Hiking canyons, scouting deer country, filling in some blanks on the Angeles High Country map with Adan. ~7000 feet at the end of December and nothing but warm sun, clear skies, and a dry wind. It’s hard to complain. On the other hand, I can’t help but feel like things are really changing here; summers longer, winters later. Last year’s rainfall seems quite the anomaly contrasted with this year’s Christmas wildfires.
But it’s good country any way I look at it. And it’s my backyard. There was still a ton of deer sign, one sighting, and lots of beds, rubs, and browsing areas. Big cat shit, bear shit, coyote shit…wild shit. There has been a lot moving through these canyons.
Including ancient people.
Emerging from cool shade into a sun-warmed clearing, we both immediately commented that this would be a perfect place for a camp. Within moments of uttering this statement, I found one of the most perfect bedrock mortars I’ve seen to-date.
Carved into a boulder nestled beside an oak, I scooped out the debris gathered inside of it, running my fingers across the perfectly smooth surface at its bottom. Whatever ancient people left this, it was an amusing testament to the fact that yes, this has always been a great place to camp. Whoever they were, however distant, I felt a certain kinship. Despite the possibility of being separated by millennia (many estimates of people in this region tag them between 2000 BCE and 200 CE), we’re still Homo sapiens with the same sensibilities.
As I stood surveying the surrounding ridges and peaks, I could hear the children and smell the smoke. I wonder who was the last to grind acorns here and whether they knew they wouldn’t be coming back.