Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Catalina State Park

Last weekend was rainy, perfect for looking through old vacation pictures.  Here are  sunny photos from a 2011 trip to Catalina State Park, just north of Tucson, AZ. I decided to take the trail up to Romero Tanks, some natural reservoirs in the mountains.  Also, trails that head to water or food supplies often have interesting structures.
Heading up the trail to Romero Tanks, and looking back to Tucson.
Stopping in the shade near an outcrop, I see this human shape scratched into the dark area on this rock wall.
Maybe this is natural, but very symmetrical circle marks aren't common on rocks.  Along the trail I see  a propped boulder, with daylight showing underneath.  Instead of being placed on smaller rocks, the boulder seems to have its own "feet".

Here is an effigy made of stacked rocks, which resembles  a bird.
There are still  more strangely balanced rocks along the trail. After a long, hot climb, this is a welcome sight.
The tanks are quite popular with hikers. The water was ice-cold.
On the way back, I noted this impressive manitou-like structure.
Here it is, photographed from a different angle.  Just like in the northeast, this type of  fertility symbol is near water.
 Along the trail was this mysterious structure, which looks like someone was gouging out a shape from the boulder.  Perhaps a turtle?
At the base of the Catalina mountains is the ruin of a pueblo.  This is just a collection of fallen walls making the outlines of small rooms. Some of the rocks were later used to construct a small ranch house.
I wish I had a good picture, but this pueblo had a ball court with a crescent shaped berm, similar to those in Mexico, indicating shared culture among the tribes.

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