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Spurs and the Great West

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nrobertb
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#781 Post by nrobertb » Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:54 pm

A pair of Blanchard spurs.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#782 Post by nrobertb » Sun Nov 11, 2018 11:32 am

Antoine Robidoux (September 24, 1794 – August 29, 1860) was a fur trapper and trader of French-Canadian descent best known for his exploits in the American Southwest in the first half of the 19th century.

Robidoux was born in 1794 in Saint Louis, the fourth of six sons of Joseph Robidoux III, the owner of a Saint Louis-based fur trading company. The Robidoux family is strongly connected to the history of the North American fur trade, with all of Joseph Robidoux's sons having participated to one degree or another in the family business.

Antoine spoke English, French, and Spanish. In his early years he helped his father extend his business westward, and by the 1820s was focused on developing trade routes in the intermountain corridors of what was at the time the Mexican province of Santa Fe de Nuevo México. In the summer of 1824, Antoine may have joined a party led by Etienne Provost that traveled to the Uinta Basin to trade for pelts. He eventually established a permanent residence in the capital city of Santa Fe, and in 1828, he took for his common-law wife Carmel Benevides (1812–1888), the daughter of a Spanish captain who was killed fighting the Comanche and subsequently the adopted daughter of the provincial governor.

In 1829, Antoine and his younger brother Louis Robidoux petitioned for and were granted Mexican citizenship, which freed them to trade and settle in Mexican territory without having to worry about expensive tariffs and other international restrictions, as well as near-exclusive license to trap and trade in the Ute country of what is now western Colorado and eastern Utah. By 1830, Antoine had become a prominent citizen of Santa Fe in social and economic circles. He was even elected the first non-Mexican alcalde of the ayuntamiento (the municipal council), though his political career was short-lived.

Around the same time, and possibly in partnership with Louis, Antoine established Fort Uncompahgre near the confluence of the Gunnison River (then known as the Río San Xavier) and the Uncompahgre River in west-central Colorado. Though the exact date of its completion is unknown, Robidoux's post was arguably the first permanent trading operation west of the continental divide. In 1832, Robidoux purchased the Reed Trading Post, a single cabin built by William Reed and Denis Julien four years earlier at the confluence of the Uinta and Whiterocks rivers in northeastern Utah, and rebuilt it much larger as Fort Robidoux, also called Fort Uintah and Fort Winty. The fort was visited by many well-known pioneers and mountain men during its years of operation, including Marcus Whitman, Miles Goodyear, and Kit Carson.

Robidoux spent more than a decade managing both trading posts and exploring the Western interior. He is especially well known for having carved a famous rock inscription on a wall of Utah's Westwater Canyon during this time. Likely ascending a trapper's trail from the canyon's mouth on the Colorado River, Robidoux left the following record of his presence engraved on a sandstone bluff:

ANTOINE ROBIDOUX
PASSÉ ICI LE 13 NOVEMBRE
1837
POUR ETABLIRE MAISON
TRAITTE A LA
RV. VERT OU WIYTÉ

The most direct translation from the French reads "Antoine Robidoux passed here 13 November 1837 to establish a trading post at the Green or Wiyté River".

Both Fort Uncompahgre and Fort Robidoux were evidently attacked and destroyed by Utes in 1844, just as the fur trade was declining with changes in the European market. These circumstances prompted Robidoux to quickly abandon his fur enterprise and return east to St. Joseph. Over the next decade, he worked in various capacities as an emigrant guide and a U.S. Army interpreter. In June 1846, Robidoux enlisted as an interpreter with General Stephen W. Kearny's expedition to California during the Mexican–American War. He was severely wounded at the Battle of San Pasqual in December and later applied for a government pension.

Robidoux died in 1860 in St. Joseph, Missouri, at the age of 65.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#783 Post by nrobertb » Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:12 pm

Heishi (from the Santo Domingo word meaning “shell”) traditionally referred to necklace shell beads. Today, however, it describes tiny, handmade beads of any material. The Santo Domingo Pueblo carvers are the most proficient heishi producers. To make the minuscule beads, the material (shell, stone, or coral) is sliced into strips, and then cut into small squares, after which holes are drilled through the center. Strung together, the rough squares are shaped and smoothed by holding the string against a turning stone wheel. In the process, 60 – 70% of the original material is lost.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#784 Post by nrobertb » Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:40 am

Almost every fall we head west on I-80 for Colorado. We always see trucks hauling pieces of wind generators. There is a large field of them in the hill country of Iowa. There is even a state rest stop that has a blade for a decoration. The largest field I've seen is on the plains of Colorado east of the Rocky Mountains. As you head south on hwy. 71, you come to a long ridge that extends for miles. It is covered with hundreds of wind generators, as far as the eye can see.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#785 Post by nrobertb » Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:16 pm

The Salton Sea is a shallow, saline, endorheic rift lake located directly on the San Andreas Fault, predominantly in the U.S. state of California's Imperial and Coachella valleys.

The lake occupies the lowest elevations of the Salton Sink in the Colorado Desert of Imperial and Riverside counties in Southern California. The sea is fed by the New, Whitewater, and Alamo Rivers, as well as agricultural runoff, drainage systems, and creeks.

Over millions of years, the Colorado River has flowed into the Imperial Valley and deposited soil (creating fertile farmland), building up the terrain and constantly changing the course of the river. For thousands of years, the river has flowed into and out of the valley alternately, creating a freshwater lake, an increasingly saline lake, and a dry desert basin, depending on river flows and the balance between inflow and evaporative loss. The cycle of filling has been about every 400–500 years and has repeated itself many times. The latest natural cycle occurred around 1600–1700 as remembered by Native Americans who talked with the first European settlers. Fish traps still exist at many locations, and the Native Americans evidently moved the traps depending upon the cycle.

The most recent inflow of water from the now heavily controlled Colorado River was accidentally created by the engineers of the California Development Company in 1905. In an effort to increase water flow into the area for farming, irrigation canals were dug from the Colorado River into the valley. The canals suffered silt buildup, so a cut was made in the bank of the Colorado River to further increase the water flow. The resulting outflow overwhelmed the engineered canal, and the river flowed into the Salton Basin for two years, filling the historic dry lake bed and creating the modern sea, before repairs were completed.

The lake's salinity, about 56 grams per litre, is greater than that of the waters of the Pacific Ocean (35 g/l), but less than that of the Great Salt Lake (which ranges from 50 to 270 g/l). Recently, the concentration has been increasing at a rate of about 3% per year. About 4,000,000 short tons of salt are deposited in the valley each year.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#786 Post by nrobertb » Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:53 am

A turquoise nugget necklace.
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Re: Spurs and the Great West

#787 Post by nrobertb » Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:26 pm

Great western character actors: Warren Oates.

Warren Oates was an American character actor of the 1960s and 1970s and early 1980s whose distinctive style and intensity brought him to offbeat leading roles.

Oates was born in Depoy, a very small Kentucky town. He was the son of Sarah Alice (Mercer) and Bayless Earle Oates, a general store owner. He attended high school in Louisville, continuing on to the University of Louisville and military service with the U.S. Marines.

By 1957 he had begun appearing in live dramas such as Studio One in Hollywood (1948), but Oates' rural drawl seemed more fitted for the Westerns that were proliferating on the big screen at the time, so he moved to Hollywood and immediately stared getting steady work as an increasingly prominent supporting player, often as either craven or vicious types. With his role as one of the Hammond brothers in the Sam Peckinpah masterpiece Ride the High Country (1962), Oates found a niche both as an actor and as a colleague of one of the most distinguished and distinctive directors of the period. Peckinpah used Oates repeatedly, and Oates, in large part due to the prominence given him by Peckinpah, became one of those rare character actors whose name and face is as familiar as those of many leading stars. He began to play roles which, while still character parts, were also leads, particularly in cult hits like Two-Lane Blacktop (1971) and Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974).

Although never destined to be a traditional leading man, Oates remained one of Hollywood's most valued and in-demand character players up until his sudden death from a heart attack on April 3, 1982 at the age of 53.
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