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Re: Spurs and the Great West

Posted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 1:08 pm
by nrobertb
Roaring Fork River is a tributary of the Colorado River, approximately 70 miles long, in west central Colorado. The river drains a populated and economically vital area of the Colorado Western Slope called the Roaring Fork Valley or Roaring Fork Watershed, which includes the resort city of Aspen and the resorts of Aspen/Snowmass.

It rises in the Sawatch Range in eastern Pitkin County, on the west side of Independence Pass on the continental divide. It flows northwest past Aspen, Woody Creek, and Snowmass. It receives the Fryingpan River at Basalt. 1.5 miles below Carbondale, it receives the Crystal River from the south. It joins the Colorado in Glenwood Springs. The entire area that drains into the Roaring Fork River is known as the Roaring Fork Watershed. This area is 1,451 square miles and about the same size as the state of Rhode Island. The river flows through canyons along most of its route and is a popular destination for recreation whitewater rafting. The river supplies water through the Sawatch Range to the Twin Lakes Reservoir via the Twin Lakes Tunnel.

The Roaring Fork is a swift, deep, powerful river with very clear water. It is navigable by small craft throughout most of its length to its confluence with the Colorado. The mean annual flow is 1,206 cu ft/s.

Re: Spurs and the Great West

Posted: Fri Dec 13, 2019 2:18 pm
by nrobertb
Tomichi Pass is a 5 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Sargents, Colorado that offers scenic views and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November.

Re: Spurs and the Great West

Posted: Sat Dec 14, 2019 10:17 am
by nrobertb
The cabin under the boulder was built in the early 1900s in Nevada by miner Andrew Bass. He and his wife lived in this remote location for many years. (Which is pretty amazing in itself.) The mine was originally located for lead and silver but gold and even uranium have been found in the area. A local miner by the name of Roy Ladd also worked the claim after Bass had passed away (Bass died in 1934, his wife in 1930). The mine had at least one more owner after that.

The road to reach the old mine site is steep, rough, narrow and a cliffhanger much of the way up. It is far more suited for ATVs than vehicles.
Of course, the most amazing thing about this place is the cabin built underneath the massive granite boulder. It is quite a sight.

Their only drinking water came from rain which fell on the boulder and was collected in a tank. In the photo you can see part of the wooden gutter system.

Re: Spurs and the Great West

Posted: Sat Dec 14, 2019 10:03 pm
by nrobertb
1920's MacPherson saddle.

MacPherson Leather was founded by George MacPherson Sr. in Los Angeles, California in 1927 and began a legacy of custom work coupled with a very strong work ethic. George Jr. joined his father and learned the business from the ground up just after WWII. Finally Steve MacPherson joined his father and grandfather in the leather business in about 1960. Today, under new ownership, MacPherson Custom Leather continues to provide custom leather products handcrafted in the USA in the old school tradition. MacPherson Leather continues to serve its customers from its factory in Burbank, California, a suburb of Los Angeles.

Re: Spurs and the Great West

Posted: Sun Dec 15, 2019 10:42 am
by nrobertb
Great western character actors:
Rodd Redwing, also known as Roderic Redwing or Rodric Redwing (August 24, 1904 – May 29, 1971), claimed to be a Native American actor and was noted as a quick-draw artist with six-guns. Recent research on Redwing shows that in the United States Census 1940, his birthplace was listed as India and not New York City. Other sources say his real name was Roderick Rajpurkaii Jr.

Redwing was one of the top gun, knife, tomahawk, and whip instructors in Hollywood. After claiming that he began in films in Cecil B. DeMille’s 1931 The Squaw Man (although no cast list shows that he acted in that movie), Redwing soon became a gun-handling coach to Alan Ladd, Ronald Reagan, Burt Lancaster, Glenn Ford, Richard Widmark, Anthony Quinn, Charlton Heston, Dean Martin, Fred MacMurray and many other actors. He performed Alan Ladd's fancy gunspinning seen in the film Shane during the climatic showdown.

Between 1951 and 1967, Redwing appeared in more than a dozen television programs, including a guest appearance on CBS's celebrity quiz show, What's My Line? In eight episodes of the ABC/Desilu western television series, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, Redwing appeared in the part of "Mr. Brother", a Cheyenne friend and informer of deputy Marshal Wyatt Earp (Hugh O'Brian).

Re: Spurs and the Great West

Posted: Sun Dec 15, 2019 4:01 pm
by nrobertb
A short distance west of Rock Srings, WY, early travellers came to the Green River Palisades and Toll Gate Rock, other than Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons, possibly the most widely photographed and painted site in Wyoming. It was the subject of multiple paintings by Thomas Moran, photographed by William Henry Jackson, and the subject of many postcards. The result is that one may easily see in one location the development of roads in southern Wyoming from Indian and trapper trail to Interstate Highway and the transition from horse to modern automobiles.

Re: Spurs and the Great West

Posted: Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:04 am
by nrobertb
A pair of Mexican spurs, believed to date to 1870.

Re: Spurs and the Great West

Posted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:05 am
by nrobertb
Not to be confused with the 19th-century actress Frances Maria Kelly, also known as Fanny Kelly.
Fanny Kelly (1845-1904 was a North American pioneer woman captured by the Sioux and freed five months later. She later wrote a book about her experiences called Narrative of My Captivity among the Sioux Indians in 1871.

She was born Fanny Wiggins in Orillia in what is now Canada in 1845 to James Wiggins. In 1856, Wiggins decided to relocate his family to the new town of Geneva in the soon-to-be state of Kansas. Along the way, however, he died of cholera, leaving the family to continue on to Geneva on their own. Fanny eventually married Josiah S. Kelly.

Kelly hoped that a change of climate would aid his failing health, so he, Fanny, and her seven-year-old niece and adopted daughter, Mary Hurley, along with two "colored servants", Franklin and Andy, set out on May 17, 1864 from Geneva for the region that is now Idaho or Montana. A fellow traveler, a Methodist clergyman named Mr. Sharp, joined them a few days later. A couple of weeks after that, William and Sarah Larimer and their eight-year-old son Frank, with whom they were acquainted, left a large wagon train to accompany them. Two others joined the group somewhere along the journey, Gardner Wakefield and Noah Taylor.

On July 12, the ill-fated party had crossed Little Box Elder Creek in Wyoming on the Oregon Trail when they encountered a large group of "about two hundred and fifty" Miniconjous and Hunkpapas, reported by Fanny Kelly to be "painted and equipped for war", led by their war chief, Ottawa. By Kelly's account, vastly outnumbered, the immigrants tried to placate the warriors. By the one Sioux account, the Indians had gone to see the white man's "Holy Road" (the Oregon Trail) that they had heard about, met some whites, and ate and smoked with them. While they were eating, a Sioux messenger arrived, reporting that U.S. soldiers had killed some of their relatives on the Missouri River, apparently putting their heads on poles. The Sioux, agitated, then shot some of the emigrants, with Sharp, Taylor, and Franklin being killed immediately. Wakefield was seriously injured. Josiah Kelly, William Larimer, and Andy got away, while the two women and two children were taken captive. Another wagon that happened on the scene by chance sped off, at the cost of one person's life. The Sioux then proceeded to loot the five wagons.

Josiah Kelly and Andy separately made their way to the protection of a large wagon train some miles away, as did the people of the other wagon that had passed by. They later found William Larimer, with an arrow wound to the arm, and Wakefield with three arrows in him, but still alive. After a couple of days, the party made its way to Deer Creek Station, where there was an army garrison.

Meanwhile, the prisoners attempted to escape. The very night of their capture, Fanny Kelly had Mary Hurley slip away in the darkness. Fanny herself tried to follow, but was caught and beaten. Mary's scalped and arrow-ridden body was found a few days later and buried by her uncle. The Larimers did manage to escape the next night. They were reunited with William Larimer at Deer Creek Station. When he had recovered from his wound, the family returned to Kansas.

Fanny was taken to a Sihasapa village. She found out that other groups, having learned of the reward offered for her return, tried to buy her. Once, white traders in four wagons came to purchase her release as well; all but one were killed. The sole survivor escaped and walked all the way back to Fort Laramie. Fanny began to fear that the Sihasapa intended to attack Fort Sully and not give her up.

One day Fanny persuaded an IUndian to take a letter to General Sully; in the letter, she warned of a planned attack using her return as a ruse to gain entry to the fort. Forewarned, once Fanny and some of the Sihasapa chiefs had entered the fort on December 12, the gates were swiftly shut. Fanny was at last free.

Re: Spurs and the Great West

Posted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 12:24 am
by nrobertb
Snoqualmie Pass is a mountain pass that carries Interstate 90 (I-90) through the Cascade Range in the U.S. state of Washington. The pass summit is at an elevation of 3,015 feet, on the county line between Kittitas County and King County.

Snoqualmie Pass has the lowest elevation of the three east–west mountain routes across Washington State that are kept open year-round, along with Stevens Pass (US 2) to the north, and White Pass (US 12) to the south. I-90 is the primary commercial artery between Seattle and points east, carrying an average of 29,000 vehicles through the pass per day. I-90 is the only divided highway crossing east-west through the state.

The pass lends its name to a census-designated place (CDP) located at the summit (Snoqualmie Pass, Washington). Both the CDP and Snoqualmie Pass are named after the Snoqualmie people of the valley to the west.

Snoqualmie Pass as it climbs into the Cascades passes through a microclimate characterized by considerable precipitation, and at times hazardous conditions for travelers. The average annual precipitation is over 100 inches; snowfall averages over 400 inches. The average annual number of days with measurable precipitation is over 170.

Re: Spurs and the Great West

Posted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 5:57 pm
by nrobertb
Lake Andes National Wildlife Refuge is located in the U.S. state of South Dakota and includes 5,638 acres. The refuge is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and is part of the Lake Andes National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Only 938 acres is under U.S. Government ownership with the rest being an easement to ensure greater habitat protection.

Lake Andes is a natural lake that is fed by underground springs and about every 20 years, the lake dries up. Two dikes separate the lake into three sections, allowing better water retention during the dry summers. Over one hundred species of birds nest here including Bald eagles, Ring-necked pheasant, Northern pintail and numerous species of ducks and geese.

Various mammal species inhabit the refuge, including White-tailed deer, coyote, and badger, muskrat which are all relatively common.

An unusual event has occurred here when thousands of dead fish were frozen into the ice, as can be seen in the photo with the eagle.

Re: Spurs and the Great West

Posted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 3:56 pm
by nrobertb
The Red Desert is a high altitude desert and sagebrush steppe located in south central Wyoming, comprising approximately 9,320 square miles. Among the natural features in the Red Desert region are the Great Divide Basin, a unique endorheic drainage basin formed by a division in the Continental Divide, and the Killpecker Sand Dunes, the largest living dune system in the United States. In the 19th century, the Oregon, California and Mormon Trails crossed the Continental Divide at South Pass, just north of the Red Desert. Today, busy Interstate 80 bisects the desert's southern region while gas field roads cross the desert.

The majority of the Red Desert is public land managed by the Rock Springs and Rawlins field offices of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The region is rich in oil, natural gas, uranium, and coal. An estimated 84% of the Red Desert has been "industrialized" by oil and gas drilling or by mining operations and associated roads.

The Red Desert supports an abundance of wildlife, despite its scarcity of water and vegetation. The largest migratory herd of pronghorn in the lower 48 states and a rare desert elk herd, said to be the world's largest, live in the desert. Ponds fed by summer snow melt attract a wide range of migratory birds such as ducks, trumpeter swans, and white pelicans. Herds of feral horses roam the area in large numbers, despite roundups and population control efforts by the BLM. Bison were also common and their skulls and horns can occasionally be found there.

Re: Spurs and the Great West

Posted: Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:50 am
by nrobertb
The Homolovi cluster of archaeological sites includes seven separate pueblo ruins built by various prehistoric people, including ancestors of the Hopi people, between approximately 1260-1400 AD. This fertile area is on a floodplain of the Little Colorado River, and the inhabitants grew cotton, corn, beans, and squash.

The people of this period are called Hisat'sinom, which is the Hopi word for "long-ago people". They are often referred to as Anasazi, as the Navajo guides who helped nineteenth-century anthropologists and archaeologists called them. However, the word "Anasazi" is Navajo for "enemies of our ancestors", and the present-day Hopi population prefer to refer to them as the Hisat'sinom.

The visitor center displays pottery sherds, baskets, and other artifacts, as well as offering an introduction to the human history of the park area. Information could also be found about the flora and fauna of the park, and there are books and authentic Hopi art work for sale.

Out of the seven Homolovi ruins, two are open to visitors. Homolovi II, the largest and most thoroughly excavated site, has a sidewalk and interpretive signs. It was occupied between 1330 and 1400 AD, and has about 1200 rooms. Archaeologists believe that the inhabitants were trading cotton for pottery with the inhabitants of the Hopi Mesas. This ruin also features three large rectangular plazas and about forty kivas (underground ceremonial chambers). There are also several clusters of pit-houses, occupied before 1260 AD, which appear as mere depressions in the earth. Petroglyphs may be seen along certain sections of a nearby trail.

Sunset, Arizona—one of a series of farming communities along the Little Colorado River in the late 1870s—was established by Lot Smith and his Mormon followers. Frequent floods forced the settlers to abandon Sunset in the early 1880s, and the community was eventually washed away. The cemetery, located on a small hill overlooking the river, survived and can be visited. Three of Lot Smith's children are among the cemetery population.

Hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders could use the 6 miles of unshaded dirt roads in the park along with the trails leading to archaeological sites.

Re: Spurs and the Great West

Posted: Fri Dec 20, 2019 5:29 pm
by nrobertb
The Schoellkopf Company of Dallas, Texas was founded in 1869. Makers of quality saddles and gun leather, they used the registered "White Elephant" brand trademark until at least 1902. ... They issued their 25th catalog in 1925 and made leather goods into the 1970's. The photo is of their "Jumbo" model.

Re: Spurs and the Great West

Posted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 10:32 am
by nrobertb
Union Pass is located in the mountains of northwestern Wyoming. It is at an The pass location, at an elevation of 9,210 feet. It is a hub from which three Wyoming Mountain Ranges radiate. The three separate directions – the Wind River Range to the southeast (Gannett Peak, 13,804 feet), the Gros Ventre Range (Doubletop Peak, 11,720 feet) to the west and the Absaroka Range to the north (Francs Peak, 13,153 feet). The pass is 4,000 feet lower than mountains around it. This provides easy passage among the headwaters of three river systems, the Colorado, the Columbia and the Missouri.

An unimproved dirt road crosses the pass, connecting U.S. Route 287 near Dubois to U.S. Route 189 in Pinedale.

Trappers who first entered the mountains and those following mention the trail through the pass as being in long term use by the Shoshone, Bannack, Arapaho, Gros Ventre, Flat Head or Bitterroot Salish, Nez Perce, Crow and others. The pass provide access into three river sheds. An east-west route ran from the east up the Wind River valley and provided a western route by the Gros Ventre or Hoback Rivers to the Valley of the Snake River in Jackson's Hole. To go south, the traveler would follow the Green River. The Union Pass Route was an extension of a north south route up the Valley of the Yellowstone. Coming up the Valley of the Thoroughfare, west of the Absaroka Mountains and south of Yellowstone Lake, the trail followed the North Fork of the Yellowstone. Crossing over Two Ocean Pass, the trail split east and west around Terrace Mountain into the Wind River Valley at DuNoir. From Union Pass south bound travelers could use the Green River Valley to connect east through South Pass or west toward the Snake River.

John Colter may have been the first easterner to visit the pass in 1807, but this is based on circumstantial evidence and is disputed by scholars. Wilson Price Hunt, who led the Astorians overland to the mouth of the Columbia reported crossing Union Pass on September 15, 1811. This is the first record of the pass. The expedition guides were Edward Robinson, John Hoback and Jacob Rizner. Their previous participation in 1809 with the Henry expedition to the source of the Missouri River and back by way of the Green River it is accepted that the three had been through Union Pass, during the year 1810.

Re: Spurs and the Great West

Posted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 5:12 pm
by nrobertb
Two pairs of Oscar Crockett spurs: