POTD: The $899 Petroglyph

The $899 Petroglyph
Lagomarsino Canyon, Nevada

Yesterday, I hiked a very unpleasant five miles up Lagomarsino Canyon to see the famous petroglyphs there. The canyon itself was not unpleasant, in fact it was beautiful. But the hike was not. There was no trail and the hike mainly comprised crashing through brush, climbing over piles of driftwood left over from resent floods, or stumbling through expanses of gravel bars where the “gravel” was actually head-size mini boulders.

But I digress, within a narrow band 1/4 mile long, there are some 2200 petroglyphs at Lagomarsino. I had barely started exploring and photographing them when I jumped up on a rock to get a better angle on this interesting looking one. I lost my balance so jumped down to a flat rock two or three feet below me. In gymnast terms, I didn’t stick the landing, my feet and head reversed positions, and I crashed into some rocks that were not so flat.

My first reaction to the crash landing was pain and panic–panic because I was alone five miles from my car in a canyon that receives few visitors, especially during the week. A quick assessment relieved the panic as I determined that while I wasn’t feeling very good, nothing was broken, sprained or twisted. (I also discovered a bit later that I actually had a weak cell-phone signal so could possibly have called for help.)

After assessing my own condition, I looked down at the camera hanging around my neck. The lens barrel of the zoom lens I was using was fulling extended and bent at an odd angle. It would not zoom and looking into the end of it revealed a big hunk of mechanical stuff blocking the view behind the front glass element (which was remarkably untouched). Thankfully the brand new camera the lens was attached to received only a couple of minor scratches.

So, I was scraped and bruised, the camera body was scraped but otherwise fine, but the lens was trash. Unfortunately that was the only lens I brought with me from the car so, other than some photos with my cell phone (e.g., the one above) I was done photographing for the day and faced with literally achingly long return hike. You might have guessed by now a replacement for that lens will cost me $899. Sigh.

Back to photo (finally). The reason I went to so much trouble, pain, and expense to try get a good photo of this particular petroglyph was because it seemed quite unique and reminded me of a Chinese script character. Was getting the photo (or trying to anyway) worth the cost? Absolutely, as in absolutely not!