There is often more than meets the EYE“. The placement of this “Paint & Hide Rock” has a special meaning for us. It also was the catalyst to collect a large bag of trail trash. We placed this “rock” and collected trash on July 5th, 2017.
This particular placement was done at Willow Springs, inside Red Rock Conservation Area NP, just west of Las Vegas Nevada.
To the unaware or uninformed, or a person that may be visiting this area via an air conditioned vehicle. You might only see desert terrain at the base of large sand stone cliffs. A few picnic tables under a small area of trees, and a pit toilet. I am guessing at 110°F, like it was today, most people would take a peek from the comfort of their car, and drive on.
Having lived in in Las Vegas for about 20 years I have visited this particular spot many many times. In my younger years this was a popular spot to repel, technical rock climb, then hang out for a social picnic. Though in most cases it was during the 3 cooler seasons of the year.
Little do most people realize, but this area has a year round spring that flows some distance before being swallowed once again by the desert. An odd Oasis for two species of rare snails.
The Mountains Springsnail, and the Southern Nevada Springsnail both exist here. Willow Springs is one of the few places these Springsnails can be found across the entire world.
This Spring is also in near proximity to part of the “Old Spanish Trail”. A historic trade route that connected Santa Fe, New Mexico with Los Angeles, California. A trail that weaved through parts of Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and California. A section led south out of Las Vegas, through what is now the community of Blue Diamond. Was this spring known of, and used at that time, by wagon trains? How long do you suppose it took to travel from Las Vegas to this point? 20 minutes with today’s modern vehicles. With a horse drawn wagon I could image this being a full day. A perfect stop for water and even shade, that would have been so scarce in this desert climate.
Prior to that there is evidence everywhere this particular area was used by the Native American people over many years. Within short walking distances of Willow Springs there are remnants of Agave Roasting Pits, Petroglyphs, and other water sources. It is not unusual to spot Bighorn Sheep and other wildlife. Those animals and this year round source of water would have made this area very attractive to people living off the land.
We “Traded for Trash”, spending about 45 minutes in the picnic area picking up trash. Plastic water bottles, soiled diapers, soiled TP, numerous soda and beer cans, paper plates, and other paper products. We did the Trade!
I must say I was a bit shocked at what some people throw on the ground in such a beautiful place. It convinced me I needed some specialty tools to continue this effort. Tools of the Trade so to speak!
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