Bad People Doing Bad Things

Well, first off, I’m back at MrHalfDome World Headquarters, deep in the bunker in San Jose-by-the-Sea. Just back from a week chasing Carpe Diem down old Mexico way. We were surveying the fun stuff along the Baja Peninsula. Wow – talk about a semi-desert arid environment.

I learned that the Spanish missionaries built 28 missions down there; most of us gringos think the 21 California missions were it. Most of theirs are pretty well eroded over a couple hundred years. Not too many tall hills to hike. One of the biggest events is the Baja 1000 race. Missed it by a week.

So I get back to civilization and find that bozos were at it again. I’d love to use more virulent invectives, but this is a family show. Thoughtless morons decided to take a “saws-all” and literally cut out four petroglyphs off the cliffs deep in the Eastern Sierra near Bishop. It’s estimated that they were at least 3,500 years old. What is going on? Reminds me of the Taliban that destroyed ancient artifacts in Afghanistan.

Last spring I joined our Hamburg office for a petroglyph / pictogram photo hunt in Arizona. Most have remained vandal free. It was neat to think back to the centuries ago when they were done. Archaeologists don’t really the why’s and wherefore’s of rock art. I do know that I will not reveal where they are. Too many unbalanced people with access to rock cutting tools.

Indian Rock art of Arizona

To help your Christmas list, I’d like to blog about some nice gift ideas for your Santa. It’s a good time to get the gear you need for your summer Half Dome hike. Tune in and I’ll share products by name that I like. By way of a full disclosure, some of the manufacturers give me evaluation products, but I don’t endorse things I don’t use.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “He was a Mongaloid, a Mongaloid, but no one really cared.” – DEVO

MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch –

One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome

About Mr Half Dome - Rick Deutsch

Mr Half Dome. Has written the only half dome hiking guide, One Best Hike: Yosemite's Half Dome. Has hiked it 31 times to day. Lives in San Jose, CA Available for presentations. Carpe Diem Experience, LLC
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3 Responses to Bad People Doing Bad Things

  1. The culture of Bishop and the Eastern Sierra is very strange. Much of the rock art lies in a cross section of the Native / Redneck interface. While Bishop tribal members lobby for the protection of artifacts, and government agencies watch their enforcement budgets cut, the redneck response is often to destroy things for the new brand of budweiser toting “freedom.” Many of the petroglyphs show bullet holes and carving by locals or tourists who do not respect the place and want to leave a bigger mark than their super big gulp cup or empty can of four loco.

  2. Sönke says:


    Thank you for mentioning these sad news. I felt really sick when I first heard about it as I had visited that site twice in 2011 and 2012 while it was still intact.

    The Volcanic Tablelands near Bishop are full of traces of the ancient people and the “Bishop Petroglyph Loop” offers pretty easy access to three very interesting sites (the vandalized site is not part of the loop but vandalism has occured at those sites too). It only takes 15 minutes off Hwy. 395 to witness some amazing petroglyphs. The “stickman” (that’s how I call it) is one of my favourite petroglyphs anywhere in the US. Apart from rock art you can see where the ancient people lived and where they “processed” food (e.g. at the Fish Slough Petroglyphs site).

    This incident has been discussed on many websites and many people felt that the US$1,000 was simply not enough. So the BLM office has responded to our requests to donate money:

    Please take a few minutes and if you wish to help please donate a couple of bucks.

    Or visit the BLM office on Bishop’s main street to donate some money. Here you can obtain a map with directions to the Bishop Petroglyph Loop (I hope they are not changing their policy).

    Please help to protect rock art. I can’t tell you how lucky you are to have still so many opportunities to witness the traces of the ancient people. There is no such thing where I live or it is heavily regulated with no access for guys like you and me (that’s why I travel halfway around the globe to CA/UT/NV/AZ).

    If you got any questions regarding rock art please contact Rick and he will forward your message to me. Thank you!

    • If you’d like to help out, skip your Starbucks coffee today and send a check to:
      The Eastern Sierra Interpretive
      190 E. Yaney St.
      Bishop, CA 93514

      You can specify where you want your money to be used:
      • Petroglyph vandalism reward fund;
      • Interpretive opportunities (to show how the damage has affected the overall panel);
      • Adopt a camera for continued site monitoring/surveillance;
      • Fund archeological site stewardship training and volunteer opportunities.

      The BLM Bishop Field Office and the Bishop Tribe are offering a $2,000 reward for capture of the perps.

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