Sunday, June 1, 2008

Interpreting Spanish Faces

If you have ever worked a Spanish trail to anything, be it treasure or a camp, you know that they used all sorts of markers to point you in a direction or give you specific information. One of several markers you can find on a Spanish trail is a face. Most of the faces you find will be in profile but occasionally you will come across a full face.

Most of you will think this explanation is pretty much a given but I’m going to give it to you anyway because some people like to read more into signs than what is actually there. Faces almost always look or point in the direction you need to go. They are made to be seen from the trail, therefore most of the time they will not be directly on the trail like some other markers.

What I mean by this is that a face can usually be seen as you are walking on the trail and before you actually need to do what the face tells you, which usually is to change directions. You may be walking in a gully and see a face 30 feet or more in front of you as you are on the trail but you won’t actually go in the direction the face is looking until you get closer. In most cases the direction to go is obvious because you are seeing the face in profile and it is simply looking in the direction you should travel. Nothing more, just “go this way”.

There are some exceptions to this rule and sometimes these exceptions are obvious and sometimes they aren’t. One exception to this rule is if the face isn’t giving a direction. A face can be looking at what you want to find or at something that is very important in taking you to what you are looking for. In other words, a face can be looking directly at the location of a treasure or it may be looking at an important marker or sign that you will need to find the treasure. If this is the case, the face usually can’t be seen from too far away and you usually don’t see it until you are almost right on it. A face can also be used to “oversee” a treasure location. You may go into an area where there is a large face or head on the side of a hill or mountain or even on a cliff and the face or head is looking out over the area where the treasure is. In this case the face probably won’t be looking directly at the treasure but at an area where you will find additional clues that lead you to the treasure in the area the face is looking over.

A face can also be giving you specific information as I talked about in a previous article. In the event the face is looking at the location of the treasure, the face will more than likely also give you some very important information about the hole and how to find it. It all depends on where the face is located. In the same previous article I explained that a face with one eye could be pointing you in a direction to go and telling you which side of the trail to look on. If it is looking at the location of the treasure then the parts of the face such as the mouth and eye can give specific information. There may even be something on the forehead or chin that gives information, all specifically designed to take you to the hole. Remember the KISS theory. Don’t get too elaborate in your theories and break each piece of information down to its basic meaning. Don’t try to read something into it that isn’t there. You have to remember these signs were made so that the person following them could look at them and know what they mean. In most cases there isn’t any surprise information in the sign. You also need to keep in mind where the sign was meant to be seen from. If it was meant to be seen from a distance then any small detail you might notice by going up to the sign and studying it is probably not important.

In the case of the photo I have posted with this article, because of the location and where it is looking, this face is simply telling you to go to the right, the direction the face is looking. I’m sure a lot of you are wondering just how the hell do I know what the face is telling me? Sometimes this is a trial and error thing and sometimes it is obvious. In the case of this face it was very obvious because the ground in the direction the face is looking is basically flat and wide open. Because of that I couldn’t be looking for anything on the right (the side of the face that the eye is on) so it was a matter of going in the direction the face was looking. By going that direction I found another clue about 100 yards a way, in a straight line in the direction the face was looking. I will also say that the next clue could be seen from the face but it was far enough away that you couldn’t see the detail until you got closer.

This face also told me that there was a covered hole in the direction I was to go.

Interpreting faces or heads is as much about where they are located and where you can see them from as it is about the faces themselves. Sometimes you get more information from the face based on where it is and where you are when you see it than the face itself. In the case of the face in the photo I have posted with this article, the face is what I would consider low to the ground and can only be seen from one direction and you have to be fairly close to it before you can see it because of the terrain. This indicated to me that this particular face was giving me a change in direction and I should go in the direction the face was “looking”.

Keep it simple and you will go far.


wasatch said...

I'm wondering how old this rock face is.

Alec said...

This face is part of a Spanish treasrue trail so it would be at least 200 years old, probably closer to 300 years old. The rock it is made out of is granite.