Author Topic: Short Stories  (Read 40710 times)

wshawkins

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Re: Short Stories
« Reply #25 on: March 25, 2015, 07:10:05 AM »
143 years ago on March 26, 1872, one of California’s biggest earthquake hit Owens Valley.  Its epicenter was near Lone Pine California and was one of the largest earthquakes to hit California in recorded history.  It caused major damage in Inyo County and tragically caused many deaths.  At the same time in history, John Muir was working and living in Yosemite.  Let’s look back to that date in time and see why John Muir and the Owens Valley are cemented in history.




John Muir and the Great Owens Valley Earthquake of 1872




John Muir in 1872





John Muir is best remembered for his love of the wilderness, especially Yosemite Valley in the Sierra Nevada.  In his book, The Yosemite, Muir describes--with his usual affection for anything wild--the great Owens Valley earthquake of 1872, which shook up the central part of the Sierra Nevada.

John Muir was 34 when he working as a caretaker for the Black’s Hotel in Yosemite on March 26, 1872.  When the earthquake hit, the famed conservationist woke-up in his cabin behind Black’s Hotel.  Here is his account of the earthquake in his own words:


    “At half-past two o'clock of a moonlit morning in March, I was awakened by a tremendous earthquake, and though I had never before enjoyed a storm of this sort, the strange thrilling motion could not be mistaken, and I ran out of my cabin, both glad and frightened, shouting, "A noble earthquake! A noble earthquake!" feeling sure I was going to learn something.

    The shocks were so violent and varied, and succeeded one another so closely, that I had to balance myself carefully in walking as if on the deck of a ship among waves, and it seemed impossible that the high cliffs of the Valley could escape being shattered. In particular, I feared that the sheer-fronted Sentinel Rock, towering above my cabin, would be shaken down, and I took shelter back of a large yellow pine, hoping that it might protect me from at least the smaller outbounding boulders.

    For a minute or two the shocks became more and more violent--flashing horizontal thrusts mixed with a few twists and battering, explosive, upheaving jolts--as if Nature were wrecking her Yosemite temple, and getting ready to build a still better one.

    ... It was a calm moonlit night, and no sound was heard for the first minute or so [after the earthquake], save low, muffled, underground, bubbling rumblings, and the whispering and rustling of the agitated trees, as if Nature were holding her breath. Then, suddenly, out of the strange silence and strange motion there came a tremendous roar. The Eagle Rock on the south wall, about a half a mile up the Valley, gave way and I saw it falling in thousands of the great boulders I had so long been studying, pouring to the Valley floor in a free curve luminous from friction, making a terribly sublime spectacle--an arc of glowing, passionate fire, fifteen hundred feet span, as true in form and as serene in beauty as a rainbow in the midst of the stupendous, roaring rockstorm.

    After the ground began to calm I ran across the meadow to the river to see in what direction it was flowing and was glad to find that down the Valley was still down.”



I love the part where he’s running out his cabin and shouting, "A noble earthquake! A noble earthquake!  He must have been quite a character!

But on a serious note, the most devastating effects of this earthquake occurred at Lone Pine, where 52 of 59 houses (mostly constructed of adobe or stone) were destroyed and 27 people died. More fatalities also were reported in other parts of Owens Valley.  One report states that the main buildings were thrown down in almost every town in Inyo County.

A memorial along U.S. Highway 395 stands near a mass grave for the victims of the 1872 Owens Valley quake near the town of Independence. There were some 60 fatalities in total that fateful day.

The earthquake resulted from sudden vertical movement of 15–25 feet and right-lateral movement of 35–40 feet.  Its fault line (called fault scarps) can still be seen today.  The largest fault scarps I witnessed are just west of Lone Pine, at about 23 feet high.
This earthquake also formed a small “graben” that later was filled by water, creating the 86-acre Diaz Lake we see today.



Grave of 1872 Earthquake Victims



Plaque for 1872 Earthquake Victims



16 are buried in this Fenced in Grave Site for the common grave.



Fault Scarp



Fault Scarp



Diaz Lake

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TEX

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Re: Short Stories
« Reply #26 on: March 25, 2015, 07:50:20 AM »
While attending CSUN in the late 70's studying Geography; I took a field trip with the class up to and including Horton Creek and stopped at many places along the way. One of them was that scarp. I was truly impressed with the uplift in one event! The awesome power of nature :bowdown: that we usually take for granted, since the likes of the Sierra have been there for so long w/o much physically detectable change in your lifetime. Usually it's 3" or very minimal.  Thanks for sharing.
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wshawkins

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Re: Short Stories
« Reply #27 on: March 25, 2015, 02:56:03 PM »
You can see the fault scarp all the way to Bishop.  They are about 3 foot high or less around Bishop.  Hard to identify as they look like somebody just piled some rocks there for some reason. ;D
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

Corey Baer

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Re: Short Stories
« Reply #28 on: March 26, 2015, 07:15:21 AM »
I think the moral to a lot of these stories it stay away from the Sierras in March ... anyone else notice ? 
wshawkins  : what's the story with the burros and the mules I see on 395 ? I have seen both and they look like they are wild ?

I love the stories with History attached The John Muir one is so cool !
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wshawkins

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Re: Short Stories
« Reply #29 on: March 26, 2015, 02:19:04 PM »
 
wshawkins  : what's the story with the burros and the mules I see on 395 ? I have seen both and they look like they are wild ?



Yes, they are wild and free.  The wild burros and horses were either released or escaped captivity.  They have been running free for over a century in Owens Valley, maybe much longer.

It is the BLM's responsibility to preserve and protect healthy herds of wild free-roaming horses and burros on public lands.

They passed a law in 1971 (The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971) which gave wild horses and burros a legal right to live on public lands without harassment.  The reason they needed this law was some companies were slaughtering the wild healthy herds for dog food.  It was a very profitable venture while it lasted.

The Adopt-A-Horse or Burro Program allows citizens today to adopt the wild horses and burros during the round-up when the herd populations become excessive.  The last one I recall was held in Owens Valley was in 2012 at Bishop Fairgrounds, where they were allowing folks there to adopt them for $125 each if they could provide a good home for them.




Wild Burros near the town of Aberdeen.  Very friendly!





Wild Horses in the Bodie Hills.  More cautious than the wild burros.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2015, 06:51:12 AM by wshawkins »
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TEX

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Re: Short Stories
« Reply #30 on: March 26, 2015, 02:54:36 PM »
Also there are elk sometimes east of 395 and south of Big Pine. I've seen people pulled over and gawking...
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Trev Dog

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Re: Short Stories
« Reply #31 on: March 26, 2015, 09:20:35 PM »


  TOO COOL!!! Bill, you are on a roll. Thanks for your help in keeping our forum together.

 :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Packer

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Re: Short Stories
« Reply #32 on: March 27, 2015, 09:37:54 AM »
A great way to see the wild horses and have a fun time is the Bodie ride put on by Mammoth Lakes Pack Station. A plus to this is that Dave Stamey attends this event to fill the nights with great Cowboy Music.

What also could be better then riding into Bodie like the original residents did long ago.

http://www.mammothpack.com/Bodie%20Hills%20Ride.html
Pack it in, Pack it out...or have a Wrangler do it for you.

Corey Baer

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Re: Short Stories
« Reply #33 on: March 30, 2015, 07:14:23 AM »
One of these days I am going to Pull over and say HI to the Burros .
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Big Steve

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Re: Short Stories
« Reply #34 on: March 30, 2015, 08:23:47 AM »
I've seen the pullout and sign on 395 that says "wildlife viewing area", that must be where the burros and horses hang out?

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Re: Short Stories
« Reply #35 on: March 30, 2015, 09:57:47 AM »
Those pull-off areas are usually where the elk are. Sometimes the elk are a little farther north where they stand in those sprinklers during the warmer weather. I always thought they headed for the high country but maybe the food is too good.
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wshawkins

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Re: Short Stories
« Reply #36 on: March 30, 2015, 12:39:08 PM »
One of these days I am going to Pull over and say HI to the Burros .


Just watch out for the Jacks (males), they can be sometimes aggressive and territorial if they think you’re a threat.  Jenny’s (females) on the other hand were very friendly and calm.  Baby wild burros (foals) were so cute!

When we found the herd, the Jack first came to my truck (Jenny’s stayed behind) and checked me out.  I offered couple of carrots and we became fast friends.  Rest of the herd came and carrot treats for all.  If you would like to feed them, carrots - they LOVE this as an occasional healthy Treat. 
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

TEX

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Re: Short Stories
« Reply #37 on: March 30, 2015, 10:09:38 PM »
Like horses. Oats/grass and carrots are GOOD!
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Travelling Cirques

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Re: Short Stories
« Reply #38 on: April 03, 2015, 01:51:40 PM »
Back in the 80s we nicknamed these guys the "Aberdeen Asses" which may not be entirely accurate ;)

wshawkins

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Re: Short Stories
« Reply #39 on: April 03, 2015, 03:30:54 PM »
Back in the 80s we nicknamed these guys the "Aberdeen Asses" which may not be entirely accurate ;)



You’re more right than you know!

A wild Burro is the same as a donkey or an ass. ;D   The wild burros of today are the wild ancestor of the African wild ass.  Donkey or Burro has gradually replaced the word ass for obvious reasons.  Just to confuse you more, if you breed a jack wild burro (donkey) with a mare (horse), what do you have?

And welcome to Rock Creek's Message Board!



« Last Edit: April 06, 2015, 07:10:12 AM by wshawkins »
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saudust

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Re: Short Stories
« Reply #40 on: April 04, 2015, 07:36:07 AM »
That is a hearty hello if I've ever seen one.  Now to stop myself from all this chuckling. :rotflmao: :rotflmao:
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Re: Short Stories
« Reply #41 on: April 04, 2015, 08:53:06 PM »
The donkey herd at Aberdeen is not wild, they are pack donkeys.  They belong to Three Corner Round, a nonprofit located in Ohio, they also have a lease on the land where the donkeys are. In the summer the donkeys are used by young adults as pack animals for trips into the Sierra backcountry.  This program by Three Corner Round dates back to about 1919! The jacks and jennies in the herd are now kept separate for most of the year. Once a year a jack is selected for breeding purposes to maintain the herd. Their grazing is supplemented with hay. Most likely the mules you are seeing along 395 are the pack station strings on their winter pasture. There are wild horses in more isolated areas but I have never seen them from 395!

wshawkins

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Re: Short Stories
« Reply #42 on: April 06, 2015, 07:07:21 AM »
Yeah, I’ve seen the pack donkeys and where they are corralled at.  But there many other groups of Burros; some more than 20 miles away from Aberdeen, each with a Jack and his herd of Jenny’s and sometimes several foals.  Appears to me they are thriving in the desert like southern Owens Valley, including Death Valley, Mojave Desert and across the border in Nevada.  Interesting place to visit in AZ is in Oatman, on the old route 66.  Wild Burros come right into town there.

To see them, take the unmarked off-ramp (left) about 3 miles past the fish hatchery in Independence going north on 395.  This is the start of the Old 395.  Take the dirt road (unmarked) west for about a mile and it will take you to Thibaut Creek.  This is one of dozens of creeks that DWP has diverted to their aqueduct.  I’m betting most of you never heard of this creek.  The dirt road continues for another 1.5 miles.  Good place to spot some shy Burros.  Back down to Old 395 head north to Black Rock Springs Rd, turn left.  Follow this road west and look for the Burros along Sawmill Creek.  DWP also has this creek diverted to their aqueduct.  And so on as these side roads will take you all the way to Bishop (35 miles) with many wildlife opportunities.  Some of these roads are jeep roads that go way up into the mountains so raised 4-wheel drive is advised.  These jeep roads usually go to old mine sites.

Some other good spots to view the Burros is Birch Creek (near the foothills), Taboose Creek (near Old 395) and Taboose Pass Trailhead, near the lava fields by Aberdeen, Fish Creek (near the Alfalfa fields), Warren bench (Big Pine) and anywhere near the foothills (Jeep Roads).  No guarantees of course, they come and go as they please.  They are not just west of 395, there east too.  Try Tinemaha Reservoir at dawn at the viewpoint overlook.

When I’m heading south going home after a visit to the Eastern Sierra, I sometimes get off 395 at Fish Springs Rd.  To the right is the Fish Springs Hatchery.  Nice fishing spot with rainbows and German browns.  Also check out the big beaver that lives there!  Fish Springs also has some interesting Petroglyph sites.  To your left is the large alfalfa field where large herds of Tule Elk can be seen.  This is the best view if you’re interested in seeing the Elk up close.  You can get back on to the 395 from here or take Tinemaha Rd (Old 395) all the way past Aberdeen for more wildlife viewing.  Aberdeen has a convenience store and café.   Café serves a nice lunch on Saturdays.  This road is fine for 2-wheel drive cars and the Old 395 ends at the new 395.

For a view of the wild horses, Adobe Valley is your best bet.  Adobe Valley is in a beautiful valley near Highway 120 between The White Mountains and Mono Lake.


You can drive through here and visit with the Burros, just close the gate behind you!



Couple of Jenny's checking me out



Big Jack coming in to inspect me as his herd waits behind.  This guy was in-charge and free.  About 3 miles north of Aberdeen.  No gates or fences here.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2015, 07:10:53 AM by wshawkins »
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Corey Baer

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Re: Short Stories
« Reply #43 on: April 06, 2015, 08:13:26 AM »


You’re more right than you know!

A wild Burro is the same as a donkey or an ass. ;D   The wild burros of today are the wild ancestor of the African wild ass.  Donkey or Burro has gradually replaced the word ass for obvious reasons.  Just to confuse you more, if you breed a jack wild burro (donkey) with a mare (horse), what do you have?

And welcome to Rock Creek's Message Board!

A Mule ?

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wshawkins

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Re: Short Stories
« Reply #44 on: April 06, 2015, 09:46:03 AM »
Mule is right!  Figured an animal lover would know this. :doglick:
"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

TEX

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Re: Short Stories
« Reply #45 on: April 06, 2015, 12:27:06 PM »
I was thinking more of a "horses arse" :lol2:
Sorry
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wshawkins

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Re: Short Stories
« Reply #46 on: April 07, 2015, 07:02:02 AM »
The First People of Owens Valley



It’s interesting that the true “First People” settlement dates of the Eastern Sierra are unknown.  They were a nomadic people that moved around with the seasons where they could best live off the land.  Somewhere between 8-12,000 years ago is an estimate of when the first people first came here, with the oldest dates to the south.  They did leave some markings on the rocks (Petroglyph’s), with the oldest at the Coso Range (near Little Lake area).  Paiute and Shoshone people of today have lived in the Owens Valley only for the last thousand years and have no knowledge of the “First People”.


Petroglyph’s




About 12,000 years the last great ice age glaciers started melting and retreating.  Owens Lake was quite large then covering nearly 200 square miles and reaching a depth of 200 feet and was overflowing to the south through Rose Valley into another now-dry lakebed, China Lake.  Owens Valley 12,000 years ago not dry and arid like today, but lush with vegetation, trees and seasonal grasses with excess water everywhere.  It was a Shangri-La!


The Shoshone originally inhabited the southern Owens Valley and lands to the east while the Paiutes lived in northern Owens Valley to southern Oregon. The Paiutes called themselves Numu meaning “the people,” but were later named Paiute by white settlers.  Mono Lake Paiutes also called themselves Kuzedika, which translates as “kutsavi eaters.” Kutsavi, an important, protein rich food staple and valuable trade commodity, are brine-fly larva collected from the shores of Owens and Mono lakes. Several Paiute groups lived together, migrating to take advantage of other seasonal food, including deer, small game, insects, pine nuts and other seeds, and occasionally a mountain sheep. Pine nuts were especially important to the local Indians and a poor year often meant starvation in the winter.  Pandora moth caterpillars, called “Piüga” (pee-ag´-gee), periodically infested Jeffrey pine forests (still do), providing another important food.  The caterpillars were collected in steep trenches dug around the pines, roasted in pits, and then dried.


Brine Fly’s at Mono Lake



Local Paiutes built round, domed shelters out of bent willow poles covered with grass, small branches, and sagebrush bark.  Bows and arrows were made from willow and juniper.  Obsidian arrowheads were attached using sinew and a sticky substance from sagebrush.  Nets were woven for fishing and rabbit drives, and traps for small animals were made from looped willow stems.  Although the Paiutes made local pottery and pipes from clay, they are well-known for beautiful willow baskets used as food containers, cooking baskets, hats, cradles, seed beaters, winnowing trays, and water bottles.


Domed Shelter



The Paiutes-Shoshone were essentially a peaceful people, with occasional minor disputes over trespassing on pine nut or hunting territories.  Their culture emphasized hunting, respecting one’s elders, and modesty over warfare.  During the 1860s and 70s, the influx of pioneers and livestock devastated local food sources.  Pinyon and Jeffery pine stands were clear-cut for lumber, while livestock trampled tubers, roots, plants, and seeds in the meadows.  Hunting decimated game and waterfowl populations.  What really killed it for the Paiutes was the torching of the land by the pioneers, eliminating all their native food supple.


Desperate Paiutes resorted to cattle-rustling, and tensions between the settlers and local Indians escalated to armed conflict in the early 1860s (Owens Valley Indian War).  Paiutes were no match for the U. S. Cavalry and by the end of the decade, the conflict was resolved and many Paiutes returned to Owens Valley, now seeking work as laborers on farms and ranches occupying their very same ancestral lands.  More Paiutes died from newly introduced infectious diseases such as smallpox than in warfare.


Paiute-Shoshone Indians were moved to reservations.  When most of the Owens River and its watershed were diverted to Los Angeles, gathering of pine nuts and other traditional foods mostly dried up and died.  Outmigration today remains a problem, as are poverty, poor health, and the continuing lack of job opportunities.  Of all the reservations I visited in Owens Valley, the Bishop Colony looks to be doing better than the others, which isn’t saying much.  Bishop Colony maintains a culture center, a museum and runs the casino (Paiute Palace Casino) in Bishop.


Paiute Palace Casino and the cheapest gas in town


"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out, it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

playingmenace

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Re: Short Stories
« Reply #47 on: April 07, 2015, 09:08:25 AM »
Great stuff 'hawk.

I hope the Paiute Casino isn't as corrupt as others I've researched where just a handle full of Indians are doing some serious capitalizing, with pennies in comparision actually making it to the tribe, imo. Things aren't always as they appear.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2015, 09:10:11 AM by playingmenace »
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wshawkins

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Re: Short Stories
« Reply #48 on: April 07, 2015, 01:23:13 PM »
Great stuff 'hawk.

I hope the Paiute Casino isn't as corrupt as others I've researched where just a handle full of Indians are doing some serious capitalizing, with pennies in comparision actually making it to the tribe, imo. Things aren't always as they appear.



All I’ve heard so far is all good for the casino and the proceeds from it.  Hopefully it continues that way. 

The real draw there is the gas station which the gasoline is a few cents cheaper than anywhere else in town.  I’ve only been in the small casino to eat at the restaurant, which serves a nice prime rib dinner special on the weekends.  Get a player's club card, even if you don't gamble so you can get the discounts on your meals.  Unfortunately there is cigarette smoke in the casino area, so I never gambled there.
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Gary C.

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Re: Short Stories
« Reply #49 on: April 07, 2015, 07:25:06 PM »
I've heard good things about the casino restaurant before. I was told that the really good deal is to use the club card for breakfast and coffee to go on your way out to fish in the mornings.