend.

But perhaps this sacrifice was not enough, because soon, due to a wrong turn, the arriving shitter got stuck (the BLM essentially mandates some sort of portable bathroom facilities for campers).  However, a group effort retrieved the essential trailer and soon it was up and operational.

With campsites up and running, it was time to let the games begin.  Out came the beers and tequila.  The party was on, and the women ran screaming from booze crazed pervs.

Tequila makes you taller...

But the booze did not distract us from the beauty of the San Rafael desert.  

Soon it was sunset, followed by the full moon rising...

The next day was the 5th of May, with a "supermoon" expected that night (actual full moon and the closest to earth in some time).  

As has become traditional, Cinco de Mayo is transformed into Cinco de Maui, with our hosts freely pouring Mai Tai's for cocktail hour.

And the celebration was on, with appropriate treats and costumes...  

The supermoon came out, but we were no longer capable of capturing great photographs.

The evening ended around the campfire, with music and more drinking.

But the next morning, the usual toll for the evening's festivities had to be paid.  The empties, staggering from the tents, the listlessness, the pain...

But salvation was at hand...  the elders found their flock and served sacrement...

And, well, that's all folks...

(stay tuned for pics from the big hike)