Travel to this remote site down 27 miles of dirt roads and learn to decode messages from the Old Ones. Archaeologists have dubbed the timeless rock art in this special place, an oasis within the barren high plains desert beauty, as the origins of the “Castle Gardens Shield Style”. They believe the images carved into soft sandstone to be the oldest recognizable example of the ‘shield-bearing warrior figure type’, and speak of the style’s uniqueness in that it also depicts just shields. Yet, had they considered the opinions and knowledge of the tribal peoples who created the images, they would have found that actually the imagery at Castle Gardens represents the power of traditional belief and ceremony, and the ability of the faithful to be able to transport themselves and visualize that which is beyond the linear boundaries of the western contemporary mind. In practical terms, the artist prepared the rock surface by scraping the surface smooth, removing the exterior sandstone surface to expose the harder, inner layer for incising and painting then deeply incised the image with a variety of stone, bone, antler or metal tools depending on the hardness of the rock surface. Several layers of paint (colors including two shades of red - one more purple than the other, two shades of orange - one more yellow than the other , black, white and green)..
About Your Day
The Castle Gardens site is remote and easily missed on the Wyoming plains, but when you arrive with your indigenous guide you will find a wealth of tribal history for those interested in messages from the Old Ones, and their meanings.
There are no facilities center at the site - bring water and be prepared for a long stretch without bathroooms - and the bulk of your day will be spent in conversation with your guide as he explains tribal perspectives, history and culture; helping you to make sense of the images you see before you.
Again, please bring water - the walk is not long, or strenuous at all, but Wyoming gets pretty hot in the open summer.
In spiritual terms, Castle Gardens remains a deeply sacred site that heralds the renewal of birth. Although to many this is a mass of interesting rock etchings, to some it is a code for the unborn and continued existence. And here still is a teaching for the future if only we can reconnect to the ancestral memory, instead of inheriting then leaving only random pieces.