Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I cannot believe how many people I just saw at Tar Creek 05/27/13

12/10/13: The US Forest Service will be enforcing access restrictions to Tar Creek soon. TC is part of the Condor Sanctuary established as critical habitat to this endangered bird and other wildlife. Epic numbers of visitors, and the trash and graffiti they have left behind, has led to the acknowledgment by the Forest Service that access must be curtailed and enforced. For more information on the impending action visit: Tar Creek Closure.

Monday. May 29. Memorial Day, in the year of someone's Lord, 2013. 
Ruth and I needed sun and water and exercise. She picked Tar Creek. I hmmmed on that for a bit and made it clear that there would be at least a few dozen people in the canyon. We went anyway (this is kind of like Steven Wright's classic one liner, "My wife and I tried a new restaurant, we had reservations but we went anyway.") and boy, was I wrong! Way wrong.
Extra. Wrong.
How about well over 100 people! In that little place! 
So I'm starting this post with nice happy pictures before getting to the unchecked masses.
As for Tar, I've never seen it this dry before July, but it isn't even June yet. Essentially, Tar has no flow. And after this weekend I'm not sure anybody'd want to swim in it anyway.

I spooked this boy back into the trees before some jerk came along and threw a rock at him.

This photo is undoctored. That is the actual nuclear waste green going on at Tar this week.
The bottom falls has become a vertical flower garden.

There are 52 people and 1 dog in this picture.
There are 31 people in this shot.
30 in this shot.
31 vehicles in just this shot. 


  1. Those last few pictures make me sad. Tar Creek seems to gets beat up worse and worse every year now. The fact that it's a Condor Sanctuary seems to be lost to most who visit Tar Creek these days.

  2. Hey Eric, I agree of course. At this point I just try to pick up trash and document the abuse. The problem with the Condor Sanctuary boundary is that only the right hand side of Tar Creek is in it and I haven't been able to figure out who owns the left side of the creek. At some point I predict real access issues related to the crowds and associated injuries, trash, etc... If that never becomes the case, well, get used to more of the same I guess. -DS

  3. Would you please take down your Chumash pictograph posts? They really have no protection from the masses. The Alder Creek cave site is easy to locate from your post, and I've seen heavy traffic there recently. One of the couples said they had seen it on your blog and decided to make the trip from San Bernadino.

  4. I've made some changes to those posts per your request.-Stillman

  5. These pics kill me. I remember the days when you could go to Tar Creek any day of the week and you would see NO ONE! Did social media have something to do with this?