I was nervous about joining the Utah Rock Art Research Association (URARA). I liked that “rock art” part of the name, but was terrified by the “research” part. Perhaps I needed a PhD in archeology to be a member? That definitely wasn't my background. I read the website over and over again and finally decided that if URARA kicked me out my membership would cost less than a dinner.
I hesitated to join activities. But I saw a note about a field trip to the Rochester Creek rock art site. I had been there and really wanted a "researcher" to explain what was going on with that intriguing site. I planned carefully, arriving at the camping location around 10:00 pm so that I could sneak in without anyone noticing. Much to my dismay, everyone was still awake, gathered around a big truck where fried chicken was being distributed with wild abandon. To my relief I got a wonderful reception. I don’t think anyone on that field trip had a degree in archeology (although we have members who do). Rather they were people like me who love rock art, camping, being in the desert, photography, hiking, and the intrigue of the past.
I had a great time that weekend. I saw more rock art in those two days than I had in the past year. People drove me around, we got lost, we laughed, we found sites, and I discovered many friends with whom I have enjoyed adventures for almost twenty years.
I’ve learned a lot in that time. People who know a lot more about rock art and archeology have taught me in the field and through presentations at our symposium. I’m now active in our conservation program, I enjoy documenting sites, and I work a lot with the government figuring out how to preserve cultural resources. I even lead the occasional field trip and occasionally help build a new website. I don’t think I’ve ever become a researcher. But I am a happy member of URARA. If you are reading this site, you should join us.