9 comments on “The Catacombs and the Road

  1. Look at how majestic that Elk rack is, It’s as large as his body mass, never get that close during season. Going to places like this is like going to Disneyland for me. I dig into it even as deep as trying to figure out if the boards had been hand cut local or milled. If hand cut you can even see where they stopped to take a break and then resumed cutting after, kind of like reading tree rings. If it’s milled then I try to estimate the diameter of the blade if it was circular and then try to figure out where the nearest mill was where the boards may have originated and been imported from. It turns into a treasure hunt for knowledge, kind of like trying to chase down the source of the obsidian a point was produced from. Everything has a trail and story from source to final destination.

    I really like to follow old roads like this too. I had the opportunity to walk the Beale road from Flagstaff to the river by horse back. There were a lot of interesting areas along the way. As we were going down through the canyon between Peach Springs and Hackberry we could hear the echoes of our own horses shoes I could just hear Father Garces and his caravan first coming through this canyon. We will go spend some time when we get a chance looking for evidence of Garces. We hope to maybe find a native petroglyph recording the event or a marking from one of the party it’s self. I have followed the continuation of this Beale route on the Ca side from the river to Barstow by jeep. There are some fascinating spots that are amazing with history!

    Our best find yet on the Ca Mojave Road portion is a native petroglyph of a man with a large hat mounted on a horse, an observation and record of the Garces expedition ? 🙂

    Thank you for sharing! Great photos!

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    • Very interesting JR and yes along these old roads there is a lot of history that most people miss. To me it is very interesting. We were disappointed with not being able to enter the tunnels but we found other interesting stuff elsewhere in the area. A lot of history is missed and I couldn’t help but wonder how many people living along parts of the old wagon road even knew what it was or had been. We met some of the people along the way. One elderly man knew all about it but the others seemed not to have a clue or knew very little about it. Yet, this old road was the lifeline for the soldiers and families at Ft Apache as supplies were brought to the Fort via the road.

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      • The trick is to try and gain the trust of the longtime ranching families in an area first. Sometimes this can take a year or more but the one thing they all have in common is a extreme love for history. There was part of the Beale Road I had trouble finding and following for about 10 miles because erosion had rendered it almost completely untraceable at ground level. Up and until I made friends with one of the longtime ranching families through another longtime ranching family friend in the area at a party.

        Turns out the road ran right through his ranch yard and his grandfather built a long barn end to end right over the top of the Beale Road. So to actually physically follow the original path you had to go through the barn! lol But it also turns out he had a love for the history of the Beale Road and took the time to supply a mount shortly after and we road the tracks across his land from where I lost it to where it cold be picked up again just before Kingman on it’s way to Fort Beale.

        We are still friends to this day and he has been a treasure trove about the history of area. But it even turned out that he was familiar with my ranching family and knew my Grandmother and my Great Grandfather from when he was a boy. He has also been friends and went to school with the Hualapai and has made some fantastic connections for me with this tribe and the elders that were still alive at the time. Through him I am now trusted and “in” with the tribe where my mountain property is located. 🙂

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  2. the powers that be are the a-holes that have screwed everything up. that’s to bad you couldn’t get to see those tunnels. i believe they are not a myth but it would have been nice to know for sure. any how it did make me think of all the ghost and gold mining towns just an hour away in several directions. 2 that have been rebuilt are now historical and tourist spots. Virginia City and Nevada City. Virginia has the shops and the opera house to see a play is a must, and Nevada is the place to stay. it has a living museum where volunteers dress the part and tell the history. being a cabinet maker i got to see the lumber mill at the end of town, powered buy a steam tractor. there was a big circular saw to square the logs, a gang rip saw to rip the timbers to planks, and a planer and a long flat drive belt to power them buy the steam tractor, rusting hulks from an era where they would not meet OSHA regulations!

    close to home there is Hughsville mostly abandoned, except for a few year rounders and summer retreaters. there is a few remnants of the mining equipment. there is a large man made pond that is full of heavy metals, it has actually killed the creek Dry Fork.

    there is a ski resort up out of Helena. on the road to it there is the gold mining town of Marysville, where really big claim was. the Drumlummon mine owned by a Thomas Cruise no relation to the actor. when they were paving the road as it was dirt, up to the ski resort, they were clearing brush and forest growth away and found a bunch of artifacts and some remnants of buildings from the Chinese laundry and that part of town. in the hey day of that little boom town there were about 20g people living there. how ever the Chinese were not counted as the “regular” population.

    up on the Elk Creek where i spent a lot of time there as a kid and still sometimes, there is a miners cabin right on the creek. when i was a kid the walls were mostly intact, now i’ve seen it slowly return to nature. the walls are collapsed in the middle where the windows were and the corners are tipping inward, the creek is just under one corner. there is a sulfur spring right downstream maybe 50 feet. across the creek up under a thick cliff face there is an overhang where there are Indian markings. i walk up to them every time i go there to make sure they are still there.

    i just found out that my wife’s brother is moving to Grand Junction CO. he was in Salt Lake City. where a sister is as well. when my wife informed me that if we go to SLC to see her sister, we are also going Grand Junction CO. so i got the road map out and showed her that if i have to go all the way to SLC then all the way to GJ CO we might as well FINISH the drive and go to the CHACO Ruins and state park!

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    • I’ve been to Virginia City and to the Opera House. Haven’t made it to some of the others yet but I plan to get back up to Reno at some point and scout around. The ruins at Chaco are well worth seeing and I recommend them to everyone.

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  3. i should say that it is Virginia City in Montana, not Nevada, it was named after the Virginia city in Nevada, as Nevada city was named after the state. needless to say it just shows we are all surrounded by history from many eras, no matter where you live, you just have to unplug from the tv and internet and get the hell outside and look around, and i have penciled in a drive to Chaco on my bucket list as i am sure we will be visiting both sister and brother in the not to distant future.

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