|Church Rock 8" x 10" Oil on Canvas Panel|
I stopped at Church Rock to do a painting. This solitary sandstone formation with it's enigmatic rectangular opening has tugged at my curiosity every time I have driven past it. The first thing I wanted to do was explore Church Rock a little, so I hopped the fence and walked down the red dirt road to the man-made opening in the rock. The opening doesn't go very far into the rock; it's not much deeper than it is wide. A concrete foundation at the entrance, with remnants of 2x4s show that the front of the chamber must have been walled off at one time, with a door built into it. A steel corral gate wide enough fit across the opening was sitting off to the side instead. A few nesting birds took off when I stepped into the room. Inside, the walls are covered with graffiti. Disappointing, but not too surprising. Names and dates, this person + that person, etc. Nothing seemed unusual about the graffiti. A few empty beer cans lay in the dirt on the floor, with an empty pop can. A few "Ave Maria" candles sat on the left side of the wall foundation. I've never seen that before. Outside, I explored around the base of the rock and climbed on the red slickrock a little.