Lost Trails

Non LDM treaure hunting and Old West history.
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alan m
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Lost Trails

Post by alan m » Tue Jan 25, 2011 9:25 pm

In my years of researching the history of the Southwest, I had a conversation with an oldtimer who had done some considerable prospecting and research into lost mines. He told me about an alternate gold route the Spanish used as far back as 1620. It ran from San Diego to somewhere near Corpus christi Texas and followed the general path of the El Camino del Diablo. It was used by the gold smugglers to avoid paying the Kings Royal Fifth.
As most of you are aware, the royaal fifth was paid "on-site" right where the gold was mined. so if this route did exist it would imply that there were mining operations which the King was unaware.
My own research into this has uncovered the probability that it did exist, one book in particular is of considerable interest. titled "Description of the indies c. 1620" by
Antonio Vazquez De Espinosa. this is a translation by Charles Upson Clak and published by Smithsonian Institution Press.
It is an easy read if lenghthy but may be difficult to find.
One other note. The stories of hidden Spanish gold bars seems to parallel this route.
I welcome your ideas on this
Alan

klondike
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Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2006 8:48 am

Re: Lost Trails

Post by klondike » Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:52 am

Hello Alan,

Fascinating post.

Have to say the whole issue of ancient trails is a fascinating subject. Remember one on Mailaipi that seems to go straight up and to nowhere.

Thanks for sharing.

Klondike

alan m
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Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:43 pm

Re: Lost Trails

Post by alan m » Fri Jan 28, 2011 8:24 pm

Hello Klondike
I would like to know more about that trail, all roads lead to something, at least they did at one time. Early scouts followed game trails to water and succesful archaeologist follow old trails to lost Indian dwellings. The early Spanish would have worn a trail down a lot in the process of minning, Sims Ely described in his book just such a trail from La Barge Canyon toward Peters Mesa. Wish I had more time to search.

Best Regards
Alan

klondike
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Re: Lost Trails

Post by klondike » Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:42 pm

Hello Alan,

The trail on Mailaipi makes its way west and ends up near the Salt River. I have a pretty good idea of who built it from the markers along the way.

I would say it predates most of the locals.

Have to say the straight up business has always puzzled me greatly. I don`t really have a clue how that was accomplished and more importantly why?

Also my compass generally goes nuts in the area. Must be some interesting mineral deposits in the area. Magnatite?

Klondike

alan m
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Posts: 147
Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:43 pm

Re: Lost Trails

Post by alan m » Sun Jan 30, 2011 9:36 pm

Klondike
I find the trail markers in the Superstitions facinating, my research puts a date of around 1790 to 1810. This is was the only time when the Apache were pacified enough for a real survey to have been conducted. It was the stratigy and campaign of General Hugh O'Conner that brought this about.
As for your compass going wild, that could explain the trail, the Spanish would have needed to climb up in order to get an unobstructed view of the stars for mapping purposes. It is a missconception that they used the compass extensively in their surveys and mapping of the area. They used and astrolabe for general determination of Latitude and Longitude, and an instrument similar to the sextant for more precise measurements. The compass was only used for short direction finding as it pertained to already estabilished routes.
The Superstition's is one of the most highly marked areas in the whole southwest. The evidence of Spanish activity is extensive.
I have seen and photographed man made carvings into rock faces of horses, faces and triangles all through the mountains.
There must be more that one mine in there.

Happy Hunting
Alan

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