Here are photos from two stops on an eventful day ranging from desolate deserts to mountain meadows. I went back to Jawbone Canyon and ruled out a hunch, and drove out to Walt Bickel's mining camp in the El Paso Range, but what I really wanted to see were a pair of rock art sites which can be accessed via the Chimney Peak Byway.
Hidden away near Chimney Meadows is a small rock art site. The paintings cling to the underside of a granite shelf which overhangs the paintings. The art is old and fading, much of it essentially gone. The photo below shows hints of a fading orange, though the other elements are strictly monochrome red. It's a neat site that offers deluxe views of the meadow and immediate access to Chimney Creek.
The second site is fairly well known. It is located in Lamont Meadows which lies below and downstream of Chimney Meadows. The art is displayed on the roof of a large granite overhang which is difficult and dangerous to get to (see caption below). There are about 20 individual monochrome red elements on this roof, all of them bearing a resemblance to other Kern County sites. I was intrigued by the art, the overhang, and it's inaccessibility. I am unused to being unable to climb up to a place so this circumstance left me a bit peeved. With a belay and rock shoes it would have been a breeze, but without the rope... too dicey for me.
The meadow complex up here was pretty, and made for a pleasant drive through towering peaks and piney forests. I'd like to complete the backcountry drive which continues from Chimney Meadows all the way down to and through Kennedy Meadows. That'd make for a really cool day behind the wheel.
|The pictographs at Lamont Meadows. What sets these apart from many rock art sites is the inaccessibility.|