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Find out more information on the Kumeyaay, related tribes and the folks involved in this project

  • Desert Trails Publishing

    Desert Trails Publishing was developed to independently publish books that strive to accurately portray issues related to the desert environment and the Native Americans that live there. While our primary focus is rock art within the Sonoran and Colorado deserts, we attempt to integrate issues concerning the Native Americans from the prehistoric to the contemporary time periods. We provide practical means for the average person to become involved and participate in this fascinating world.

    Late Nite Grafix, Inc.

    Located in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Late Nite Grafix has provided a fresh source of creativity for marketing, graphic design, advertising, photography and web design for over 20 years. We specialize in corporate communications for a wide variety of clients. From magazine & newspaper ads, capabilities brochures, annual reports, visitor's guides, advertising campaigns, logo design, stationery packages, web sites, web banners, environmental graphics & signage, to merchandise packaging design…we deliver what we promise.


Deep into a cave of the McCain Wilderness east of San Diego with help from Tom and Daren, I was so fortunate to catch the morning sun bouncing around onto this pictograph. Prayer sticks abound and around on the floor. The colors are DS enhanced without which the pictograph is much more faded. While at the cave, it took me about an hour to find the painting while at the cave. We are busy at work on what will be our second and final book on La Rumorosa rock art. Above the Sunburst and Geometric figure are some other less defined elements that are more apparent in other photographs.
Don Liponi

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Because of the work involved in promoting our first book, it has been at least a year since I actually did any field work which is the passion that drew me into doing the book in the first place. In terms of promoting and presenting, it has been so great to meet others who support the ideas behind our work. Still, nothing can duplicate the serenity and stillness of that moment of discovery of a new pictograph. Cramped into a dusty and dark rock shelter, squinting with a flashlight at a wall that was painted on hundreds of years ago and seeing a message across time that the spiritual essence of the Shaman lives on. In the first photograph, an anthropomorph with its companion figure is a common portraiture of this style and sets above the track of the freeway - a modern intrusion. What would the Shaman think or could he even imagine such a thing?

Back from the freeway and in an area heavily used for illegal traffic today sets a large granitic boulder cracked open by some cataclysmic event in prehistoric times, the artist rendered this geometric mystery of some sort. Today, this pictograph is completely invisible and can only be seen with DStretch. The space in the crack is so short that even with a wide angle lens, it has to be shot obliquely which decreases the capabilities of DS. While I cannot even imagine what its meaning is, the excitement of bringing back this painting from oblivion seems so important. I hope one day that someone will add to our knowledge about what it could mean.

I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to walk in the desert with these "old friends" who understood the land and its harmonies to their people far better than we do.

Our group has been busy at work during the promotion making many new discoveries. We have well over 100 sites we have not published in Volume #1 that will go into Volume #2. All purchases of Volume #1 help us to be able to create the second and final volume of La Rumorosa Rock Art. Help us by buying Volume #1 which has sold over 600 copies!
Don Liponi ...

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Another very heartwarming "book tour" trip to Palm Desert, Joshua Tree and Camp Verde, near Sedona, AZ. There are so many dedicated people in every community that are doing parallel projects - trying to record and digitally save the rock art of their region. While there are some advocates out there making use of D Stretch, the tool is still largely unknown, which means we are missing lots of art that will probably disappear into oblivion before it is ever recorded. Perhaps, the people who are in charge of D Stretch would be better off educating the public on how to use this tool to record what is left rather than worry about whether or not fingers are present? I am sure that won't happen and your lack of interest in teaching the public will mean the loss of countless panels that might be recorded if your eye were on the prize. Despite so little D Stretch documentation, many people are doing their best to struggle along with a program hardly anyone understands to its potential. Archaeology is its own worst enemy. In many cases, it is the avocationalists who are taking the higher road to save while the professionals bicker over minutiae.

In any case, the Native Americans are guardedly hopeful that we can continue to record in the event that circumstances will improve in the future.

Book sales were good on this trip and I think I actually paid my way! I believe we are in the area of 600 copies sold which is just amazing. I want to thank you all. More to follow with specific details. More book dates coming up!
Don Liponi ...

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