THE HAUNTING BEAUTY OF NEW MEXICO

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Taos Pueblo is an ancient pueblo belonging to a Tiwa-speaking American Tribe of Native Americans puebloans.  The town of Taos nearby is full of traffic, construction, congenstion, tourists shops and restaurants.  The Pueblo, however, is quietly enveloped in its history.

OUR TOUR WAS LED BY A STUDENT NAMED SUMMER. SHE WAS A LITTLE NERVOUS BUT AFTER A WHILE SHE LOOSENED UP AND EXPLAINED THE HISTORY OF THE PUEBLO. BELOW IS THE SAN FRANCISCO de ASIS MISSION CHURCH.

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AN EATERY IN THE PUBELO SERVES BLUE CORN TORTILLAS AND HONEY.

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Still in use, these ovens are used to bake bread and other food items.

  CHACO CANYON

A STARK CONTRAST TO TAOS WHERE NATIVE AMERICANS STILL LIVE, IS CHACO CANYON, NOW KNOWN AS CHACO CULTURE NATIONAL HISTORIC PARK.  IT IS THE LARGEST CONCENTRATION OF PUEBLOS IN THE AMERICAN SOUTHWEST.

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The park is located in northwestern New Mexico, between Albuquerque and Farmington, in a remote canyon. Containing the most sweeping collection of ancient ruins north of Mexico, the park preserves one of the United States’ most important pre-Columbian cultural and historical areas.[2]

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To walk through these silent ruins, is to visit history and stand where these ancient puebloans once stood.

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FOR A CHANGE OF SCENERY WE SPENT A DAY IN LAS VEGAS NEW MEXICO – A GREAT LITTLE ROUTE 66 TOWN WITH LOTS TO SEE.  THEY WERE MAKING A MOVIE IN THE PLAZA THAT DAY.

LV.1.PLAZA HOTEL

ABOVE IS THE PLAZA HOTEL, BEAUTIFULLY RESTORED BY THE SAME OWNER OF OUR FAVORITE HOTEL IN WINSLOW, THE LA POSADA, AND ALSO THE UNDER-RENOVATION IN LAS VEGAS NM – THE CASTENADA HOTEL (below)

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Across from the Plaza Hotel is the lovely plaza.  Kept free of crowds because of the filming, one could only imagine the plaza in the evening with live music, dancing and picnicing New Mexicans.

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CHIMAYO.2.STATUE

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Above is El Sanctuario de Chimayo where you can get holy dirt for free!

CASINO

 

 

 

 

 

Above is the foyer of the Twin Arrows Casino where you can lose your money for free!

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A stop in Winslow took us to our favorite hotel, the La Posada!  The eclectic art, the martini bar and 5 star restaurant, the trains chugging by at the hotel’s rear entrance and Route 66 in the front! (below)

WINSLOW.2.LP WINSLOW.1.LP

 

 

 

 

 

AND WHILE IN WINSLOW IT IS AN ABSOLUTE MUST THAT YOU STAND ON THE CORNER.

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AND WHAT ELSE DID WE FIND IN WINSLOW?  A BIG SURPRISE.  HAVE YOU HEARD OF THE TRAIL OF THE WHISPERING GIANTS?  LOOK IT UP  – IT IS A FASCINATING STORY.  AND WE FOUND ONE RIGHT THERE IN WINSLOW!

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ANOTHER QUEST IN OUR TRAVELS IS TO FIND THE FIBREGLASS PEOPLE REMINISCENT OF ROUTE 66 ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS.  WE WERE SURPRISED TO FIND ONE IN GALLUP DEPICTED AS COWBOY MAN!  (he has a brother at the Salton Sea).

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IT WOULD BE DIFFICULT TO FIND MORE BEAUTIFUL COLORS THAN IN THE PAINTED DESERT.

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ALWAYS HAVE TO STOP IN HOLBROOK TO VISIT THE WIGWAM HOTEL.  THERE IS ALSO ONE ON THE RIALTO/SAN BERNARDINO BORDER IN SO. CAL.

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SF.1.CHURCHSANTA FE: CHURCHES, PLAZAS, STATUES, GREAT FOOD,NATIVE AMERICAN JEWELERY, GEORGIA O’KEEFE MUSEUM. A GOOD PLACE TO SPEND ALOT OF TIME.. ABOVE ANOTHER OLD CHURCH, THIS ONE IN ALBUQUERQUE

 

SF.3.STATUE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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‘Miracle Tree’ poses fire hazard in Duarte

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It was touted to be the “miracle tree,” a sure opportunity to get rich quick. It was the turn of the century and with redwood forests quickly disappearing at a time when re-planting was not the norm, future building was threatened. Enter the Eucalyptus tree, imported from Australia, with promises of solving the problem. It was said to produce medicinal and industrial oils, excellent timber and fuel. It would grow quickly in a variety of conditions and when felled, its roots would quickly sprout another tree. A frenzy of orders for this magical tree began and countless acres of Eucalyptus groves were planted with promises of tidy profits. More than 100 companies became involved in the industry and this craze changed the landscape of California.

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Once they realized that eucalyptus were not strong enough for building, leached a poison that threatened native trees and created a fire hazard because they are extremely flammable, eucalyptus farmers abandoned their groves. The city of Duarte has hired the fire department to remove the diseased and dying trees in a canyon on the Duarte mesa.  Work crews cut and remove the trees during certain months of the year.

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Above, evidence of burrowing beatles is found in limbs of a eucalytus log.

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The canyon is lovely — a Shangri-La. It is designated as watershed and wilderness land and is not open to the public. Because it is in a canyon, there is a downdraft, which increases the fire problem.  The work crews are chopping down diseased and dying eucs and clearing brush away. There are remnants of the old euc farm. We have photographed the artifacts for history’s sake. They are quite interesting, and some are puzzling.

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Tamara Hanna, deputy forester, pointed out where bears have clawed a tree. These marks were made by a very large bear! See below:

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One of the artifacts of interest is a ten foot section of a narrow gauge rail.  Was there a railway there?  Was it brought in for scrap metal?  It is a mystery – see below.

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ZOE OSBURN OF THE DUARTE HISTORICAL SOCIETY INVESTIGATES A FOUNDATION THAT REMAINS AS EVIDENCE OF PAST ENDEAVORS

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a red velvet ant goes about his business

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A modern piece of equipment seems out of place.  Presumably it will be used when the work crews continue clearing the area.

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HANG’N TREE MYSTERIOUSLY COLLAPSES

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ONCE THE TREE PROVIDED SHADE TO THE AUTO COURT ABOVE.  IT ALSO GREW AROUND THE OLD OAKLEIGH MOTEL, DESTROYED LONG AGO. THEN FOR YEARS THE TREE STOOD IN THE COURTYARD OF A CONDO COMPLEX ON HUNTINGTON DRIVE (Route 66) JUST EAST OF THE 7/11 AT HIGHLAND.

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Duarteans first heard of the 50 foot tree’s collapse which occurred about 2:00 a.m. on October 8, 2014 when they tuned in to the morning news, recognizing the oak’s familiar branches at first glance.  It is said that the tree may have begun its stately watch over what eventually became Route 66 more than 200 years ago.  Where it got its reputation as a tree employed to execute swift justice during this town’s wild west days is unknown, but widely accepted.

hang.tree.puck.bigTHE DUARTE HISTORICAL SOCIETY AND MUSEUM WITH THE HELP OF KAREN VANCE AND CHUCK TIPPLE SNAGGED A FEW LIMBS AND CREATED A COMMEMORATIVE PUCK HONORING THIS PIECE OF DUARTE HISTORY.

 

hang.tree.mcveyWe’ll miss those graceful branches which stood sentinel over our town for so many years.  But now we can visit the salvaged piece and reflect on our history while paying our respects to that old oak.”

 

ABOVE – JOSEPH MCVEY PERUSES NEW EXHIBIT AT THE DUARTE HISTORICAL MUSEUM – DEDICATED TO THE LOSS OF THE HISTORICAL HANGING TREE.

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The collapse of the hanging tree caused damage to the surrounding townhouses – some balconies and portions of the roof where destroyed.  Within a few days, the tree was sliced up and hauled off.

REST IN PEACE OUR OLD HANGING TREE.  WE WILL MISS YOU.

 

 

 

 

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Morro Bay to San Simeon: Always a good idea!

EmmaWood

A NIGHT AT EMMA WOOD CAMPGROUND BROUGHT US A LOVELY SUNSET

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MORRO BAY HARBOR, CALM, SUNNY AND FEBRUARY!

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THE FAMED ROCK IN THE BACKGROUND

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MAKES YOU WANT TO JUMP IN.

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NITWIT RIDGE. NO ONE HOME!

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A SUNSET WORTH WAITING FOR. WITH MY FRIEND CAROLYN ROBINSON. WE BOTH FELT SO LUCKY TO BE THERE.

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THRILLED TO VISIT THE SEA ELEPHANTS IN SAN SIMEON BUT JUST AS CURIOUS ABOUT THE AMISH FAMILY THERE.

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FEBRUARY IS WHEN THE SEA ELEPHANTS ARE MOST VISIBLE – BOTH MALE, FEMALES AND BABIES.

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UP UP AND AWAY: 5TH ANNUAL LAKE HAVASU BALLOON FEST – 1-16-15

WITH A BURST OF COLOR, THE BALLOONS RISE INTO THE MORNING SKY.  STILL DARK, THE OBSERVERS BUNDLE IN WARM CLOTHES AND SIP HOT DRINKS.  THE DAWN PATROL TESTS THE WINDS AND THEN THE OTHERS FOLLOW.

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VINTAGE CAR SHOWS, CRAFT BOOTHS, FOOD VENDORS, LIVE BANDS,

 

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ULTRALITES, HANG GLIDERS, CROP DUSTERS, BALLOONS, BIRDS, AND DRONES – THE SKY IS A TRAFFIC JAM!

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BIRD’S EYE VIEW

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AS THE BALLOONS DIP INTO THE WATER BELOW THE LONDON BRIDGE, CAMERAS CLICK AND OBSERVERS GIVE APPLAUSE!

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AS THE BALLOONS DIP INTO THE WATER BELOW THE LONDON BRIDGE, CAMERAS CLICK AND OBSERVERS GIVE APPLAUSE!

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THE BALLOON GLOW IS THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT.  BAL24 BAL23 BAL21 BAL20

ON OUR BOATRIDE ACROSS THE LAKE TO THE CASINO WE PASS THE VW CAMP

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CANADA GEESE AND SNOW GEESE ARE AMONG THE THOUSANDS OF BIRDS AT THE CIBOLA WILDLIFE REFUGE OUTSIDE OF BLYTHE. WE ALSO SAW SANDHILL CRANES

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BURROWING OWLS NEST ALONG THE ROAD

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THANKS TO THIS SIGN, WE FOUND OUR WAY BACK TO CAMP IN QUARTZSITE WITH THE MOJAVE OFFROAD EXPLORERS

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DRY CAMPING IN QUARTZSITE WITH OUR FRIENDS FROM THE MOJAVE OFFROAD EXPLORERS!

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RELATED TO THE FIGURES ALONG ROUTE 66 AND THROUGHOUT THE U.S. COWBOY MAN IS FROM SAME MOLD AS HOT DOG MAN, MUFFLER MAN, CHICKEN MAN.

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KAYAKING THE SALTON SEA – AMONG THE FLOCKS OF WHITE PELICANS

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OUR FAVORITE PART OF SALTON SEA CAMPING IS THE GLORIOUS SUNSETS. SAD TO THINK THIS AREA WILL ONE DAY BE LOST TO US FOR CAMPING AND TO THE BIRDS.

 

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FROM THE HIGH TO LOW DESERT – DEATH VALLEY TO ANZA BORREGO

CAMPED THE NIGHT IN SHOSHONE THEN ON TO FURNACE CREEK.  DESPITE A TRAILER FLAT, WE ARRIVED AT TEXAS SPRING CAMPGROUND.  THE ANNUAL 49ER ENCAMPMENT HAD BEGUN.

COMMON TO SEE OLD TIMERS STROLLING ALONG.

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E. CLAMPUS VITAS:  THE CLAMPERS  MARCH.(ABOVE)

ON TO JOSHUA TREE TO CAMP AT JUMBO ROCKS.

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BELOW IS A NATURAL SCENE AS THE SUNRISE CAST AN ORANGE GLOW ON THE ROCK:

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JT2.CHOLLA

ON TO THE SALTON SEA WITH A STOP AT SALVATION MOUNTAIN.  SADLY LENNARD KNIGHT HAS DIED, BUT SOMEHOW THE MOUNTAIN HAS BEEN PROTECTED/  ITS A MIRACLE!

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AS WE PULL IN TO THE SALTON SEA, LIFE CALMS.  SOME PEOPLE SAY NASTY THINGS ABOUT IT.  THE PEOPLE OF PALM SPRINGS HAVE VOTED AGAINST A BOND ISSUE THAT WOULD HAVE SAVED IT.  WE FIND GREAT BEAUTY THERE, ESPECIALLY AT SUNSET.

SS9 SS6 SS1 SS5 SS2 SS3 SS4

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THE RICH HISTORY OF THE MOJAVE DESERT REIGNS AT GOFFS ON ROUTE 66

 

sunrise.sign2THERE WERE MANY EXCITING EVENTS IN GOFFS DURING THE WEEKEND OF OCTOBER 10-12, 2014:   THE 35TH MOJAVE ROAD RENDEZVOUS, THE CELEBRATION OF THE 100 YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THE OLD GOFFS SCHOOL HOUSE, THE DEDICATION OF THE AMERICAN BOY TEN STAMP MILL, AND A VISIT FROM BERT THE CAMEL, TO NAME A FEW!

 

 

THE  1913 GOFFS SCHOOLHOUSE:

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THERE WAS ONE CLASSROOM, ONE TEACHER AND AFTER 8TH GRADE STUDENTS WHO WISHED TO CONTINUE THEIR EDUCATION WOULD HAVE TO BOARD WITH A FAMILY IN NEEDLES. SCHOOL2.SM

ABOVE BERT THE CAMEL JOINS IN THE SCHOOLHOUSE CELEBRATION!

WHEN DENNIS AND JO ANN CASEBIER PURCHASED THE TOWN OF GOFFS, THEY BEGAN RESTORING THE SCHOOLHOUSE WHICH WAS SUFFERING FROM THE RAVAGES OF WEATHER AND VANDALS. TODAY IT IS A MUSEUM AND HAS BEEN DEEDED OVER TO THE MOJAVE DESERT HERITAGE AND CULTURAL ASSOCIATION.

THE SCHOOLHOUSE WAS ONLY ONE DRAW FOR THE WEEKEND.  THE STOTTS TWO-STAMP MILL WAS FIRED UP AFTER YEARS OF RENOVATION.  IT IS PROBABLY THE LAST REMAINING ORIGINAL AND COMPLETE STAMP MILL IN THE MOJAVE DESERT.

TWOSTAMP3After this stamp mill was purchased and moved to Goffs, the area where it came from burned to the ground. Thank goodness it is in safe hands.

 

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THE AMERICAN BOY TEN-STAMP MILL:

tenstamp1 tenstamp2 tenstamp3.bertSurrounded by history buffs, the ten-stamp mill was fired up.  There were many similar mills in the area, but all were scrapped out during the world wars.  This one was disassembled and moved from Montana to Rosemond CA and sat in a wareyard.  Purchased by the MDH&CA and moved to Goffs, it was painstakenly restored.

Reassembled with as many original timbers as possible, it now runs on deisel.  It was first fired up in 2013 and officially dedicated this weekend.

 

 

 

BERT THE CAMEL CHECKS OUT THE FESTIVITIES AT THE OFFICIAL DEDICATION OF THE AMERICAN BOY TEN-STAMP MILL.

 

 

 

MottsMEMBERS OF THE MOJAVE DESERT HERITAGE AND CULTURAL ASSOCIATION COME FROM ALL OVER THE U.S. TO PARTICIPATE IN THE RENDEZVOUS EACH YEAR.

THE TOWN OF GOFFS WAS CREATED IN 1883 AS A SIDING AT THE “TOP OF THE HILL”  30 MILES WEST OF NEEDLES ON WHAT WAS TO BECOME THE MAINLINE OF THE SANTA FE RAILROAD. IT WAS ON ROUTE 66 WHEN IT WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1926 BUT WAS OUSTED LATER DUE TO  A RE-ALIGNMENT.

BY 1911 THE SANTA FE HAD CONCENTRATED ENOUGH EMPLOYEES IN GOFFS TO ESTABLISH A SCHOOLHOUSE.

 

BELOW IS BERT WHO APPEARS NOT ONLY ON HIS OWN BEHALF BUT TO TELL THE STORY OF THE CAMELS OF THE DESERT!   AFTER THE GOLDRUSH THERE WAS AN EFFORT TO PROTECT DESERT LANDS FOR  TRAVELERS.  A BILL WAS PASSED TO PURCHASE CAMELS FOR USE IN HAULING SUPPLIES.

 

CAMEL

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NANCY FITE POSES WITH HER CAMEL.  SHE IS IN THE RESERVES STATIONED IN SAN DIMAS.

 

IN 1857,LT. EDWARD BEALE USED 25 CAMELS AS HE SURVEYED THE LAND BETWEEN NEW MEXICO AND THE COLORADO RIVER.  AFTERWARDS HE CONTINUED ON WITH THE CAMELS THROUGH THE MOJAVE DESERT NEAR GOFFS TO LOS ANGELES AND FT. TEJON.

ALTHOUGH THE CAMELS CARRIED THE SUPPLIES, INCLUDING THE WATER FOR THE MULES AND HORSES, AND ATE CREOSOTE WHICH NONE OF THE

CAMEL3OTHER ANIMLAS WOULD EAT, PASSED ON THEIR SHARE OF WATER, AND PROVED TO BE SUPERIOR TRANSPORT ANIMALS, THEY WERE BRANDED A FAILURE.  WHY?  THEY SMELLED BAD, IRRITATED THE MULES AND WOULD KICK ANYONE WHO WOULD BEAT THEM.

IN THE END, THE ROAD FORGED BY BEALE WAS A FAILURE, MUCH OF THE ROUTE BECAME ROUTE 66, AND THE ATLANTIC AND PACIFIC RAILWAY (later the Santa Fe).

 

FIELD TRIPS ARE A FAVORITE PART OF THE RENDEZVOUS.  EACH MORNING CARAVANS OF FOUR WHEEL DRIVE VEHICLES LINE UP AND TAKE OFF INTO THE THE WILDS TO EXPLORE OLD MINES, ABANDONED TOWNS, PETROGLYPHS AND SUCH.  YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU WILL FIND!RILEYS1 RILEYS2

 

RILEY WAS AN OLD TIMER IN THE DESERT.  HE SPECIALIZED IN EXPLOSIVES AND WORKED FOR MANY OF THE MINES.  WHEN THE PRESERVE WAS ESTABLISHED HIS RANCH BECAME GRANDFATHERED IN, ONE OF THE FEW INHOLDINGS.

AFTER HIS WIFE DIED, HE RAISED HIS CHILDREN IN A SMALL CABIN WHICH HAS BEEN RENOVATED BY THE BLM.  A CEMETERY IS NEARBY.

 

 

 

 

 

WE MADE A STOP AT THE CONTROVERSIAL CROSS OF THE MOJAVE DESERT.  A GROUP WAS THERE SETTING UP FOR A CEREMONY.

CROSS.STITCHTHERE WERE IN THE PAST COMPLAINTS BECAUSE THE CROSS WAS ON PUBLIC LAND AGAINST THE LAW OF SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE.  THE VETERANS PROTESTED.  FINALLY THERE WAS A LAND SWAP AND NOW THE CROSS REMAINS ONLY ON PRIVATE LAND.  IT IS A LOVELY CROSS REFLECTING THE SUN’S RAYS AGAINST A BLUE SKY.

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THIS BLOGSITE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION AND NOT FINISHED.

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THE LONELIEST HIGHWAY IN AMERICA

LR1.SIGN

Around 1986 to 1988, Life Magazine is said to have ran a very negative article about Nevada State Highway 50 titled “The Loneliest Road.” An AAA spokesperson had described Nevada State Highway 50 route through Nevada in these words: “It’s totally empty. There are no points of interest. We don’t recommend it. We warn all motorists not to drive there unless they’re confident of their survival skills.”   NOT TRUE!!

THE FIRST TOWN ALONG THIS HIGHWAY IS BAKER. THERE YOU CAN PICK UP A PASSPORT. IF YOU GET IT STAMPED AT FIVE TOWNS BETWEEN BAKER AND THE END OF THE LONELIEST ROAD WHICH IS CARSON CITY, THEN YOU MAIL IT IN AND YOU WILL RECEIVE A FREE TEE-SHIRT AND HAT. OK, THE CHALLENGE IS ON.

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THIS HIGHWAY RIBBONS THROUGH SOME OF THE MOST HISTORIC AREAS IN THE WEST AND LOOSELY PARALLELS THE PONY EXPRESS ROUTE. WE STARTED AT GREAT BASIN NATIONAL MONUMENT WHICH IS NEAR BAKER, NEVADA. HERE WE CAMPED ALONG THREE MERGING BROOKS, DROVE UP THE MOUNTAIN WHERE BRISTLECONE PINES ARE GROWING SOME 13,000 FEET UP, HEARD A RANGER TALK ABOUT MOUNTAIN LIONS AND LOOKED OVER OUR SHOULDERS AFTER THAT. WE WENT TO AN ASTRONOMY LECTURE, AND TOURED THE LEHMAN CAVES

AT GREAT BASIN WE DROVE JUST BELOW WHERE THE BRISTLECONE PINES GROW, AT THE BASE OF MT. WHEELER

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GB4.MTNOUR CAMPSITE (below) IS ONE OF OUR ALL-TIME FAVORITES.  THREE BABBLING BROOKS CONFLUENCED JUST A FEW FEET FROM OUR FIRE PIT.

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SO, WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU HAVE ALL THAT ICY WATER AROUND? MEET THE CHALLENGE OF COURSE.

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TOURING THE LEHMAN CAVES IS ANOTHER ADVENTURE IN THIS PARK.

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LEHMAN CAVES IS A SINGLE CAVERN PENETRATING A QUARTER MILE INTO THE LIMESTONE AND MARBLE THAT FLANK THE BASE OF THE SNAKE RANGE. IT IS ONE OF THE REGIONS MOST PROFUSELY DECORATED CAVES.

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NEARBY IS THE WARD MINING DISTRICT WITH LOTS TO EXPLORE.

WARD1.CEMETERYWARD2.CEMETERYWARD3.CEMETERTWARD4.MINEWARD5.MINEWARD6.CORESAND ALAN DISCOVERS GOLD (the fool)WARD7.GOLDBELOW IS THE TOWNSITE.WARD8.TOWNSITEWARD9.CAFEFOLLOWING A SIGN TO A “CAFE,” THIS IS WHAT WE FOUND.  AFTER GOING INSIDE WHERE THE OWNER WAS ON A COUCH WATCHING TV, WE DECIDED NOT TO EAT THERE.

GB6.CAFE GB7.BUFFALO GB8.CAFEINSIDE BUT THERE WAS A REWARD.  OUT BACK OF THE “RANCH” WE SPIED A PRONGHORN ON THE FIELD.

WARD11.ANIMALAND THEN TWO PRONGHORNS IN AN X-RATED ACTION.WARD12.ANIMALS DOING ITNEARBY WE VISITED THE CHARCOAL OVENS STATE HISTORIC PARK WHICH IS BEST KNOWN FOR ITS 8 BEEHIVE SHAPED OVENS.  THEY CONTINUE TO REPRESENT A UNIQUE CHAPTER IN NEVADA’S MINING HISTORYWARD13.KILNSWARD15.KILNS

FLOWERSWHEN YOU LOOK CLOSELY YOU CAN SEE THAT WITHIN THE HARSH LANDSCAPE THERE ARE SEVERAL TYPES OF FRAGRANT SAGE AND COLORFUL FLOWERS SUCH AS THE PRICKLY POPPIES ABOVE.

TIME TO LEAVE GREAT BASIN AND BRAVE THE LONELIEST ROAD IN AMERICA WHICH, FOR US, BEGINS IN BAKER

LR2.SIGN.CARWE GOT A LITTLE WORRIED WHEN WE SPIED THE CARS BELOW JUST OFF THE ROAD.  MAYBE THIS WASN’T SUCH A GOOD IDEA. LR4.CAR LR5.CARSKULL

ON TO ELY, NEVADA VIA THE LONELIEST ROAD

Ely was founded as a stagecoach station along the Pony Express and the Central Overland Route. Ely’s mining boom came later than the other towns along US 50 with the discovery of copper in 1906. Though the railroads connecting the First Transcontinental Railroad to the mines in Austin and Eureka have long been removed, the railroad to Ely is preserved as a heritage railway by the Nevada Northern Railway and known as the Ghost Train of Old Ely.

OF COURSE WE HAD TO TAKE A RIDE ON THIS HISTORIC TRAIN.

CLICK ON TRAIN VIDEO BELOW.  IT TAKES A FEW SECONDS TO START.

TRAIN VIDEO

TRAIN1 TRAIN2.COLLAGE TRAIN3.TRAIN TRAIN4.INSTN

IT WAS A SPECIAL NIGHT COMMEMORATING THIS RAILROAD’S ATTEMPTS AT REFURBISHNG THE ANTIQUE TRAIN PARTS THAT HAD BEEN STORED.  THEY HAVE HAD SEVERAL PIECES RESTORED ON THE TV SHOW “AMERICAN RESTORATION.”

BELOW IS THE INSIDE OF THE STATION. TRAIN5.INSIDEAND THE EXTERIOR TRAIN6.STNWE GOT OUR TICKET….READY TO RIDE! TRAIN7.TICKETALL ABOARD TRAIN8.ALLABOARDTHE BEST VIEW IS ON THE OUTSIDE CAR, BUT WHEN THE SOOT STARTS FALLING IT CAN COVER YOU IN BLACK GRIT. TRAIN9.ME

WE MADE A STOP TO SEE SOME OF THE RESTORED EQUIPMENT. TRAIN10.RECONSTRUCTBACK IN THE TRAIN WE CONTINUED UP-CANYON. TRAIN12.INSIDE TRAINAS THE SUN STARTED TO SET, EVERYTHING TURNED PINK. TRAIN13.SUNSET TRAIN14.SUNSET TRAIN15.WORKERHEADED BACK TO THE STATION WE GOT A GOOD VIEW OF DOWNTOWN ELY AND THE NEVADA HOTEL AND CASINO. TRAIN16.HOTEL

RIDING THE TRAIN WASN’T GOOD ENOUGH FOR ALAN.  UP EARLY THE NEXT MORNING WE RUSHED TO THE STATION, TOOK MORE PICTURES THEN HEADED UP THE HIGHWAY STOPPING AT STRATEGIC SPOTS TO TAKE PICTURES OF THE TRAIN AS IT PASSED.  WE WERE NOT THE ONLY PEOPLE DOING THIS!

HAD TO STOP FOR A PICTURE OF THE LAST REMAINING BROTHEL IN TOWN:

TRAIN17.BIGFOUR  TRAIN18.TUNNEL TRAIN19.CROSSING TRAIN20

UP THE HILL FROM THE TRAIN ROUTE IS GARNET HILL – WE DECIDED TO GO GET RICH!

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CONTINUING ON THE LONELIEST HIGHWAY WE TOOK A SIDE TRIP TO CAVE LAKE. ACTIVITIES AT THIS PARK IINCLUDE TROUT FISHING, BIRD WATCHING AND HUNTING.

CL1.LAKE CL2.CAVEDRIVING HIGHWAY 50 TAKES YOU THROUGH MANY MILES OF WIDE VISTAS WHERE YOU CAN SEE MILES OF TUNDRA ON BOTH SIDES.  HIDDEN AWAY ARE MINES AND OLD TOWNSITES AND CAMPS.  BUT THERE ARE TOWNS, AND EUREKA IS ONE OF THE SPECIAL ONES.  WE STOPPED AT THE EUREKA MUSEUM TO GET ALAN’S PASSPORT STAMPED, AND WALKED AROUND TO SEE THE RENOVATED BUILDINGS SUCH AS THE 1879 COURTHOUSE BELOW.

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AND THE 1880 OPERA HOUSE EUREKA2.OPERAAND THE MUSEUM EUREKA3.MUSEUM EUREKA4.MUSEUM EUREKA5.MUSEUM

The town of Eureka was first settled in 1864 by a group of silver prospectors from nearby Austin, who discovered rock containing a silver-lead ore on nearby Prospect Peak.  Mining, especially for lead, supported the town and is still the town’s mainstay today.

AUSTIN

THIS TOWN FORMED WHEN SILVER WAS DISCOVERED IN 1862.  TODAY MANY HISTORICAL BUILDINGS REMAIN.  BELOW IS THE CHURCH

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AUSTIN IS ONE OF THOSE RARE PLACES THAT IMPRESSES, ONE WAY OR ANOTHER.  WE WERE LUCKY TO KNOW SOMEONE IN TOWN WHO PASSED ON SOME OF THE TOWN’S SECRETS.  CINDY, SISTER OF OUR GOOD FRIEND RANDY KING, GREETED US AT HER HOTEL.

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THERE IS A VERY IMPRESSIVE TURQUOISE SHOP IN TOWN.

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THE RUIN SHOWN BELOW IS WHAT IS LEFT OF THE BUTTERFIELD STAGE STATION AND LATER ALSO A PONY EXPRESS DEPOT.

LONELY1 LONELY2.OVERLANDTHE POST BELOW MARKS WHERE THE FOLLOWING ENTITIES WERE ONCE SITUATED: THE OVERLAND STAGE STATION,   PONY EXPRESS STOP, THE BUTTERFIELD AND WELLS FARGO EXPRESS ROUTE AND LATER THE OVERLAND TELEGRAPH TRANSCONTINENTAL LINE, EACH MARKS AN UPGRADE IN TRAVEL AND COMMUNICATIONS AT THE TIME. LONELY3.POST LONELY4.TRAILER

SAND MOUNTAIN FORMED BY QUARTZ PARTICLES GROUND BY GLACIERS FROM HARD SIERRA GRANITE AND WASHED DOWN THE WALKER RIVER.  THE PARTICLES WERE CARRIED BY THE WIND TO THIS LARGE BASIN BELOW THE STILLWATER RANGE.LONELY5.SAND

THE NEXT “TOWNS” WE HIT WERE FALLON AND DAYTON.  NEITHER HAD STAMPS FOR ALAN’S PASSPORT SO WE WENT ON TO CARSON CITY WHERE HE GOT HIS LAST STAMP THEN RAN TO THE MAILBOX TO SEND IN FOR HIS TEE SHIRT!

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LONELY6.PASSPORT MAP

AND SO ENDS OUR TREK ON AMERICA’S LONELIEST HIGHWAY WHICH WAS ANYTHING BUT LONELY.  TRUE, THIS STRETCH OF HIGHWAY IS FRAMED BY MOUNTAINS AND VALLEYS AND ENDLESS VISTAS, BUT IT IS ALSO THE KEEPER OF MINING HISTORY,SAGAS OF THE WILD WEST.AND PERHAPS WILD HORSES AND PRONGHORNS.

COMING HOME ON HWY 395 WE WERE ON FAMILIAR TERRITORY, CAMPING AT JUNE LAKE AND THEN BOULDER CREEK RV PARK IN LONE PINE. SOUTH OF LEE VINING AT THE JUNCTION OF THE TIOGA PASS HIGHWAY WE STOPPED AT OUR FAVORITE RESTAURNT IN THE EASTERN SIERRAS:  THE  MOBIL STATION WHICH SERVES EXCELLENT FOOD AND A GREAT VIEW OF MONO LAKE. MOBILCAMPING AT JUNE LAKE IS ALWAYS A PLEASURE:

JUNE1

JUNE3.DEERAND SO OUR CAMPING BUDDY, MR. TIKI, SAYS GOODBYE.  SEE YA NEXT TIME. JUNE4.TIKITHE LONELIEST ROAD WAS THE LAST LEG OF A THREE WEEK JOURNEY WHICH BEGAN IN KINGMAN ARIZONA WHERE WE ATTENDED THE INTERNATIONAL ROUTE 66 ASSOCIATION FESTIVAL.  TO SEE THE FIRST PART OF THIS TRIP, GO TO THOSE BLOG ENTRIES.

 

 

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LAKE POWELL, NO. RIM GC, LEE’S FERRY AND THE GEM: CORAL PINK SAND DUNES AND BRYCE CANYON

 

THE CAMPGROUND AT WAHWEAP MARIINA IS ONE OF  OUR FAVORITES.  A LOVELY VIEW OF THE LAKE AND BIG CAMPSITES.  WE CAN SIT IN CAMP AND WATCH BUNNIES AND SQUIRRELS SCAMPER ABOUT.  THE NIGHT SKY IS AMAZINE.

LP1  WAP5.POWELLYour campground stay includes use of the hotel pool.

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Someone has to do it!!

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DSC_0557WE TOOK A BOAT RIDE AND ALTHOUGH THE WATER LEVEL IS LOW ,THE SCENERY IS STILL AWESOME, A STARK BEAUTY OF SUBTLE COLORS AGAINST AN ARIZONA SKY.LP2.BOATLP3.WALLLP4.COVELP5.SUNSET

LEE’S FERRY IS A TINY SETTLEMENT ON THE BANK OF THE COLORADO RIVER.  IT IS NAMED AFTER THE MORMON SETTLER, JOHN LEE, WHO ESTABLISHED A FERRY THERE IN 1871.

LP6.RIVER FROM NAVAJO BRIDGEBELOW IS NAVAJO BRIDGE WHICH SERVES AS A VIEW POINT. LP7.NAVAJO BRIDGEBELOW YOU CANSEE NAVAJO BRIDGE AND THE HIGHWAY BRIDGE OVER THE COLORADO. LP8.BRIDGESTHE TINY LEE’S FERRY SETTLEMENT IS VERY PICTURESQUE, AS YOU CAN SEE! LP9.SIGN LP10.LEES1 LP11.WHEEL LP12.RIVERA PARTY OF RAFTERS WERE GETTING READY TO TAKE OFF FOR THEIR EXCURSION DOWN RIVER.  WE LEFT FROM THIS POINT MANY YEARS AGO WHEN WE RAFTED THE CANYON. LP13.RAFTS

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LEAVING THIS PHOTOGENIC AREA, WE HEADED THROUGH THE VERMILLION CLIFFS FOR JACOB LAKE – THE KAIBAB CAMPER VILLAGE – ABOUT 40 MILES FROM THE NORTH RIM OF THE GRAND CANYON.  IT WAS A TREK TO THE RIM BUT THE RV PARK WAS LOVELY, SHADED WITH PINES AND SURROUNDED BY MEADOWS LUSH WITH FLOWERS, MUSHROOMS AND GRAZIING HORSES.

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SPENDING A DAY AT THE RIM, WE HAD SUCH A PERFECT PICNIC TABLE.THAT PEOPLE WALKING BY STOPPED TO JOIN US AND COMMENT ON THE MAGNIFICENT VIEW. NR4.VIEW NR5.VIEW NR6.viiew NR7.TREEVIEW NR8.WINDOW NR9.VIEWTHE VIEW WAS EVEN BETTER FROM THE LODGE WITH A GIN ‘N TONIC IN HAND! NR10.VIEWHOTEL NR11.VIEWHOTEL NR12.BLDGNRALL GOOD THINGS COME TO AN END.  THE SUNSET AND WE LEFT THE RIM FOR CAMP. NR13.SUNSET  .LP14.CAR

ON THE WAY TO CORAL PINK SAND DUNES, WE STOPPED AT THE MOQUI CAVE – HOME TO THE LARGEST COLLECTION OF DINOSAUR TRACKS IN SOUTHERN UTAH.  OWNED AND OPERATED BY THE CHAMBERLAIN FAMILY FOR OVER 50 YEARS, LEX CHAMBERLAIN GAVE US OUR TOUR.   (HIGHWAY 89).

MC1.DOOR MC2.DOOR MC3.INSIDE MC4.ROCKSGREETING US AT THE GATE WAS MY FAVORITE TOTUM, KOKOPELLI. MC5.KOKO

OK, WE ARE DRIVING ALONG AND SPY A SIGN “CORAL PINK SAND DUNES STATE PARK NEXT LEFT.”    ABOUT JACK KNIFED AS ALAN MADE THE TURN AND HEADED FOR ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SPOTS ON OUR TRIP AND ONE OF THE TOP 5 CAMPGROUNDS WE HAVE HAD THE PLEASURE TO CAMP IN.  AND…VERY FEW PEOPLE AROUND.  OUR CAMERAS WERE CLICKING.

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ALL THAT BEAUTY INSPIRED ALAN TO PLAY THE FLUTE.  NO BOB GOODWIN, HE’S NOT SMOKING A PEACE PIPE.CPSD1.FLUTE

ENDING THIS LEG OF OUR JOURNEY, WE CONTINUED ON TO BRYCE CANYON, FOR MORE ORANGE ROCKS, HOODOOS, BLUE SKIES AND RED CLIFFS.

 AND ON TO BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK

HEADED FOR BRYCE WE DROVE THROUGH A TOWN CALLED ORDERVILLE AND STOPPED AT THE ROCK SHOP.  ALAN WAS WOWED BY THIS TUB OF BLUE GLASS ROCKS..

BRICE1.ROCKSMADE IT THROUGH THE TUNNEL BRICE2.TUNNEL  BRICE4.TUNNEL EVERYWHERE IN BRYCE WE SAW HOODOOS BRICE5.HOODOOTHE CANYON IS AMAZING AND REFLECTS VARIOUS COLORS DEPENDING ON THE TIME OF DAY.  FIERY COLORS AND ENDLESS VISTAS GIVE WAY TO A DREAMY LANDSCAPE. BRICE6.VIEW BRICE7.VIEW BRICE8.VIEW BRICE9.VIEWTHE RIM TRAIL OFFERS HORSEBACK RIDERS AND HIKERS A CLOSE UP VIEW OF THE MAJESTIC FORMATIONS.  THE TRAIL BOSS KEPT YELLING BACK TO THE TOURISTS FOLLOWING HIM:  “DON’T LOOK DOWN!!!”BRICE10.HORSE

WITH ALL THESE AMAZING PLACES BEHIND US WE WERE ABOUT TO ENTER NEW TERRITORY WHICH PROVED TO BE A GREAT ADVENTURE. ON “THE LONELIEST HIGHWAY IN THE UNITED STATES.”

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EXPLORING THE MYSTERIES, LORE AND GORE OF TWO GUNS & DIABLO CANYON

Headed for Flagstaff and our usual visit to Black Barts, we made the obligatory stop at the Route 66 town of Seligman.  The entire town is a museum celebrating Route 66.  Memorabilia shops and restaurants abound and the street is thick with tourists from all over the world.

IMG_1759 The angel of Route 66, Angel Delgadillo, is often at his barber shop in Seligman to welcome fellow Route 66 fans.  Below is his barber chair.  Angel received his barber’s license in Pasadena, California! IMG_8432 IMG_8434 ON TO TWO GUNS! IMG_8438

OUR NEW FRIENDS FROM FLORIDA, JOE AND LANYING ZEIGLER, FOLLOWED US TO THE SITE OF TWO GUNS WHERE ALAN LECTURED ON THE HISTORY OF THIS FASCINATING SPOT.  IT WAS ONCE A FAMED STOP ALONG ROUTE 66, BUT THE TRUE STORY INVOLVES THE APACHE DEATH CAVE AND STARTS LONG BEFORE THE MOTHER ROAD WAS A CONCEPT.TG1.signTHIS SPOT IS EASY TO MISS.  WHEN WE TOOK OUR SANTA MONICA TO CHICAGO ROUTE 66 TRIP WE MISSED IT COMPLETELY.  IT WAS ONLY LATER WE LEARNED THE GRUESOME STORY AND VISITED THE AREA TO INVESTIGATE. TG2.mtn.lionMOUNTAIN LIONS (ABOVE)???? WHAT IS THAT DOING HERE?  LOCATED OUTSIDE OF FLAGSTAFF BETWEEN THE TWIN ARROWS AND METEOR CITY,  THE CRUMBLING ROCK SHELTERS WERE ONCE CAGES IN A TOURIST TRAP ZOO ALONG THE ROAD.  TWISTED BARBED WIRE FENCES REMAIN.  QUITE PHOTGENIC, ESPECIALLY UNDER AN ARIZONA SKY.TG3.window TG4.cages

ACOSS THE BRIDGE MORE RUINS MAY BE EXPLORED. TG5.bridge TG6.rockwall TG8.rockBUT THE REAL STORY THAT DRAWS VISITORS INVOLVES THE APACHE DEATH CAVE.  THE CAVE IS LOCATED BELOW THIS ROCK SHELTER.  YOU CAN PROBABLY CLIMB DOWN TO ENTER, BUT IT LOOKS PRETTY DANGEROUS.  AND WHY WOULD YOU ENTER A DEATH CAVE ANYWAY? TG9.caveAS THE STORY GOES, HOSTLE APACHES ENTERED THE CANYON, SLAUGHTERING MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN.  THEY CARRIED OFF NAVAJOS FOR SLAVES.  ALTHOUGH NAVAJO WARRIORS BLOCKED OFF THE EXIT TO THE CANYON, THE APACHES NEVER SHOWED.  WHERE WERE THEY?  HOW DID THEY ESCAPE?  THE ANSWER WAS EVENTUALLY DISCOVERED:  THEY WERE HIDING IN A LARGE CAVE WITH THEIR HORSES AND CAPTIVES.TG10.caveABOVE IS THE PRESENT DAY CAVE ENTRANCE.  WHEN THE NAVAJOS REALIZED THE APACHES WERE HIDING IN THE CAVE, THEY BUILT FIRES TO SMOKE OUT THEIR ENEMY.  TO PROTECT THEMSELVES, THE APACHES KILLED THEIR HORSES, STUFFING THE BODIES INTO THE CREVICES TO STOP THE SMOKE.  IT DID NOT WORK AND THEY ALL DIED.  AND SO, TODAY WE ARE LEFT WITH REMNANTS FROM THIS GRUESOME STORY OF THE APACHE DEATH CAVE!

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TG11.US AFTER EXPLORING THE AREA AND TALKING ABOUT THE HISTORY OF TWO GUNS, WE TAKE OFF FOR ANOTHER ADVENTURE, ONLY A FEW MILES AWAY.  SOON THE BLUE SKY TURNS GREY AND AN APPROACHING STORM HURRIES US ALONG.  THIS IS NOT AN AREA WHERE YOU WOULD WANT TO BE CAUGHT IN A FLASH FLOOD.

EXPLORING DIABLO CANYON

AFTER A FEW MILES OF DIRT ROAD WE FIND THE SIGHT OF THE RAILROAD TRACKS AT DIABLO CANYON.  LOOKING AHEAD THINGS APPEAR ROSY, BUT WHEN WE TURNED AROUND….DC5.bldgWE COULD SEE THE STORM APPROACHING.  PHOENIX WAS JUST WIPED OUT BY MANSOON FLOODS, SO I WAS A BIT CONCERNED!  OUR FRIENDS JOE AND LANYING STUCK WITH US. DC4.stormFROM 1880 TO 1882, THE RAILROAD CAMP CALLED DIABLO CANYON SUPPORTED CONSTRUCTION CREWS “AND A BEVY OF RUTHLESS CHARACTERS.”   IT IS SAID THE MAIN STREET WAS DUBBED “HELL STREET” FOR THE FOURTEEN SALOONS, TEN GAMBLING DENS AND BROTHELS.

DC7.SIGN

DC3.tressle DC2.tressleTHE BRIDGE SHOWN ABOVE IS THE CURRENT BRIDGE OF MORE MODERN CONSTRUCTION.  IN THE CANYON BELOW ARE REMNANTS OF THE ORIGINAL TRESSLE BRIDGE FOUNDATIONS WHICH WAS HIGHER AND VERY PRECARIOUS.  THE TRAINS (AT&SF AND TODAY BNSF) TRAVELLED TO FLAGSTAFF AND ALL THE WAY TO LOS ANGELES IN A PATTERN FOLLOWED BY ROUTE 66 WHEN IT WAS INITIATED.  DC1.tressle

DC6.TWIN ARROWS HEADED BACK TO FLAGSTAFF WE STOPPED AT THE TWIN ARROWS CASINO TO MAKE OUR DONATION TO THE NATIVE AMERICANS!

BUT THE DAY’S ADVENTURES WERE NOT OVER.  HEADED BACK TO FLAGSTAFF WE DROVE OUT TO WUPATKI SUNSET CRATER VOLCANO NATIONAL MONUMENT.

WAP1.viewHERE REMNANTS OF THE  DWELLINGS OF PUEBLOAN PEOPLES ARE PROTECTED AND A VISITOR CENTER AND MUSEUM OFFER EXHIBITS AND A MOVIE TO EDUCATE THE PUBLIC.WAP2.paintingTHE PEOPLE OF THE WUPATKI PUEBLO STRUGGLED THROUGH HARSH WEATHER CONDITIONS AND POOR SOIL.  RAISING CORN WAS DIFFICULT UNTIL THE LAND RECEIVED A BENEFICIAL ASH FALL FROM NEARBY SUNSET CRATER.  HOWEVER, THAT SOON DIMINISHED AND EVENTUALLY THEY MOVED ON. WAP3.VIEW2 WAP4.PAINT AND SO ENDS OUR ADVENTURES IN AND AROUND FLAGSTAFF.  WE WERE READY TO HEAD ONWARD AND EXPLORE IN AND AROUND LAKE POWELL. WAP5.POWELL

 

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