Friday, October 12, 2007

Colt's Labrynth (Mill Creek) 10/7/07

Over a year ago, Ryan told us he had a friend who owned some land with a shelter cave that had some sort of painting. Ever since, we've looked forward to getting to see the site and take a look. Sunday afternoon, we got to go.

After an interesting ride to the site, we climbed up the side of a steep ridge to the awesome fractured bluff-line near its top. Navigating our way carefully (and breathlessly (as you'll notice if you watch the videos at the YouTube Hunkahillbilly page [sidebar]) over boulders and along the base of the bluff, we made it to the shallow shelter that also hides a very small entrance to an extensive cave (later excursion, we hope).

My first impression of the bluff-painting that is applied on the underside of the overhanging rock was that it did not look very old. Upon further inspection, however, it became clear that there was much of the painting that is faded. The visible portions are clearly not any form of modern pigment but looks to be a natural paint of some sort. It's quite interesting and deserves a closer look. As far Colt the landowner knows, it has never been studied.

After admiring the amazing painted sandstone bluff towering above the shelter, we paused to take a photo of our little troop. We then proceeded to enter a fissure in the bluff formed by a gigantic triangular portion that had separated from the bluff sometime in the distant past. The small gorge formed by the fissure is about thirty feet long and is walled on each side by a shear 30ft-40ft face. Rather than retracing our way back out, we crawled through a narrow fissure that led to the front of the broken off triangle of rock. It was a tough climb and a tight squeeze!

After admiring ourselves for having been able to get out through the narrow fissure (really we just needed to catch our breath!), we explored other passages similar as we made our way to the top of the bluff to see the amazing view of Mill Creek and the surrounding hills.

WE are so thankful for landowners like Colt, who are eager to share the unique and wonderful places they possess! Thanks, Colt, for the great adventure.

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