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Friday, April 18, 2014

The Cattlemen’s Gold



The Following story has never been told nor published, however certain details will be withheld to maintain ambiguity of the site. This is just another of the many I am unable to pursue any longer.



The year was 1927 in central Utah when two cattle ranchers were making their last trip for the season to gather in their cattle which had been grazing in the mountains through the summer. The two men had rode their horses from their camp located lower in the mountains to the base of a well known peak in the area where their cattle were last know to have grazed. They had gathered in all they could find and were making their last trip down the mountain to their base camp.


The weather was looking like a storm was coming and sure enough, when the cattle men were just a couple miles from base camp and turning into the main canyon from the north and heading west, the storm hit them with full force. The storm was quite heavy and the snow was hitting them in the face with a strong force which made it difficult to see. Even the horses were having troubles staying on the trail. The ranchers decided to let go of the reigns and let the horses instinctively seek cover. Immediately the horses turned around and proceeded back up the trail and turned north, where they had just came from. Not far past the turn northward the horses took off the main trail and began to climb an old steep trail heading towards a what appeared to be a thicket of trees. The trail began to level out as they entered the stand of trees. They rode further into the grove and supposedly rode into a place where there was an overhanging ledge in a conglomerate rock formation.

The cave like overhang was said to be large enough the horse walk in with the riders still mounted. Once inside the cattlemen dismounted and began to gather what ever they could to start a fire. One of the cattlemen noticed in the back of this cave like overhang was a small hole large enough for a man to enter. Upon closer examination it was found to be a cave and large enough to further get away from the storm. The two men entered and began to build a fire. As the fire blazed they noticed a tunnel and making a make shift torch they decided to explore a little. One of the men making his way trough the tunnel stumbled over some thing in the center of the tunnel, holding his torch closer it reveled a pyramid stack of what turned out to be ten pound gold bars. Further exploring, two more stacks were found.

In every case it seems when a story comes about such as this, it always seems that some one finds something and for whatever reasons they do not take anything and then cannot find it again. Well this story is a little different.

The two men hardly believing their luck and what they had found, gathered up as much as they could carry out. One man shoved a bar down his pants of which it slid down pant leg and broke his foot. Still the men managed to get out of there with enough to take care of their families for some years. When the storm lifted the men took careful notes of observations so they could return.

It wasn't a few years later and the great depression hit and anti gold hoarding laws came into play. During these years of the depression it is recalled by some of the locals I have spoke to, that there was certain families in the area where the men lived, and being cattlemen none the less, it seemed they got through these depression years without want or need. It was 15 years later before the men attempted to return to their found cache site. It would seem even though they felt they had good reference points and the map, all they could do was argue about which hill they were on. The two men as far as the story goes, never found the right place again.

60 Years later the story would find its way to me by a friend who had contact with and acquaintance the original family, whose identity would surprise you. It would seem that after another 15 years of searching and then another dozen years or so the descendants of one of the two men tried their hand at looking for it. But to no success the story was passed along. Upon receiving the story in 2003, my wife and I decided that beings we had some good vantage points or things given as line of sight from the opening of the cave like overhang, that we could bring ourselves to a place between the two and for the most part backwards analyze it. This seemed to work quite well and knowing the other things used to triangulate the site we were able to find a target area. We scheduled a trip into the area which isn't to terribly difficult to get into but takes a little hiking.

We had chosen what is supposed as being a forest service trail to make our way into this place, as we traveled along the wide and well defined trail we began to find things along the trail that made it very clear, this was no forest trail regardless of whether they claimed it or not. The first thing we found was a tree carving we never expected but well known from many years of being in the Uinta Mountains and actually dating the trees and the carvings where possible. This one was found carved on Mountain Mahogany.



When we found this right next to the trail it was clear that a likely employee of the Forest Service had attempted to carve over the trail marker in an effort to mask it from what it actually is. The glyph used to mark a forest service trail is the same as the glyph used by the Spaniard to lead to their mines and such. Many do not realize that the Forest service long ago adopted this glyph to hide the fact that someone such as Spaniards were coming here long ago. It is said by some that the way the glyph works is, that the dot above the line means the trail going in and the dot below the line means the trail going out, and that may be according to the Forest Service. But if the glyph proves to have been carved hundreds of years prior, who from the Forest Service was here to carve it? The true meaning of an authentic Spanish Trail Marker is, the dot being above the line means the intended mine it is leading to is ahead or up. If the dot is below the line as you face the tree, the mine is behind you and if you are traveling in the direction facing the tree, you are traveling away from the mine. This Glyph is identical in base meaning as the Native American Glyph.

Although we have never core sampled this tree nor the carving itself, knowing the Mountain Mahogany is a very slow grower, I called my Biologist friend and sent him photos for verification of the variety of the tree. He told me that it was more of a bush like a Juniper but that it was a slow grower like scrub oak and asked the depth of the over growth since it was marked of which is about 3 inches, astonished he asked what the diameter of the tree was and I told him 18 inches, again surprised he said you have a very old tree and a very old carving.

Continuing along the now very apparent old trail we found a fallen monument and not to much further up the trail we found another still standing but some what hidden in some Junipers. Because of the Crustose (Orange) Lichen and the size of the growth of the spores, we knew the monument had been there a very long time.



                                                        Notice lichen spores.                                                       

It is said that if the spore is the size of a dime, it represents about 100 years since the rocks were moved, I have found that this is fairly accurate, the spores on this monument are about the size of a silver dollar.

Further up the trail are even more trees with the appropriate mark showing the mine is still ahead. This one is a Juniper.



An old Juniper with about 4 inches of overgrowth since it was carved.


In the same general area but further up the trail we found evidence of a silver vein crossing the trail, near anyone could see silver is present by the samples of stained rock crossing the old trail, If the image does not show it very well, there is a heavy blue-ish silver stained layer of rock crossing the old trail, a clear indication of silver. By this time we knew we were in the right area and we were certainly near to an old Spanish Mine and likely near the cache site.



Silver dark blue stained rock found crossing the old trail, shining due to sunlight.

As the excitement built up due to the things we were finding, we just couldn't wait to continue. Rounding a corner further up the trail we find an unusual monument and past this point about 1/3 of a mile, we find no more trees with marks. The monument is built in an unusual fashion with an overhang built into it as if to say this is what you are looking for and from here you can see it. At the point of the monument however we could not see any conglomerate as was indicated in the story or so we thought. However a closer look and we found the conglomerate.




Author examining the Lichen Growth


This monument has since been destroyed and I have a theory on who it may have been and why, and this ia one of the many reason why documentation is very important. To this day I can show you exactly where it sat, and this is important. Not far from this monument is the conglomerate we had hoped to find, whether we have the right deposit of conglomerate or not is not known. In sight from this monument is conglomerate ledges of which still to this day needs to be searched, but I suspect a lower location in order to fit the story. We have returned a few times since, but nothing has been done to locate the overhanging ledge. The forest service has added a sign early in the trail which says no motorized vehicles past this point, at a point we use to be able to access long past this on four wheelers. It is a good thing our 4 wheelers don't have motors and instead have engines. ;-) It is now a much longer walk but not to much more difficulty. I’m not a miner, but I sure would like to get a geologist in there to find this silver vein.





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