Do rocks talk? Yes, but the problem is nobody knows exactly what they’re saying. Petroglyphs, left by Native Americans many centuries ago, are etchings on rock that seem to be conveying some kind of important message for future generations. Unfortunately, they forgot to leave behind the decoder ring. So today, explorers (whether trained anthropologists or camera-snapping tourists) are left to scratch their heads and marvel.
We did just that when we dropped in at Grimes Point near Fallon, NV. There’s a moderate hiking trail of a couple of miles, littered by dozens of petroglyphs. Part of this trail, by the way, used to be hundreds of feet underwater. In ages past, there was a huge lake here that sustained a thriving community. But once it dried up and the residents moved on, there was no one left behind to translate all the rock-speak for us. But the boulder Babel is still very intriguing, and wild horses couldn’t drag us away.
But they didn’t have to, because we went to them instead — in Silver Springs, NV, where untamed equines have taken over the town. They even cross the highway periodically, and a State Trooper sometimes hangs around to act as their crossing guard.
We spent the night in Silver Springs, waiting out a fierce windstorm that rocked the RV like a canoe on the rapids. The next morning, the winds had gone, and the horses had come out to play. We followed them from a city park, through the streets, through people’s yards (we didn’t go there, but they did) and all over. They have free rein, as it were, of the whole town, and are so accustomed to close encounters with us bi-pedal critters that they sometimes come up and let themselves be petted.
A couple of days later, we encountered another herd of them crossing the road near a dumpsite we used. It was closer to Reno, in a community that, strangely enough, has been named Mustang.