Thursday, June 18, 2015

Lost Emigrant Trail

Once again, I've been absent for a long time. I returned from my dig a week ago. We were working in the Southern part of California, near Redding and Red Bluff. A pioneer trail had gone through the area and we were helping in locating exactly where it ran. We went up various areas with metal detectors, digging up anything we could pick up. We then had to leave it on the trail so they could use the artifacts to map it and then go back later and pick up everything we'd found.

The heat was almost unbearable. It got up to 104 the first day and stayed there most of the time, though it did drop to 89 after a nice rain storm only to rise back up again. We ended up digging in the early morning hours and returning to camp to spend the worst of the day's heat playing in the river near our tents.

I bought a little two person tent since my family's big tent was naturally still with them and I didn't have one of my own. I enjoyed getting a snug little tent all to myself, and huddled up inside it during the rain storm.

I also managed to get pictures. Something my brother had to scold me about to remind me as I kept forgetting my camera the first few days. (I met four nice older gentlemen and spend the time digging with them. One of them has exchanged pictures with me as he had his camera the first few days and then forgot it the last few.)

One of the sites we dug at is hard to be reached by road so we rafted in. The river was slow, no white or even gray water, but enjoyable nonetheless. We left in the early morning so the fog was hanging over the river, then on the way back we hit the afternoon heat so chased each other down and had a bit of a water war with squirt guns and our oars.

My little tent and corner of the campsite

View outside my tent. The river was on the other side of the trees and down the hill


It was prettier in person

One of the Archaeologist told me of some plum trees so I went hunting for them. (I also got bit by a tick doing it.) The plums were the size of my thumb, as seen in the picture, and were SO good. I picked a handful of them and walked back to camp spitting plums seeds along the roadside

The drive into camp. Someone said it looked like an African safari

I took it while we drove out to the dig. (I rode with three of the older gentlemen most of the time.) That is the reason it is blurred

There were stone walls scattered all around. They were originally built by shepherds.

We found a lot of horse shoes. This was one myself and one of the gentlemen found. It's a pony shoe

One area where they aren't sure if the trail passed through or not. This portion is hard to track. It is near a shooting range and most of the time we just picked up bullets and casings 

The trail did go through those trees. They can track that part of it, they're just unsure where it comes out

Some of the surrounding countryside

More of the countryside. SO hot. And they came through this in wagons

These three were me trying to get a good picture of this mountain

They said this was water from a dam outlet. A LOT of water

The trail. This part you can actually see the trail. Women and children would go in front of the wagons and move the rocks out of the way, so they line the trail and help mark it.

We liked working on this part. Not only was there shade but a breeze picked up that morning. There was a rattlesnake in one of the bushes, but we all avoided him and he left us alone

The shovel is for scale

You can see the trail here as well. Right in the center of the picture

The nail is from a wagon

This button. My friend and I found it and we were so proud. It isn't as old as the mid 1800's, but it was a metal button with the imprint of two horse shoes which you can kind of see in this picture. It was a cool find and we were insanely pleased with it and went and told everyone who would listen

We went and ate lunch by a river. There were some cows in the shade who didn't like us being there and left in a huff. But I took a picture, because a couple of the girl cows had horns, so I had to get their picture

Such a hot stretch of land

Another area the pioneers came across. Being out in the heat I really started to admire them, more than I ever have before

These rocks were connected with the Indians. They believed the holes were passages to the Afterworld

Bottle for scale

ARROW HEAD! We were giddy over it


This was started out to be an arrow head but because the rock was too hard to shape all the way it had to be discarded. There's a name for these, but I keep forgetting it

Buckle from a harness. I found one like this earlier in the week but didn't have my camera.

A rivet 

Part of a cast-iron stove. It was scattered all over the trail

Some pictures near the campsite again

And that is it!

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