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JANUARY, 1977 75c


• • •




74-425 Highway 111
at Deep Canyon Road
Palm Desert, California

Store Hours
Monday thru Friday

Open Saturdays
Co-Publishers/ Editors
GEORGE BRAGA, Art Director
F. A. BARNES, Utah Associate Editor
GLENN VARGAS, Lapidary Editor
K. L. BOYNTON, Naturalist
MARVEL BARRETT, Circulation Manager

Color Separations by
Henry Color Service
Volume 40, Number 1 JANUARY 1977
Lithographed by
Wolfer Printing Company, Inc.

Available in Microfilm by

Xerox University Microfilms


HOW TO PREVENT A SPIDER BITE 8 Herbert L. Stahnke, Ph.D.

THE HASSAYAMPA BOX 10 John Southworth






SILVER LAKE COUNTRY 32 Mary Frances Strong

"Golden Memories," an
original 24"x30" oil paint- ANCIENT FOOD FOR MODERN TABLES 36 Lucile Weight
ed especially for Desert's
cover by Leo Nowak, of
Ridgecrest, California.



RAMBLING ON ROCKS 40 Glenn and Martha Vargas

TRADING POST 42 Classified Listings

BOOKS OF THE WEST 44 Mail Order Items


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 46 Readers' Comments

EDITORIAL AND CIRCULATION OFFICES: 74-425 Highway 111, Palm Desert, California 92260. Telephone Area Code 714 346-8144. NATIONAL
ADVERTISING OFFICES: JE Publishers' Representative, 8732 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, California 90069. Telephone Area Code 213 659-3810. Listed
in Standard Rate and Data. SUBSCRIPTION RATES: United States, Canada and Mexico; 1 year, $6.00; 2 years, $11.00; 3 years, $16.00. Other foreign
subscribers add $1.00 U. S. currency for each year. See Subscription Order Form in this issue. Allow five weeks for change of address and send both new
and old addresses with zip codes. DESERT Magazine is published monthly. Second class postage paid at Palm Desert, California and at additional
mailing offices under Act of March 3, 1879. Contents copyrighted 1976 by DESERT Magazine and permission to reproduce any or all contents must be
secured in writing. Unsolicited manuscripts and photographs will not be returned unless accompanied by a self-addressed and stamped envelope.
AT in the Gonquers
A 1969—11 issues

LOW Publishers the Desert

PRIC Poke Commissioned by James S. Copley
Written by Richard F. Pourade

, »:•<{( umjllfl • /'•. I h • It

S WE mentioned in our December
'66, '67, '68 column, we have planned some new
'70,'71,'72,'73 features for 1977 that will lead you to
Volumes new desert adventures. We are going to
start with Dick Bloomquist's invitation to
SAOO take you to 40 native palm oases of the
California Deserts. I'm sure that when
you read his introduction in this issue,
you will not want to miss a single one
and will be planning many enjoyable
outings for the future.
The colonization of California In the 1770's
For you "lost mine buffs," a special received its greatest impetus with the open-
feature in this issue is Harold Weight's ing of an overland route from northern
Mexico. The man who opened it was Juan
latest theory on Breyfogle's lost ledge, Bautista de Anza. This book is the story of
and he'll really keep you on your toes. his conquest of the Great Desert which for
two hundred years had impeded the northern
After reading the article, it may seem advance of the Spanish Empire. The colon-
appropriate to you, also that the Tono- ists who were led into California by Anza
pah Times-Bonanza newspaper of No- founded the presidio of San Francisco; other
colonists who came over the road opened by
vember 19th carried an article that the Anza helped found the city of Los Angeles.
Smoky Valley Mining Company is plan- Large format, hardcover, beautifully illus-
ning to market approximately 100,000 trated, 216 pages, $12.50.
ounces of gold-silver ore annually—and Order from
that's a real bonanza!
Our naturalist, K. L. Boynton has . Magazine Book Shop
greeted 1977 with the Prairie Rattler Box 1318, Palm Desert, Calif.
Clan, and Mary Frances Strong has a Calif. Res. add 6% sales tax
fascinating field trip in the area around Please add 50c handling/postage
the southern end of Death Valley.
Lucile Weight starts 1977 off with one
of her articles on the native foods of the
Lowest Photo Print Prices
Indians. We have had many, many re- Highest Quality
quests for information on this subject.
"Rain Barrel" Bill Jennings extolls on the ABCs of Cali- Standard 12 Jumbo Prints 2.18
Assorted Issues fornia's great Anza-Borrego Desert State Standard 12 Jumbo Prints and
1959 to 1965 Park, Herbert Stahnke cautions us on the New Roll of KODACOLOR 3.34
spider bite, John Southworth leads us to Kodacolor Neg. Standard reprints 15
the Hassaympa Box in Arizona and SEND FOR PRICE SHEETS
& ENVELOPES. All Photo
Howard Neal's "Desert Ghost" for the Prices are Comparably low
month is Murphy's, California. No gimmicks.
No lies.
As we celebrate our 40th year of publi-
More than 50 years of con-
cation, we wish all of our readers and tinuous photo service guar-
advertisers a most prosperous 1977. antees your quality and our
Mail all orders to:
P. O. Box 370, Yumo, Arizona 85364 or
Box 1318
P. O. Box 2830, San Diego, Calif. 92112
Palm Desert, Calif. 92260
Desert/January 1977
The First and Only
All Coloc Book on

This Book Is A
Must For Anyone
Even One Piece
Of Turquoise

The Truth
About Treated
Or Stabilized
What It Is—
How It Is Done

Beautiful Design
Illustrations Ideas
In Accurate
Color Can Help
You Identify the
Turquoise In Your
Jewelry—Pictures of
Turquoise from 43
Localities from
U. S. And Around
The World.


Ray Manley Studios

68 Pages
62 Full Color Pages
100 Color Plates Please add 50c On Each
9"x12" Perfect Bound Order For Packing And Postage

Order From
P.O. Box 1318
Palm Desert, Calif. 92260
Calif. Res. Please Add State Tax
48-page gallery of four-color photo-
graphs to reveal fully the beauty of the

For the outdoor enthusiast,

Books for Grand Canyon country and the thrill of a
Colorado River trip. Dr. Porter made
several river trips to gather the breath-

taking illustrations for this book. His
and those who like to flavor epilogue is a memorial to Glen Canyon,
their life with the unusual which today lies drowned and lost; it is
also a tribute to the river that still roars
through Marble and Grand Canyons.

All books reviewed are available
Here is a book that captures the
beauty of canyon country, America's
proudest heritage, while providing the
record of a journey of discovery
through the Desert Magazine Book unequaled in the continent's long
Shop. Please add 50c per total history.
order for handling and California
ROUGHING IT EASY by Dian Thomas, puts residents must include 6% state Large 10"x14" format, hardcover,
the fun back into camping with easy and sales tax.
originally priced at $30.00, the publish-
economical ways to prepare foods, equip a
campsite and organize a camping trip. Pa- er's close-out price is now only $9.98.
perback, 203 pages, $5.95.
Carolyn Neithammer. Original Indian plants
used for foods, medicinal purposes, etc., de-
scribed, plus unusual recipes. Large format,
91 pages, profusely illustrated, $4.95.
Mew and exciting culinary adventures in
Dutch Oven cooking. Heavy paperback, 106
pages, $4.95.
ARIZONA COOK BOOK by Al and Mildred
Fischer. Unusual recipes for Indian cooking,
Mexican dishes, Western specialties. Unique DOWN THE COLORADO
collection. Paperback, 142 pages, $3.00. John Wesley Powell THE AMERICAN WEST
Diary of the First Trip A Natural History
Through the Grand Canyon
By Ann and Myron Sutton
Photographs and Epilogue
by Eliot Porter Here is a first-hand, information-pack-
ed description of the natural wonders,
One hundred years ago, ten men in animal life and plant life of the 15 major
CACTUS COOK BOOK compiled by Joyce L. four boats swept down the raging Colo- natural areas of the West. It is also an
Tate. An excellent selection of recipes that
emphasize their edible or potable qualities. rado River on the first trip through the expert explanation of how these areas
Also includes chapter on Food Preservation. Grand Canyon. Major John Wesley came to be geologically what they are.
Paperback, 127 pages, $2.00.
Powell led the epic journey, over rapids Together with a magnificent collection
Myrtle Holm. How to make a sourdough considered impassable, to chart the un- of pictures and maps it makes clear to
starter and many dozens of sourdough re- explored river and its surrounding can- anyone interested in wildlife, natural
cipes. Paperback, 136 pages, illus., $3.95.
yons. On August 30, 1869, 13 weeks af- America and particularly the Land of the
CITRUS COOK BOOK by Glenda McGillis.
An unusual and outstanding treasury of ter the expedition left Green River Sta- Big Sky just why certain forests, ani-
citrus cookery. Includes tips on freezing, tion in Wyoming Territory, the one- mals, flowers, rivers, deserts and caves
juicing and shipping. Paperback, spiral
bound, $2.00. armed Major, with only two boats and are where they are.
CALIFORNIA COOK BOOK by Al and Mil- six survivors, emerged form the canyon Beginning with the rich life of the
dred Fischer. Recipes divided into "Early to find men searching for their remains. great Southwestern deserts and pla-
California," "California Fruits," "California
Products," "Sea Foods" and "Wine Cook- Down the Colorado contains John teaus, the authors move—even as do
ing." 400 more unique collections by the
Fischers. Paperback, 142 pages, $3.00. Wesley Powell's dramatic journal of tens of thousands of tourists every
1869, edited and introduced by Don D. year —up through the Grand Canyon
Please add 50c per total order
Fowler, and it is as exciting today as it country, the lesser canyonlands, the
for postage and handling
was when portions first appeared in high wilderness areas of the Southern
California residents please add 6% Sales tax Scribner's Magazine ninety-five years and Middle Rockies, :he basin and range
Send check or money order today to ago. Drawings and photographs, the province and into the high Sierras. They
work of Powell's contemporaries, en- then explore the Pacific beaches and
Magazine Book Shop
hance the text. tidepools, the volcano country of the
P.O. Box 1318 Eliot Porter, America's foremost pho- Cascades, the Olympic rain forest, the
Palm Desert, California 92260
tographer of nature, has contributed a glaciers of the Northern Rockies, the

Desert/January 1977
Badlands, the wiJcb of wntnn Canada before them. It is ako a talo of
and finally, that last frontier, Alaska. Many of the explorers were motivated by
Its pictures, too, are not just pretty greed rather than adventure and the GENUINE
"scenics" but selected to give maximum land developers imagined that Indian DOMESTICATED
information about specific land forma- land was theirs for the taking.
There were those who were on friendly
tions, about animals from wolves to but-
terflies and about plants from redwoods terms with the Indians. George Catlin,
to lichens. for instance, whose paintings of Indian
It is finally a history of man's life provide some of the 32 color and 120 Sufficient for four 50-foot rows. Complete
exploration and use of these incalculable black and white illustrations in this book. instructions. Packet: $2.30.

riches, of what is being done to preserve Hardcover, lavishly illustrated, 288

them, and a plea for the preservation of pages, originally priced at $17.95, P.O. Box 785
the unspoiled beauty of the wildlands Publisher's close-out price now only Vista, California 92083
and their promise of serenity. It is a book $7.98.
not only for the student of western geo-
logy and ecology, but also a guide for the
visitor and naturalist, and a series of
pleasant journeys for the armchair
In theheart of
Among the 50 photographers repre-
sented in the book are such masters of
their craft as Ansel Adams, Eliot Porter,
Philip Hyde, Don Worth, Josef Muench
and Bill Ratcliffe.
Large format, hardcover, 194 illustra-
tions, including 71 in color and 16 maps
Death Valley's centrally located resort complex noted for fine food,
and drawings, 256 pages, originally pub-
comfort and friendly service.
lished at $25.00, now only $12.98.
Luxurious Units Dining Room Cocktail Lounge Gift Shop
Heated Pool General Store Service Station Landing Strip
Campground Trai ler Park



Death Valley, California 92328 Dial operator for Stove Pipe Wells Toll Station #1

By Dee Brown

In The Westerners Dee Brown follows

the frontiersmen into our heroic West.
His earliest guides are the Spaniards,
the first Europeans to explore the
American Southwest in the 16th century.
by Norman D. Weis
But from here, instead of writing another
chronological history of the opening of Come with Norman D. Weis on a 7,000-mile tour of the Old Southwest. See
the weathered ruins of 67 ghost towns and abandoned mining camps —
America's West, Mr. Brown tells the
some famous, others little known, and one never before mentioned in
story through the experiences of a few written history.
influential or representative Westerners A lively, humorous text and 285 stunning black-and-white photos recall
— people like Jedediah Strong Smith, the roaring times when miners dug for gold, silver, or coal in California,
Susan Magoffin, Brigham Young and Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and the southern portions of Colorado
and Utah.
Sitting Bull.
It is primarily a story of movement—of Approximately 320 pages, 6 x 9 , 285 photographs, cloth $9.95
the early explorers, of the trappers and
fur traders, of the Fortyniners, of the The CAXTON PRINTERS, Ltd.
builders and operators of stagecoach and Box 700
mail services, telegraphs and railroads, Caldwell, Idaho 83605
and of course of the Indians they pushed

Desert/Januarv 1977
HE OLD truism, "an ounce of pre-
vention is worth a pound of cure" is
very apropos as far as spider bite or
scorpion sting, etc., is concerned. Pro-
tection by prevention can be achieved by
eradication or control of the spider popu-
lation within and immediately around
your home, and your own behavior.
Eradication or control can be accom-
plished through the following four
1. Cultural control .This consists of de-
stroying the spider hiding and breeding
places,which are essentially the same for
scorpions. Piles of old lumber, bricks
The black widow spider with her tell-tale marking. and trash in general should be either car-
Photo by Robert H. Wright, Tucson, Arizona. ried away or removed as far away as
possible from human dwellings. Garages
or other rooms that are used for catch-
alls, or even orderly storage, serve as

How TO PREVENT hiding and breeding places; especially if

these are not disturbed for months.
Good housekeeping discourages a
build-up of a spider population. Other

hiding places are the backs of pianos,
davenports and on the underside of sel-
dom-used chairs, in clothes closets,
under sink cabinets, etc. In general, re-
latively dark undisturbed niches. Black
widows and recluse spiders have been
by HERBERT L. STAHNKE, Ph.D. found in all of the above places. These
animals do not thrive in an active house-
Emeritus Professor and Director
hold in which the status quo of furniture,
P.A.R.L., Zoology Department,
storage places, etc., is frequently dis-
Arizona State University, turbed.
Tempe, Arizona.
2. Biological control. In this approach
the enemies of the spiders are encour-
Desert/January 1977
of spider bite rests on the principle of
"the survival of the fittest." To be fit
one must be alert and follow two modes
of behavior:
1. Never place your fingers or bare
feet where your eyes cannot see. For ex-
ample, a spider may be hiding on the
underside of a chair, board, rock, news-
paper or magazine. When your grasp the
object by placing your fingers under it.
you inadvertently press the spider. It
reacts in self-defense by biting you.
2. If you feel something crawling on
your bare skin, DO NOT SWAT IT, but
brush it off. Remember that the "fangs"
(chelicera) are on the underside of the
spider. When you strike it —even though
the blow would kill it—the action helps
drive the fangs into the flesh. For exam-
ple, a man, while riding his bicycle, acci-
dentally drove through a large number of
"parachuting black widow spiderlings.
They crawled over his face and neck. His
aged. Sun scorpions (solpugids) —all of other highly beneficial insects or arach- raction was to swat wherever he felt
which are not poisonous —and the pray- nids as well as the extremely beneficial them crawling. During the action he was
ing mantis are very helpful, as are also lizards. The aerosol insecticides sold in bitten by about eight or ten of the spider-
most lizards and birds. Since cats de- stores can be sprayed in crevices, under lings. This resulted in a three-day pain-
stroy lizards and birds, they indirectly chairs, behind pianos and other similar ful hospital "vacation."
encourage the build-up of the arachnid hiding places. They are also effective in Most spiders are beneficial and inter-
and insect pests. storage areas, if sprayed so that some- esting creatures. Learn of their ways and
3. Mechanical control. Spiders and what of a fog is produced. These sprays adjust your behavior accordingly. To be
other vermin are prevented from thriv- are not harmful through contact by dogs afraid of them is the worst possible be-
ing in the home by various mechanical and other household pets. havior and eventually will lead to
devices. The slipper, subsequently re- Your behavior is your best protection. trouble. Capture one in a jar. Feed it in-
placed by the flay-swatter, is perhaps When all is said and done, absolute, sects and watch its behavior. Your fas-
the oldest form of mechanical control. permanent eradication of spiders cannot cination will overcome your "unholy"
Often the elimination of one gravid fe- be accomplished. Therefore, prevention fears. •
male spider prevents the production of
several hundred spiderlings. Good win-
dow screening and tight fitting windows
and doors are very important. If you can
see daylight around the perimeter of
your outside doors or windows, spiders
and scorpions can, and do, enter. For the
average householder, this is the most
important area to check. Proper weather-
stripping will take care of this and should
be provided by the builder of any new
4. Chemical control. Spiders and other
vermin, in this procedure, are killed by
means of chemicals. This should be the
last approach and should be confined to
indoor application. If used outdoors to
kill spiders, the chemical might prove
fatal to praying mantis, sun spiders and

Two natural spider enemies: A praying

mantis [above] by Dick Randall; [Right]
the solpugid, by Robert H. Wright.
Desert/January 1fl77 o
The Hassayampa
W OR MANY obvious and good
F reasons, Wickenburg now
• wants to be known as the dude
ranch capital of Arizona. For years
it was just a mining camp at the far
end of the "Vulture Road," at a
place chosen for available mill by
water on the Hassayampa River, a
typical desert river which is mostly JOHN
sand. Just south of town low hills SOUTHWORTH
bring water to the surface and
cottonwoods to the banks of the
usually dusty desert wash. Here
are many cool and interesting Hassayampa has cut its way down
diversions for the desert traveler, through a hard geologic formation
with parking and picnic tables rising slowly from below in a failed
provided within sight of the attempt to block the flow of water.
modern highway, combined U.S. The cut at its deepest is perhaps
60 and 89, to Phoenix. 200 feet through a hard cemented
This is all enjoyable enough but conglomerate of old stream
the real attraction is off the gravels, dark stained by invading
highway north of town in an manganese solutions. At its
isolated area reached only by dirt narrowest it is perhaps 40 feet wide
roads and short walks at a place and half as deep for a surprisingly
called "The Box." Here, much as a straight half mile or more.
sub-miniature Grand Canyon, the Water perpetually flows in the
10 Desert/January 1977
. •••

Box and shade is always available mountains is not unknown. At

under the vertical, sometimes these times the Box is no place for
overhanging rock faces. Even on humans. It runs wild with perhaps
the hottest desert days natural air 15 feet of churning water that
conditioning makes a mile or so scours walls and bedrock,
barefoot walk through the water removing all debris and each time
very attractive. A quiet walker leaving a fresh bed of clean, cool
might even be accompanied fore sand. Thus the canyon periodically
and aft, at a discrete distance of renews itself, returning each cycle
course, by one or two large white to a condition much as it was before
wading birds. the first human visited it. The only
A few range cattle have it good permanent changes are a water
in the Box. Stands of water grass gauging station and scars of
and even water cress abound early wartime manganese mining
in the year. A rider checking stock operations.
might visit or a dune buggy might The Box is not at all difficult to
momentarily disturb the silence, reach with a standard car but do
but mostly visitors will have the not attempt to go into the river
place to themselves for hours at a bottom with any equipment that
time. won't float. Although much of the
The Box is a good place to relax, bottoms appears compact and
regain perspective and recover solid, standard Jeeps occasionally
your cool. It is a place little bog down in local soft spots and
changed by the hand of man. The even the human foot finds areas
Hassayampa drains a very large where speed is the natural reaction
area and heavy rain in the to that sinking feeling. Of course
A Special Exploring Calif. Byways
#11 In and around
Exploring Calif. Byways
#111 Desert Country
Exploring Calif. Byways
#IV Mountain Country

Los Angeles

Offering! Exploring Calif. Byways

#V Historical Sites
Exploring Calif. Byways
#VI Owens Valley
Exploring Calif. Byways
#VII An Historic

Great reading about the West from

the pens of such authors as
Russ Leadabrand, Choral Pepper,
Marjorie Camphouse and the Society of
American Travel Writers.
Informative little books that will make
your future trips more enjoyable.
Well illustrated, paperback.
Supplies are limited. Guidebook to the Guidebook to the Guidebook to the
Colorado Desert Mountains of San Diego Missions of California
of California and Orange Counties



S oo
any 3 for 5 Exploring the Unspoiled
West V o l . 1
Wyoming, Montana,
British Columbia,
Exploring the Unspoiled
West Vol. 2
New Mexico, Arizona,
Mexico, Oregon,
Exploring Historic

Alaska, Utah, Calif., Washington, Alaska,

Colorado, Idaho, Hawaii, California
Please add 50c for postage/handling
California residents please add 6% sales tax


Desert Magazine Book Shop Baja California

Box 1318, Palm Desert, California 92260
Stay at the historic

This lovely 50-year-old hotel is

being restored. 20 rooms open
year 'round. All carpeted. All
beautifully furnished. Electric
heat and air conditioning. Make
the Amargosa Hotel your head-
quarters while in the Death I
Valley area.
Telephone Death Valley Junc-
tion #1 for information or reser-

Visit Marta Becket's famous

You've read about this beautiful
and unique attraction in Desert
and National Geographic. See
Marta Becket's program of
dance-mimes. See her fabulous
murals inside the Opera House.
I Performances Friday, Saturday
and Monday Through April.
the human foot is advised to stopping or turning back once you ill Saturdays only in May, Septem-
remain on high ground. are committed to the sand. V ber. 8:15; doors open at 7:45.
All the off-pavement roads The upper road is long, dry and llliTelephone Death Valley Junc-
shown on the map are good desert hilly but puts you within a few JJjjtion #8 for reservations. Tours
hundred feet of the most |jf|welcomed.
tracks which see a grader once in a
while. The two river crossings interesting scenery. In fact, with
below the Box are graveled and some minor disregard for your car,
maintained as long as no water you can drive right down into the
The General Store, Filling Sta-
flows. The upper road is in and out Box on a rocky road to a good tion and Pottery Shop are open.
of washes with some minor rough turnaround and campsite within a RV Park coming. Space avail-
spots and steep pitches where few yards of the river. Again, don't L able for development.
trailers are not recommended. be tempted to take your vehicle
Campers and standard cars require down that last pitch into the water.
only normal rough country It is a long walk out. You won't be For further information about
precautions. riding. DEATH VALLEY JUNCTION
The lower road past the old Today, the Hassayampa Box is a please write:
manganese mill is substantially serene, inviting place just waiting Death Valley Junction, Inc.
level all the way but requires a for your visit. Take a lunch and P.O. Box 675
long, hot walk up the sandy wash to friends and enjoy the utter Death Valley Junction,
the best part of the Box. Carry relaxation of a fine Arizona day California 92328
water and don't take the car into with water and shade and all the
the wash above the mill, inviting as natural air conditioning you can
the road might look. There is no ""% M
ever use. •

Murphy's, California
Murphy's could be called the "classic" of
all of the California gold rush communities. Certainly
it is one of the best preserved of the old Mother Lode
Rich placer gold first attracted Daniel and
John Murphy to the valley that cradles the town
bearing their name. Their arrival was in July of 1848,
early in the rush to the streams and rivers of the
Mother Lode. The gold from those streams, that built
so many California settlements, established a sub-
stantial town of brick, wood and stone at Murphy's.
As the placer gold disappeared, the "Big
Trees of Calaveras" sustained Murphy's as the
gateway to that impressive grove of giant Sequoias.
Many important and famous people stopped in
Murphy's, in the 1800s, on their way to see what is
now Calaveras Big Trees State Park. Such names as
Mark Twain, Horatio Alger, J. P. Morgan and U.S.
Grant can still be seen on the old register of the
Murphy's Hotel.
Today, Murphy's not only retains its charm
and beauty, but as a "very much alive" Mother Lode
town it provides the visitor with as generous a
helping of California history as can be found.
Murphy's is located on California Highway
4, nine miles northeast of Angels Camp and Califor-
nia Highway 49.

Left: The First Congregational Church of Murphy's

was built in 1895. It replaced a church structure built in 1853,
and it is an excellent example of New England architecture transplanted
to California. Upper Right: Murphy's Elementary School is the
oldest continuously used elementary school building in California.
It was completed in 1860. Other interesting buildings
in Murphy's include the I.O.O.F. Hall and the Murphy's Hotel.
Right: The Compere Building was built in the late 1850s.
It is typical of many of the original stone structures still standing —
and still in use—in Murphy's. Once a general merchandise store,
it is now a private residence.
14 Desert/January 1977
Desert/ Januaru 1Q77
O MATTER what the location in the back with that light streak running from
West, it seems that a prairie rattler the eye corner to behind the jaw, which
or one of his cousins or aunts is to be is the clan identification mark.
found. At home in practically every kind This prairie rattler clan is a big one
of habitat from the flat plains to 11,000 with subspecies holding forth in the var-
by K. L. BOYNTON feet up in the mountains from Canada to ious sections of the Southwest and the
©1976 Mexico, this Crotalis viridis clan is prob- Great Basin. They dress for the most
ably the most highly adaptable branch of part in shades and tones exceedingly
the rattlesnake family. well correlated with the environment.
These snakes come in assorted sizes Take for instance Crotalus viridis nun-
from the midgets of around two feet to t/'us, the Hopi rattler. He dwells in the
big individuals over five feet. Colorwise Painted Desert and is tastefully done in
they show local variations on the main appropriate reddish tones. C.v.oregan-
theme of brown or black blotches on the us, the northern pacific rattler, is quite
dark, almost black, but so is the Arizona
rattler, C.v. cereberus. Cousin abyssus,
a little job residing in the Grand Canyon,
is tinted a matching pink and yellowish-
red. Dressed also in accordance with his
scenery is the big Great Basin rattler,
C.v. lutosus, whose light brownish-grey
coloration blends in to the somber mono-
tones of soil and sagebrush so character-
istic of this high latitude desert region.
As everybody knows, life in the desert
is no beer-and-skittles for plant or
animal. Snakes, being reptiles, have the
added disadvantage of being unable to
maintain their own body temperature, as
do mammals and birds. They are conse-
quently at the mercy of their surround-
ings as their body temperatures are
largely determined by that of the ground
and air. With a set-up like this, there is
more involved than just survival when it
is too hot or too cold. A rattler's
muscular activity is severely affected by
cold temperature. At a body temperature
of 48.2 F. he may still be able to defend
himself and to crawl off slowly, but be-
low 46.4 F. the chances are he just can't
muster up enough steam.
Interesting to report, however, is the
fact that the muscles that work the rattle

The Great Basin rattler

(crotalis viridis lutosus), is a subspecie
of the prairie rattler. Photo by

Johns Harrington, Los Angeles, Calif.

16 Desert/January 1977
are apparently adapted to function over a
wider range in body temperature than
One of these, excellent for producing a
needed warm-up, is basking —lying
One such hibernating headquarters
was discovered in Tooele County, Utah,
other skeletal muscles. Zoologists L. E. about in the sunshine and soaking up its some years ago by Nathan Reiser and
Chadwick and H. Rahn, checking up on heat and from the warming ground and John Vasquez one fine sunny day in
rattler sound effects, found that even at air. Digestion, which quits when the April. Quite unsuspecting they stepped
37.4 F., the rattle can still work but that snake is too cold, gets going again with a onto the cobblestones of the den and
its frequency increases with the increase basking warm-up. Muscular efficiency is found themselves surrounded by rattle-
in body temperature up to 104 F. And, stepped-up all over, and the snake's snakes, buzzers all going. The "discov-
since the body temperature of a rattle- general alertness increased. This age-old erers" undoubtedly broke all world
snake in the field is usually not lower habit of basking greatly extends the broad-jump and sprint records in depart-
than about 63 F., there is normally season of possible activity, for fairly cool ing hence, and the rattlers settled down
plenty of chance to work the old rattle weather at night can be endured when again to their basking in the spring sun-
efficiently. the sun's warmth is adequate in the day. shine according to ancestral practice.
Having been around since the Pleisto- Only when cold weather is deep and pro- Word was immediately bruited around
cene days some million years ago, rat- longed must the snakes close up shop and biologists zeroed in to find what all
tlers have learned a thing or two that entirely. They may then hibernate in this denning was about. From the work
help maintain a working temperature, as burrows of rodents, or they may congre- of many, particularly Angus Woodbury,
biologist Lawrence Klauber points out in gate in astonishing numbers in a rocky some very solid facts emerged. It seems
his monumental work on rattlesnakes. den. that at least six different kinds of snakes
used this communal den and returned
there year after year to hibernate. Pa-
pers were written and reported in a big
symposium. This was just the beginning,
for investigations of such dens have been
going on ever since.

This albino prairie rattlesnake

(crotalis viridis v.) is in the process
of swallowing a mouse.
Photo by Robert H. White,
Tucson, Ariz.
GEM-DANDY HELPERS A snake's reason for denning is ob- was back at the wire screen only 90
vious enough —for such rocky places of- minutes later. With a score such as this
Polishing Unit 8, Dust Collector
fer excellent retreats, their crevices lead- lady rolled up, the Great Basin rattler is
Operates with your shop or home vacuum. I
1 HP double Buff. Mod. 1029 Ship. Wt. ing down far below the surface where the obviously a very good homer. Even some
25 Lbs. $85.90
winter temperatures are warmer. Here of the snakes, tested more than once and
the snakes pass the cold months safely in released at different compass points,
Gem Tumbler
Comes with handy hex rubber hibernation. With the advent of warmer made it back each time.
drum. Assembled ready to use. weather, a temperature of about 60 F. Do the snakes come to this winter den
Mod. RBT 3 — 1 Barrel. Ship
Wt. 5 Lbs — $24.90. apparently stimulating them to activity directly from their summer locations, or
Write for Free Catalog. as Zoologist Basil Velas' study showed, by a circuitous route? Are there leaders
COVINGTON ENGINEERING CORP. I the snakes come out. They bask during who lay down scent trails? If so, how do
Box 35, Dept. D, Redlands, CA 92373
the sunny hours to bring up their chilly the leaders know where the den is? Are
(48 to 50 F.) body temperature. Eventu- there scent trails funnelling into the den
ally, when warm weather arrives for from all directions? Hirth had some 11
"VACATION FREE good, they disperse, going about their hatchlings in his fall entrees, all of whom
IN AN ENGLISH summer business. arrived long after the adults and juven-
COUNTRY MANSION" The big number of snakes using such a iles had already entered. They probably
den shows that they must come from all followed a scent trail. Or, is something
With use of Rolls-Royce or
around and maybe from some distance. besides scent involved? Zoologist Hobert
Jaguar. Nightclubs, Casinos,
So the big questions have to be: Where Landreth, for instance, has found that
Closeby. London—60 Miles.
do they all come from? How do they find the big western diamondback, a differ-
a den in the fall? Where do they go when ent species of rattler, can use solar cues
they emerge in the spring? And how do in orienting himself.
Post Office Box 2791
they know the way back when fall comes Hirth again on the job, this time with
Anaheim, California 92804
once more? Robert Pendleton, Arthur King and
Zoologist Harold Hirth picked the Thomas Downard, checked up on the rat-
Great Basin rattlesnake (C.v. lutosus, re- tlers as they emerged from the den in the
Order FREE Catalogue
member) from this Tooele den roll call as spring, hoping to find out where they
a candidate that might possibly answer went for the summer and what they did
some of the questions. He put up a wire that might clue a directional relation-
Palm Desert, California 92260
screen at the mouth of the den and ship with the den. They marked the
caught the snakes during their incoming snakes with radioactive tags, no small
trek in September and October. He job. The doughty scientists, reaching
CATALOG marked 10 adults for identification, put around a lead-brick wall assembled on
FUN I PROFIT them into separate bags, and carted the tail gate of the truck, worked with
WITH them away to various compass and dis- mirrors to attach the radioactive tag, the
tance points from the den. Releasing snake candidate being held fairly well in
COMPASS. GOLDAK. MYTY-MYTE them, he beetled back himself to watch clamps. Then they released the snakes.
From $59.95 to $299.50
For the Prospector & Treasure Hunters. for their return, if any. Some 56 percent were recaptured at
We have Gold Pans, Books, Topo Maps, least once during the summer, located
Dredges, and many other Related Supplies. Nine got back o.k.
Mortar & Pestle — '/j Pt. size Cast by picking up the signals, and they were
Iron — Postpaid $6.50. The one that took the longest to make
it from 165 feet away took 10 days, but mostly within 3000 to 4000 feet from the
JACOBSEN SUPPLIERS den. Apparently well adapted to desert
9322 California Av«., South Gate, Calif. one smart female let loose at 330 feet
Phon. (213) 569-1041 90210 heat, the rattlers were above ground 80
percent of the time, the body tempera-
ture of one female found coiled under a
A FAMILY VACATION sagebrush being a comfortable 9.8 de-
grees lower than that of the air.

Cwiise Hirth et al came to the conclusion that

the snakes wandered about for the main

Lake rowed
as . . .Captain, First Mate and
part, apparently without a home range
with which they might become familiar
and hence use as a help in getting back
Crew of a twin-engine 43' to the den in the fall. Which, of course,
Luxuriously equipped Boatel Unmatched Beauty with clean air, they did, knowing exactly how, even if
Aqua Sports Paradise! sunny days, and starlit nights. the scientists still didn't.
A Change of Pace! FREE BROCHURES
The social whirl, if that is what it can
Pat Fisher be called in snake affairs, gets underway

Hite Marina Inc.

Call collect Del E. Webb Corp.
or write: 3800 No. Central Ave. in the spring. Zoologist Robert D. Al-
714 466-5316 Phoenix, Arizona 85012 dridge wondered what actually started
18 Desert/January 1977
it, since the snakes were so recently in Their main job is to grow. FREEZE AWAY THE
hibernation. He collected a batch of How successful this is depends on the HORROR
males from a den near Moriarity, New food supply and the length of the grow-
Mexico. Separating them into groups he ing season, the Great Basin rattlesnake YUilBITI
kept them under different temperatures youngsters not making as great gains as
and light conditions. After a lot of hard their southern Pacific cousins who, in the ORDER BY MAIL
work he learned: 1. Hibernating did not milder climate may almost double their Add

affect the male reproductive cycle for in- length in the first year. Biologist F. Hev- 95 $1
dividuals kept active in the light but at rend and A. Call found, moreover, that shipping
low temperatures showed the same con- the growth pattern changes as the snake- F R E E Z E AWAY the horror of snakebite.
No more slashing with knives. No more
dition: machinery ready, but sperm lets develop. A 16-inch male Great Basin sucking with possible transfer of venom to
the rescuer.
manufacture not started. 2. What stimu- rattler may increase 50 percent in a year, " F r e e i e - A - B i t e " is like touching the bite
with a magic wand that freezes the pain,
lated the production finally was not light, but by the time he reaches 25 inches, the dispels the terror and suspends the action of
the venom.
but temperature. A body temperature of growth may be only eight percent. Fe- The freeze postpones the need for medical
between 71.6 and 88 F. is necessary. In males don't do that well, the comparable ^ a t t e n t i o n , sometimes eliminates the need for
* .^prophylaxis and prevents injuries and death
the field out Moriarity way, these snakes sizes making only a 32 percent and three •':?"' from improper field treatment which can be
•V worse than the bite. "Freeze-A-Bite" saves
begin sunning themselves at the den site percent gain respectively. lives and also saves loss of blood, loss of
in March, and while at that time the Born in August, usually, the rattlers A REVOLUTIONARY NEW SNAKEBITE FIRST AID NOW
temperature is too low, the coming of the RECOMMENDED BV DOCTORS AND PROFESSIONALS
must somehow put on enough fat to see Allows time to transport victim safely to
warmer spring days does the job. Appro- them through the winter hibernation, nearest hospital without further harm
from cutting. This compact kit contains
priate procedures are also going on and on small prey such as insects and liz- all necessary supplies for making instant
deep cold packs in the field with simple,
among the females, so by the time the ards at that, since they are so little them- explicit instructions for freezing the bite
Enclosed and caring for the victim.
snakes are ready to disperse to summer selves. These menu items are best cap- D Check for $
grounds, the social whirl can get under- tured in daytime when, alas, it is most
• Money Order for $
or charge my
way. The business of communal denning dangerous for the inexperienced young • Master Charge
makes partner-finding easier. (JBankAmericard
to be out themselves. As they grow to
Card Number
Female rattlers in this prairie clan adulthood they have the great snake Exp. Date
generally have their first brood during tribe advantage of a big jaw gape, a Signature ~ —

the third year of life. The southern stretchy gullet and expansible sides, STATE FAIR PRODUCTS, Dept. NS
5920 Nail, Mission, Kansas 64202
species every year thereafter, the which enables them to eat very large
northern a brood every two years. Rat- prey, rodents perhaps two-thirds of their New from the world's largest
tlers are ovoviparous or live bearers, a own body weight. This is a very good manufacturer/distributor
reproductive system whereby the eggs meal, another being necessary only after of portable mining equipment.
are not laid to be incubated by sun and 10 days to two weeks, thanks to the slow-
ground heat, but maintained in the fe- er-geared snake metabolism. FREE 1977 CATALOG
male's body. Here again snake body Moisture needs fortunately are sup-
temperature is so important as it must be plied by their prey, and the rattlers con-
sufficiently high for proper gestation. serve water by sitting in the shade, or
When the end of the period is reached going into a rodent hole when the tem-
(the number of days varying in reports perature is too high. Too, excretion of
from 153 to 172) the female crawls into a urine in the form of the chalky solid uric
hole or rock crevice and deposits the egg acid conserves water further, although
capsules. These are thin-walled and moisture is lost in feces and of course in
membranous. Coiled inside each is a respiration and when they shed their
little rattler who promptly opens its way skins.
out with its "egg tooth," a very small Being so highly adaptable to so many
hard point in the upper jaw.
different habitat conditions, and with
The hatchlings may be six to 12 inches that know-how tucked in somewhere on
long, already equipped with fangs and how to find comfortable hibernating
venom, but with only the fetal button at dens, the Crotalis viridis will more
the end of the tail, and hence without than likely be around for a very long
sound effects. Pugnacious, they vibrate time. This is a good thing too, for these KEENE ENGINEERING, Inc. Dept. D
9330 Corbin Avenue
their tails anyhow, and obviously mean rattlers, although not objects of tender Northridge, CA 91324
business —very willing and very able to passion on the part of human desert O Send me your FREE 1977 Catalog
• Enclosed is $7.95. Send me your
defend themselves. This is fortunate for goers, are still fine fellows for keeping 240 page "Dredging For Gold,"
they are on their own, there being no down prey populations and helping keep the book that tells everything
about underwater gold dredging.
maternal care. Any young that may be environmental affairs in balance. (Calif, residents add 48c tax)
found in the same refuge with a female The study of such serpents, let it also
are recent hatch-ees not yet dispersed be said, maketh many a knowing scien- Address -

from the birth site. tist the wiser, to boot. •

City . State - . Zip-

Desert/January 1977
The ABGs
. . . The world's largest desert park

I NZA-BORRECO COLOSSAL, the There are also 10 primitive camp- area established in the northern areas.
flo world's largest desert park . . . the grounds, most of them accessible by con- Also, a new horseman's camp is nearing
£ • first of its type in the California state ventional vehicles. Most of these camps completion at historic Rancho de Anza in
park system . . . the superlatives go on lack water and are equipped with pit lower Coyote Canyon and the state's first
and on. ABC stands for many things un- toilets. Hardy " b e l l y " campers may off-road vehicular recreation area is tak-
usual at this 520,000-acre wilderness throw down their sleeping bags else- ing shape near Ocotillo Wells along State
paradise in southeastern California. where in the park, along established Highway 78 at the eastern boundary of
For one, ABC means a highly success- road, but no ground fires are permitted the park. Perhaps another ABC could be
ful, highly unusual gimmick, the Anza- anywhere in Anza-Borrego. Anza-Borrego Changing.
Borrego Committee, a citizens group Some visitors approach Anza-Borrego The most ambitious new project, now
attached to the Desert Protective Council through Coyote Canyon, the 1774-1776 anticipated in mid-1977, is a $600,000
which is acquiring privately owned land route of J uan Bautista de Anza, Califor- visitor's center. A state grant of
within the park boundaries at no cost to nia's first overland colonizer. The $400,000 is now being supplemented by
the taxpayers—land to be added to the canyon bisects one of the major home the natural history association, with a
park acreage. ranges .of the Desert Bighorn Sheep, $200,000 fund drive just beginning. The
For another, ABC stands for Anza- largest naturally occurring mammal in center will be located near the park's
Borrego Cooperative, a loosely-knit coa- the Colorado Desert. Because of this primary campgrounds and headquarters
lition of state agency, conservation and magnificent animal's statewide protect- a mile west of the little town of Borrego
off-road user groups working quietly to- ed status and fears of a declining popula- Springs. It will house the park's growing
gether sometimes, but usually separate- tion, Coyote Canyon is closed to all collection of historic and pre-Columbian
ly, to improve the park. Largest of these visitors each summer. The rough Jeep Indian artifacts gathered in the park area
is the Anza-Borrego Natural History As- road bisects the sheeps' waterhole route. as well as provide offices for the park
sociation. The canyon also is part of a new wil- staff now crammed into "temporary"
Primarily, though, ABC stands for derness zone, roughly 125,000 acres, quarters perhaps better suited to be a
Anza-Borrego Colossal, the world's larg- stretching from the Santa Rosa Moun- three-stall garage for compact cars.
est state park in addition to being Cali- tains westerly to Sheep Canyon in the Office visitors have to thread their way
fornia's pioneer desert state recreational foothills of the rugged San Ysidro Moun- through the motor pool and the back
facility, established in 1933. The park tains. Existing trails in this area are still yard of Park Manager Maurice (Bud)
encompasses portions of three counties, open but no additional trails, particularly Getty in order to pick up a map or inquire
San Diego, Riverside and Imperial, with for motor vehicles will be established, about road conditions.
elevations ranging from below sea level Getty explained. Most first-time park visitors sample
to 6,000 feet. There are two improved The northern extension of the park, one of Anza-Borrego's two principal
campgrounds and 10 primitive areas de- nearly all in Riverside County, was campgrounds, Borrego Palm Canyon
signated for so-called " b e l l y " camping added over the past few years in a series and Tamarisk Grove. There are 52 trailer
right on up to motor homes. of land sales, from a private rancher, the spaces at Palm Canyon and 25 at Tamar-
Relatively old it may be, but Anza- late Howard Bailey of Anza, the U.S. isk. Reservations are recommended
Borrego also is among the most innova- Bureau of Land Management and other during the fall to spring season at these
tive of all California state parks. The lat- public agencies. The park, in company two sites. Tap water and shade ramadas
est evidence of this is a major wilderness with the University of California, BLM, are available.

20 Desert/ January 1977

The majestic Bighorn
sheep are at home in the
Anza-Borrego highlands.
This ram was
photographed by
George Service of
Palm Desert, California.

the Forest Service and Riverside County gered bighorns will be protected from ment of Fish and Came, responsible for
parks department, now has a lock on the poaching and encroaching land develop- the sheep's safety under an 1873 law
vast Santa Rosa Mountains bighorn ments. that made the majestic animals the first
range. These agencies, combined with Anza-Borrego Cooperation is readily fully protected wildlife species in the
the Santa Rosa Indian Reservation, apparent in the common cause among state. Nature Conservancy, an interna-
assure conversationists that the endan- these groups and the California Depart- tional conservation group, has assisted

Desert/January 1977 21
fish and game and park agents with land
purchases in the sheep ranges. To date,
more than 100,000 acres of bighorn habi-
tat are included in the state game refuge
or otherwise protected private develop-
All animal and plant species are pro-
tected in the state park by law, but en-
forcement is a cooperative venture
among park personnel and their much
more numerous guests. Getty figures
conservation is ahead so far, and is quick
to praise off-road vehicle users as well as
the more orthodox preservationist
Off-road clubs have contributed sever-
al thousand man hours in the past year to
reopen vital back country roads, camping
and other recreationsl facilities and,
most particularly, the famous Ghost
Mountain home of the late Marshal
South and his family in the southern park
of the park.
Yaquitepec, as the adobe and stone
retreat is known, has been preserved by
members of the Orange County Chapter
of Associated Blazers of California. A
story detailing the restoration will be
forthcoming in a future issue of Desert.
Members of a San Diego and Ocotillo
Wells-based off-road vehicle club—Los
This view [above] of Howard Bailey's former cattle line camp in upper Coyote Pretots — spent a weekend after last
Canyon of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park shows the diversity of the huge recrea- September's hurricane storms repairing
tional and historical reserve. Area was recently added to the park by the Anza cattle- the route through Split Mountain into
man's sale at less than half the appraisal price for more than 6,000 acres of canyon the Fish Creek district of the park. The
and mountain land. Below: Santa Catarina Springs, one of the campsites for the first route is used by many conventional cars
Anza exploration expedition from Sonora to California. The site in lower Coyote and therefore their volunteer efforts
Canyon, or Collins Valley, overlooks the Lower Willows, one of the largest springs could not be considered self-serving.
in the Colorado Desert.
"Members (of the club) did not need
to do this to get through," noted Paul
Scheussler, park ranger patrol supervi-
sor. "They could drive around it in their
vehicles. They worked to open it for the
public in passenger cars."
Anza-Borrego Cooperation. A new
off-road vehicle area, soon to cover
14,000 acres, is being prepared in the
area north and east of Ocotillo Wells. Its
prosaic official name is the Ocotillo
Wells State Recreational Vehicle Area.
Advocates are already calling it the
Windy Morton Off-Road Area to recall
the late Walter Windy Morton, pioneer-
ing Ocotillo Wells off-road park develop-
er and rescue aid to hundreds of strand-
ed motorists, including the writer of this
story. The new area is a first for Califor-
nia state parks.
Anza-Borrego was established in 1933
and originally included only federal and
22 Desert/January 1977
Architect's drawing of the new
Visitor's Center to be built
at a cost of $600,000. It will
house the Park's collection of
historic and pre-Columbian
Indian artifacts.

state-owned lands north of State High-

way 78. The Anza section, all south of
Highway 78, was added in 1941 and se-
parately designated until after World
War II.
Getty alone among present park per-
sonnel comes close to spanning the di-
verse history of the 43-year-old park. He
was originally assigned as a ranger in
1959, returned as naturalist in 1965 and
became manager in 1972. His philosophy
of administration is simple:
" I believe parks are forever, with peo-
ple's help," he told an interviewer short-
ly after returning as park ranger in July,
Parks are forever, and Anza-Borrego
reflects that philosophy by constant its trails, used since 1772, have been 1849. It also was a military trail before
growth, in size and diversity. placed on the National Register of His- and during the Civil War and the Apache
Apparently many visitors agreed. The toric Places. Oldest of these,used by campaign of Arizona until the late 1870s.
all-time attendance mark, set from July Lieutenant Pedro Fages in 1772, enters Old trails, abundant resources recog-
1, 1972, to June 30, 1973, was 1,123,262 the park from the Cuyamaca Mountains nized nationally may be a matter of pres-
persons. One major reason had been an to the west. The second, through Coyote tige for the park, but the average visitor
outstanding wildflower season in the Canyon, was the Anza exploration route is more concerned that Anza-Borrego
spring of 1973. used originally in 1774. year-round camping and sightseeing po-
Another reason for continuing heavy The most famous is the Southern Emi- tential unmatched in any other state park
attendance is the incredible diversity of grant Trail, one of the major access of Southern California.
the park. It is home to more than 300 routes to the California gold fields in Anza-Borrego Colossal indeed!
species of animal life, exclusive ot in-
sects. Plant varieties number more than
500. More life forms are being discover-
ed each year.
The park is a giant research laboratory
for many types of scientists, including
several who live in or near the park.
Perhaps the best known of these is
George Miller of Canebrake who con-
ducts classes in paleontology and
geology at Borrego Springs and also
teaches at Imperial Valley College.
Since 1964 more than 300 ecological
and geological areas have been recog-
nized and included in the registry of na-
tional natural landmarks. Anza-Borrego
made the list early in 1975 and three of

El Vado, the ford, is one of

several historic sites in Anza-Borrego
Desert State Park marked by a
bronze plaque, ironically, seldom seen
by park visitors because access is
restricted by private land.


24 Desert/ January 1977

Crapev/ne Canyon
is typical of the
quiet beauty to
be found in
remote desert
Photo by
George Service,
Palm Desert,

HROUGH THE pages of this maga-
gazine we shall be taking a journey, a
journey to many a hidden desert
place where birdsong and the rustling of
the wind punctuate a deep silence.
Sunshot canyons, sandy washes, and
rough-hewn hills and mountains will be
our companions along the trail. We shall
be roaming the Colorado Desert of
southeastern California and, on three
sorties, the more northerly Mojave.
Our goal will be the oases of wild
palms which, for the most part, lie en-
scounced in remote washes and canyons
along the borderlands of the Coachella
Valley, the Salton Sea and the Anza Bor-
rego country. Seeps, springs, and even
running streams will enliven many of
these oases. Wildflowers and wildlife,
blue skies, history, prehistory, legend,
and the lure of far horizons will work
their magic, too. And now, while the
storms of winter break over much of the
land, come with me on this leisurely
journey into the warmth of the peaceful
Desert/January 1977 25
More than two thousand species of found in these oases of the desert South- number is probably between 110 and
palms are found on this planet, every west. Botanists know it as the California 120) containing 12,000 to 13,000 Wash-
continent except Antarctica supporting fan palm, (Washingtonia filifera. (There ingtonias have been discovered in the
native stands. Palms grow wild in Brazil, are two species in the genus Washing- California deserts. The great majority of
Argentina, Mexico, the United States, tonia, but the other, W. robusta , the these oases are located along the west-
Italy, Greece, Africa, India, Malaysia, Mexican fan palm, grows only in north- ern edge of the Colorado Desert from the
China, Korea, Japan, Australia, New western Mexico; it is taller and more Coachella Valley to the Mexican line.
Zealand, the South Sea region, and slender than W. filifera.) " F a n " refers Within this area the desert slopes of the
many other lands. Palm fossils have to the shape of the leaves, Washingtonia San Jacinto and Santa Rosa ranges near
been recovered from Cretaceous rocks honors George Washington, and filifera Palm Springs and Palm Desert, together
120,000,000 years old. Most palms favor ("thread-bearing") describes the leaf with the Indio Hills to the northeast, hold
tropical or subtropical climes, but some, edges. Hermann Wendland, the German the heaviest concentrations. The ranges
including our lone California desert horticulturist, gave the species its botan- running southward from this region into
species, can survive freezing tempera- ical name in 1879. Mexico also harbor sizeable palm popu-
tures. On the Atlantic seaboard of the The fan palm ranges over portions of lations, and a few other groups may be
United States, palms extend into North the Colorado Desert of southeastern seen in the southern Mojave Desert, the
Carolina; in the Pacific states they reach California, the extreme southern Mojave Chuckawalla and Eagle Mountains, and
their farthest north in California's Mo- Desert in California, northern Baja Cali- near the Salton Sea.
jave Desert. fornia (Mexico), and western Arizona, Most of the oases lie hidden away in
Usually, when palms are mentioned, where several small groups thrive in and rocky mountain canyons; some favor
we think of faraway places steeped in ro- near Palm Canyon on the west side of sandy arroyos in hills or badlands; only
mance—of Hawaiian black sand beaches Yuma County's Kofa Mountains. It has, rarely does a grove— such as Twentynine
or timeless Saharan oases. But the in addition, been widely planted as an Palms in Joshua Tree National Mounu-
American West also has its own groves ornamental throughout the subtropical ment—stand exposed amid flat, open
of native palms, each with its special regions of the world. surroundings. Sometimes, as in Murray
aura and allure. Only one species is Over 100 palm groups (the total Canyon near Palm Springs, hundreds of
trees extend for a considerable distance
along a watercourse. More commonly,
however, an oasis consists of a relatively
small number of palms gathered togeth-
er in a close-set group in which the irre-
gular spacing and unequal heights of the
trees combine to create a most pleasing
All the native groves in California lie
within 30 miles of the former beach line
of Lake Cahuilla, which dried up com-
pletely five centuries ago. Born about
900 A.D. on one of several occasions
when the Colorado River flooded and
shifted its course, this fresh-water sea
once stretched from the Coachella Valley
into Mexico. Palms may have grown
along its 250-mile shore line. The saline
Fan palms Salton Sea, created by the flooding
frequently Colorado in 1905-07 and kept full by irri-
grow with gation drainage, today occupies a small
their feet portion of the ancient lake bed.
in the The most westerly stand of native
water. Washingtonias in California is along
This group Snow Creek near Palm Springs; Andreas
shows a and Murray canyons, also near Palm
full-skirted Springs, are the westernmost groups to
beauty on be described in this series of articles.
the right The most northerly native grove is
and a Twentynine Palms in Joshua Tree Na-
fire-ravaged tional Monument; the most easterly,
trunk still Corn Spring in the Chuckawalla Moun-
alive on tains; and the most southerly, Pinto Can-
the left. yon just above the Mexican border in
26 Desert/January 1977
southwesrern imperial County; nearby
Juniper Spring is the southernmost oasis
treated here.
Palm Canyon near Palm Springs
reigns supreme in number of trees, with
over 3,000. Several locales, each with a
single Washingtonia, share the title of
smallest oasis; the ones we shall visit are
Lone Palm and Una Palma, both in the
Borrego Badlands. At some 200 feet be-
low sea level, Lone Palm also ranks as
the lowest oasis to be featured in this
series. Although Dos Palmas, at an
elevation of just under 3520 feet in the
Santa Rosa Mountains, is commonly
ranked as the loftiest oasis, this title is in
reality held —to the best of my know-
ledge—by Single Palm Spring in Joshua
Tree National Monument. Crowing at
This lone
3550 feet near Fortynine Palms, this lone
palm in
Washingtonia probably stands on higher
ground than any of the other 12,000 to
shows a
13,000 trees of its kind in the California
cluster of
fruit hanging
Our present-day oases may be a resi- from the
due from earlier times when a wetter, crown and
more tropical climate moistened south- is a good
eastern California and adjacent regions. example of
Even today the desert palm grows with erosion
its head in sunshine, its feet in water, exposing
that is, it must have moisture on or very its root
close to the surface of the ground to sur- system.
vive. The species tolerates alkali very
well, often thriving on water too brackish brown "skirts" which distinguish Wash- seeds elsewhere, have probably been in-
for human use. ingtonia from almost all other palm strumental in enlarging the range of this
The graceful Washingtonia varies in genera. These dead leaves were used by magnificent desert tree.
height from 20 to 70 feet. Ducts carrying the Indians as thatching for their huts. Below ground level the fan palm sends
water and nutrients are scattered Often lightning fires or vandals burn out a dense but shallow mass of fibrous
throughout the unbranched, flexible away the skirts, leaving the trunk black- roots, each rootlet generally no more
trunk, which ranges from one to three ened and bare, but usually not killing the than 3/4-inch thick. Erosion sometimes
feet in diameter. The fibrous trunk con- tree. Years ago the Indians fired the exposes a portion of this root system.
tains no growing layer (cambium) and palms, too, hoping to thereby increase Now that the object of our quest has
therefore reveals no annual rings; the supply of edible berries. The lack of been introduced, we are ready to begin
growth takes place in the uppermost cambium and the scattered arrangement our search for the palm oases of the Cali-
part, in a terminal bud or "cabbage" of the conducting tissues mentioned fornia deserts. Of the 100-odd stands of
hidden in the center of the crown. Be- above give the palm excellent resistance Washingtonias in the state's Colorado
cause of the absence of annual rings, it is to fire. Killing the terminal "cabbage," and Mojave deserts, we'll be visiting 40
impossible to determine a fan palm's however, results in the death of the tree. of the most attractive and intriguing
exact age, but some veteran trees are es-
The fan palm blooms in late spring, groups. We'll use passenger car, pickup
timated to be at least 200 years old.
bearing long panicles of small whitish truck, and four-wheel-drive to approach,
Fallen trunks often exhibit large holes
blossoms. Each flower contains both and in some cases to reach, the groves,
marking the places where adult palm
male and female parts. The fruit, which but mainly we'll be exploring afoot. Our
borer beetles [Dinapate Wrightii) have
hangs in clusters from the tree crown in trail will take us from the Coachella
summer and early fall, is a blackish Valley to the southern Mojave, then into
The large, much-divided, fan-shaped berry with thin sweet flesh around a very the Chuckawalla and Eagle ranges,
leaves are borne on three-to-six-foot- hard brown seed about the size of a pea. around the northern end of the Salton
long leaf stalks studded with hooked The Indians ate the outer pulp and the Sea, and through the Anza-Borrego
spines. The living leaves crown the tree seed, grinding the latter into meal. Coy- country to the Mexican line.
with sparkling green, and the drooping otes, which eat the fruit after it falls in The desert is waiting. We'll get under-
dead ones fashion the ground-length autumn and later void the undigested way next month. •
and the
Big Smoky Valley

i l l HERE IS Breyfogle's lost ledge? only a few rich samples Breyfogle used Ranches were established in the Big
MM With Breyfogle and his gold in the to promote grubstakes were certain Smoky in 1863, as a result of the Reese
I I very bone and marrow of Death those samples came from Birch Creek River silver rush. The old Overland Road
Valley history and legend, there would Canyon, behind the town of Geneva— crossed it a few miles north of Geneva,
seem only one answer. In Death Valley, also in Big Smoky Valley. and during the '60s the valley was a na-
of course! Probably in the Funeral The Big Smoky, named by John C. tural highway south to Silver Peak and
Range—but at least in the Death Valley Fremont when he traveled down through the Death Valley country—the route
country. That's where Charles Breyfogle it on his 1845 expedition, lies largely be- early Breyfogle parties followed.
always looked for it, and that's where tween the Toiyabe Mountains, roughly For more than a century there have
dozens of Lost Breyfogle versions place The Big Smoky, named by John C. been mining excitements and mining
it. Fremont when he traveled down through operations all up and down the Big
Only a number of old Nevadans, who it on his 1845 expedition, lies largely be- Smoky. Round Mountain, discovered—
knew mining and the country, never tween the Toiyabe Mountains on the or rediscovered if it is the Breyfogle—in
agree. Those who believed Breyfogle west and the Toquimas on the east. It 1906, has produced gold almost every
really found and lost a golden ledge told runs about 140 miles, roughly north and year since, $8,000,000 before 1940.
me it must be at Round Mountain, about south, from a point easterly across the Huge-scale placer operations are under
half way up in the Big Smoky Valley and Toiyabes from Austin to a point westerly way there today.
200 miles north of the Funerals. Those from Tonopah. Birch Creek Canyon is in I first was introduced to Round Moun-
who claimed the "lost mine" was really the Toiyabes' northern end. tain as a possible Lost Breyfogle by Gene

: •• •

. • • " ' ; " • • ' • - • ' / ' • • •

Old mill and

buildings on Round
southwestern slope,
where rich surface
ores originally
were discovered.

28 Desert/ January 1977

Cold placer
operations continue
today on an
enormous scale
at Round Mountain.
[Note size of
trucks in pit. ] 3*2
and Leo Crutt in the ghost town of Raw- in May 1863, I found no Jacob Breyfogle thoroughly tangling up the Breyfogle
hide, Nevada, in 1946. But there was a C. C. Breyfogle, and legend.
"They picked Breyfogle up in Big he was hunting a lost ledge. Those in- In December 1850, at the forks of the
Smoky Valley, just beyond Round Moun- itials were familiar to Bert Acree, Austin Yuba, Charles left Joshua (and gold min-
tain," Gene said. " H e was starved, native and Lander County Recorder ing) to farm with a brother-in-law at San
thirsty and battered up. And in his hand since 1909, so we started through the old Jose. October 1854, he was elected As-
he had a bandana loaded with gold ore. record books. sessor of Alameda County, and was re-
It isn't common sense he would have C. C. Breyfogle had been active in elected in 1855 and 1856. In September
held onto that ore through hundreds of mining in the Big Smoky Valley in the 1857 he was elected County Treasurer.
miles of wandering. Why, the bandana 1860s, and in promoting the town of He seemed well on the way to political
would have been worn o u t ! " Geneva there. importance when, in August 1859, a
Leo agreed: "No man would have car- Each time I have written about the shortage of $6500 was discovered in his
ried the ore that far. He'd just passed Breyfogle, the story has differed to some accounts. He resigned, was tried, and
Round Mountain, or maybe over the extent through such research and help went to prison.
shoulder of it. And the gold was right from officials like Bert, from Nevada pio- When Leland Stanford became Gov-
there, right on the surface. The sun was neers, Breyfogle family members, the enorof California in 1862, according to a
right and it glittered in his eyes. So he Nevada State Historical Society, Nevada story attributed directly to him, a delega-
picked it u p . " and California state libraries, miners, tion asked a pardon for Breyfogle. An-
A new Breyfogle theory! I was soon on prospectors and lost mine hunters. other person in the office had taken the
my way to investigate Breyfogle's con- This is my version as of 1976. Charles money, they said. Breyfogle was guilty
nections with Big Smoky Valley. My pre- C. Breyfogle, far from being "near the only of careless management. The dele-
liminary prospecting was done in the Re- brute," was a Fortyniner and a Califor- gation included a majority of the jurv in-
corder's office in Lander County court- nia and Nevada pioneer of intelligence volved, and the judge and prosecuting
house in Austin. Files of the Reese River and ability. Starting across the plains attorney. The pardon was granted.
Reveille were there, as well as the re- with Brother Joshua D. in April 1849, he This scandal and setback must have
gion's earliest legal records. arrived in Sacramento in August, 1849. been the prime reason for Breyfogle's
A few writers about the lost ledge A younger brother and four Breyfogle move to Nevada. He was not in Nevada's
gave Breyfogle's first name as John, cousins also were in Gold Rush, Califor- first directory, dated 1862, but neither
James, Louis or Herman. But most said nia, the other brother arriving to hunt was Austin. He was in the second, 1863:
it was Jacob. J. Frank Dobie described gold in 1852. His name was Jacob. He C. C. Breyfogle, resident of Austin, ad-
Jacob as an enormous-footed, strikingly was a blacksmith, which often is given as dress Main Street; occupation, miner.
bow-legged giant "very near the brute, the profession of the Breyfogle who lost Lander County records reveal many min-
both physically and mentally." Search- the ledge. Quite possibly he ended up ing and real estate transactions by
ing the Reveille files from the beginning hunting Brother Charles' lost gold, and Breyfogle. As early as February 9, 1863,
Desert/January 1977
" I n the hills enclosing Birch Creek
were some large and apparently rich
veins of quartz, some of which were sold
to New York capitalists, who expended
large sums of money in their develop-
ment, but with unsatisfactory results.
"Geneva, in 1864, had some fine stone
buildings and numerous log and cloth
houses, but the inhabitants long ago
folded what tents they could, and the
stone walls, the pretty vale, and the
sparkling stream are left in their wild-
So they remain today, although some
of the stone walls are becoming pretty
difficult to locate.
One of those fine stone buildings was
a 30x50 foot hotel, "now under the
charge of Mr. Breyfogle," the Reveille
reported July 29, 1863, "who will spare
no pains to render his patrons comfor-
he sold 200 feet in the Pacific Ledge for yabe Mountains from Austin, was a table and their stay in Smoky Valley
$500, which certainly makes him a Reese product of the Reese River boom. It may pleasant." Breyfogle also had a new
River pioneer. have reached a peak population of 500. 17x20 stone residence in Geneva, and
June 20, 1863, Breyfogle sold 30 feet Thompson & West's History of Nevada, mining and real estate interests. On the
on the Everett Ledge at Geneva for $500. published in 1881, called it a "city of town plat, dated December 1863, Brey-
Geneva, at the edge of the Big Smoky great expectations," and explained what fogle was listed as one of Geneva's seven
some 12 miles southeast across the Toi- happened to the expectations: proprietors.
So here we find Charles C. Breyfogle,
a leading citizen of Geneva, apparently
well settled in a second career and near-
ing old age by the standards of those
times. (The Breyfogle genealogy gives
his birthdate as 1808.) Less than two
years later he was on his way to a sort of
immortality as the "touched" lost mine
hunter, involved in a fanatic search that
would last the rest of his life—and al-
most end it more than once.
What happened and why? Breyfogle
Above: Nevada's must have realized that in Geneva he
Big Smoky Valley, had picked a loser. Did he sell out suc-
looking up the valley cessfully and leave, or did he leave be-
from near Round cause he could not sell? Was the Lost
Mountain. This is the Breyfogle the cause or result of his
area where Breyfogle leaving?
is supposed to have Some of the Breyfogle legends say his
been found, after original discovery was made in 1862, on
his escape from his first journey to the Reese River Dig-
Death Valley. gings. I do not agree, and have found no
Left: Edward contemporary mention of the ledge be-
A. Michal, long-time fore 1865. Why would he have waited so
Round Mountain long to try to relocate it? Some say his
mill foreman, points first expedition from Nevada to Death
out Los Gazabos vein Valley was in search of the Lost Gunsight
on Round Mountain's silver of the Death Valley Fortyniners.
southwestern slope, Since he must have heard the story in
where Breyfogle may San Jose, this is possible.
have found his gold. At any rate, the January 30, 1864
Photo taken in 7946. Reveille reported that Breyfogle and four
30 Desert/January 1977
men had passed San Antonio, a new He looked "surprised "Yes, it was. the stars, and held, steadily to his ncvrth-
mining district near the southern end of "Gooding and Breyfogle were Penn- ern course. He came to Baxter Springs,
the Big Smoky Valley, "professing their sylvania D u t c h m e n , " he continued. (in the southernmost tip of the Toquima
intention to go as far south as the Colo- "When Breyfogle got to Austin with his Mountains) and stayed there several
rado River on a prospecting tour." The gold, he looked Gooding up. Gooding days. Then he went on and was picked
next month a Reveille correspondent was one of the organizers, if not the or- up, with the rich ore, by a rancher in the
mentioned new people, a Mr. and Mrs. ganizer, of the first hunt for the ledge. Big Smoky Valley and taken on into
Ransom, in charge of the Ceneva hotel. "Breyfogle told Gooding his story. Austin.
Return of "some" of this party of five,When news of the Reese River silver "The expedition formed to find the ore
not mentioning Breyfogle, was reported strike came to him in Los Angeles, he went back to Coyote Holes to start the
in the Reveille that March. They had and two companions left via San Bernar- search. Breyfogle thought he could pick
traveled south to the Los Angeles-Salt dino. They knew that if they held to a up his trail there. But he could never get
Lake road, " s u f f e r i n g innumerable
due north direction, they would come to himself located. Gooding said he was
hardships," followed it to Los Angeles, Austin. They continued an uneventful continually talking about and looking for
and returned via San Francisco. trip until they reached the neighborhood the red spot on the hill. The expedition
Breyfogle did return to Geneva after of Death Valley. There they were attack- failed."
that trip, and must have intended to ed at night by Indians. Breyfogle's com- Geneva, still not through with Brey-
spend some time there, as on May 14, panions were killed, and he escaped with fogle, must have learned about his lost
1864, he was elected president of the only his shoes. From then on he used the ledge at this period—to its sorrow. In
Smoky Valley Mining District. But if he shoes to carry such water as he could October 1865, William McBroom and C.
did not return with the others, and if he find. He reached a place at the lower end C. Sears were killed in Death Valley by
prospected his way back with new com- of Death Valley known as Coyote Holes, Indians, and A. A. Simonds was wound-
panions, we may have come to the time filled his shoes with water and went on. ed. They were hunting the Breyfogle,
and circumstances of the lost ledge dis- It was very hot and he was in pretty bad and McBroom and Simonds were resi-
covery. A version of this discovery in shape. dents of Geneva and listed with
which I place considerable credence, ex- "After he left the Holes, he saw what Breyfogle on that 1863 town plat. In all,
cept its dating to the beginning of the he thought was a spring on the hillside. including Breyfogle, five of those seven
Reese River rush, was told to me by Carl Always in need of water, he climbed to co-proprietors of Geneva went hunting
Stoddard in Reno in 1946. Stoddard was the spot, only to find it was a mesquite the lost ledge, or hunting for friends who
a capable and respected mining engin- tree. Terribly disappointed, he went hunted for it. Expeditions from Austin
eer, and his story came directly from back to the valley. On the way he came also went breyfogling during that and
Jacob Gooding, who knew Breyfogle and across a spot of reddish earth on a hill. In following years. And most of them —go-
hunted the lost ledge with him. Roughly, that spot he found the pieces of fabulous ing and coming —went right past golden
this is what Carl told me: ore. He was a prospector, and he knew Round Mountain, which would not be lo-
"When Gooding moved down from what he had found. cated and mined for another 40 years.
Austin, he bought some land from my "Breyfogle went on, living on bunch When I went to Round Mountain in
father. He used to come over almost grass —which is succulent down toward 1946, I thought the question of whether
every night. I was going to the School of the roots —and such water as he could it was the Breyfogle could be decided by
Mines, so I would get him talking about find. He traveled largely by night and by
Continued on Page 39
mining and the desert.
"Time and again the talk would get
around to the Lost Breyfogle. Time and
again I would get him to describe the
Breyfogle ore. Gooding was an assayer,
so his description should be good. It was
reddish —very reddish —and apparently
impregnated with iron oxide. It was not
quartz, but was silicified. What you
might call porphyry. The gold was very
yellow. The ore was like . . . "
Stoddard hesitated, seeking a com-
"Like the oxidized ore at Round
Mountain?" I asked.
One of the mines "of great expecta-
tions" in Birch Creek Canyon. Some
Nevadans believe Breyfogle obtained
rich specimens at Birch Creek and used
them, with his lost ledge story, to obtain
grubstakes. 1960 photo.

Desert/January 1977 31
of crossroads on the eastern Mojave.
Roads led southwest to Barstow; west to
Randsburg; north to Death Valley and
Tecopa; east to Coodsprings, Nevada
plus Ivanpah and Nipton, California, as
well as southeast to Cima, Kelso and
camps in the New York Mountains. By
1905, Silver Lake's general mercantile
store, Rose-Heath-Fisk Company, and
saloons were doing a thriving business.
Seven miles south at Baker Station,
the Salt Lake Railroad Line had been
completed across the desert and on into
Utah. When Borax Smith pushed the
rails for his Tonopah & Tidewater Rail-


photos by Jerry Strong

ILVER LAKE Country could be the of Borax Smith's fabled Tonopah & Tide-
name of an elongated, trough-like water Railroad. Bring along a metal de-
valley containing shimmering lakes tector and "go over" the several sidings
surrounded by mountain ranges. It could along the route. A nice talc specimen can
also be highly mineralized and rich in easily be added to a mineral collection-
history; encompass ghost towns and pro- some material is suitable for carving.
vide a giant playground for those who There is also plenty of open country for
enjoy the great outdoors. Indeed, it is all camping under the stars. There may be
this and more—a winter wonderland at an added bonus—if weather conditions
the southern end of Death Valley on Cali- have been favorable, desert lilies will be road north across Silver Lake to Rhyolite,
fornia's Eastern Mojave Desert. blooming in April and May along with a the little community seemed assured of a
Severed by Highway 127, large num- myriad of other wildflowers. bright future. However, the Panic of
bers of motorists travel through Silver Silver Lake is the largest of three 1907 cast a few doubts on this.
Lake Country during weekends and holi- playas in this desert region. They are Silver Lake's population hit an all-time
days. They are usually bound for Death dry, it is true, but their flat bottoms high of 135 in 1918. Mines in the area
Valley, Dumont Dunes or points north. shimmer and radiate in the sun's rays. were operating, as was a mill on the
Few even notice the three lake beds or Mirages often make the lakes appear to lakeshore near town. After World War I,
half-dozen roads leading into the back- be water-filled. Sometimes, the water is mining went into a slump and people
country. Consequently, the regions re- for real as the consequence of heavy began to move on. The mercantile store
mains uncrowded and unspoiled. thundershowers or surplus water from closed in 1927 and 1933 found Silver
There are roads to roam which lead to the Mojave River. Lake officially dead—the post office had
old mines, ghost towns and several form- The hub of Silver Lake Country was been closed.
er mining camps. A four-wheel-drive the little town of Silver Lake on the east- One old building, tamarix trees plus
trail allows exploration of a long section ern lakeshore. Its location was the focus numerous foundations and mill piers,
32 Desert/January 1977
Right: 7/ie little Silver Lake
cemetery is located on a
forlorn, windswept bajada.
It is, perhaps, a more suitable,
final resting place for
"free souls" than its '
crowded metroplitan counterpart.
Below: Remnants
of the camp at the
Silver Lake Talc Mine
include several buildings,
gangue dumps and adits, all
attesting to a history of * •* ~

45 years continuous
mining activity.

through the northwest corner of the Tur-

-" quoise Mountains. It was mid-May and
the entire region was a wildflower gar-
den. There must have been some late
spring rain in this area as the rest of the
desert's wildflower bloom was long
Shortly after entering the mountains,
? road " Y " appeared and a sign on the
powerline road warned "Private Proper-
ty. Keep Out." We kept left into a wash
where old sections of paving indicated
we were on a former mine road. In a little
over four miles we reached a junction
and again turned left. Detailed mileages
are given on the map of Silver Lake
To the east we could see the sizable
talc deposits known collectively as the
Silver Lake Talc Mine. Here, in a
two-mile ore zone, concentrations of
minable talc have developed in the form
of shistose masses along margins of tre-
molite bodies. Most of the talc shist and
tremolite rock are snowy white and me-
dium to coarse-grained. The mineable
bodies showed a thickness of about 10
feet and ranged from 30 feet to some 800
piles of discarded talc and a truck scale ably one of the region's colorful feet in length.
mark the former site of Silver Lake along characters. The main camp was our destination.
both sides of Highway 127. A graded dirt There is a choice of several routes for Using binoculars we studied each mined
road leads northeast to an abandoned exploration of Silver Lake Country. We area and quickly located the camp. In a
substation of the Metropolitan Water & found the loop trip from the old ghost few minutes we were standing in its
Power Company. Along the way, a well- town to the talc mines, on to Riggs ghostly ruins. It is always sad to view the
preserved dugout will be seen on the Siding then north along the old railbed to remains of a once lively mining camp
right. You will find the few remaining Valjean Siding more enjoyable. We where hopes, joys and sorrows had come
ruins at Silver Lake both picturesque and spent several days in the region and to pass. There was evidence everywhere
photogenic. made side trips to the sites shown on the — a woman's shoe, child's toy, broken
We stopped at the little Silver Lake accompanying map. dishes, tools—of the people who had
Cemetery just north of town. There were Leaving the ghost town of Silver Lake, lived and worked here.
12 graves with only two still marked. we followed a graded road northeasterly Five residences lay in shambles from
One of the latter, Harry "Death Valley to a junction with a powerline road. We vandals. One side of the most substantial
Jack" Nickerson, 1897-1932, was prob- turned right and wandered easterly house had been rammed by a car. Win-
Desert/January 1977
Several former sidings lie along the
abandoned Tonopay & Tidewater railbed
through Silver Lake Country. There is
little above ground now to mark their lo-
cations, but they should be of interest to
metal detector enthusiasts.

moss and inclusions of talc. The latter

gave the slabs a silvery sheen —very at-
tractive! It pays to look around. You
never know what might be found, even
at a talc mine.
The Silver Lake talc deposits lie idle
now though they were mined almost con-
tinually for over 45 years. Along with two
other mines (Western and Inyo Talc)
I they became the principal source of raw
material used in machined insulator
bodies when imported talc of this type
was cut off during World War I. Between
wars, the talc was processed in grinding
mills and sold for use in ceramic, paint
dows in all the buildings were broken; picked up a nice chunk of talc. I always and rubber industries.
sheeting ripped off; doors and shelves like to bring home a specimen from the In later years, almost all the talc from
torn down. Shotguns had been fired various areas we visit and add it to my the Silver Lake Mine was used as raw
point blank at all the structures. It looked "travel memories" collection. Then, material in wall tile. The ore was hauled
as if someone had gone beserk in an at- much to my surprise, I noticed a piece of to Riggs Siding for shipment until the
tempt to satisfy an appetite for wanton material resembling chalcedony. Closer Tonopah & Tidewater Railroad ceased
destruction. Fortunately, it was late inspection revealed it had a chalcedony operations in J une 1970.
spring and among the chaos apricot mal- coating and a vug on one side, weighed Most of the mines in Silver Lake
low, creosote bush, phacelia, gilia and about five pounds and was approximate- Country are now idle (talc, silver, gold)
filaree were in full bloom. Their colorful ly ten inches long. and many of the formerly graded roads
blossoms softened the scars of destruc- I figured the chalcedony was probably are no longer maintained. However, ex-
tion. only a thin coating but took it along any- cept for some sandy stretches north of
While Jerry took some photos, I look- way. When cut, my specimen turned out Riggs Siding, pickups and motorhomes
ed over one of the large dumps and to be solid chalcedony containing black shouldn't encounter any problems.
From the old mining camp, we had a
bird's-eye view of the surrounding coun-
try and could see several roads not
shown on our 1950 topo map. We decid-
ed to follow one heading north toward
the Silurian Hills and hoped we would
join a road at their base which would
lead down-slope to Riggs Siding. If the
road dead-ended we could always back-
track. It was slow going because fast-
moving water had cut small washes
across the road. Flowers were every-
where and the view magnificent with the
lofty Avawatz Mountains as a backdrop.
At the base of the hills we joined a
newly graded road and headed west.
Several mines were passed before we
reached Riggs Siding. Only a cement
slab, piles of talc and old cans mark the

This old building and tamarix trees are

the only "standing survivors" at the
ghost town of Silver Lake.

34 Desert/January 1977
site which was once a busy loading point
S/'/i/er La/re
Valjean Sdg
for a number of mines. Forty years of oc-
cupancy make these old sidings —Silver Deoth Volley
Lake, Riggs, Valjean —of special inter-
est, if your hobby is metal detecting.
Such sites, generally, yield some good
f X /•". It
We headed north from Riggs Siding
toward a pass in the Silurian Hills. Along 1 §
the way, we were treated to the sight of a
small stand of desert lilies in bloom. The
road became quite sandy and from this
point is not advisable for cars other than
As we entered the pass, some ruins
appeared on our left. Not much was left
of what seemed to have been a fair-sized
building —just the foundation and a par-
tial corner section. The adobe brick con-
struction was similar to the ruins at
Sperry Siding in Amargosa Canyon so
we assumed it was built for the railroad.
Bits of purple glass and soldered cans in-
dicate the site as pre-1915.
Behind the ruins, a short road led up
to a mine in the hills. The adit seemed to
have been used for living quarters in
more recent times. Rock work supported
paths and a fancy, two-hole privvy was
built over a minor ravine.
Continuing north, our road joined the
T&T railbed which had almost been cov-
ered with blow sand. A short distance
beyond, an east-west road crossed the
right-of-way and lead east to the Annex
Silver Mine. By turning left at this point,
the road skirts another mine, goes down
a short canyon, crosses Silurian Dry Lake
and joins Highway 127.
We looked over the Annex Mine then
continued our journey north. It was a
four-mile, fun drive of up and on the old
railbed; off, down and around deep cuts
and trestles; through sand and washes to
the site of Valjean Siding. The large
San Bernardino County
amount of debris here seemed to indi-
cate considerable occupancy over a long While we had wandered around Val- flinched at the thoughts of discomforts
period of time. Yet, we didn't see any jean, the sun had dropped behind the endured when working and living in this
foundations. Perhaps this area had been Avawatz Mountains. It was time to re- hot, arid region —long before the advent
a base camp for railroad workers when turn to camp and we reluctantly headed of refrigerators and air conditioners.
pushing the tracks through the Dumont west to the highway. We just couldn't We had followed along old trails built
Dunes Region. resist a short stop at Renoville—a small, for mining trucks, the railroad and
Railroad sidings not only served the short-lived town a little east of the pave- Model T Fords. Yet, we were never more
railroad but were important to early mo- ment. A few foundations and rubble tell than seven miles from a paved highway.
torists. A road of sorts usually followed of its existence. Quite possibly, a saloon We had watched travelers race madly
along the tracks and early guide books was the main enterprise. through our desert retreat oblivious to its
always mentioned which ones had water, Our stay in Silver Lake Country had charms. Somehow, we felt selfish in our
parts, food and sometimes shelter- been most rewarding. We had reveled in deep pleasure of the few days when
should they be needed. Travel was slow the beauty of wildflowers; taken pleasure Silver Lake Country had been ours alone.
and often hazardous during 1905-1940. in visualizing the mining activities; •
have Opuntias leave the fruits to the

FIRST IN A SERIES ON birds and rodents.

The " t u n a , " one of several common
names, was one of the fruits first tasted

NATIVE PLANTS AND by men with Cortez as they reached the

New World in 1519. To them it was a
"kind of f i g , " and soon was sent to

THEIR USES. Spain and elsewhere in the Mediterran-

ean. Those first Spaniards found the
tuna was important on Aztec tables.
Later this cactus became a symbolic, le-
gendary plant for the Mexicans.
Farther north, Indians of many tribes
were using the cactus, some species
providing food, medicine, fiber, glue. In

1752, Spaniards exploring west of the
Hopi Mesas, probably in Yavapai or
Havasupai land, were given "dates,"
believed to be prickly-pear cactus.
Tewas and probably others near the
Rio Grande ate the fruit. Boiled until ten-
der it was added to cornmeal porridge.
Indians would throw the buds or fruit
into a pot to add flavor to gruel made of
seed-meal, or dry them for use in winter,
when they would boil them into a kind of
sauce. The flower buds were delicacies
but the fruit crop was reduced when
these were gathered for pit-baking or
steaming. The Pimas steamed the buds,

MODERN which could be kept till later, and be

added to pinole or to saltbush (Atriplex)
Probably most of the harvest was
eaten fresh. If the Indians found a good

TABLES supply they cooked the fruit for sweets

and syrup, or split and sun-dried them
much as the Navajo treated peaches
when those fruit trees were introduced to
such places as Canyon de Chelly.
by LUCILE WEIGHT I cannot understand the nonchalance
with which some writers instruct us to
"roll off" or "rub off" the spines, when
handling cactus fruit. Many of the spines
are rubbed off in jostling enroute home.
A good many penetrate the "pear"

ATIVE FOODS which Indians, Span- the flat-stemmed Opuntias, and markets flesh, but clusters of almost invisible
iards, Mexicans and early whites ate carry jars and cans of "nopalitos," the bristles or glochids are still there. The
of necessity are receiving renewed cooked cubes and strips of the green sting remains after they apparently have
attention. We seem to be on the return pads. Some California growers have sup- been extracted from one's skin. Kitchen
lap of a spiraling cycle, after a period of plied New York markets with the fruit, tongs are good for detaching the pears
clamoring for synthetic foods. and many years ago I saw them in a Los from low plants, but several thicknesses
Cactus, once an important food Angeles central market. of newspapers can be used. Navajo,
source, later went to waste, or was burn- There are protective laws for cactus among others, used wooden tongs or a
ed and plowed up. But even though pro- and other plants, so don't go rushing out forked stick to detach the fruit from
cessed products have replaced most to the desert for loads of native fruits. pads. Long experience can make handl-
homegrown or wild foods, some desert They can be grown as hedges or in de- ing something less than an "event." The
people have developed cherished ways corative groupings in the garden. It is Cahuillas, for instance, are said to be
of making cactus sweets from fruits of surprising how many people who do adept artists at peeling fruit.

36 Desert/ January 1977

if you have arrf>s% tn thf> m/^inn type
that sometimes grows 12 and 15 feet
high, you might devise another gather-
ing technique. My husband, Harold,
nailed a No. 2 tin to the end of a seven-
foot pole to nudge off many, but this size
can was too small to hold some of the
fruits. Moreover, he could not get the
right angle for forcing it off, even when
he changed to a coffee can. The tough
fiber yielded to a bindery knife bound to
a pole, and the big fruits dropped into
the extended can.
The remaining spicules can be rubbed
off with a paper towel, but singeing in
the flame of a gas range is better. Hold „
the pear with fork inserted in the tough
flower end; rinse and wipe dry, and you
have a glowing "apple" or ex-prickly
pear ready to use in many ways. One of
our favorites was preserves, from the
huge yellow-meated variety. When com-
pletely ripe, this kind has the color of an
unknown wild honey; its cooked juice is a
medium amber, and the sieve pulp and
juice are what I call Papago Sunset,
Juices of the different varieties make
beautiful food colorings —magenta, Above: Several
crimson, scarlet, apricot. species of Opuntia
We preferred preserves, jams, mar- grow in low
malade and conserve to jelly, mainly be- hedges or thickets
cause these have a richer fruit flavor. I in Southern
found that a spoonful or two of the mar- California mountain
malade added an intriguing flavor and valleys and deserts
texture to bar and other cookies or of California and
brownies. And I made what I called Arizona.
nopal honey, good on baked ham, ex- Intergrading
pecially diluted slightly with orange or makes specific
tangerine juice. Or, broil grapefruit or identification
orange slices and add a spoonful just be- difficult.
fore removing from the heat. Right: Fruit of
The fruits also can be pureed (easier this Opuntia is
when simmered until tender) and used dark crimson.
with fruit salad dressing or as dessert Spines are sparse
sauce. but watch out for
One of my by-products was something those innocent
I learned later was an ancient food—cac- looking glochid
tus leather or cajeta, and a variant, the clusters or areoles.
queso de tuna of early Californios. I The seeds are
could not bear to discard the beautiful embedded in rich
pulp remaining from jelly and syrup, so I red matrix
spread it in a long pan and left it in a surrounded by a
very low oven until dry. It can be pulled rather firm flesh.
up, cut into squares or strips and stored At times Indians
for natural candy. To make it richer in ground seeds
flavor (and calories) cook the pulp with instead of
equal sugar, slowly, for an hour or until discarding them.
almost dry, pour onto tray, dry in sun or Photos by
oven. Harold O. Weight.
Desert/January 1977
To the blander varieties I added a few then fried crisp, may be served with a
whole cloves or a bit of cinnamon bark. tomato sauce, or bacon bits, or chili
Some preserved ginger root was just paste.
right with the preserves of the yellow no- An early Spanish-California dish com-
aals; fresh mint or a hint of fresh sweet- bined cubed pads with fresh tomatoes, a
aasil with jelly. Most of the marmalade I green chili, an onion, garlic, all added to
made using cactus included kumquats as a small amount of hot fat (olive oil if you
well as orange and lemon. like it), with a simple seasoning, and
I found great variation in color of fruit simmered 20 to 30 minutes.
and juice, in thickness of skin and its ad- A Mexican family in Imperial County
hesive character, in fragrance, odor and in recent years annually canned cactus,
flavor, as well as sugar content. Such dif- the children being kept out of school to
ferences also were noted by Luther Bur- help. The de-spined pads were boiled
bank during his work with cactus, some with whole onions until almost tender,
of which he said had 12 to 16 percent then put into sterilized jars, with bits of
sugar content. (A sugar difference could onion, slivered garlic and tiny red Jap-
account for failures in some jelly anese chiles. Later the mother added
making.) portions to egg dishes, to shrimp or
While the flat stem pads or slabs of Marth Chacon, Serrano at San Manuel
Optunia have served as a crisis food for Indian Reservation near San Bernardino,
cattle in the Southwest, they have been uses diced tender pads, boiled and
used widely also by Indians and others. drained, to cook with ground beef, chili
If growing pads are taken in summer powder and chopped onion.
when they are about half-size, they are Some make a pickle from strips of the
more tender and tasty; also spines have very young joints.
not developed. Older pads need to be de- There are countless ways of using no-
spined and "skinned." palitos, canned or home-prepared —add
The ancient pit-baking, used by Pana- them to chilies, onion and cream or Jack
mint and other Indians, softened the cheese; or in salad with chopped tomato,
older pads, but the stringiness remain- onion, fresh herbs, oil and lemon juice;
ed. Various methods have been used by or with minced green pepper, green or
Cahuillas and Serranos. Cooking is sim- ripe olives, pimientos and French dres-
pler when the pad is diced or cut into sing, on lettuce.
"string beans." Now they are ready to While the barrel cactus (Echinocactus)
dry and store for later use in stews or is used for the famous cactus candy,
other dishes, or to be used immediately Opuntia pads can be candied into some-
in many recipes. Unless the pad is very thing like preserved citron.
young it should have the outer skin Once you have experimented with this
stripped off, after de-spining. Many native food, you may enjoy new taste ad-
markets now have canned nopalitos, ventures and at the same time gain some
handier but having a different texture appreciation of the Indians who for cen-
and taste from the fresh. turies used many kinds of cactus as a
EXPEDITIONS, INC. Boiled nopalitos, thoroughly drained regular addition to the menu. •
offers varied back country
Natural History Tours,
Enjoy Our
using comfortable
New Modern Motel
four-wheel drive vehicles
and experienced
desert guides. New Camper Park
Write for free brochures Complete Utilities
describing our fall, Relax in Our
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Box 1404-D
Palm Desert, CA. 92260
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Phone 714-852-4373 Tecopa, California

38 Desert/ January 1977

Continued from Page 31

comparison of its ore with specimens of

Breyfogle ore, which were supposed to
be in existence. The search for that will-
'o-the-wisp Breyfogle ore, which I never
found, is a story in itself. But of the
richness of Round Mountain ore there
can be no question.
Bert Acree told me of his visit to the
Round Mountain mill in 1909. Only one
door was open, and visitors were asked
to put their hands in their pockets before
they walked within the reach of the con-
veyor belt. Bert said there were nuggets
all along the belt, and gold sticking out
all over the ore on it. In an area 300 feet
long and 100 feet wide, right in front of
the company offices on that reddish
southern slope, placer men took out Round Mountain [left] looking across Big Smoky Valley. Toquima Mountains in
$16,000 in one month. background. Waste piles of placer operations [right] are forming new mountains.
Edward A. Michal, who had come as
mill foreman in 1911, was acting as care- that, heat-struck, half starved, always fogle is not where Breyfogle thought he
taker when I first visited Round Moun- thirsty, Breyfogle might have become lost it. Breyfogle did pass near Round
tain. While he was foreman, he said, the confused in the sequence of days? He re- Mountain. Round Mountain ore seems
mine had produced about $5,000,000. membered leaving a watering place and identical with Gooding's description of
(Millions more were produced before then finding rich ore on a reddish slope. Breyfogle ore —and it was rich enough
and since.) As to it being the Breyfogle— Could he have confused Coyote Holes that a man might well have spent the
a new idea to him —it was quite possible, and Baxter Springs? Could that phantom rest of his life trying to relocate it. •
he thought. The ore was very red —es- red hillside in Death Valley have been

pecially the Los Gazabos vein. He took the real reddish slope of Round Moun-
me up the hillside to show me what was tain? GEM-DANDY HELPERS
left of that reddish-purple ledge. Right If that first expedition had backtracked New Silver Solder
Works great with only a
under it had been Round Mountain's Breyfogle, prospecting as they went, "match". Withstands tre-
glory hole, mined down 350 feet, then there might never have been a Lost mendous stress. Won't
discolor silver. Mod. 1004.
filled in with waste rock. Breyfogle. Probably they would have 5 Ft. S3.75

Michal showed me a specimen he had found that reddish, gold-littered spot on 6" Gem Maker

picked up in 1911—right on that south- Round Mountain. Would they have Complete lapidary machine, 6" dia-
mond blade, grind wheel, sanding
ern slope Breyfogle might have crossed. doubted that this was Breyfogle's dis- disc. Ship. Wt. 12 lbs. Mod. 1082.

It was small —2Y2x1x1 inches, but it was covery? Would Breyfogle have doubted $89.00. Write for Free Catalog.

more than half gold. One entire surface it? COVINGTON ENGINEERING CORP.
was partially crystallized yellow metal. A
dark red band ran through the center.
The other side was a mixture of gold and
This much is certain: The Lost Brey-
L Box 35, Oept. D, Redlands, CA 92373

red iron oxide, coated with white.

Seeing that gold, looking at Los Gaza-
bos vein, and on down the Big Smoky
toward Baxter Springs, I mentally
crossed the Breyfogle off my lost mine IMMII & >lim*rsil
list. I published a story in 1951, reiterat- 1741 Cherry Ave.. Long Beach. Calif.
ing that conviction. Since then I have
Phone (213) 591-8956
heard and read so many other Lost Brey- Open Monday thru Friday, 9:30 to 6 Saturday, 9:30 to 5
fogle accounts, by people equally con- Headquarters for:
vinced, my assurance has wavered. • Lapidary Supplies • Jewelry Making • Rockhound Supplies
But did Breyfogle twice during those Silver & Gold Casting Machines • Cut Stones • Rough Rock
wanderings leave a spring and cross or Write for FREE ALL NEW GEM SHOPPER
pass near reddish hillslopes covered with
rich golden ore? Isn't it more reasonable
ORNAMENTAL "100-year storms."
Caucasian man's occupation of the

Unique lawn decora-

tion. Adds rustic charm.
Rambling desert has not been much more than this
100 years, and his record keeping has
been less. We thus reasoned that if this
4V2 ft., 8 ft., and 10 ft.
sizes. Boxed. Send 25c
in coin or stamps for
colorful literature to:
on time interval was true, then the storm,
whatever it may be, was due.
About the middle of this September,
Hurricane Kathleen made its way to the

north from the eastern tropical Pacific,
10336 DeSoto Avenue
Chatsworth, Cal. 91311 and skirted the west coast of Mexico. As
213-341-2672 it approached Baja California it was a full
blown storm and created much havoc in
a number of parts of the penninsula. By
the time it reached the United States
TREASURE HUNTERS GLENN and border, it still was a formidable storm
— PROSPECTORS — MARTHA VARGAS with a mass of moisture-laden clouds,
Metal-Mineral Detectors but its winds had greatly abated.
DRY WASHERS MAPS At the same time, the storm met a cool
BOOKS TOOLS ASSAY KIT Our Lapidary Editors have returned air mass moving southward along the
SLUICE BOXES MINERAL LIGHTS from an extensive tour and were greeted Pacific coast. When the two met, the
Send 25c for catalog to: with unusual weather! water was dumped, and the 100-year
AURORA "prophesy" came true. Some desert
6286 BEACH BLVD. TROPICAL STORM areas of San Diego County received more
BUENA PARK, CALIF. 90620 than 10 inches of rain in slightly over 24
Rolling Rocks hours. The mountains just to the west of
COE PROSPECTOR SUPPLY Palm Desert (the home of Desert Maga-
ANAHEIM, CALIF. 92804 • ( H E SOUTHERN California Deserts zine) received about eight inches of rain
17141995-1703 o have just experienced the fury of a in less than 24 hours. The floor of the
• tropical storm. To be more to the Coachella Valley received better than
point, it was the end of Hurricane four inches, which is slightly over the
"Kathleen." We have often wondered if yearly average! This is a nearly flat
RIVERSIDE COUNTY'S LARGEST a hurricane could strike here. A look at desert basin, surrounded by desert
4-WHEEL-DRIVE HEADQUARTERS the desert mountains with their deeply mountains. Large amounts of water,
eroded canyons, and the huge alluvial such as fell during the storm, must go
Accessories for All Makes
fans that lie below them, has often made somewhere. If it falls on the mountains,

r i Jeep us suspicious that no succession of it rushes madly downhill. If it falls on the

"flash floods" could have carved them. flat areas, it runs off very slowly, and is
After we had lived here for a few years, added to by that which runs down from
JOHNSON'S 4WD CENTER, INC and had experienced some of these flash the hills.
7590 Cypress [at Van Buren] floods, we decided that a hurricane was What happens when such large
P.O. Box 4277 the only answer to this massive erosion.
Riverside, California 92504 amounts of water are dumped on land
Telephone [714] 785-1330 We could find no records of such a with very little vegetation? Depending
storm, but often heard reference to upon the slope on which it falls, it moves
downward. It first gathers in small
washes, and these run into larger ones.

ItOCKHOIINII SUPPLIES The amount of water that can gather in a

good-sized desert wash is often unbe-
lievable. When it empties into a desert
VISIT OUR ROCK AND GIFT SHOP basin, huge lakes are quickly created.
Specializing In Some desert basins have no water in
• All-Diamond Lapidary Equipment • Unusual them for decades, then suddenly in a few
Gifts • Handcrafted Jewelry • Cut Stones • hours they become a large lake.

• Calico Silver Lace Onyx. • The result of this massive water move-
ment is the phenomenon the geologist
calls erosion. Simply stated, erosion is
Open 9-5 Mon. thru Sat.
Located at Corner of the movement of rock (in various sized
particles) from one place to another. The
DIAMOND PACIFIC Western Dr. and W. Main (Lenwood)
714-253-7514 speed of the rock movement depends
25647 W. Main St., Barstow. CA 92311 upon the carrying agent. The faster the

40 Desert/January 1977
agent (in this case water) moves, the Enough sand was washed down onto the
greater the amount of rock particles that beach (on the Gulf of California) to
are moved, and also the greater the size change it so much that boats could not FOR GIFTS, PERSONAL WEAR OR PROFIT!
of the particles. come within 200 yards of where they had
200 PAGE
A most interesting physical principle come before the storm! , CATALOG
is involved here. One might think that as The greatest damage done by Kath-
the speed of flowing water is increased, EASY TO DO, NO SPECIAL SKILLS
leen, our recent storm, took place in Im- Earn Big Money in your spare time.
the amount and size of rock particles that perial County, just to the north of Baja Sell your creations for 2 to 5 times
what you paid for them. This
can be carried would increase at the California. Water rushing down from the FREE CATALOG contains everything
need , . . send for hobby-crafts biggest and best
same rate as the increase of speed of the desert mountains of San Diego County catalog. Contains over 10,000 items . . . loaded with
pictures — everything you need to get started at once.
water. Not so—the carrying power is gathered in huge washes and virtually SEND FOR hREE CATALOG
increased 16-fold! removed the small town of Ocotillo. GRIEGER'S Inc.
Let us assume that with a given Damage to some Imperial Valley farm-
stream moving at a moderate speed, it land, from being covered by silt, was ex-
can just move a pebble with a displace-
ment of one cubic inch. If we could
As awesome and surprising as this re-
Two Great Books
double the speed of the water, we now
have twice as much water striking any
cent storm was, we firmly believe that it
was really only a moderately large one.
rock lying in the water. The change does
not stop here, however, for each particle
On the hills to the west of our home, the Nell Murbarger
sides are covered with huge boulders,
of water is now striking with twice the some as large as a medium-sized house.
original force. We have squared the The recent storm evidently did not move
speed of the water, and also squared the them, but they have been moved to their
force with which it strikes. Thus we have present site at some time in the past.
raised the carrying power of the water to Immediately after this storm, we
the fourth power, or 16 times. Now the heard the statement that we could not
water can move a rock of 16 cubic inches. expect another for 100 years. Almost ex-
If we could again double the water actly two weeks later, Palm Desert had
speed, a rock 16 times as large as the another storm, this time not the end of a
second rock could be moved—16x16 tropical one. Damage was not as severe,
equals 256. but nevertheless, it was somewhat like
Coupled with this is the matter of adding insult to injury. Thus, it is very
specific gravity. Most rocks have a evident that storms do not follow a calen-
specific gravity of about three. This is dar, or any human rules. Without any at- barger. A pioneer of the ghost town explorers and
writers, Miss Murbarger's followers will be glad
three times heavier than water for like tempt to frighten anyone, we feel that to know this book is once again in print. First pub-
lished in 1956. it is now in its seventh edition. The
volumes. When a rock is lying out in the there is always a prospect for a larger fast-moving chronicle is a result of personal inter-
views of old-timers who are no longer here to tell
open, it is exerting its full weight on the storm, and we do not believe that the 100 their tales. Hardcover, illustrated. 291 pages.
material beneath. A rock with a specific years will pass before it comes. $7.00.

gravity of three loses one-third of its Some sage in antiquity said, " I t is an
weight. One with a specific gravity of ill wind that blows no good." In this
four loses one-fourth of its weight, etc. case, we will change the word wind to
When a rock is suddenly submerged in storm, and it did blow some good, as
water, the forces of the water that strikes well as bad. First, many people have
it are exerted against it when it suddenly now lost their complacency about desert
has lost weight. Thus, it is possible for a weather. We notice an awareness of the
sudden flood to move very large rocks. It fact that the "rainless" desert can be
is also possible for the water to pick up rained on, and in huge amounts.
so much silt and sand that it becomes Perhaps officialdom may subscribe to
thick mud, and if the slope is reasonably the thought that the desert should not be
steep, this mud will flow exactly like the covered with dikes (one broke, causing
water itself. We have seen where this most of the damage in Palm Desert.) We
30,000 MILES IN MEXICO by Nell Murbarger.
mud has actually flooded chunks of pave- also hope that this awareness will keep Joyous adventures of a trip by pick-up camper
made by two women from Tijuana to Guatemala.
ment (asphalt and gravel) that have been communities from being created astride Folksy and entertaining, as well as instructive to
torn loose by these 16-fold forces. of washes. others who might make the trip. Hardcover. 309
pages, $6.00.
Nearly 10 years ago, the end of a hur- Another benefit of the storm is that
Plus 75c Postage
ricane (Katrina, another K) struck the the rains came just as the desert was
California Residents Please Add 6% Sales Ta
town of San Felipe, in Baja California. cooling from summer. Desert plants
Automobiles were moved down the grew and are now (mid-November)
washes. Adobe and stone houses were blooming. The plants thought it was
, Magazine Book Shop
torn apart and carried down the washes. springtime! • Box 1318, Palm Desert, Calif.

Desert/January 1977

GEMS AND MINERALS Magazine. The "How DRILLED KINGMAN Blue Turquoise Nuggets, BEAUTIFUL ODD-SHAPED Natural gold just
To" magazine for jewelry makers, rockhounds, 9c, 12c, 25c. $1.00 samples. Ultrasonic drilling like it came from the earth $2.00. Gold panning
gem cutters and rock hobbyist. Over 95 pages 4c up. Add 6% tax. Jewels from Linda, 27831 packet with instructions $2.00. Prospector Jack
monthly, 4-color cover and color inside. Sample Larkmain, Saugus, California 91350. Ward, Box 380, Sandia Park, New Mexico
50c. Gems and Minerals, Dept. DMM-1, Box 87047.
687, Mentone, California 92359.
ARIZONA HIGHWAYS February 1975 Peridot
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Good condition. All for $200.00. Russ Rottmann, Council, Rm 1239, Apache Junction, Arizona
35011 Ave. E, Sp. 57, Yucaipa, Calif. 92399. 85220.
Homes, Acreage in the Unspoiled West Desert
of Imperial County. Bell Realty, 1147 Imperial
GEMBOOKS stocks over 125 rock hobby books
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lecting, minerals, fossils, gem cutting. Write for
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A SET OF RARE, Hard to Find Antique Maps. acres of unimproved desert land. Old Kanes
The World, Europe, The Americas, Africa. Four Spring Road passes through one corner. About
authentic full color reproductions of the original four miles south of Ocotillo. Write P. O. Box
LIVE LONGER. How to Feel Healthier and maps which were hand drawn by meticulous 12054, San Diego, California 92112.
Learn the Secret of a Long Life. The book tells European Craftsmen. They have captured all the
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water—Hi-Desert air—View of Lake Isabella
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for tumbling, polishing and grinding. Send for search Products, Box 13441-BUC, Tampa, Fla.
free catalogue and price list. MDC Industries, 33611.
400 West Glenwood Avenue, Philadelphia, PA. ASSAYS. COMPLETE, accurate, guaranteed.
19140. Dealer Inquiries invited. Highest quality spectographic. Only $6.00 per
sample. Reed Engineering, 2166 College Ave.,
Costa Mesa, California 92627. WILL YOU GAMBLE $4.00 to save $200? Build
one of several detectors from our 20-page book
"Build Transistor Treasure Detectors." Easily
GEMS followed instructions, $4.00. Trionics, Box 164D,
PROSPECTING Brewer, Maine 04412.
dena Dr., Riverside, California 92501. Parallel to „ „ „ „ „ _ ___ __. _ _ , BUILD YOUR OWN Directional Mineral Loca-
P R 0 S P
Riverside Freeway. Phone 686-3956. Come in ^ ^ 0 R G 0 L D : Forty acre m'"eral tor. Locate mineral and treasure one mile away.
and browse; jewelry mountings, chains, sup- sup claim 5 ° 0 0 0 - ' n f ° r m a t l o n a n d ™ aP

plies, minerals, slabs, rough material, equip- 9.° den Glorj'Mines, Box 907, Wmterhaven, Send $5.00 for plans and instructions to: Les
ment, black lights, metal detectors, maps, rock
California 9 ^ S J Hardin, Box 260, Florence, Colorado 81226.
California 9 ^ S J .
and bottle books.
INSTANT RICHES—Explore ghost towns. Find
DRYWASHERS! GOLD CONCENTRATORS! buried treasure, coins, relics, antiques, and
GEM SHOP WEST. Mineral specimens, custom Guaranteed to recover minerals, gold. A hobby more. Goldak—the finest "Metal and Treasure
jewelry, gem identification, slabbing. 72-042 that pays for itself! Write to: Nick's Nugget, P. Locators since 1933." Send for free catalog.
Highway 111, Rancho Mirage, Calif. 92270. O. Box 1081, Fontana, California 92335. (714) Goldak, Dept. D, 727 S. Main St., Burbank,
Phone 346-2812. 822-2846. California 91506.

42 Desert/January 1977

of its kind you have been looking for. Courses Compiled by Varna Enterprises, 38"x25" and
approved by California Dept. of Education. V.A. scaled Southern California on one side and
Approved. Send for Free Brochure. Roy Keister Northern California on the other. Contains de-
College of Fine Arts, 15800 Highland Dr., San DESERT OVERVIEW MAPS lailed location of place names, many of which
Using topographic maps as basic underlays, are are not on regular maps $3.50
Jose, California 95121.
two excellently detailed maps for back country
explorers of the Moiave and Colorado Deserts MAP OF PIONEER TRAILS
Maps show highways, gravel roads, jeep trails, Compiled by Varna Enterprises, this is their new
plus historic routes and sites, old wells, which large map on pioneer trails blazed from 1541
NEW PENDULUMS, one gold, one silver, an- are not on modern-day maps, plus ghost towns. through 1867 in the western United States, Su-
tenna rods, priced right. Seven-day trial. Indian sites, etc. Mojave Desert Overview perimposed in red on black and white.. 37"x45"
Stamped envelope, Mercury Magnet, Anson, covers from US 395 at Little Lake to Boulder $4.00
City. Nevada, to Parker Dam to Victorville. Colo-
Texas. Rt. 3, Box 100. 79501. rado Desert Overview covers from the Mexican
border to Joshua Tree National Monument to ROADMAP TO CALIFORNIA'S LOST MINES
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WIND CHIMES, porcelain $6.50; T-Shirts, blue S3.00 Each scaled Southern California on one side and
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upon request. Your orders will promote the

Desert Magazine Book Shop

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P.O. Box 1318, Palm Desert, California 92260
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Mail your copy and first-insertion remittance ADDRESS
to: Trading Post, Desert Magazine, Palm
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Date Binder(s) with Year(s) • Undated
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Desert/January 1977 43
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Please add 50c handling/postage

Motorist in Lower California by James T. Crow. GHOST TOWNS OF ARIZONA by James and
by Robert L. Brown. An illustrated, detailed, in- Barbara Sherman. If you are looking for a ghost
formal history of life in the mining camps deep in Discover the real Baja that lies beyond the edge town in Arizona this is your waybill. Illustrated,
the almost inaccessible mountain fastness of the of the paved road, the unspoiled, out-of-the-way maps, townships, range, co-ordinates, history,
Colorado Rockies. 58 towns are included as exam- places unknown to the credit-card tourist. The and other details make this one of the best ghost
ples of the vigorous struggle for existence in the author, drawing from his extensive travels in town books ever published. Large 9x11 format,
mining camps of the West. 239 pages, illustrated, these parts, tells where to go, what to take heavy paperback, 208 pages, $4.95.
end sheet map, hardcover, $7.95. along, the common sense of getting ready. Illus-
trated, paperback, 95 pages, $3.95.
NIA by Harry Crosby. A fascinating recounting Wheelock and Howard E. Gulick, formally Ger-
LOST LEGENDS OF THE WEST by Brad Wil- hard and Gulick's Lower California Guidebook.
of a trip by muleback over the rugged spine of
the Baja California peninsula, along an historic liams and Choral Pepper. The authors examine This totally revised fifth edition is up-to-the-min-
path created by the first Spanish padres. It tells the "lore, legends, characters and myths that ute for the Transpeninsular paved highway, with
of the life and death of the old Jesuit missions. It grew out of the Old West." Included among the new detailed mileages and descriptive text. Cor-
describes how the first European settlers were more than 20 "lost legends" are such intriguing rections and additions are shown for the many
lured into the mountains along the same road. subjects as lost bones, lost ladies, lost towns and side roads, ORV routes, trails and little-known
Magnificent photographs, many in color, high- lost diamonds. Hardcover, Illustrated, 192 byways to desert, mountain, beach and bay re-
light the book. Hard cover, 182 pages, large pages, $5.95. cesses. Folding route maps are in color and new-
format, $14.50. ly revised for current accuracy. Indispensable
Sutton. This fascinating volume explains all the reference guide, hardcover, $10.50.
THE DESERT by Russell D. Butcher. Superb vital inter-relationships that exist between the
photography and excellent text make us fully living things and the physical environment of WILDLIFE OF THE SOUTHWEST DESERTS by
aware of the richness of Mr. Butcher's desert our vast desert regions. More than 100 illustra- Jim Cornett. Written for the layman and serious
experience. Informative guides to the parks, wil- tions in full color. Helpful appendices contain students alike, this is an excellent book on all of
dernesses, desert gardens and museums also in- comprehensive index and glossary. Special fea- the common animals of the Southwest deserts. A
cluded. Large format, hard cover, $17.50. tures on endangered species, lizards and poison- must for desert explorers, it presents a brief life
ous animals. Hardcover, 232 pages, profusely il- history of everything from ants to burros. Paper-
UTAH by David Muench, text by Hartt Wlxom. lustrated, $5.50. back, 80 pages, $2.99.
The imsressions captured here by David
Muench's camera and Hartt Wlxom's pen bring WHAT KINDA CACTUS IZZAT? by Reg Man-
to life a most beautiful under-one-cover profile of ning. A friendly introduction to all the principal
the fascinating state of Utah, Large 11x14 format, thorny Inhabitants of the Cactus Belt along the
hardcover, 188 pages, $25.00. Mexican Border. This book not only calls a cac-
tus a cactus, but more Important, it points out
what NOT to call a "cactus." Paperback, clever-
ly Illustrated, 107 pages, $2.25.


THE WEST by Muriel Sweet. A description with
artist drawings of edible (and those not to touch)
plants along with how Indians and pioneers used
them. Paperback, 64 pages, $1.95.


This completely revised fourth edition is the
most authoritative guide for collectors of rocks,
gemstones, minerals and fossils. Profusely illus- INDIAN BASKET WEAVING, How to Weave
trated with maps and contains excellent descrip- Porno, Yurok, Plma and Navajo Baskets by
tive text. Paperback, $3.00. Sandra Corrle Newman. Besides explicit Infor-
THE WIND LEAVES NO SHADOW by Ruth mation on gathering and preparation of natural
Laughlin. "La Tules," an acknowledged queen EXPLORING DEATH VALLEY by Ruth Kirk. materials and weaving techniques, the author
of the monte game in old Santa Fe, was acclaim- Good photos and maps with time estimates from brings out the meaning of the craft to the par-
ed not only for her red hair, her silver slippers place to place and geology, natural history and takers of these traditions. Paperback, lavishly
and diamond rings, but also for her dazzling wit, human Interest information included. Paper- Illustrated, 91 pages, $4.95.
which made even losers at 'ler monte carlo table back, $2.25.
smile as she raked in their silver. Miss Laughlin THE CHEMEHUEVIS by Carobeth Laird. A
has combined the historians's skill and the nov- superb enthnography destined to become a
RUFUS, by Rutherford Montgomery. From one
elist'? gift to unravel the truth about this legend- of America's best-loved children's nature writ- classic in anthropology, by the author of Encoun-
ary lady in a histo.rical romance that has proven ers comes the story of Rufus, a fierce and proud ter With An Angry God. Based on information
popular for nearly two decades. Hardcover, 361 bobcat struggling against nature and man. As provided by the author's husband, George, a
pages, $4.95. Rufus grows and matures, his exciting adven- Chemehuevi tribesman, the work is a delight to
tures make fascinating reading for adults and both scholars and general readers. With glos-
ARIZONA PLACE NAMES by Will C. Barnes, children alike. Hardcover, 137 pages, $4.95. sary, maps, index, place-name index and appen-
Revised and enlarged by Byrd H. Granger. dices on language and cartography. Beautifully
Excellent reference book with maps, Biogra- decorated. Paperback, 349 pages, $8.95.
phical Information and Index. Large format, GHOST TOWN BOTTLE PRICE GUIDE by Wes
hardcover, 519 pages, $11.50. and Ruby Bressie. A new and revised edition of
their popular bottle book, first published in THE CREATIVE OJO BOOK by Diane Thomas.
1964. New section on Oriental relics, plus up-to- Instructions for making the colorful yarn talis-
WELLS FARGO, The Legend by Dale Robertson date values of bottles. Slick, paperback, illus- mans originally made by Pueblo and Mexican
In his own personal narrative style, without de- trated, 124 pages, $3.95 Indians. Included are directions for wall-hung
parting from known fact, Dale has recreated the ojos, necklaces, mobiles and gift-wrap tie-ons.
Wells Fargo legend. Entertaining reading in WHERE TO FIND GOLD IN THE MOTHER Well illustrated with 4-color photographs, 52
addition to excellent Illustrations by Roy Purcell. LODE by James Klein. As in his Where to Find pages, paperback, $2.95.
Paperback, 154 pages, $4.95. Gold in the Desert and Where to Find Gold In
Southern California, author Klein guides you to GHOST TOWNS AND MINING CAMPS OF
MINES OF JULIAN by Helen Ellsberg. Facts the areas in which people are doing the best CALIFORNIA by Reml Nadeau. Once again
and lore of the bygone mining days when Julian, now. He includes history, tips on equipment available, this excellent book preserves the
In Southern California, is reported to have pro- needed, how to pan, how to stake claims, etc. myths along with the history of the ghost towns
duced some seven million dollars of bullion. Pa- Paperback, 121 pages, illustrated with photos of California. Paperback, 276 pages, well illus-
perback, well Illustrated, $1.95. and maps, $4.95 each. trated, $4.95.
44 Desert/January 1877
California residents
please add
6% state sales tax
Please add 50c handling/postage

Garrett. An informative study of coin hunting, CAMPS by Stanley W. Paher. Covering all of Promising Old Mines and Hidden Lodes
this is a complete guide on where to search, Nevada's 17 counties, Paher has documented Throughout the West by Samuel B. Jackson. A
metal detector selection and use, digging tools 575 mining camps, many of which have been terrific authoritative guidebook jam-packed with
and accessories, how to dig and the care and" erased from the earth. The book contains the detailed descriptions of hundreds of gold-pros-
handling of coins. A classic book in the field. 181 greatest and most complete collection of historic pecting opportunities, the histories of lost
pages, paperback, $5.00. photographs of Nevada ever published. This, bonanzas, and stories of the still-to-be-located
coupled with his excellent writing and map, lost mines. Covers every gold-bearing section of
GOLDEN CHIA by Harrison Doyle. The only re- creates a book of lasting value. Large format, the United States. Hardcover, extensive index
ference book on the chia plant and seed. This 700 photographs, hardcover, 492 pages, $17.50. 348 pages, $8.95.
book illustrates the great difference between the
high desert chia, and the Mexican variety sold in
the health food stores. If you study, practice and THE BEST BOOK ON CB—Includes all 40
take to heart, especially the last ten pages of this channels and 1977 regulations. New up-to-date
nutritionally up-to-date, newly revised book, you book covers the entire CB field—Automotive,
will find many answers you've been searching Base stations, Marine uses, Portable sets, An-
for to the achievement of health and well being, tennas, Latest slang, 10-codes, Q-codes, 13-
lengthen your life expectancy measureably, and codes, How to chose and install the best equip-
be 99% less susceptible to disease of any sort. ment, Improve performance, Handle emergen-
Fourth printing, 105 pages, illustrated. Paper- cies, etc. Large format, 192 pages, $4.95.
back $4.75, cloth, $7.75.
Henry and Beverly Mockel. The well-known NIA by Jeanette Coyle and Norman Roberts.
painter of desert wildflowers has combined his Over 250 plants are described with 189 color
four-color sketches and black and white photos. Includes past and present uses of the
AMERICAN INDIAN FOOD AND LORE by Car- plants by aborigines and people in Baja today.
photographs to describe in detail so the layman olyn Neithammer. The original Indian plants
can easily identify wildflowers, both large and used for foods, medicinal purposes, shelter, Scientific, Spanish and common names are
small. Microscopic detail makes this an out- clothing, etc., are described in detail in this fas- given. Excellent reference and highly recom-
standing book for identification. Special com- cinating book. Common and scientific names, mended. 224 pages, paperback, $8.50.
pressed fiber cover which will not stain. 54 full- plus descriptions of each plant and unusual
color illustrations with 72 life-size drawings and recipes. Large format, profusely illus., 191 DEATH VALLEY GHOST TOWNS by Stanley
39 photographs, 316 pages, $5.95. pages, $4.95. Paher. Death Valley, today a National Monu-
ment, has in its environs the ghostly remains of
RAY MANLEY'S SOUTHWESTERN INDIAN OREGON'S GOLDEN YEARS by Miles F. many mines and mining towns. The author has
ARTS AND CRAFTS is a full color presentation Potter. Men in search of treasure opened the also written of ghost towns in Nevada and Ari-
of the culture of the Southwest including jewel- gates to the wilderness. Oregon's Golden Years zona and knows how to blend a brief outline of
ry, pottery, baskets, rugs, kachinas, Indian art —with affection and good humor—honors these each of Death Valley's ghost towns with historic
and sandpaintings. 225 color photographs, inter- men and their imperishable lust for gold. Paper- photos. For sheer drama, fact or fiction, it pro-
esting descriptive text. Heavy paperback, 96 back, large format, lavishly illustrated, exten- duces an enticing package for ghost town buffs.
pages, $7.95. sive Bibliography and Index, $7.95. Paperback, illus., large format, $2.95.


Campbell Grant. This extensively illustrated vol- Bower. Superbly detailed adventure and activity follows the frontiersman into his heroic w o r l d -
ume presents an over-all survey of Indian rock guide to 110 scenic, historic and natural wonders tells the story of early explorers, trappers, fur
art covering an extraordinary variety of subjects, in 11 Western states for the family and sports- traders, Forty-niners, builders and operators of
styles and techniques. Identifies motifs and their men—from dinosaur stamping grounds in stagecoach and mail services, telegraphs and
probably meanings, correlates them with region- Colorado through ghost towns, prehistoric In- railroads—through the experience of a few Influ-
al and tribal cultures and migrations, and locates dian villages, abandoned mines, wilderness ential, representative Westerners—white men,
major sites of rock art throughout the continent. areas, etc. Lavishly illustrated with photos and white women and Indians. Hardcover, beautiful-
Hardcover, 178 pages, extensive Bibliography driving maps. Large format, hardcover, original- ly illustrated with color and black and white
and Index, originally published at $12.95, now ly published at $12.50, now priced at $4.98. photos, 288 pages, originally published at
$5.98. $17.95, now priced at $7.98.
STAGECOACH WEST by Ralph Moody. The
THE AMERICAN WEST, A Natural History by lively story of stagecoaching in the West, which THE OLD TRAILS WEST by Ralph Moody. The
Ann and Myron Sutton. A first-hand informa- provided the lines of rapid communication, story of great legendary routes that bound a wild
tion-packed description of the plant and animal hauled the wealth of a new nation, and helped land into a nation. The Oregon Trail, El Camino
life and geological evolution of the 15 major Americans settle the region between the Mis- Real, the Butterfield Overland Mall, The Santa
natural areas of America's West, illustrated with souri and the Pacific. Well illustrated, including Fe Trail and many more names that conjure up
magnificent photos (71 in color) and maps, many detailed maps. Hardcover, 341 pages, the romance of the past. It recounts the true
makes it clear just why the forests, animals, originally published at $8.95, now only $3.98. stories behind the trails and how they contribut-
flowers, rivers, deserts and caves of the Land of ed to the settling of the West. Illustrated with
the Big Sky are exactly as they are. Large A HISTORY OF THE COMSTOCK SILVER maps and reproductions of authentic old prints.
10"x12 1 /2" format, hardcover, 272 pages, LODE AND MINES, Nevada and the Great Hardcover, 318 pages, originally published at
originally published at $25.00, now only $12.98. Basin Region, Lake Tahoe and the High Sierras, $8.95, now only $3.98.
by Don De Quille [William Wright]. Gives an ex-
DOWN THE COLORADO: The Diary of the First cellent description of Nevada mining, particular- THE GOLD MINES OF CALIFORNIA: Two
Trip Through the Grand Canyon, photographs ly in the period of its greatest productivity. Also Guidebooks. Includes California and Its Gold Re-
and epilogue by Eliot Porter. Contains John includes history of the region, its geography and gions by Fayette Robinson. A typical guidebook
Wesley Powell's dramatic journal of 1869 when development. Hardcover, one of the "America's which was rushed from the presses to sell to the
ten men in four boats swept down the raging Pioneer Heritage" Series, 158 pages, originally Forty-niners; and California in 1850 Compared
Colorado River, over rapids considered impas- published at $6.95, now priced at $2.95. With What It Was In 1849, With A Glimpse At
sable, to chart the unexplored river and its sur- Its Future Destiny by Franklin Street. More
rounding canyons. Includes a 48-page gallery of realistic and lacking the flamboyant optimism
four-color photographs by America's foremost Please add 50c per total order which marred most of the 1849 guides. Hard-
photographer of nature. Hardcover, large for Handling/Postage cover, another in the "America's Pioneer Herit-
10V4"x143/4" format, 168 pages. Originally pub- age" Series, originally published at $10.00, now
lished at $30.00, now priced at $9.98. Calif. Res. add 6% State Sales Tax only $2.95.
quantities; run around in broad daylight, and
travel long distances in the open, taking no
evasive action when an enemy appears.
Standing on their heads scares no one, and
their chemical attack is no more noxious than
the smell of photographic chemicals.
I give up on trying to figure out just how
these bugs got to where they are. Does

Editor anybody know?


Letters requesting answers must

include stamped self-addressed envelope
Palm Desert, California.

Chaffin's Ferry . . .
This column is a public service and there is no
I have been a subscriber to Desert Maga- harge for listing your event or meeting—so take
More on the Pinacate Beetle . . . zine for more years than I can remember and advantage of the space by sending in your an-
I would like to add a few observations to have enjoyed every issue. I have traveled nouncement. We must receive the information
those made in K. L. Boynton's interesting southeastern Utah for 35 years in a Jeep and at least three months prior to the event.
article on the pinacate beetle, Eleodes other conveyances long before Lake Powell JANUARY 22 & 23, Western Collectable
armata. and Glen Canyon Dam were under construc- Show, sponsored by the Calif. BWCA, Colon-
Despite their protective air space (elytra) tion. ial Country Club, 25115 Kirby St., Hemet,
under the shell, these beetles are vulnerable I read your September issue on Hite and Calif. Free admission. Write to Amos Ulberg,
to extreme heat. One summer day, I placed the New Bi-Centennial Highway across that P. O. Box 602, Hemet, Calif. 92383.
several beetles out in the open area, exposed Part of the country (U-95), so last weekend
to the sun. They momentarily raced around, we took a ride through Salina, across the new JANUARY 29 & 30, Orange Coast Mineral
and then headed for the nearest shady patch I-70 to Hanksville, stayed there at the Poor and Lapidary Society Show, National Armory,
of trees, but they never made it and rolled Boy Motel. The next day we went down to 612 E. Warner Ave., Santa Ana, Calif. Dealer
over dead. Hite, across new U-95 to Mexican Hat and space filled.
The researchers quoted gave the figure of came back through Bluffs, Blanding, Monti-
64 feet as the maximum distance traveled by cello and Moab, and visited Bridges National FEBRUARY 11-13, Annual Gold Rush Days
beetles studied. I have followed solitary Monument, Arches National Monument and Show and Sale sponsored by the Wickenburg
beetles for two hundred yards and the critters Dead Horse Point —a wonderful trip. Gem & Mineral Society, Community Center,
were still going straight ahead, at a pace of an The main reason for writing this letter is W i c k e n b u r g , Arizona. Free admission.
average man. Just where they were headed your article on Hite. I was down in that coun- Special Copper Minerals Exhibit. Chairman:
for, God only knows! try in 1956, and took pictures of the old Chaf- Moulton Smith, P.O.Box 1042, Wickenburg,
One summer, almost every evening for fin Ferry. This Mr. R. Chaffin took over the Arizona 85358.
several days swarms of black beetles appear- Hite Ferry after Mr. Cass Hite died, and I
ed out of the desert, most of them trying to have enclosed two 35mm slides and one pic- FEBRUARY 12 & 13, American River Gem &
enter my doorway. 1 scooped up about 100 of ture taken off those slides from the pictures I Mineral Society, Inc., will hold their 12th
them and observed them for about six took in 1956. Annual "Fiesta of Gems" show at the Mills
months. Deaths were rare. They did well on When the State of Utah dedicated this Jr. High School, 10439 Coloma Rd., Rancho
lettuce, and were still going strong when I re- U-95 road this summer as the Utah Bi-Cen- Cordova, Calif. Chairman: Ralph Darden,
leased them in the desert, having touched tennial Highway, they had Mr. Chaffin to the P.O.Box 374, Rancho Cordova, Calif. 95670.
each one with a spot of white paint. However, dedication. Mr. Chaffin lives in Teasdale,
none of them were ever seen again. Utah and is 90-plus years old. The State of FEBRUARY 18-27, Indio, California-Nation-
These beetles must give the evolutionists Utah borrowed my slides at one time, since al Date Festival "Gem and Mineral Show."
fits, because they don't follow the rule of they didn't have any other pictures of the Old Hosted by: Coachella Valley Mineral Society,
adaptation to the environment. They have Chaffin Raft. Perhaps your readers would like Desert Gem and Mineral Society, San Gor-
nothing going for them, except a hard shell. to see them, too. gonio Gem and Mineral Society, Shadow
They have the wrong color; appear in swarms Mountain Gem and Mineral Society Fair-
where they can be exterminated in large grounds, Hwy 111, Indio. For exhibit
West Jordan, Utah.
Premium List write: George Oswald, Super-
visor, Gem and Mineral Show, National Date
Festival, P.O. Drawer NNNN, Indio, Calif.

FEBRUARY 19 & 20, Tenth Annual Antique

Bottle Show and Sale of San Mateo County,
sponsored by the Peninsula Bottle Collectors,
San Mateo County Fairgrounds, San Mateo,
Calif. Admission and parking free. Beautiful
and educational displays of rare old bottles
from all over the West.
FEBRUARY 26 & 27, Gem and Mineral Show
sponsored by the Santa Clara Valley Gem and
Mineral Society, Inc., Santa Clara County
Fairgrounds, Pavilion Bldg., 344 Tully Road,
San Jose, Calif.
MARCH 18-20, 17th Annual Southwest Gem
& Mineral Show, Villita Assembly Hall, 401
Villita St., San Antonio, Texas.
46 Desert/January 1977
JoW U '$b>i

Tainter oj pe
Many art critics consider John Hilton the foremost painter of desert scenes
of the West. His oils are hung in galleries throughout the United States and
are constantly in demand. Desert Magazine has a limited supply of prints of
his painting entitled "Contrasts" showing sand dunes covered with desert
wildflowers and the Santa Rosa Mountains in the background.

This beautiful four-color print is 11x17 inches on high quality mat paper
with two-inch margins, ideal for framing. Available to Desert Magazine
readers, "mailed rolled, in a tube, for only $3.00, including tax and postage.

Send check to DESERT, Contrasts, Box 1318, Palm Desert, Calif. 92260.



1 4 " X 1 7 " with white margins, on high Send your name, address, zip code
quality paper stock. No lettering or and ^
folds. The artist's personal account of
how each phase of the series came to
be painted is lithographed on the back
of each one. Ready for framing. Great
for the den or game room!
DESERT Magazine
P. 0 . Box 1318, Palnf Desert,
California 92260

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