Reports on trips taken in 2018.
by Bob and Sue Jaussaud
The adventure began with a call from Marian Johns: “I know this is last minute, but can you meet us in Baker tomorrow? We are going with the Harders to try and ﬁnd a cabin we have never seen in theMojave.” Sue and I couldn’t pass up an invitation like that.
A friend of a friend had told Neal and Marian about this wonderful cabin near the Old Dad Mountains and they wanted to ﬁnd it. We didn’t know that such a thing existed, namely a cabin in the Mojave that Neal and Marian had never seen. We hadn’t heard of it either. Turns out that it does exist and is in ﬁne shape due to the efforts of a jeep club that has adopted it.
The cabin is located near the Brannigan Mine, where gold was discovered in 1905. The mine wasn’t a big producer, but it seems the Herrod family occupied the cabin until the 1970s. Recently the cabin has been adopted by the Desert TOADS, “The Old As Dirt & Sand” jeep club. Many thanks to theTOADS for preserving this unique piece of Mojave history and to Marian for including us in this adventure. ~ Bob & Sue
By Bill Smith
Two DE members, Bill Powell and Bill Smith, took an off-road trip through the KOFA National Wildlife Refuge in the KOFA Mountain range south of Quartzite on January 21, 2018. They were part of a group of roughly 65 people in 32 vehicles - Ham radio operators and their families - who were attending the annual Quartzfest ham radio event in Quartzite, Arizona. One special highlight of the trip was the discovery of a maintained well that appears to be in the refuge to provide a water source for larger wildlife. Though not a DE activity, one could scarcely tell the difference. This may become a trip offered to DE members in the cool air of winter 2018/2019.
Black Mountain Area Trip
Sunday, January 14, 2018
Leader: Nelson Miller Photos from Ken Hemkin, Nelson Miller and Bill & Julie Smith
Sunday after the Museum Work Party, we took off from the Barstow Museum with 5 vehicles and 11 people (Nelson, Ellen, Julia, Ken, Peter & Janet, Bill & Julie, Ron & Barbara, and Jacque). Julia is a grad student working on her doctorate regarding historic and cultural preservation in the Mojave. Jacque is a friend of Barbara’s that we hope will join us on future trips. Thanks to Bill Smith for running tail all day!
This is another trip for which a Giant Thanks is owed to Bill Mann. We visited most of the sites he mentions around Black Canyon in his first book, “Guide to 50 Interesting and Mysterious Sites in the Mojave.” Our first stop was Murphy’s Well, where we explored the petroglyphs and a few historic signatures.
We proceeded on to Inscription Canyon, where we met Sam Hunter, a Museum member dedicated to protecting Black Canyon. He shared his unique views of the meaning behind all the petroglyphs and pointed out some interesting petroglyphs in Inscription Canyon. We had lunch and spent about an hour and a half exploring Inscription Canyon and talking to Sam.
After lunch, we stopped at the Birdman Petroglyph, which Ken had always wanted to see and which Bill Mann indicates was at one time the logo of the American Institute of Archaeology. Below it are three bedrock grinding stones and one the historic “Tillman Signatures” from the 1870’s.
We continued on around Black Mountain to our next stop at Scout’s Cove, where we explored a miner’s dwelling carved into the tufa dome and scouted for opal. Bill Mann reports that the Tiffany Jewelry Company financed mining of fire opal here.
Next stop was Black Canyon Well and a short distance further Black Canyon Stage Stop. Where was the water for the Stage Stop? Another Bill Mann mystery! We saw another Tillman signature here. Both the 20-Mule Teams and a stage line followed this route through Black Canyon. Who was Tillman? More Bill Mann mysteries.
We progressed along our route and found the Spiderman Petrogylph among hundreds of others in the boulder field along the edge of another Black Mountain. A bit further down the road we stopped in the Canyon also filled with petroglyphs, including a stick figure with an atlatl and scrawled modern graffiti, even “E=MC2”. At the end of the day with the sun beginning to set, we headed for home.
Museum Work Party & Black Mountain Visit
Saturday, January 13, 2018
A great big “THANK YOU” to Bob Jaussaud, who first suggested this work party and to all the rest that participated in helping out with the work party at the Mojave River Valley Museum!
Some of the significant contributions from Desert Explorers included:
Bob Jaussaud - worked on replacing light fixtures and installing mule rider
Bill Smith - Worked on replacing light fixtures, replaced a fan switch in the library, and installed locks on cases with Germain Moon dolls
Julie Smith - Cleaned and put out Germain Moon dolls
Ellen Miller - Cleaned up yard debris and helped put out the Germain Moon dolls
Barbara Midlikoski - helped everywhere all day long
Ken Hemkin - helped with lights, assembled mule train pieces, and helped install the lead mule rider
Nelson Miller - organized tasks and helped with lights, Germain Moon doll cases, mule train assembly and installation, and clean up.
There were also eight volunteers from the Museum that contributed throughout the day, including: Jesse and Peggy Byrd who worked in the yard cleaning and sprucing it up, Cliff Walker and Marjorie planted plants in our Pollinator Garden, Dave Mott was there to help, Dian Hare helped wherever she could and did the Sandwich Run for lunch, and Katie Boyd and Pat Schoffstall worked at organizing donated items.
Pat Schoffstall, from the Museum, reports that so many things got done! Germain Moon’s Kachina Doll Collection and the dolls Germain researched and made representing numerous Native American tribes are a big hit - people have been oohing and aahing over them since they have been put on display. They are beautiful and Julie and Ellen did a fantastic job of putting them on display after Bill made sure the cases could be locked and secure. All of us at the Museum and Germain’s two sons, Dennis and Bert, are pleased beyond words. These were crowded into a free-standing case, but the Museum is going to move them into one of the large window cases.
The Germain Moon Dolls are really an amazing collection and everyone should stop by the Museum and check them out when you have a chance.
Hello all you Wonderful People -
Words cannot express our appreciation for what you did for us last Saturday, but I’ll try.
Nelson told me the original idea for a workday came from Bob Jaussaud.
OK Bob, that makes you my hero - it was a terrific idea and it was carried out with style and grace and good humor and lots of elbow grease.
Things were taken care of that we hadn’t been able to take care of and now we have lights and circulating air and a cleaner yard and new displays both inside and outside.
Germain Moon’s dolls are a big hit - people have been oohing and aahing over them all week. They are beautiful and Julie and Ellen did a fantastic job of putting them on display after Bill made sure the cases could be locked and secure. All of us and Germain’s two sons Dennis and Bert are pleased beyond words.
So many things got done and I won’t list them all because I fear I would forget something and embarrass myself.
Some of the biggies are:
Bob worked on lights and helped install the first mule rider in the yard
Bill worked on lights and a fan switch and installed locks on the
display cases for Germain’s dolls
Julie cleaned up in the yard and worked on Germain’s dolls
Ellen worked in the yard and on Germain’s dolls
Barbara helped everywhere all day long
Ken helped with the lights, helped with assembling the rest of the mule train, and helped install the first mule rider
Nelson - what can I say about Nelson? He is here almost every week helping us anywhere and everywhere
Jesse and Peggy Byrd worked in the yard cleaning and sprucing it up
Cliff Walker and Marjorie planted plants in our Pollinator Garden
Dave Mott was here to help
Dian Hare helped wherever she could and did the Sandwich Run for lunch
Katie Boyd was here like she is almost every day of every week. This place would fall apart without her.
I’m a little old-school and writing a “Thank You” via email goes against my grain, but Nelson assures me that no one, with the exception of myself, thinks negative thoughts about it.
I hope he is right.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart -