Indian Artifacts
April 9, 2011
I felt time was running out on the opportunity to photograph some Indian artifacts I'd found last year. They were only flint chips and unfinished arrowheads, but still, it's increasingly rare these days to see them at the spot the were made, who knows how long ago.
The bluff shelter, which I will not name, was at the top of my list for the Spring hiking season. I drove there on a sunny Saturday morning, my first day off from work in over a month. I was relieved to see the 50-odd pieces were still there; I was worried somebody else might have come along and took them home for souvenirs. The chips were spread out on a low, wide boulder that reminded me of a bench. Surrounded by woods with no sign of human development, it was easy to imagine native Americans making arrowheads under the bluff shelter many years ago. To be honest, it's possible the flint chips were left there more recently by treasure hunters after a day of digging through the dirt and rocks. But I didn't see any signs of digging, and I'd much rather keep my romantic view of the situation.
I spent a long time scrambling among the rocks and boulders underneath the bluff, which ran for more than a hundred yards along the steep mountainside. The only interesting thing I found was a section of scale-tree fossil, about nine inches square. With its distinctive diamond pattern, the scale-tree is one of the few fossils found in sandstone.
I returned to the Tahoe and drove to the old Victor community, where I headed north up Sulphur Road looking for a waterfall on the North Fork of Illinois Bayou. I'd found a few pictures of the waterfall, which the locals call the Blue Hole or the Mill Hole, in a Facebook page on the internet.
I was surprised just how beautiful the spot was. Along a ledge spanning the entire width of the creek, five or six separate little waterfalls dropped into a big hole of blue-green water. The bright overhead sun made for bad lighting conditions, but I put a couple of filters on my camera lens to cut down on the light and did my best to snap a photo. I'll definitely come back some day to get a better shot.