Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Mountain, Ahem, Folk Art

Parental Advisory: Don't scroll to the next screen if you don't want to see a bizarre depiction of human behavior. Last weekend, my wife and I skied up to Charlotte Fox's beautiful cabin on the flanks of Chair Mountain, above McClure Pass in Colorado. It's over seven miles in, but the snow was fast. In the morning, Charlotte and I climbed about 1,300 feet for one run—good snow in the trees, but the open bowls had been wind- and sun-blasted over the past week. I fell down. A lot.

The land around Charlotte's cabin, at 9,900 feet, was used by Basque shepherds during the mid-20th century, and these lonely souls carved amazing signatures and illustrations into the big aspen trees in the area. Now, this web site does not condone tree carving, nor stereotypes of shepherds (Basque or otherwise), but we have to hand it to Gerardo Lopez, who apparently tended flocks of sheep on these hillsides during the 1930s. The guy's arbor-glyphs are quite impressive, and it's amazing to see how well-preserved his, ahem, "work" remains after more than 70 years.


Anonymous said...

is that second glyph what i think it is? a man and a sheep? oh man oh man oh man!

Anonymous said...

actually the sheep is more likely to have said 'baa baa baa', but im sure that if one was schooled in the sheep-tongues it would have translated to (at least something close to) 'oh man oh man oh man'.
but the sheep was probably faking it anyway.