I will start off by apologizing for the chalk on the carved symbols. This photo is from several years back when I didn't know any better and chalked everything. I also didn’t have a very good digital camera then so the photo is a little blurry since I cropped out just the part I wanted to discuss in this article.
(You’ll notice I blamed the bad photo on a cheap camera and editing and not on the camera operator.)
These symbols are just the first three in a carving. These three are designed to work together, giving you specific information about which direction to go and where to be, or be looking, while going in that direction. This carving was located on a sandstone bluff about half way up the side of a sloping hill that helped form a valley.
The very first symbol in the carving appears to be a capital D. In some instances I would tell you this could be a letter but since it is the first symbol in the carving it normally has to be a symbol of a thing or action and not a letter. (This logic works in most cases but not all). The D is telling you that you are going to be looking on the side of a hill. Coincidentally, you are standing on the side of a hill when you are looking at the carving, funny how things work out that way! The curved part of the D is showing you the hill and the straight vertical line in the D is showing a flat part of the hill or a “side”. Think of it as looking down from the sky onto the hill, the straight line is simply cutting off the curved line to give a side.
If you are wondering which side of the hill you would look on, don’t! If there is nothing in the carving taking you to another side of the hill then you should be working on the side of the hill where the carving is, plain and simple.
The slanted line next to the D is giving you a direction to go. Since this slanted line is leaning to the right as you look at the carving, you will start your travel in the direction to the right of the carving. The third symbol, a simple line, is simply telling you to take or follow a line. Since this carved line is straight for the most part and long relative to the carving, you will be walking a straight line for a long distance. Keep in mind that a "long distance" in outlaw carvings is usually 50-300 feet.
See how simple that is; three easy symbols that tell you to “walk in a straight line along the side of the hill in the direction to your right”. No compass headings or weird pointers, just carved symbols on a rock that once you figure them out are relatively simple in hindsight.
Stick with the K.I.S.S. theory and for the most part you will save yourself a lot of headaches!