Starbuck's Exploring

Hiking and exploring backcountry locations of the Western United States.

Tag: Historic Writing (page 1 of 2)

Funk’s Cave Pictographs

After a long hike across empty sand flats and through desolate canyons, we found a small alcove with a few Fremont figures and a six color rainbow pictograph on the back wall. I’ve never seen anything like it.
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John’s Wash Arborglyphs

Most of the historical relics I find on my hikes are from the booming mining industries of the early 1900s which dominated the Nevada landscape but there were other activities going on at the time. Ranching was just as important as mining to the early settlers and sheepherding was a part of that effort. Basque sheepherders from the Pyrenees mountains between France and Spain came to Nevada during this time and found good pasture.
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Robidoux Inscription and Pictographs

On a late autumn day in 1837, a fur trapper from Santa Fe, Antoine Robidoux, stopped along a narrow canyon in the Territorio de Alta California (what is present day Utah).  Beaver pelts were surprisingly lucrative at the time and, as hard it is to believe today, the Uinta River was a haven for them.
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Bald Mountain Wash Petroglyphs

Brownie Sam and Emmett Rosse, two Shoshone cowboys, stopped alongside this huge volcanic boulder in late October of 1932. It is a place where their ancestors had camped many times. The ancients had carved numerous symbols on this rock, they decided they would too. They stood on the backs of their horses and added their names to the record above the petroglyphs below.
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Jayhawker Spring Petroglyphs

The Jayhawkers are famous for their harrowing journey through the unexplored lands of Death Valley in 1849 on their way to reach the fabled gold fields of California’s Mother Lode. They made it, but only after burning their wagons and ditching some of their possessions. They are likely the first white people to set foot in the vast alkali valley and are credited for giving Death Valley its name.
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Peg Leg Smith’s Inscription

Sometimes in the desert, you can find what you are looking for.

It was already dark by the time we started our drive out into the desert. The sky was completely overcast and the wind was howling. And after a few hours of driving on the highway, it started to rain. Light at first and then heavy and constant. We weren’t exactly looking forward to getting into camp late at night in a heavy rain. But that is what we did. And after more than an hour of driving down rocky dirt roads and navigating across sandy washes, we spotted a faint light off in the murky distance. Minutes later, we rolled into our friend’s camp. They had gotten there earlier in the day and were wisely already hunkered down in their tent. We buckled down in our truck for the night. Wind and rain rocked the truck for hours and made for a restless sleep.
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Marble Bath

There is a place way out in the backcountry of Death Valley National Park called Marble Bath. Actually, it is two places.

Why there are two Marble Baths is a bit of a story. The real Marble Bath is a narrow marble canyon that contains some potholes (also called tinajas) that usually hold water long after it rains. These are the only semi-reliable source of water for many miles in an otherwise very arid stretch of desert. They don’t call this Death Valley for nothin’, ya’ know.
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“Inscription Fork” of Lemoigne Canyon

Bill leds Dan and I to a fork of Lemoigne Canyon out in Death Valley that has a few historical inscriptions. It is hard to know if they are real or not but it is a interesting and seldom seen area.
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Eagle Cliff Mine

Back in 2000, we decided to hunt down a small rock shelter that a prospector built into the jumbo rocks of Joshua Tree National Park. We couldn’t find this place the first time, but were successful the second time out. What a neat little hidden spot it is. If you head out there, please respect the place and leave everything there for the next explorer to discover. Removing anything is illegal.
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Blue Jay Mine

The majority of my trips in 2008 had been out to the more remote parts of Death Valley and this one was no exception. I met up with my dad and Dan for a challenging hike to an old mine site. The hike took us about 8 hours round-trip to cover about eight miles of rough terrain.
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