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Saturday, January 29, 2011

More California Treasures Just Waiting To Be Found


Alameda County - With a posse on their tails in 1893, two banditsallegedly buried a cache of stolen loot near a brick kiln at Adams Point on Lake Merritt. When the lawmen caught up with the outlaws, one was killed and the other immediately arrested. The surviving outlaw died later died in prison. The ill-gotten treasure has never been found.

Contra Costa County - Dr. John Marsh, a California pioneer who was sometimes referred to as California's first American doctor, was allegedly known to bury his money near his home nestled in the foothills of Mt. Diablo.

Lake Merritt, California, from Adams Point, 1884
Lake Merritt from Adams Point, 1884, photo

Marsh was murdered in 1856 while on his way home from Martinez, without ever telling anyone of the exact location of his hidden riches. The treasure tale today alleges that Marsh had hidden a cache of some $40,000 gold coins near his home or Marsh Creek, that bears his name. Currently plans are under way to develop the location into a CaliforniaState Park.


Another, even larger treasure is said to be buried along the beaches of the county. In 1901, the Selby Smelter at Vallejo Junction was busy refining ores that were shipped from a number of neighboring mining districts.  But, one employee by the name of John Winters, was "busy” at a different task -- that of removing gold bars, one at a time from the vault, and burying them on the beach near the water’s edge. Taking an estimated $283,000 in gold, Winters was finally caught and about $130,000 of the bars were recovered. However, more than $150,000 remained lost.

Humboldt County - In July of 1928, the small post office at Willow Creek was robbed by two outlaws that escaped with some $2,800. According to the story, the bandits buried the loot in one of two places and never returned to retrieve it. The first version of its location tells of the stolen cache being buried near the Cedar Flat Bridge that crosses Trinity River about four miles upriver from Burnt Ranch. The second location has the loot hidden at some point up New River Canyon on the first ranch above the mouth of New River.

Another stolen cache, taken by an employee of the San Francisco Mint in 1894, is said to be buried in Humbolt County. The thief was later captured and sent to prison for his crime but refused to reveal the exact location of the loot. The treasure, containing some 290 pounds of gold ingots, is thought to be buried at Shelter Cove near Point Delgado.

Inyo County - Near Scotty's Castle in Death Valley, some say that a hidden cache of gold coins, amounting to as much as $200,000, was buried by Walter Scott. "Scotty," as he was more familiarly known, was a flamboyant and outrageous character, and a known swindler and prospector. Though he did not build or own the castle that bears his name, he was closely associated with the man that did.

Kings County - In 1873, the small town of Kingston, California was a stopping place on the Overland Stage route between Stockton and Visalia, California. In December of 1873,Tiburcio Vasquez and outlaw band made a bold raid, robbing the entire village and holding 39 men hostage. When an alarm was raised , the bandits dashed to their horses and began to flee. However, in the ensuing melee, three of the outlaws were shot and killed and the man carrying the stolen loot was wounded.

Kingston, California, 1879
Kingston, California is gone today but was thriving in 1870, photo
Unable to reach a horse, the injured bandit escaped on foot and made his way across the Kings River. Though theoutlaw was pursued, neither he nor the loot could be found. Years later, a skeleton was discovered in the area and was thought to have been the injured bandit, but again the ill-gotten cache remained unrecovered.

By the 1890's the town of Kingston had totally been abandoned and is completely gone today. The site of the town is now a California Historical Landmark (#270), which can be found in Kingston Park in the city of Hanford.

Marin County - Not all lost treasures of California are related to the Gold Rush. During the wild and wooly days of Prohibition, a German whiskey smuggler named Carl Hause was doing a brisk business. Hause's operations were located on Point Reyes Peninsula at the edge of Drake's Inlet just south of Inverness. The whiskey smuggler was said to have buried approximately $500,000 in gold-backed currency somewhere between Inverness and the old Heims Ranch. However, the liquor entrepreneur would not live to retrieve his ill-gotten gains as he was found shot to death in his car. The currency has never been found.


Modoc County - Though Modoc County was never known as prime mining country, a few treasure tales continue to be told in this region that is most known for its Indian lore and unparalleled scenic beauty.
In the last years of the 19th century a sheepherder picked up a heavy rock on the west slope of the South Warner Mountains. Forgetting about it for months, he finally retrieved the stone and took it to an assayer. Imagine his shock when he was told that the heavy rock was almost pure gold. He soon found an Alturas banker, who grubstaked him and the sheepherder returned to the Warner Mountains. However, try though he might, he searched relentlessly and was never able to find the source of ore again.

Another fairly well authenticated story tells of an Oregon emigrant who picked up a similar piece of rock in the 1850’s in the area of Devil's Garden. Though no mineral deposits of any amount were ever found in the area, the legend of hidden ore persists.

In the lava beds of northwest Modoc County a family was seeking refuge from a snowstorm some sixty years ago. While there, they said they found a rich copper vein in a crater of the rugged volcanic formations. Though Mr. Courtright and other prospectors returned to the area to search for the rich ore, it was never found.

During the 1860's an army scout by the name of Daniel Hoag was stationed at Fort Bidwell. While on a scouting trip into the Warner Mountains, in the area of Fandango Peak, he reportedly found a rich gold ledge. However, it was at this time that the area was in the midst of what is referred to as the Modoc Indian War. Hoag was killed in one of the battles before he was able to return to the site and the location of the ledge remains lost. Fort Bidwell, used from 1864 to 1892, is located on the Fort Bidwell Indian Reservation, where the officer's quarters continue to stand near the old post cemetery.


Nevada County - Several tales continue about the Donner Partyhaving buried their money during the time they were trapped during that terrible winter in 1846. One story tells that George Donnerallegedly buried about $10,000 in gold somewhere near Alder Creek northeast of Truckee, California. Though the cache has never been "officially" located, many believe that it was dug up and stolen afterDonner's death. Other members of the party are also said to have buried their savings in the area. This was supported when in May, 1891, a man named Edward Reynolds found a five-franc silver piece while fishing on the northeast corner of Donner Lake. A few days later, he and a friend returned to the site and found an entire sack of coins. The horde was believed to have been hidden by Elizabeth Graves.

San Luis Obispo County - There are numerous caves located through San Luis Obispo County that provided great cover for outlawsduring California's Wild West days. Near Avila Beach, a group ofbandits were said to have made one of these caves their hiding place where they hid much of there stolen cache. No additional information is available on the exact location of the cave.


Donner Lake, 1866,
Donner Lake, 1866,
This image available for photographic prints and downloads HERE!

Shasta County - Long ago, when a detachment of soldiers were transporting an Army payroll along the road between Redding and Weaverville, California, they were attacked by Indians. While the battle ranged, one soldier had the foresight to bury the gold and marked it by burying his rifle straight up in the ground. He then joined the rest of the soldiers in the frenzied battle.   Severely wounded, he was later rescued and taken to French Gulch where he told the story of the attack and buried payroll before he died. Though the army began an immediate search, they were unable to find the rifle or the hidden gold. Many years later, two deer hunters in the vicinity found the rifle and not knowing the story, removed it and took it with them. Today, French Gulch is a sleepy little village located about 10 miles east of Lewiston, California.

Tehama County – Peter Lassen was a pioneer and land owner in California long before its Gold Rush days of 1849. Arriving in 1840, he was able to secure a 26,000-acre land grant in 1843. Located in the upper Sacramento Valley, Lassen hoped to develop his land into an empire and established the Rancho Los Bosquejo, or the "ranch of the wooded places" in 1845. In the years that followed, Lassen developed a trading post, a new settlement, vineyards, and farms to entice people to what he believed would be his new empire. However, when gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, his workers and settlers abandoned him for the goldfields. Lassen’s fortunes would rise and fall over the next decade until he was murdered in 1859 while traveling to Virginia City, Nevada to prospect for silver. Afterwards, a legend began to grow that Lassen had buried thousands of dollars in gold near his home on the Rancho Los Bosquejo. Located at the confluence of Deer Creek and the Sacramento River, he was said to have hidden his gold coins in iron pots surrounding his property. Though Lassen had a lifetime of financial difficulties, the legend continues. The buried cache is thought to be in Deer Creek Canyon near Vina,California or somewhere along the Lassen Trail which follows Deer Creek.

Some twenty years after Lassen's death, a miner named Obe Leininger found a gold-flecked ledge of gold in the same area. In order to find it again, he marked the spot by burying his pick in the trunk of a nearby tree. When he returned, however, he was unable to find the tree with the pick, though he searched the area diligently. Though he and others who had heard his tale continued to search the area for years afterwards, the gold ledge was never found again. The location of the ore was said to be to between the mouth of Calf Creek and the Potato Patch campground of the U.S. Forest Service, just beyond Deer Creek.

Trinity County - In the 1862, the sheriff of Trinity County was not only responsible for upholding the law, but was also tasked with collecting taxes. On one occasion as he was traveling through the area, his saddle bag was filled with about $1,000 in gold coins and $50 gold slugs. As the sheriff and his horse were cautiously crossing a stream, the horse stumbled and the saddlebag filled with gold was dropped and washed down the creek. Though the lawman made an immediate search of the area, he was unable to find the bag. Soon, the county offered a reward of $250 for the recovery of the saddle bag, but but despite diligent search efforts, including damming up the creek, it was never found. In those early days of California, gold slugs were often minted by assayers and private mines. Today, in addition to their gold value, they have also become major collectible items, and if the treasure were to be found today, some estimate it could be worth as much as a million dollars. The creek was located near Weaverville, California.

Yuba County - During California's Gold Rush days, a prospector by the name of Bill Snyder was one of the lucky ones. Working a claim along on of the branches of Oregon Creek on a ridge behind Camptonville, he consistently brought out large quantities of gold. Just as the gold was almost exhausted, Snyder became seriously ill and knowing he needed medical attention, he buried his gold, estimated at $30,000, between 2 large pine trees in the flat area below his cabin. He then left his cabin to seek a doctor. Though the type of illness is unknown, it was evidently very serious, as he was unable to return home for over a year. Imagine his distress when he returned to the site to find his cabin and the two large pine trees gone, replaced by a sawmill that now stood in its place. Only stumps of trees remained and though he searched diligently i the area, he was never able to locate his buried gold. He later died in the county home and to this day the hidden cache has never been found.

© Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated September, 2010.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

ARIZONA LEGENDS


Flagstaff Trading Post - Due the many robberies during the 1800s, one owner of an Indian trading post named Herman Wolf, got in the habit of burying his profits in cans and jars around the fences on his property. Operating the trading post for thirty years on the Little Colorado River between 1869-1899, his highly profitable business brought him tens of thousands of gold and silver coins over the years. These treasure troves are said to have numbered in the hundreds of thousands and his thirty year accumulationestimated at $250,000.

In 1901 twenty U.S. gold coins were found, and in 1966, a bucket of Mexican silver was discovered at the site. However, these two finds are but a small percentage of what was buried and the main cache remains to be found. The old store was located on the LittleColorado River River just off the California-Santa Fe Trail nearCanyon Diablo.

Flagstaff Arizona 1943
Ashurst Ranch - Long a go a man named William Ashurst owned a ranch about 25 miles southeast of Flagstaff. The ranch was located near a good spring, known as Ashurst Run. The rancher was said to have buried a number of five and ten pound cans filled with gold coins on his property. According to legend, this gold was never recovered after his death.

Rogers Lake - During the winter of 1881, outlaws Henry Corey and Ralph Gaines stole eight large gold bars from the Tip Top Mine near Gillette, Arizona. Each of these bars, which were three feet long and four inches wide, were buried near a cabin at Rogers Lake. The pair then headed to Flagstaff, where they relieved a stagecoach of $25,000 in gold and silver coins. Returning to the cabin with the treasure, they dug up the gold bars and placed these, along with the stagecoach loot, into large wooden kegs. Chipping a hole in the ice, they then lowered their stolen booty into the lake. Before long the sheriff learned that the outlaw pair was holed up at Rogers Lake and along with a posse, set out to capture them. Spying the approach of the lawmen, the bandits made a hasty retreat, leaving the treasurebehind. Later, Gaines would be killed in a brawl and Corey was arrested during a holdup near Globe, Arizona and sent to prison. When Corey was released 24 years later, he and a friend made repeated searches for the loot but it was never found. Corey died in 1936. During dry times throughout the year, the dry lakebed areas of this low level lake can be easily searched.

Morman Lake In 1879, four outlaws robbed a stage near Gila Bend, making off with $125,000 in gold coins and 22 gold bars stamped "AJO". The very next day, they robbed another stage near Stanwix Station where they made a haul of two chests which contained $140,000 in gold coins and $60,000 in currency.

The gang fled to the northeast into Tonto Basin, then turned to the northwest as a posse began to catch up with them. Before long the lawmen overtook the gang and the inevitable shoot-out occurred. Two of the outlaws were killed in the foray, but two others escaped toHolbrook.

The two outlaws holed up at Holbrook for a time waiting for things to cool off. While there, one of the outlaws was killed in a dispute over a poker game. His outlaw partner, Henry Tice, then killed the other gambler.

However, someone felt that justice was not yet done, and shot Tice, leaving no one to disclose the location of the hidden loot. The cache is believed to be somewhere around the cliffs between Morman Lake and Flagstaff and though many have looked, it has never been found.
© Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, February, 2010.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

More Missouri Treasures

Spanish Treasure in Cass County - On October 24, 1879 an article in the Cass County Times-Courier described the location of a hidden Spanish treasure near Harrisonville,Missouri. The text read:
"Before being massacred by attacking Indians in 1772, several hundred Spaniards buried 15 loads of gold averaging 130 pounds each and 1,000 bars of silver weighing an average of 20 pounds to the bar... in the area four or five miles west and one or one and one-half miles north of Harrisonville. The silver was buried within one-fourth of a mile of where the present day Rodman School is standing; the gold is three fourths of a mile farther northwest.”
More than fifty years later, a construction crew was building a bridge in 1930. The location was several miles southeast of the old Rodman School. During the excavation, the crew found evidence of a battle between the Spanish and the Indians, locating old weapons, skeletons, and part of old armor.
Harrisonville has dramatically grown in the last several years, so locating the exact location of the old Rodman School will, no doubt, require some sleuthing skills.
Reader Update: I live in Cass county, just north of Harrisonville and a little east of Peculiar, Missouri We have always heard the legend of the Spanish gold and have been told that it is on some land that we had when I was a child and I think mom and dad still own. My sister, brothers and I are going to hunt this weekend, weather permitting. There is an area that dad could never get any grass or anything to grow on. We will look there. Thanks for the research that backs the claims that we have always heard. - Teresa, October, 2004
Reader Update: I've been researching the "Harrisonville" legend and have found the "Rodham" school. I am planning on a trek this weekend to the area. I was viewing some of the maps online and found a topographic map and aerial photo of the area, approximately a 1/4 mile from Rodham school. On the aerial photo there appears to be a concentric ring that does not appear on the topo. I am still trying to find other aerial photos of the is area. See here: Treasurenet. For some reason this "legend" kind of gets my blood pumping. While the Spanish were in the area at the time, I would like to see if I could find records from the Spanish missions in the area. Perhaps they might hold more documentation of the massacre. I believe the Indian tribe was the Osage. I can't say for sure but that seemed to ring a bell. Perhaps some of the old Osage tribal leaders might have information about it. - From Rex, "Flatlander With Gold Fever," April, 2005

Outlaw Loot at Huzzah - About three miles out of Huzzah, Missouri is said to be a cache of stolen outlaw loot. The treasure was carried up a small hollow from Haunted Springs to a rock shelter, placed in a fox hole under the bluff and covered with rocks. At the time it was buried, the skull of a horse head was left as a marker. Huzzah, Missouri is approximately 100 miles southeast of Jefferson City, Missouri on Missouri Highway 8.

More Spanish Treasure - Legends abound throughout the area of Noble Hill that a cache of Spanish treasure is buried in the area somewhere. Noble Hill, is about thirteen miles north of SpringfieldMissouri on Missouri Highway 13 on the Polk-Greene County line.

 Your ALT-Text here Kaffer Treasure - A cache of gold coins known as the Kaffer Treasure is said to be buried in the area of Armstrong, Missouri. Armstrong is about forty miles northwest of Columbia, Missouri.

Sunken Treasure in the Mississippi - In the Mississippi River that runs along the banks of St. LouisMissouri there were several steamships that went down in the river long ago. Some of these are said to be laden with gold coins.

Hillary Farrington Loot - The outlaw Hillary Farrington was said to have buried a cache of loot on the Old Duram Farm at Jeona, Missouri.
Independence Jewelry Heist - Sometime around 1927, $25,000 in jewelry and gems was taken by bandits who robbed an area jewelry store. Supposedly, the bandits were said to have buried the loot at the foot of an old oak tree between two large roots about six miles east ofIndependence. Now, for the difficult part. If the "six miles east of Independence" was back in 1927, this could be very difficult to find today as Independence, Kansas City and other small suburbs have virtually melded into one large metropolitan city.

 Your ALT-Text here
IndependenceMissouri in the early 1900s, courtesy Heritage Museum


Forty Niner Gold in Missouri - Long ago a Missouri man was said to have struck in rich in the gold hills of California. Returning to his home near Waynesville in Pulaski County, he was said to have buried $60,000 in the hills.

Spanish Mine in the Ozark Hills - Three centuries ago, Spaniards worked mines in the
Ozark Hills of Missouri. One of the mines containing lead and silver, eighteen miles
southwest of Galena, was worked by seven men, who could not agree as to a
division of the yield. One by one they were killed in quarrels until but a single man was left, and he, in turn, was said to have been killed by the ghosts of his previous victims. In 1873, a man named Johnson from Vermont went there, trying to find the old Spaniards' mine. He did work there for one day, and was then found dead at the mouth of the old shaft with marks of bony fingers on his throat. The exact location of the cursed mine remains unknown.
 - Submitted by Anthony, March, 2005
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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Bandit Hordes in California

Joaquin Murrieta was a legendary figure in California during its Gold Rush days of the 1850's. When he tried to make his living in mining, he faced racism and discrimination. Forced to turn to a life of crime, he was seen by some as as a Mexican patriot, resisting the white settlers' domination. Others saw him simply as a bandit. Murrieta became the leader of a band called The Five Joaquins, who were said to have been responsible for the majority of cattle rustling, robberies, and murders that were committed in the Mother Lode area of the Sierra Nevadas between 1850 and 1853. One of those robberies was a wagonload of gold that the Joaquins had stolen from the northern mines. However, when members of Murrieta's gang were driving the load along the hills east of the old Carrizo Stage Station they were ambushed by Indians.

According to the tale, the gold, as well as other items taken from the gang, were hidden in an old burial cave under a projecting rock ledge. No doubt Murrieta would have soon gone after the lost loot, but he was killed by the California Rangers before he could retrieve the gold. The Old Carrizo Stage Station which once served the Butterfield Stage Station is located in the Anza Borrego Desert.


Joaquin Murrieta, California bandit
Joaquin Murrieta, photo courtesy San Joaquin Valley

Another treasure that Murrieta was said to have buried is thought to be located between Burney, California and Hatcher Pass. The $175,000 cache, said to be hidden not far from Highway 299, has never been found.
Yet another stolen Murrieta cache, worth some $200,000. is said to be buried somewhere between Susanville and Freedonyer Pass near today's Highway 36. 
Murrieta and his gang were often known to hid their stolen loot in the area of their robberies. On one occasion Murrieta and his right-hand man, Manual Garcia, known as "Three-Fingered Jack, robbed a stagecoach along the Feather River. The strongbox was said to have contained some 250 pounds of gold nuggets worth $140,000 at the time. Allegedly, the pair buried the strongbox in a on the banks of the Feather River in a canyon a few miles south of Paradise, California. According to Wells Fargo officials, the stolen gold has never been recovered.
Allegedly, a stage was traveling from El Paso, Texas to San Diego with a box of gold coins in the 1860’s. In addition to the driver, the stage also carried a guard to protect the money. However, when the stage reached Yuma, Arizona, the guard fell ill and the driver continued on without him. Somewhere in the area of Carrizo Wash, between the Fish and Coyote Mountains, the stage was held up by bandits, who killed the stage driver and fled with the box of gold. According to the tale, the outlaws buried the gold on the south slope of Fish Mountain but were unable to retrieve it because there were so many soldiers in the vicinity. The buried coins are said to remain there to this day.
In addition to this stolen cache and others said to be buried near the Vallecito Station, numerous lost gold mines are also said to be in the area including the Lost Bell Mine, The Lost Bill Williams Mine, and the Lost Squaw Mine.
Vallecito Station is now located in the Vallecito Regional Park in San Diego County.
Holden Dick's Stolen Loot
In March of 1881, a freight wagon carrying several hundred pounds of gold ore through Modoc County was stopped by a lone bandit. The ore from Nevada was destined forSacramento and heavily guarded by three men. But, this did not stop the vicious outlaw. Immediately killing two of the three guards, he forced the stage to stop and the remaining guard and driver quickly surrendered.   Forcing them down from the stage, he ordered them to set out on foot in a southerly direction. In the meantime, he boarded the wagon, tied his horse to the back and drove north where he is said to have buried the loot on the western slope of the Warner Mountains.



Eagle Peak, California
Eagle Peak in the Warner Mountains of California, photo courtesy

The vicious crime went unsolved for years until a Pitt RiverIndian known as "Holden Dick” began to trade small amounts of gold ore in Susanville and Alturas. In between appearing in the saloons of mining camps, spending his money freely, theIndian would disappear into some of the most rugged sections of the South Warner Mountains, only to return again with a goodly supply of gold ore.
At first, the locals thought that the Indian was working a secret mine and when in the saloons, they would try, without success, to get the Indian to talk.  They also began to follow Holden, hoping to find the mine. On one occasion, when another miner named Samuel B. Shaw was badgering theIndian for the location of his gold, Holden got fed up and shot the man, wounding him fatally.

Holden Dick was soon arrested for Shaw’s murder and locked up in the Susanville jail. On January 23, 1886, four men stormed the jail and dragged the Indian into the street. Beating, whipping and torturing the man, he refused to tell the location of his hidden cache and was finally hanged at the blacksmith shop.

Somewhere along the line, the authorities figured out that the gold ore so freely bandied about by the Indian did not come from a mine, but rather, was the stolen loot taken from the freight wagon some five years previously.
After a little more "digging” the cache is believed to have been hidden in a cave where Holden Dick lived most of the time. The cave was located in one of the many canyons which extend from Eagle Peak on the western slope of the southern Warner Mountains. He was also said to have constructed a crude rock wall at the cave’s entrance, though today it would most assuredly be collapsed. It is most likely that the cave would be located in the lower elevations of the mountains since theIndian lived there year round.

© Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated February, 2010.



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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Treasure Hunting Code of Ethics

Treasure Hunter - Code of Ethics

Treasure Hunting MapResponsible hunting will keep the hobby alive for everyone else! Please follow the Treasure Hunter's Code of Ethics so that all of us can continue to enjoy this enjoyable hobby and perhaps, even get lucky and find our fortunes!.

  1. I will respect private property and will do no treasure hunting without the property owner's permission. 
  2. I will fill in all holes I dig.
  3. I will not damage natural resources, wildlife habitats, or any private property.
  4. I will use thoughtfulness, consideration, and courtesy at all times.
  5. I will build fires in designated or safe places only.
  6. I will leave gates as found.
  7. I will remove and properly dispose of any trash that I find.
  8. I will not litter.
  9. I will not destroy property, buildings, or what is left of ghost towns and deserted structures.
  10. I will not tamper with signs, structural facilities, or equipment.
  11. And, finally, the most important one of all -- I will have fun!!
If we all follow these simple rules while metal detecting or treasure hunting, we will go a long way to keeping the public on our side in the fight to protect our rights.
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Monday, January 10, 2011

Tips for Traveling in the Desert

Desert Travel Tips
Traveling in the desert, is a whole different ballgame than traveling the rest of the American West. To make sure that your desert adventure is a success, check out this list of travel tips.
When To Go – In most cases, spring and fall are the best times to visit the desert. It just goes, without saying, that it’s too hot in the summer. In the Mojave desert temperatures can be very cold in the winter and consistently in excess of 100 °F in the summer and early fall. In the late winter and early spring strong winds are common in excess of 25 mph, with gusts of 75 mph or more are not uncommon.  In Death Valley, temperatures of 130°F are frequent.

Sonoran Desert
Sonoran Desert courtesy Desert USA
Off Road Adventures – Make sure you know where you’re going as it’s easy to get lost in the desert. Before striking out on back country roads or hiking along trails, it’s a good idea to consult with park rangers. Road and trail conditions change quickly and often - they can tell what the current conditions are. Plus, someone will have a general idea of where you are. In hot weather, it is advised to stay on the main paved roads since they are patrolled periodically.Drinking Water – Carry at least one gallon per day/person of drinking water. Plastic containers work better than metal containers or water bags. While drinking water can be obtained at several places in desert parks, you cannot rely on this, as some water sources must be purified before it is suitable to drink. If you are relying on a spring that is listed on a map, when you arrive there, it might be dried up. In fact, it’s probably a good idea to follow the minimum guidelines for one gallon/person/day, but it wouldn’t hurt to have a little extra. Don’t ignore this guideline if you’re just traveling across the desert by car. Any number of things could happen and you need to have a stocked up water supply.
Sun and Heat Exposure – In the desert, you just need to avoid exposure to the sun at all costs. Sunburns can be very serious, and and heat stroke or heat exhaustion can prove fatal. It is advisable to wear a hat, sunscreen and dark sunglasses. Even though it’s hot, plan on wearing light, loose long sleeve shirts and long pants. Remember to reapply sunscreen periodically to any exposed areas. Time your walking in the early morning and late afternoon when the sun is not as intense.
Stay out of Mines – Dotted throughout the desert, you may stumble upon or see an old mine that is awfully tempting to explore. Don’t!! Areas near mines often conceal deep shafts where the timbers in its tunnels are rotten. One bad step and you could wind up at the bottom of one of these deep shafts. Mines and tunnels may also be filled with flammable and poisonous gases. Though authorities are doing the best that they can to fill in these abandoned mines, dozens of people are injured and killed each year by stumbling into these old mines.
Thunderstorms – Quick and violent thunderstorms are not uncommon in the desert. Keep your eye on the sky – even when you can only see the storm in the distance. Flash flooding in canyons, washes and gullies are frequent. If you see lightening or a developing storm anywhere near you, stay out of these areas.
Insects and Biting Flies – Though generally not dangerous, these pesky critters can be bothersome and when the flies get to biting, it stings! Carry and use a good insect repellent.
Automobile Care – You cannot take too many precautions for your automobile before traveling through the desert.  Here is a list of things to think about:



  • Car Inspection -- Before your trip, have your car thoroughly inspected by a competent mechanic. Carry spare hoses and belts in your trunk.
  • Keep tires at normal pressure. Soft tires can generate heat and cause blowouts. If you think the tires are riding hard, stop along the road for a few minutes; you will find that tires cool quickly.
  • Frequently check the gasoline, oil and water temperatures gauges. Service stations can be miles apart in the desert. Carry additional oil and water for your car in your trunk.
  • Watch the temperature gauge. If your vehicle is air conditioned and the gauge indicates that the engine is close to overheating, turn off the air conditioner. If the engine overheats, pull to the side of the road but do not stop the engine. Turn on the heater and , while the car is at fast idle, slowly pour water over the radiator core to cool it. Refill the radiator to its proper level only after the engine has cooled; the motor should be kept running.
  • Road grades can be deceptive. On warm days, shift to a lower gear that will allow the car to accelerate on grades and drive slowly to avoid overheating the engine.
  • Vapor lock may temporarily disable your vehicle. In that event, wrap a wet cloth around the fuel pump and line to cool them (for carbureted engines only).
  • Stay with your car. If your car breaks down, stay in the shade it provides and wait for help to arrive. Do not attempt to walk for assistance.
Beware of the Hantavirus – While there is no evidence to suggest that travel should be restricted in the desert, there have been several reports of the disease in the deserts of the American West. Listed below is a list of useful precautions:
  • Avoid coming into contact with rodents and rodent burrows or disturbing dens (such as pack rat nests).
  • Air out, then disinfect cabins or shelters before using them. These places often shelter rodents.
  • Do not pitch tents or place sleeping bags in areas in proximity to rodent droppings or burrows or near areas that may shelter rodents or provide food for them (e.g., garbage dumps or woodpiles).
  • If possible, do not sleep on the bare ground. In shelters, use a cot with the sleeping surface at least 12 inches above the ground. Use tents with floors or a ground cloth if sleeping in the open air.
  • Keep food in rodent-proof containers!
  • Promptly bury (or--preferably--burn followed by burying, when in accordance with local requirements) all garbage and trash, or discard in covered trash containers.
  • Use only bottled water or water that has been disinfected by filtration, boiling, chlorination, or iodination for drinking, cooking, washing dishes, and brushing teeth.
  • And last but not least, do not play with or handle any rodents that show up at the camping or hiking site, even if they appear friendly.

August, 2004

Saguraro Cactus near Oatman, Arizona
Saguraro Cactus near OatmanArizona,
December, 2004, Kathy Weiser.
Hope you get some use from these tips! please check out my websites for any tools you may need 
And 

Friday, January 7, 2011

Canyon Diablo - Meaner Than Tombstone

                  ENJOY THE STORIES, YOU CAN SEE THE PROSPECTORS TOOLS OF THE TRADE HERE !




Canyon Diablo, Arizona originated as a railroad town in 1880 when construction was halted until a bridge could be built over the canyon. A further delay was caused by financial difficulties and it wasn’t until 1890 that the railroad bridge was completed.
The canyon had earlier been given its name by a soldier named Lieutenant Whipple in 1853 when it presented such an obstacle to his thirty-fifth parallel survey party. Having to go miles out of their way to get across, he appropriately named it Devil’s Canyon. When the town was born, it took the canyon's name, which ended up being extremely appropriate for the reputation that the town would soon earn.
There being no law enforcement in the settlement, it quickly became a wild and lawless place as drifters, gamblers, and outlaws made their way to town. With the closest law enforcement being some 100 miles away, the settlement earned a reputation of being meaner than Tombstone and Dodge City combined, with many of it "citizens” winding up in the local cemetery. The saloons, gambling dens and brothels never closed, running 24 hours a day. The town comprised mostly of shacks with two lines of buildings facing each other across the rocky road on the north side of the railroad right-of-way. The "street,” aptly referred to as Hell Street, included fourteen saloons, ten gambling houses, four brothels and two dance halls. Wedged between these businesses  were a couple of eating counters, a grocery and a dry goods store.
With a population of nearly 2,000, a regular stage operated between Flagstaff and Canyon Diablo that ended up being the target of many robberies. When Canyon Diablo finally got a peace officer, the first one pinned on a badge at 3:00 p.m. and was laid out for burial at 8:00 p.m. Five more foolish men also tried their hands at marshalling in this God forsaken town. None of them lasted more than a month in the position before they too were killed.
Boot Hill cemetery filled up fast, where at one time 35 graves could be seen with wooden markers and stone covered mounds. All are gone today, but that of Herman Wolf, a trader who passed away in 1899 and the only one to have died peacefully.
Once the railroad bridge was built over the canyon, the town began to die. Still wild, the remaining residents requested that the army take over law enforcement, but before they arrived the town was pretty much dried up and the lawless drifters had moved on.
Later when Route 66 came through the area, another town called Two Guns sprouted up almost on top of Canyon Diablo. Catering to the travelers of the Mother RoadTwo Guns'buildings were built to the east and north of Canyon DiabloTwo Guns is also a ghost townthat died with the advent of I-40.

Today, the ruins of the trading post, what is most likely the train depot, the grave of Herman Wolf, and several other stone buildings and foundations can be still be seen at Canyon Diablo.
Canyon Diablo is south of I-40 between Meteor City, and Flagstaff, Arizona. Take the Two Guns Exit (#230). The road toCanyon Diablo is immediately right of the old gas station in Two Guns
This is a rough road and best traveled with a four wheel drive; however, if conditions are good, and you take your time, it could be taken in a regular car. The road is very rocky, so caution should be taken with any low seated vehicle.


© Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated July, 2010.


Canyon Diablo, Arizona Bridge
Canyon Diablo Bridge, June, 2009, courtesy
Patrick Mansell.

Canyon Diablo Navajo Trading Post in 1903
Canyon Diablo Navajo Trading Post in 1903.

Canyon Diablo - Meaner Than Tombstone

Canyon Diablo, Arizona originated as a railroad town in 1880 when construction was halted until a bridge could be built over the canyon. A further delay was caused by financial difficulties and it wasn’t until 1890 that the railroad bridge was completed.
The canyon had earlier been given its name by a soldier named Lieutenant Whipple in 1853 when it presented such an obstacle to his thirty-fifth parallel survey party. Having to go miles out of their way to get across, he appropriately named it Devil’s Canyon. When the town was born, it took the canyon's name, which ended up being extremely appropriate for the reputation that the town would soon earn.
There being no law enforcement in the settlement, it quickly became a wild and lawless place as drifters, gamblers, and outlaws made their way to town. With the closest law enforcement being some 100 miles away, the settlement earned a reputation of being meaner than Tombstone and Dodge City combined, with many of it "citizens” winding up in the local cemetery. The saloons, gambling dens and brothels never closed, running 24 hours a day. The town comprised mostly of shacks with two lines of buildings facing each other across the rocky road on the north side of the railroad right-of-way. The "street,” aptly referred to as Hell Street, included fourteen saloons, ten gambling houses, four brothels and two dance halls. Wedged between these businesses  were a couple of eating counters, a grocery and a dry goods store.
With a population of nearly 2,000, a regular stage operated between Flagstaff and Canyon Diablo that ended up being the target of many robberies. When Canyon Diablo finally got a peace officer, the first one pinned on a badge at 3:00 p.m. and was laid out for burial at 8:00 p.m. Five more foolish men also tried their hands at marshalling in this God forsaken town. None of them lasted more than a month in the position before they too were killed.
Boot Hill cemetery filled up fast, where at one time 35 graves could be seen with wooden markers and stone covered mounds. All are gone today, but that of Herman Wolf, a trader who passed away in 1899 and the only one to have died peacefully.
Once the railroad bridge was built over the canyon, the town began to die. Still wild, the remaining residents requested that the army take over law enforcement, but before they arrived the town was pretty much dried up and the lawless drifters had moved on.
Later when Route 66 came through the area, another town called Two Guns sprouted up almost on top of Canyon Diablo. Catering to the travelers of the Mother RoadTwo Guns'buildings were built to the east and north of Canyon DiabloTwo Guns is also a ghost townthat died with the advent of I-40.

Today, the ruins of the trading post, what is most likely the train depot, the grave of Herman Wolf, and several other stone buildings and foundations can be still be seen at Canyon Diablo.
Canyon Diablo is south of I-40 between Meteor City, and Flagstaff, Arizona. Take the Two Guns Exit (#230). The road toCanyon Diablo is immediately right of the old gas station in Two Guns
This is a rough road and best traveled with a four wheel drive; however, if conditions are good, and you take your time, it could be taken in a regular car. The road is very rocky, so caution should be taken with any low seated vehicle.


© Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated July, 2010.


Canyon Diablo, Arizona Bridge
Canyon Diablo Bridge, June, 2009, courtesy
Patrick Mansell.

Canyon Diablo Navajo Trading Post in 1903
Canyon Diablo Navajo Trading Post in 1903.

Cute video watch it !

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