Tyson’s Wash Petroglyphs
Tyson’s Wash is a pretty interesting place, being the main water thoroughfare through Quartzsite, AZ. It is mainly a flowing depression of deep sand, and much of it is hundreds of feet wide. Most of the time, it’s parched. But when rains come in sufficient quantity, it is full, and moving fast. I went to see it yesterday while searching out an appropriate campsite with one C. Swankie, an RVer with considerable energy and fortitude. Since she has a degree in archeology, she served as my tour guide while on foot. Her blog is here, and be ready to be amazed by her Bucket List. She’s one of those people – just reading her bucket list makes me feel tired!
The path to get to the petroglyphs was obvious and easy, to a point. Once in the vicinity, a few abrupt washouts made chassis clearance a concern, but 4WD was never needed. Once at the wash, a quick drop-off ended the F-250’s ability to go any further without finding another, easier approach. I would have also liked to drive the wash itself, but it was a mix of nicely packed areas and soft sand, which would pose an instant problem for 9,000 pounds of lumbering iron on street tires. This is ATV and Jeep territory, and the Jeep had better have wide tires. It’s pretty easy to tell the difference when you’re walking along and your shoes start to sink in a couple of inches.
At any rate, this area once served as a home base for the indigenous peoples, and by the looks of it, for quite some time. Their artwork on the rock faces is impressive, and it still remains to this point vandal-free. There are grinding holes at the top of one of the formations, and some of them have been worn pretty deep. Just looking at these features provides an odd sense of connection and continuity that’s difficult to explain – odd, given the huge disparity in people, place and time. It all comes down to being a human being, I guess.
The surrounding area also served as the original townsite of Quartzsite. That proved an unfortunate choice, since a major flood soon washed it away. It was then relocated to its current location, where Fort Tyson originally stood on higher ground. A sizable safe filled with gold is still believed to be buried deep in the wash somewhere.
Doug, you are a funny funny man. Swankie’s carcass. All kidding aside, nice write up. And I have kayaked 49 states, with Hawaii coming up for my 70th Birthday in May 2014.
Oh, nice going, Swankie! I wanted people to check out your blog out of curiosity to see just how far along you’ve gotten! Now all they have is that insane bucket list (and all the other stuff).
Whoops, I didn’t know. You can delete my comments. You gotta tell a lady these things. Delete this one too.
I’m deleting nothing! You stick your foot in it here, and [insert humorous response here]. Really, there’s plenty to peruse on your blog that’s interesting, and your comments here help prove that I’m not just making this stuff up as I go along. It’s especially notable that this 50-state campaign, now at 49, is not a lifelong effort. It’s recent!
Yes, recent. Popped into my head all by itself, after I recovered from bilateral knee replacements… and when the surgeon said… “you can do anything you want to now.” First time in my life anyone ever told me that. Dang. I was dumbfounded. Then there it was… Kayak America.
Nice pictures Doug…….been too long since I’ve been down that way!
Thanks, Dennis! I’m finding that there’s a lot more to see and appreciate in the Great Southwest than the big stuff that gets all the publicity.
Wait until you see the desert golf course.
Dag-nabbit! I KNEW I should have bought that $3 titanium driver at the resale shop!