Spurs and the Great West

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Re: Spurs and the Great West

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Washington state designated petrified wood as the state gem in 1975. Though rock-hard and jewel-like when polished, petrified wood is actually a fossil, not a gemstone.

Petrified wood (from the Latin root petro meaning "rock" or "stone"; literally "wood turned into stone") is the name given to a special type of fossilized remains of terrestrial vegetation. Petrifaction is the result of a tree or tree-like plants having been replaced by stone via a mineralization process that often includes permineralization and replacement. The organic materials making up cell walls have been replicated with minerals (mostly a silicate, such as opal, chalcedony, or quartz). In some instances, the original structure of the stem tissue may be partially retained. Unlike other plant fossils, which are typically impressions or compressions, petrified wood is a three-dimensional representation of the original organic material.

The petrifaction process occurs underground, when wood becomes buried in water-saturated sediment or volcanic ash. The presence of water reduces the availability of oxygen which inhibits aerobic decomposition by bacteria and fungi. Mineral-laden water flowing through the sediments may lead to permineralization, which occurs when minerals precipitate out of solution filling the interiors of cells and other empty spaces. During replacement, the plant's cell walls act as a template for mineralization. There needs to be a balance between the decay of cellulose and lignin and mineral templating for cellular detail to be preserved with fidelity. Most of the organic matter often decomposes, however some of the lignin may remain. Silica in the form of Opal-A, can encrust and permeate wood relatively quickly in hot spring environments. However, petrified wood is most commonly associated with trees that were buried in fine grained sediments of deltas and floodplains or volcanic lahars and ash beds. A forest where such material has petrified becomes known as a petrified forest.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

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The first step in carving a saddle tree.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

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Arizona state mineral is Wulfenite. Although classified as an uncommon mineral, wulfenite has wide distribution among the oxidized portions of lead-bearing deposits across Arizona.

It’s named in honor of Austrian mineralogist Franz Xaver von Wulfen, who researched and wrote about the Carinthia lead ores in the Bleiberg District in 1785.

Wulfenite crystals were originally called melinose, from the Greek word meli denoting honey, because of their honey-colored appearance.

Wulfenite, a molybdate of lead , is one of several principal molybdenum minerals including powellite, molybdite, molybdic ocher, ilsemannite and molybdenite. It is a secondary mineral found in open cavities of igneous rocks, the product of alteration found in upper oxidized portions of lead veins with commonly associated minerals including galena, pyromorphite and vanadinite.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

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The Bitterroot Range is a mountain range and a subrange of the Rocky Mountains that runs along the border of Montana and Idaho in the northwestern United States. The range spans an area of 24,223 square miles and is named after the bitterroot (Lewisia rediviva), a small pink flower that is the state flower of Montana.

In 1805, the Corps of Discovery, led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and aided by Sacajawea of the Shoshone Native American tribe, crossed the Bitterroot Range several times. Lewis first crossed the mountains at Lemhi Pass on August 12, then returned across the pass to meet Clark. The entire expedition then crossed the pass to the Salmon River valley, and the next month entered the Bitterroot Valley from the south via either Lost Trail Pass or Chief Joseph Pass. It then crossed Lolo Pass to the west. The mountains were crossed by the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad (the "Milwaukee Road").

According to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, the Bitterroot Range runs from Pend Oreille Lake (near Sandpoint, Idaho) to Monida Pass,. It is sometimes considered to extend east of the Monida Pass to include the Centennial Mountains.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

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The mustang is a free-roaming horse of the Western United States, descended from horses brought to the Americas by the Spanish. Mustangs are often referred to as wild horses, but because they are descended from once-domesticated horses, they are actually feral horses. The original mustangs were Colonial Spanish horses, but many other breeds and types of horses contributed to the modern mustang, now resulting in varying phenotypes. Some free-roaming horses are relatively unchanged from the original Spanish stock, most strongly represented in the most isolated populations.

In 1971, the United States Congress recognized that "wild free-roaming horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West, which continue to contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people". The free-roaming horse population is managed and protected by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Controversy surrounds the sharing of land and resources by mustangs with the livestock of the ranching industry, and also with the methods by which the BLM manages their population numbers. The most common method of population management used is rounding up excess population and offering them to adoption by private individuals. There are inadequate numbers of adopters, so many once free-roaming horses now live in temporary and long-term holding areas with concerns that the animals may be sold for horse meat. Additional debate centers on the question of whether mustangs—and horses in general—are a native species or an introduced invasive species in the lands they inhabit.

Although free-roaming Mustangs are called "wild" horses, they descend from feral domesticated horses.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary), the English word mustang was likely borrowed from two essentially synonymous Spanish words, mestengo (or mesteño) and mostrenco. English lexicographer John Minsheu glossed both words together as 'strayer' in his dictionary of 1599. Both words referred to livestock defined as 'wild, having no master'. Mostrenco was used since the 13th century, while mestengo is attested from the late 15th.

"Mustangers" (Spanish: mesteñeros) were cowboys (vaqueros) who caught, broke, and drove free-ranging horses to market in the Spanish and later American territories of what is now northern Mexico, Texas, New Mexico, and California. They caught the horses that roamed the Great Plains, the San Joaquin Valley of California, and later the Great Basin, from the 18th century to the early 20th century.

The mustang of the modern west has several different breeding populations today which are genetically isolated from one another and thus have distinct traits traceable to particular herds. Genetic contributions to today's free-roaming mustang herds include assorted ranch horses that escaped to or were turned out on the public lands, and stray horses used by the United States Cavalry. For example, in Idaho some Herd Management Areas contain animals with known descent from Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse stallions turned out with feral herds. The herds located in two HMAs in central Nevada produce Curly Horses. Others, such as certain bands in Wyoming, have characteristics consistent with gaited horse breeds.

Many herds were analyzed for Spanish blood group polymorphism (commonly known as "blood markers") and microsatellite DNA loci. Blood marker analysis verified a few to have significant Spanish ancestry, namely the Cerbat mustang, Pryor Mountain mustang, and some horses from the Sulphur Springs HMA. The Kiger mustang is also said to have been found to have Spanish blood and subsequent microsatellite DNA confirmed the Spanish ancestry of the Pryor Mountain mustang.

Horses in several other HMAs exhibit Spanish horse traits, such as dun coloration and primitive markings. Genetic studies of other herds show various blends of Spanish, gaited horse, draft horse, and pony influences.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

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The Eleven Point River is a 138-mile-long river in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas, United States. It originates near Willow Springs, Missouri. It more than doubles in flow when Greer Spring Branch runs into it, adding over 200 million US gallons of water per day to the river. The name derives from the Mississippi Valley French word pointe, which is a wooded point of land marking a river bend. Voyageurs marked distance by counting these points of land or river bends. The river flows into the Spring River southwest of Pocahontas near the small town of Black Rock.

In 1968 a 44.4-mile stretch was named the Eleven Point National Wild and Scenic River, one of the original eight rivers chosen to be part of the United States National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

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Among the many gemstones found in Nevada, the Virgin Valley Black Fire Opal is one of the most beautiful. The Virgin Valley in northern Nevada is the only place in North America where the Black Fire Opal is found in any significant quantity.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

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Samuel Hamilton Walker (February 24, 1817 – October 9, 1847) was an American army officer. He served as Texas Ranger captain and officer of the Republic of Texas and the United States armies. Walker served in several armed conflicts, including the American Indian Wars and the Mexican-American wars.

Samuel Hamilton Walker was born on February 24, 1817 at Toaping Castle, Maryland, to Nathan and Elizabeth (Thomas) Walker, and was the fifth of seven children.

Walker enlisted in the Washington City Volunteers for the Creek Indian Campaign in Alabama in 1836. The following year he mustered out and worked as a scout in Florida until 1841. He arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1842 and served under Captain Jesse Billingsley against a Mexican invasion led by General Adrian Woll. Walker was captured on December 26, 1842 and marched to Mexico City as a prisoner of war. He survived what became known as the Black Bean Episode and was held prisoner for two years before he escaped to Louisiana and returned to Texas.

He joined the Texas Rangers in 1844 under the command of Captain John Coffee Hays. Promoted to captain, he led a Ranger company during the Mexican–American War, serving with General Zachary Taylor and General Winfield Scott's armies.

Walker is best known as the co-inventor of the famous Walker Colt revolver, along with arms manufacturer Samuel Colt. Walker is said to have self-funded a trip to New York City to meet with Colt and proposed to him the concept of a weapon based on the then-popular five-shot Colt Paterson revolver, with many enhancements such as adding a sixth round, being powerful enough to kill either a man or a horse with a single shot and quicker to reload.

Colt's firearms company was no longer in business, but the large order allowed Colt to establish a new company. He hired Eli Whitney Junior, already in the arms business, to make his new revolvers. Colt asked Samuel Walker, who happened to be temporarily stationed in Washington, to help him with the design.

Colt used his prototype and Walker's improvements to create a new design. Blake produced the first thousand-piece order, known as the Colt Walker. The company then received an order for an additional one thousand more. Colt's share of the profits was $10.

By 1847, the new revolver was available. The United States Army's mounted rifle companies were issued them, and they proved extremely effective.

Walker was killed on October 9, 1847, at Huamantla, in Tlaxcala, while leading his troops in the Battle of Huamantla during the Mexican–American War. He was struck down by a shotgun (escopeta) fired from a balcony, although popular legend claim he was killed by a lance.

The following year, his remains were moved to San Antonio. On April 21, 1856, as part of a battle of San Jacinto anniversary memorial, Walker was reburied in the Odd Fellows' Cemetery at San Antonio.

Walker County, Texas, was renamed for him after the original namesake, Robert J. Walker, sided with the Union during the Civil War.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

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Camp Dick, Colorado is the site of a Civilian Conservation Corps camp that was established in the 1930s. It is located just off the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway, on the Middle Saint Vrain Creek.

Middle Saint Vrain Creek is a good fly-fishing stream where anglers cast for rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout.

Many trails in the vicinity are open to hiking and biking, including Sourdough and Buchanan Pass trails. The Indian Peaks Wilderness boundary is four miles from the west end of the campground.

Mountain biking is allowed on the first five miles of Buchanan Pass Trail. Bikers can ride a loop from Peaceful Valley or Camp Dick, via Buchanan Pass Trail and Middle Saint Vrain Road, or Coney Cutoff and Coney Creek Roads and Sourdough Trail.

The Middle Saint Vrain and Bunce School roads are popular among off-road vehicle enthusiasts.

Guided horseback riding is available at Peaceful Valley Lodge, which is just over a mile away.

Campsites will accommodate tents and RVs. Sites includes picnic tables and campfire ring with grill. Water spigots, vault toilets, and trash services are provided at the campground. Firewood may be purchased during the peak season. There are no electrical hook-ups, dump stations, or showers. Tents must remain on tent pads.

The campground is situated on the banks of the Middle Saint Vrain Creek in a glacial valley surrounded by mixed conifer and aspen forests and an open meadow.

The town of Allenspark is less than 10 miles north of the campground, and has a restaurant and a grocery store.

Rocky Mountain National Park's main entrance is 25 miles north of the campground, in Estes Park. With lush valleys and craggy peaks reaching elevations higher than 14,000 feet, visitors are provided opportunities for countless breathtaking experiences and adventures. Scenic driving, hiking, backpacking, fishing, horseback riding and wildlife viewing are popular activities available within the park.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

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California's state gemstone is Benitoite, a rare blue barium titanium cyclosilicate, found in hydrothermally altered serpentinite. It forms in low temperature, high pressure environments typical of subduction zones at convergent plate boundaries. Benitoite fluoresces under short wave ultraviolet light, appearing bright blue to bluish white in color. The more rarely seen clear to white benitoite crystals fluoresce red under long-wave UV light.

It was discovered in 1907 by prospector James M. Couch in the San Benito Mountains roughly halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Couch originally believed the mineral was a corundum mineral known as sapphire due to its resemblance of color. In 1909, a sample was sent to the University of California, Berkeley where mineralogist Dr. George D. Louderback realized it was a previously unknown mineral. He named it benitoite for its occurrence near the headwaters of the San Benito River in San Benito County, California.[5][6]

Benitoite occurs in a number of isolated locations globally, but gemstone quality material has only been found in California at the Benito Gem Mine where it was first discovered. It has been correctly identified in Montana, Arkansas, Japan, and Australia although they formed under slightly different conditions and only grow large enough to be considered an accessory mineral.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

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Albert "Burt" Alvord (September 11, 1867 – after 1910) was an American lawman and later outlaw of the Old West. Alvord began his career in law enforcement in 1886 as a deputy under Sheriff John Slaughter in Cochise County, Arizona, but turned to train robbery by the beginning of the 20th century.

Albert W. Alvord was born to Charles E. Alvord and his wife Lucy on September 11, 1867, in Plumas County, California. His father, a native of New York, worked as a prospector and mechanic for mining companies, but eventually came to hold public offices such as constable and justice of the peace in several of the places that the family lived. The family moved frequently throughout Burt’s childhood, following the mining business from boomtown to boomtown. In 1879, the family settled in Pima County, Arizona Territory, but soon moved to Tombstone in Cochise County.

Alvord’s education was informal, but he likely learned much from his father’s cases about local disputes. He also spent time working at the O.K. Corral where he got to know the townspeople very well. Claims that Alvord witnessed the famous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in 1881 are unsubstantiated, though the banditry and lawlessness for which Tombstone was famous would certainly have made an impression on the young Alvord.

Despite Alvord’s reputation for frequenting saloons and his participation in several bar altercations, Cochise County Sheriff John Horton Slaughter recruited Alvord as a deputy in 1886. The same year, Alvord’s mother died. Alvord served primarily as the muscle behind Slaughter's operations; he made several decisions which revealed his lack of experience and finesse in law enforcement. He was reportedly “not noble, temperate, far seeing, or unselfish”. He did assist Slaughter in capturing or killing several rustlers and other outlaws between 1886 and 1889, but his reputation suffered when his alcoholism became increasingly apparent. Alvord continued to frequent saloons and eventually began to associate with gamblers and suspected outlaws. When Slaughter reprimanded him, he quit.

Alvord next worked as a lawman in several towns in the 1890s, including Fairbank, Arizona and Pearce, Arizona. In 1896, Alvord moved to Cochise County, where he married Lola Ochoa, bought a ranch, and settled down. Once again he became a sheriff’s deputy. Unfortunately, his life took a turn for the worse just two years later, when his father died. In late December 1899, Alvord suddenly and inexplicably resigned his post of deputy sheriff.

Almost immediately after turning in his badge, Alvord left his wife and turned to crime. He formed a gang with outlaws Billy Stiles, Bill Downing, and "Three Fingered Jack" Dunlop, men he had once pursued during his career as a law officer. Alvord's gang committed several armed robberies in Cochise County, where he and Stiles were both captured. Somehow, they managed to escape. On February 15, 1900, Dunlop was killed by lawman Jeff Milton during a bungled train robbery in Fairbank, Arizona, and gang recruit Bravo Juan Yoas was wounded. Later that year, Alvord was again captured and taken to Tombstone. Billy Stiles rode to Tombstone and wounded the deputy on duty, allowing Alvord and 24 other prisoners to escape.

In 1902, Alvord assisted Arizona Rangers Captain Burton C. Mossman in capturing the notorious Mexican bandit Augustine Chacon, in exchange for a share of the reward money and a reduced sentence. When Chacon was convicted of murder and hung at Solomonville, Alvord decided it was wiser not to surrender after all. Alvord and Stiles instead returned to crime, now pursued by the Arizona Rangers. They were captured in December 1903, but again managed to escape. Alvord even made a crude attempt at faking their deaths, using the bodies of two unknown Mexicans. Alvord sent the bodies to Tombstone, claiming they were himself and Stiles. However, an examination quickly showed the dead men were not the two "gringos".

The irritated Arizona Rangers finally pursued the outlaws across the international border into Mexico, trapping them near Naco in February 1904. The outlaws resisted, but surrendered after both were wounded. Alvord spent two years in the Yuma Territorial Prison. Following his release, he announced he was going by ship to start anew in Central America. He was last seen in 1910 working as a Panama Canal employee. Following this, Alvord's fate is unknown.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

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Forgotten western movies: Deadwood Dick (1940 serial)
Deadwood Dick, a masked and mysterious hero, is in reality Dick Stanley, editor of the Dakota Pioneer Press and a leading member of Statehood For Dakota. He is on the trail of a masked villain known as the Skull, who leads a violent, renegade band infamous for its violence against the Deadwood residents' wishes for a statehood status. Our hero soon discovers that the Skull terrorizes the town to prevent statehood from being achieved in order to build his own empire in the vast territory. However, Dick suspects that one of his fellow committeemen might be responsible for the string of criminal acts. It takes him 15 episodes and about 40 choreographed slugfests to finally uncover the truth and reward the Skull's villainy with an exemplary punishment.

Donald Douglas as Dick Stanley - aka Deadwood Dick (as Don Douglas)
Lorna Gray as Anne Butler
Harry Harvey as Dave Miller
Marin Sais as Calamity Jane
Lane Chandler as Wild Bill Hickok [Ch.1]
Jack Ingram as Buzz Ricketts - Chief Henchman
Charles King as Tex - Henchman [Chs. 1-4, 6-9]
Ed Cassidy as Tennison Drew - Committeeman
Robert Fiske as Ashton - Committeeman
Lee Shumway as Bentley - Committeeman
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

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A serial film, film serial (or just serial), movie serial or chapter play, is a motion picture form popular during the first half of the 20th century, consisting of a series of short subjects exhibited in consecutive order at one theater, generally advancing weekly, until the series is completed. Generally, each serial involves a single set of characters, protagonistic and antagonistic, involved in a single story, which has been edited into chapters after the fashion of serial fiction and the episodes cannot be shown out of order or as a single or a random collection of short subjects.

Each chapter was screened at a movie theater for one week, and ended with a cliffhanger, in which characters found themselves in perilous situations with little apparent chance of escape. Viewers had to return each week to see the cliffhangers resolved and to follow the continuing story. Movie serials were especially popular with children, and for many youths in the first half of the 20th century a typical Saturday matinee at the movies included at least one chapter of a serial, along with animated cartoons, newsreels, and two feature films.

There were films covering many genres, including crime fiction, espionage, comic book or comic strip characters, science fiction, and jungle adventures. Many serials were Westerns, since those were the least expensive to film. Although most serials were filmed economically, some were made at significant expense. The Flash Gordon serial and its sequels, for instance, were major productions in their times. Serials were action-packed stories that usually involved a hero (or heroes) battling an evil villain and rescuing a damsel in distress. The villain would continually place the hero into inescapable deathtraps, or the heroine would be placed into a deathtrap and the hero would come to her rescue. The hero and heroine would face one trap after another, battling countless thugs and lackeys, before finally defeating the villain.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

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On April 17, 2002, Colorado Governor Bill Owens signed a bill passed by the General Assembly designating the Rhodochrosite as the new state mineral.

Rhodochrosite is a manganese carbonate mineral with chemical composition MnCO3. In its (rare) pure form, it is typically a rose-red color, but impure specimens can be shades of pink to pale brown. It streaks white, and its Mohs hardness varies between 3.5 and 4. Its specific gravity is between 3.5 and 3.7. It crystallizes in the trigonal system, and cleaves with rhombohedral carbonate cleavage in three directions. Crystal twinning often is present. It is often confused with the manganese silicate, rhodonite, but is distinctly softer.

Rhodochrosite forms a complete solid solution series with iron carbonate (siderite). Calcium, (as well as magnesium and zinc, to a limited extent) frequently substitutes for manganese in the structure, leading to lighter shades of red and pink, depending on the degree of substitution. It is for this reason that the most common color encountered is pink.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

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Great western character actors:
Olive Carey was born Olive Fuller Golden on January 31, 1896. Olive was 18 when she appeared in her first motion picture, a silent entitled, Tess of the Storm Country (1914). After she made A Knight of the Range (1916), she retired from films. In 1916, she married actor Harry Carey who was eighteen years older. They had two children, one of whom was Harry Carey Jr. who was a very good actor in his own right. Olive briefly returned to the screen in 1931 in a film called Trader Horn (1931). After 1935's Naughty Marietta (1935) Olive again stepped away from the cameras. But in 1947, her husband passed away, and she, once more, stepped into films. This time her stay was a bit longer. Her first film following Harry's death was Air Hostess (1949). She continued to act in films off and on until age 70 when she appeared for the last time in 1966's Billy the Kid Versus Dracula (1966). On March 13, 1988, Olive died in Carpinteria, California, at the age of 92.
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