In May of 1901 there appeared articles concerning the old Spanish mines discovered in Central Utah, mines that clearly predated the accepted non mining expedition of Escalante, the following can be added to the blatant clues left behind that even today validate the old stories from the Salt Lake Mining Review.
(PDF Copies available upon request)
I would love to tell the story that took us to this place but it is not mine to tell. Although the project is for all intensive purposes at a standstill, it is still one of the many I hope to return to someday. A friend of mine had shared a story with me along with the providence of it, a map drawn by those who had found it in 1927. Most stories you hear share what seems to be the same old story, they find something, they take nothing, leave and when they come back, and they can’t find it again. This was not the case in this story at least not entirely. These men actually loaded up their packs, but 15 years later after the depression and the so called anti hoarding laws, they did return, but could not find the same place and could only argue about which slope they were on. However years before they drew a map with the key features they both remembered.
After the story was handed to me, weighing the clues I decided the best way to approach it was to backwards analyze the clues. My wife and I traveled to key points given in the story which were said to be seen from the cache site. Looking towards the suspect area we made our plan deciding the area which needed to be search.
As we examined the USGS maps into the area we could see there was a trail going right where we determined we needed to go.. How convenient I thought, little did we know… but when we arrived at what we considered the main trail it quickly became apparent this trail had been here a very long time.
“Mine Ahead” You can see the ax marks plain as day...
This is a common found glyph, this one is carved into Mountain Mahogany the glyph which many excuse as a forest service trail marker, because many of them are, where do you think they got it from? However many are not.
This one has about 4 inches of overgrowth making it according to an expert in the field, carved over 400 years prior, this is one in which I want to core date. 4 wheelers are allowing to and a little past this point.
Not far past this Tree and now knowing we were on a very old and well used trail, I spotted to my left a fallen monument. Traveling further up the trail several more tree carving were found, some which appeared as if, it were intended to disguise it by carving over it, likely by a forest serve employee, of which it was not much successful.
(I may have tree pics reversed)
Another monument next to the old trail and partially hidden in the trees. Notice the Crustose lichen growth? The purpose of the two monuments I will withhold.
Arriving at a point of about a half mile from our suspect area, I noticed something which crosses the trail.
After this point, no other trail marker meaning mine ahead were found other than one found further up the trail but facing the opposite direction. Arriving at the location we felt was applicable, off to the right I spotted another monument.
Examining the Crustose Lichen... or passing a Kidney stone... I forget which...
Again I inspected Crustose lichen to determine if it was of recent construction. I am of the opinion that it was not. This monument has since been destroyed and scattered, it is not likely the individual who did it will read this, but should that occur, I am fairly certain as to who it was, and why, but unfortunately, it was in vein. This now missing monument along with the previous marker was not expected in the slightest. Several trips have been made into the area, it is not an easy place to get to now due to addition BS Travel restrictions. Need I define BS?
This location holds some of the best evidences of Spanish occupation long before Escalante that I have ever seen, and needs to be seriously documented and the trail needs to be traveled even further in.
This is a 3 day camping expedition in the future which will require horses… But horses is only half the battle, the most restrictive culprit is… you guessed it, Money… Fortunately, I am not a miner, and contrary to popular belief, I am not a treasure hunter... but if it is a mystery to be solved, I'd like to sink my teeth into its back side and get dragged to death....