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An Overnight Trip Down Grand Gulch in Bears Ears National Monument—a Video

Updated: Mar 29, 2021

An overnight backpacking trip down Grand Gulch brings me to several rock art panels but is complicated by a flash flood.

As I put together the RommesArts website—particularly the section on Bears Ears National Monument—I realized it would be very difficult for anyone to grasp the sheer number and variety of structures and rock art sites in the canyons just by looking at the photos in my galleries. It would be equally difficult, if not impossible, to meaningfully understand the physical challenge of visiting these sites in person. Yet it is important to try to communicate these things.

Bears Ears National Monument was created to preserve tens of thousands of ancient cultural treasures in their original, undisturbed natural setting.

As a visitor to my website, I want to give you a feeling for the number of sites the monument is trying to preserve as well as a appreciation of what the sites look like in their natural setting. Why? Because if you come to value what Bears Ears is trying to preserve, you are more likely to be supportive of the monument's efforts. .

Pre-website, I hadn't fully realized the importance of video in communicating a sense of place, Had I known. I would have taken more, but weight was always a factor on backpack trips and my main interest has always been still photography.

I did take multiple photographs of sites though. So, with lots of stills but very little video, how to give you an idea of what it is like in the canyons? .

One way of doing so would be to narrate stories of hiking trips in the canyons and show photos of sites visited along the way—basically, do a slide show. I do have a couple of video clips from one such trip, maybe I could mix those in with the slides and create a video post? That's what I have done here—my first vlog!

I begin with a trip that takes a friend and me into Grand Gulch in search of rock art. The rock art sites shown in this slide show/video are over 2000 years old. Please note that touching rock art or structures will degrade them, so if you visit, please treat these ancient cultural treasures with respect. Also note that President Trump, who has surely never been to these places, removed Grand Gulch from its former status as part of the national monument, so it needs our protection more than ever. .


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