DAYS 25-28 ......................................................................................................................................................... FROM LEES FERRY TO NEARLY TO CEDAR RIDGE

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Mormon Honeymoon Trail - Arizona - Utah

House Rock Valley Road

This is the road taken to go from Highway 89 to Highway 89A.  You take this detour rather than traveling over the Buckskin Mountains.  You need a 4WD to do that.  This road will take you to Wirepass Trailhead for Buckskin Gulch one of the longest and deepest slot canyons in the world.  Also you use Wirepass Trailhead to enter the trail for The Wave.   Toward the end of this road you are near  House Rock Spring and the place to view the condors.  It is about a 30 miles drive.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Honeymoon Trail

My blog follows The "Honeymoon" Trail from the Kanab area going to Arizona. Presently I'm not posting on the blog, but included this video as it follows the other side of the trail from Hurricane to near Colorado City. I am working on a "Honeymoon Trail" Guide at the present time. You can follow close to the "trail" in a regular car going from Arizona to Utah, and not have to drive many miles on dirt roads. You can avoid dirt roads totally if you wish. If you had an ancestor travel to Arizona from 1873-1890, let me know and I'll check my database to see if they are there. i may even have a photograph of the inscription they left. Just send me a name. Don't let another trip go by to or from Arizona without discovering the "Honeymoon Trail." It is hidden in plain sight. Just click on the picture if you want to see the video. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Tanks (Day 28)

 September 29, 1884 - Bitter Spring to Cedar Ridge
Day 28 of 44 - Week 5 - (Day 2)
Bitter Spring to Cedar Ridge = 20 Miles: Total Miles = 479
Total trip Average Miles per Day =  17.1:  Average Miles per Day - Week 5 = 15

September 29 - 30

Original Journal Entry (Posted)
Monday Sep 29
Arose early and went back to Bitter Springs and watered the horses.  Hitched up and drove till about 2 0'clock - nooned on good feed - drove nearly to Ceder Ridge Seen 10 antelope but could not shoot any of them Killed 2 Rabets traveled about 20 miles. Some sand.

Final Journal Entry 
Sep. 29.  Took horses back to Bitter Springs for water - drove till 2 o'clock - nooned on good feed - drove nearly to Cedar Ridge - saw 10 antelopes - did not kill any - killed two rabbits -traveled 20 miles - some sand.

Note:  This was one of the most difficult posts to do.  I am still not exactly sure of all the places the pioneers stopped.  I will be reading other journals in the future for clarification.  This post should give a fairly good picture though.  There are some differences between the maps, journals, and highway posts.  Limestone Tank is a good example of maps differing from the journals.

Charles did not mention Tanner Well, Limestone Tank, or McClellan Tanks on his way to Cedar Ridge.  These locations will briefly be included here because they were included in some pioneer journals.   Possibly the Andersons did not need to stop at any of these places as they had sufficient water, or Charles just did not mention the names where they stopped.

Bitter Spring to Cedar Ridge = 20 Miles
Bitter Springs, the springs is on why 89A; the town is on hwy 89

Tanner's Well was about four miles from Bitter Springs.  The springs are on highway 89A, and you cross over to highway 89 to Bitter Springs, the town.

Tanner's Well

The pioneers would have passed by this area. There were inscriptions down the wash.

Bitter Spring Baptist Church
(tank and cottonwood tree are  in the background)

tank, windmill, and cottonwood tree just off road
trough near the tank

inscriptions at Tanner's Well

North of  the tank on the other side of the wash are several inscriptions.  I haven't identified for sure the people behind these inscriptions.   The names as near as I can tell are:
John Gibbons Apr 6, 1885
H C MacDonald Apr 6, 1885
C ? Curtis  1879
R Clark ? 1878  ::    RTK

The Charles Curtis Family family came to Arizona in 1877.  The Curtis inscription may have been made by somebody in that family, or even Charles Curtis on a trip by there in 1879.  At present it hasn't been determined which Curtis inscribed his name. MacDonald and Gibbons from families who traveled the Pioneer trail, but am not sure who these particular people were.  Clark or RTK are not  known either.  Hopefully further research will reveal who these people were.

When Sharlot Hall, Arizona Territorial History, passed by here on her 1911 trip she said:
"Near the upper end of the valley where the hills on the left hand run into a regular canyon wall we watered the horses at Tanner's Well.  It is a pool scraped out a few feet deep so the horses could walk down an incline to the water which is better with some mineral which we were told is arsenic.  The well looked like a corner of Palestine and there were some ruins of small stone houses near and old, forgotten names scratched on the cliffs and boulders.  The Mormon emigrants had made many a camp here and before them some prehistoric people had left figures scratched on the same cliffs." Diary of Sharlot Hall, Pg. 45.

Limestone Tank ?

Minnie Brown, the wife of George Brown, gave many interesting detail along the trail.  Details we don't get anyplace else. It is great the have the perspective of both men and women along the trail. Here account is especially relevant to this story because the Browns were just a few days behind the Andersons on the trail in 1884.  The Browns would later catch up with them, and arrive in St. Johns before them.

Minnie Brown said they stopped at Limestone Tank.  Here she said, "There lived a veteran of the Civil War.  We had to buy our water here, so we stayed all night.  We met many sheep herds and their herders were Indian boys."

Minnie Brown then said: "The next watering place was just holes in the rocks that had been filled with the rain.  The water was bitter and green...... We didn't stay long as the water was even unfit for the horses to drink....... We traveled very late that night and it was 10 P.M before we made camp.  Wood was plentiful so we soon had supper and were happy to rest."  They were especially concerned about water at this time because:  "A child of Mrs. Brown's had loosened the tap on their barrel and wasted the water, so that we had to share with them."

Bishop Roundy (1876) said:  "Drove to Limestone Tanks, nine miles (from Bitter Springs) and nooned; found plenty of good water in upper tank.

John Tate (1880) "Traveled 14 miles to Limestone tanks (from Cedar Ridge)........1/2 mile  from the road, watered horses, dinner and drove on 9 miles to Bitter spring." (going the other direction)

"Nine miles beyond Bitter Springs over a similar road were the Limestone Tanks where rain collected in pockets to afford a scanty supply of water."  (Take Up Your Mission, Charles S. Peterson).

James S. Brown (1875) "Pass on to the Limestone Tank and did not get to camp till after dark; clear cold water."

McClellan Tanks

Minnie Brown said: "When we got to McClellan Fork (Tanks?), we found a man camped there with a herd of horned stock.  The owner was a Mr. Bushman from Salt Lake County.  We had to pay for water at this camp.  Mr. Bushman would not understand how we had overtaken him for we were not due at this watering place for two or three days.  We told him we had crossed the Colorado the day we arrived and that we had traveled late at night.  Mr. Bushman spoke to the caretaker and told him to let us fill our barrels in the morning so we could get started ahead of him.  They guarded the stock all night so that they wouldn't drink the water.  We had eleven horse in our company who liked to drink, too; so, we went up just before daylight.  Mr Bushman had to wait until the tanks filled again.  As we pulled away he shouted, "Don't let me overtake you"."

Charles Anderson said they "Drove nearly to Cedar Ridge."  They could have camped near McClellan Tanks, but no mention was made of them actually going there.

The Anderson family saw 10 antelope but did not kill any instead they killed two rabbits.

Charles saw 10 antelope
McClellan Tanks to Cedar Ridge

Cedar Ridge

old post office at Cedar Ridge near Highway 89
Cedar Ridge cedar

"The little cedars on the ledges look like ornamental plants and a dark fringe of piñon hangs over the top of the farthest cliff line.  On the left low hills of red and white sandstone are broken by dozens of deep, short canyons and covered with scrubby cedar and piñon." Shalot Hall, Pg. 44.

Impressions of the country along the trail were many.  Examples include:

"Nature herself built the walls around this treasure vault and it is not strange that she has kept her secrets so well.  This whole plateau will one day be a playground for the nation-a playground unique in its grandeur and offering attractions not to be found anywhere else in the world."

Shallot Hall (1911)

However, it did not always appear that way to those who first went to settle that land but returned:

"This is the worst country, I ever saw.  It is composed of rock and sand with very little water.  What there is, is full of alkaline...timber, game grass, and all facilities for building settlements are very scarce.  It is more like desert than anything else."  Horton Haight (1873)

"Barren and forbidding, although doubtless the Lord had a purpose in view when He made it so."  Henry Holmes (1873)

Yes the Lord did have a purpose.  An inscription at Willow Spring said, "Praise him for his goodness and his wonderful works."

WORKS" (PSALMS 107:31)
This scripture and over 150 names are inscribed at Willow Springs, the next stopping place, on the trip to Arizona in 1884.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Three Perfect 10's and Inscriptions - (Day 27)

This is a different heading than you are used to.  I want you to know I have fun on this journey especially researching, but also writing and mapping it out. 

I had to take a moment to celebrate today.  On the 25th, 27th, and 28th (the 26th they didn't travel), the Anderson Family traveled 10 miles.  But the reason the "judges" gave me three perfect 10's was because the maps agreed with this as well.  What are the odds of that happening?  So the 10's aren't just the best you can get in sports.  They actually represent 10 miles traveled and agreement with the maps as well.  Again, what are the odds? 

Three perfect 10's for three days when they traveled 10 miles and the maps agreed that it was 10 miles.  Three "Judges" gave me a 10.  You have to stop sometimes and enjoy the journey. Enough said.  On with the post.  I made it to Navajo Springs and more importantly finally found the inscriptions!    

September 28, 1884 - Navajo Springs to Bitter Springs

Day 27 of 44 - Week 5 (Day 1)
Navajo Spring to 5 miles (nooned) to (south of) Bitter Springs = 10 miles: Total Miles = 459
Total Trip Average Miles per Day = 17:  Average Miles per Day - Week 4 = 10

September 27 - 28
September 28

Original Journal Entry 
Sunday 28
Arose early John Hunters and Phillip De La Mare's Horses were by camp, but mine were gone, I followed there tracks - found them about 4 miles from camp by the edge of the Big Colorado on good feed - the banks of the Colorado are estimated to be 1500 feet high where I found the horses.  Hitched up and drove about 5 miles turned out on good feed then we drove to Bitter Springs and watered our horses and went a little ways south of Bitter Springs and camped on good feed went about 10 miles in the after noon road sandy in places.

This was the longest journal entry so far.

Final Journal Entry
Sunday Sept. 28.  My mules was gone, others present - I followed their tracks, found them 4 miles from camp on the banks of the Big Colorado River on good feed.  The banks of the river is 1500 feet at this place.  Hitched up and drove 5 miles, turned out on good feed - then we drove to Bitter Springs - watered and went on two miles - 10 miles in afternoon, some sand.

He shortened his final journal entry.  He left out of the final journal entry what I felt was the most important part (Sorry Grandpa) - John Hunter.  John Hunter was first mentioned on DAY 11 of the Journal.  Possibly he had gone ahead and they had caught up with him, or he just wasn't mentioned again until now.

Anna Anderson provides us a little more detail.  Se said in her life sketch: "It wasn't long until we caught up with several families enroute to St. Johns, Az.  This made the rest of the journey more pleasant.  Possibly John Hunter was one of the people they caught up with.  The Journal is silent as to who the other people were, Whether the horses had feed and water was more pertinent to Charles Anderson.

Navajo Springs Inscriptions

The inscriptions were on the West side of this structure.  I'm not sure if it was a home or a trading post at the time.  There is a ravine between the structure and the inscriptions

looking at the structure facing north

looking at the structure facing south

inside the structure looking at the fireplace
I said in my last post I would cover Navajo Springs in this post instead of the day they arrived there as I usually do.  This was a major stopping place along the trail.  Enough time was spent at this watering hole for many pioneers to inscribe their names on the rocks.  There are about eighty inscriptions found here.

Each of these inscription represented a person and a story could be told.  Below are a few examples of the stories behind the names.

Peter Niels Skousen was attending the school of Deseret when his father James was called to help settle Arizona.  He left school to help his mother run their farm in Draper, Utah.  In 1877, his father returned for him, his brother Willard, and their mother Sidsel.  They arrived at St. Joseph the day before Christmas of 1877.  Peter was a single man of 20  when he stopped to inscribe his name in 1877 at Navajo Springs.  He married in 1883.  More can be found about him by clicking here

Little is known about Herman Snow who inscribed his name upside down on the rock below in 1881.  He may have been the son of Bernard Snow.  If this was him, he was single and about 20 years old at this time.  Perhaps he went along to drive one of the wagons.  He was married the next year.  Fact without sources is mythology though and until there is more information, his claim to fame is he inscribed his name upside down at Navajo Springs in 1881.  More information about his possible family can be found here. (familysearch)

 On August 6, 1884, Nehemiah Wood Birdno (Beirdneau) and his 10 year old son Enoch Lewis Birdno (difficult to read) (Beirdneau) inscribed their names at Navajo Springs.  Nehemiah was a blacksmith by trade and was the foreman for tempering and sharpening the tools that were used for cutting the blue lime rock used in building the logan Temple.  He was called on a mission to Saint Johns, Arizona. He and his wife Mary and family left Logan June 4, 1884.  They travelled the main road through Brigham City, Salt Lake, Provo and Panguich, and then to Little's Ranch.  There they learned the Big Colorado was so high it was impossible to ferry across so they remained at Little's Ranch until July.  Upon reaching the river, they found it still so swollen the operators of the Ferry wouldn't attempt to take the ferry across.  Finally it was decided to swim the cattle and by tying two boats together, the wagon could be loaded on them. After taking the boats and wagons up stream about a half mile, they started across, but a hard wind struck the cover of the wagon and turned the boats back to the shore they had started from.  They then took the boats and wagons back up stream about three-quarters of a mile.  This time they removed the covers from the wagons and made it all right.  The Andersons might have seen this inscription when they arrived at Navajo Springs the next month.

By the time the Birdno family reached Joseph City the services of a blacksmith had already been acquired.  A blacksmith was needed in the Gila Valley so they journeyed on and arrived in Pima, 29 November, 1884. (see end of history).

Nehemiah's grave can be found here and life story here (My Heritage Website).  He was a personal bodyguard of the Prophet Joseph Smith.

On of the clearest inscriptions is that of G W Davis who inscribed his name August 17, 1884, but his history is not so clear.  I would like to claim him as a relative, the brother of my Great Grandfather, John Davis, but his history does not leave much time for a trip to Arizona in 1884.  Another possibility is  George Wyatt Davis who died in Arizona in 1899, or even William George Davis.  For now this will remain somewhat of a mystery.

Fortunately the following stone had a clear inscription and a history was left as well.  That is the inscription of George Brown.  There is no question where he is going.  He arrived at Navajo Springs just two days after the Charles Anderson family had passed through here.  His wife, Minnie Petersen Brown, kept a journal of the journey.  She described in detail their stay at Lee's Ferry, crossing the river, and Lee's Backbone.

At Navajo Springs where her husband took time to carve this inscription she said: "We stopped for lunch at Navajo Springs which was in or near the Indian Reservation and we saw many Indians along this part of the trip."  It seems like it would have taken longer than just doing his "lunch break" to carve this detailed inscription marking their trip to Arizona in 1884.

Navajo Springs is mentioned in many pioneer journals  Joseph Fish (December 1878) said: "Drove after dark to Navajo Springs, about 8 Miles from the ferry.  Here we found barely enough water for our animals."  Click here (Pg 186).  James S Brown (BYU - MSS 600) said: "We climb the high long rocky mountain and crossed to the Navajo Springs."

Charles Peterson said "No other part of the road was more barren or dry than the section between rivers.  There was live water at only three places, and at two of these - Navajo Springs and Bitter Springs - it was often limited in amount and, as the name implies, was bitter tasting at the latter spot.  By timing their migration to coincide with the caller and wetter seasons and carrying water for the dry marches, humans and draft tok usually made the trek without undue suffering......" (Take Up Your Mission, Pg. 82).

Bitter Springs

Bitter Springs -- Green area near HP 526
Bitter Springs

Bitter Springs
Bitter Springs

This sign is near the town of Bitter Springs
on Highway 89.  The actual springs is on
Highway 89A, about three miles away
Some journals speak of Bitter Springs but Roundy, Brown and Bushman fail to mention them.  The next place they mention is Limestone Tanks.  Fish (below) records their visit at Bitter Springs.  The name seem to indicate the type of Spring it was.

Joseph Fish (December 1878): "We did not find enough water for our stock and what little there was was very bad and not fit for use."  See here
Grand Canyon Place Names:  "The waters of the spring have a very bitter taste."  See here
Charles Anderson did not mention the waters being bitter.  He just said they watered their horses there one day and took them back the next day to water them.

Vermillion Cliffs

Bitter Springs at the time the Anderson Family passed through was located about where HP 526 is today.  However to figure the mileage, the journal says they traveled two miles past Bitter Springs
which would be about where the town of Bitter Springs is today.  So this would match the mileage from Navajo Springs to the town of Bitter Springs which is near where they camped.

Charles Anderson said that his mules were gone.  He "found them 4 miles from
camp on the banks of the Big Colorado River."  From point X (Navajo Spring) to
 point Y would be about 3 miles  It could easily have been 4 miles as Charles
said (depending on exactly where they camped and where the mules were the the
Big Colorado River.  Each square represent one mile on this map.

Sorry I don't even know yet so just wait and see.  I
just recently completed the research on the next post.