Calico is a ghost town located in the Mojave Desert region of Southern California. Founded in 1881 as a silver mining town, today it is a county park. It is located in unincorporated San Bernardino County off Interstate 15, 3 miles from Barstow.
Authentic fragments of history, Indian arrowheads fascinate the young and old alike. Finding them isn’t difficult if you know where to look. In areas where Native Americans settled, you will find spearheads and arrowheads in and around rivers and creek beds. With a few hunting techniques, you’ll be well on your way to attaining a piece of the past.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Things You’ll Need:
Metal garden trowel
Sieve, at least 8 inches wide
Plastic zip-type bags
Research for the location of former Indian settlements at your public library or by talking to friends. Indians camped near water whenever possible so locating old riverbeds in areas where they lived is a good idea. Be sure to get permission if you want to explore on private property.
Determine the time of year when the water in the creeks and rivers is the lowest. Some creeks are seasonal and can be completely dry for months. These make excellent arrowhead-hunting grounds.
Dress for the occasion by wearing rubber fishing boots if water will be an issue. Don a multi-pocket vest to hold your “finds” and the implements you will use to locate them. A backpack is a good idea for bringing search items and snacks.
Study the creek bed to determine which way the water flows when it is running. Not only did Indians camp by the water, it was a favorite spot to hunt animals as they came to drink. When an arrowhead was lost, it would sink, but due to the flat shape it often swept downstream when the water was rapid.
Locate the front side of a bend in the creek. This is the most likely area for an Indian arrowhead to settle. These bends are easy to find because they usually have an additional accumulation of old branches and debris. Remove as much of the debris as you can, but if it is too heavy, don’t worry, you can search around it.
Use your metal garden spade to scoop out small amounts of sand from the deposit. Use your sieve to sift the sand from rocks and arrowheads. Alternately, you may slice downward through the sand, listening for the sound of a rock surface hitting your metal spade. Search only the sand; arrowheads are rarely located in the clay sediment layer beneath.
Scrape your spade between the exposed roots of trees that grow at the edge of the creek. This is another good place because these roots will often trap small arrowheads and hold them. Again, listen for the sound of metal hitting rock.
Explore, Be Patient and have fun
The San Rafael River is the boundary-Buckhorn Wash north of the River, Cottonwood Wash to the south. The southern section, Cottonwood Wash, is a wide-open rolling high desert, with low rocky bluffs studded with distant towering buttes. This road is well maintained and is generally a safe road to drive. The Buckhorn Wash portion of this route is especially scenic, with canyon walls rising many hundreds of feet above you, Native American rock art panels, a well-preserved dinosaur track and more! There are many side roads along this route, but the navigation of this road is easy-when in doubt, stay on the main road!
Believed to be the work of the BARRIER CANYON CULTURE, the Buckhorn Wash panel is more than 2,000 years old. It predates the Fremont work found in Castle Country. The Barrier Canyon people did not have pottery. They hunted and gathered, used stone and bone tools and atlatls (spear throwers).
Distinctive features of Barrier Canyon
- life-sized figures without arms or legs
- broad shoulders, tapered trunks and bug eyes
- dots, rays and crowns above heads
- figures accompanied by birds, insects, snakes and dogs
How these Pictographs were made
Pictographs were painted on the surface of rock with natural pigments. Black was made from yellow ochre (a mineral found in the soil), pinyon gum and sumac. When stirred together, they form a black powder. Reds were made from red ochre and the roots of mountain mahogany. Rabbitbrush was a source of yellow. Likely binding agents were plant oils and animal fats. Petroglyphs were carved, pecked or chiseled into the rock.
Likely tools used in making Pictographs and petroglyphs
- brushes made from human hair, dog hair or yucca fibers
- flint or other stone chisel and hammers
- hollow bird bones filled with pigment
- fingers or mouths- paint could be blown out of the mouth and onto the rock creating a negative image often associated with handprints.
Paint, chalk, carvings and bullet holes have vandalized the Buckhorn Panel. The canyon’s proximity to the Old Spanish Trail and its use as a hideout for outlaws made the pictograph panel a prime target for vandals. Sadly, much of the damage is permanent and lost art cannot be repaired. However, the Buckhorn Panel was greatly improved in 1995 through an intensive restoration effort. Today vandalism of rock art is illegal and should be reported to law enforcement authorities.
The Restoration Project
As part of the 1996 Centennial Celebration citizens of Emery County initiated the restoration of the Buckhorn Panel. This project was a joint effort by citizens, the BLM, Utah and county governments. This site is one of several in the United States that has been restored by Constance Silver, an internationally known art conservator. The clean up took about six weeks at the site.
Please help preserve the panel by:
- looking with your eyes, not your hands
- reporting vandals to the BLM or local Sheriff
Old Town Temecula
A collection of historic 1890s buildings, antique stores, shopping and restaurants, Old Town Temecula is also home to such events as car shows, western days and summer entertainment. Specialty food stores, unique boutiques, dozens of gift and collectible stores and 7 large antique dealers do business in the district.
Old Town is also home to the Temecula Museum which features exhibits about the local band of Native Americans and the local natural history and city development.
Over forty years after Richard Break and Leon Borel first planted 56 varieties of wine-making grapes in five different locations for the newly formed Rancho California Development Corporation, the Temecula Valley has become recognized as a full-fledged appellation boasting more than two dozen wineries and more than 3500 acres of producing vineyards. A short drive east on Rancho California Road from historic Old Town Temecula takes you into Temecula Valley’s wine country. There the visitor will find wineries and tasting rooms ranging from the rustic to the elegant, from a quaint chateau to a lavish resort, from a “Mom and Pop” operation to the corporate conglomerate. Home of the Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival, held annually at Lake Skinner, visitors come to taste the regions wines and enjoy the warm climate.
Tea has been known in China since about 2700 BC. Tea was initially used strictly as a medicinal beverage obtained by boiling fresh leaves in water, but around the 300 AD it became a daily drink, and tea cultivation and processing of Chinese tea began.
But tea beverages have been drunk by most of the world’s cultures for millennia. Many of these were herbal teas, using a wide variety of native plant leaves, roots and stems steeped in boiling water.
There are, likewise, many desert plants, which have been used for centuries by Native Americans to brew tea. As in the Far East, they were primarily used for medicinal purposes rather than as a daily beverage. Below is a sample of some of the more common desert plants used for brewing tea.
Place a sprig of Creosote leaves and flowers in a cup. Add boiling water, cover and steep 5 to 10 minutes (depending on strength desired), then strain. You may want to sweeten this strong, aromatic tea with honey.
Creosote bush is the dominant shrub over most of the southwestern deserts. California’s Cahuilla Indians brewed Creosote tea to relieve coughs, colds, flu, infections and bowel complaints. They also covered their heads with a blanket and inhaled the steam of creosote leaves in a boiling pot of water to relieve congestion.
Place several Sagebrush leaves (preferably from a small plant) in a cup. Add boiling water, cover and steep 5 minutes. Strain, sweeten and serve. Native Americans regarded this bitter tea useful to promote sweating and to aid in digestion. Many prefer honey or lemon for flavoring. Note that the many species of Sagebrush are not really a sage, but are an annual evergreen shrub. All are aromatic.
Mormon Tea, Desert Tea, Squaw Tea
In a boiling pot of water, place a small handful of green or brown Ephedra twigs for each cup desired. Cover and steep 20 minutes. Strain and drink. There are many species of Ephedras in the Desert Southwest, but all make a tasty, energizing tea. Southwestern Indians and European desert travelers have long brewed Mormon tea or chewed the twigs to quench thirst and boost energy. Mormon tea is considered a general tonic for stomach ailments and kidney disorders.
Note: Those who are sensitive to caffeine should probably avoid this tea. The drug ephedrine is obtained from a Chinese species of Ephedra.
Among the 3 species of mesquites in the desert, Honey Mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) is most preferred for brewing tea. Place 8 or 9 green or dry yellow twigs in a cup. Fill with boiling water, cover and steep 20 minutes. Or boil 24 seed pods in a pot for one hour. This sweet, mild tea has a vanilla-like flavor. It was used by Native Americans to treat diarrhea and stomach ulcers.
(Salvia apiana / mellifera)
Bruise one leaf of either white or black sage, place in a cup and add boiling water. Cover and steep 5 minutes; strain, sweeten and serve. Native Americans used Sage Tea as a gargle for sore throats and to aid digestion. It was also used topically as a disinfectant. Note that White Sage is much stronger than Black Sage, which may require moderation.
WARNING: Many native and cultivated plants are extremely toxic and can result in severe illness, or even death if ingested. Never ingest any portion of any plant unless you are absolutely certain about its identity and harmlessness.
This part of Utah is always a diversion to take a look at through camping season. The surroundings of this campground have such a great deal of things to offer. There’s plenty of outdoors recreation available in close proximity such as swimming, hiking, and fishing, so you won’t get bored.Enterprise Reservoir Campground gets very little rainfall; during July this area sees the most rain; June on the other hand is the driest. It’s not very good for you to spend too much time indoors; you need to get out of the house sometimes, and EnterpriseReservoir Campground in Utah is a fine spot to go.The Pilot Peak Trail offers hiking at its best; of course, everyone loves Beaver Dam State Park. This is beyond doubt a magnificent campground. Enterprise Reservoir Campground is right by the South Boundary Trail; HoneycombRocks is a perfect place to check out while in the neighborhood.Be careful coming to Enterprise Reservoir Campground, you might not ever wanna go home again. Lost Creek is a splendid local stream, and if you get bored of Enterprise Reservoir Campground you could also explore close by Upper Enterprise Reservoir. There’s so much stuff to do near Enterprise Reservoir Campground, and it unquestionably is a fine campground.Hiking is a popular thing to do around Enterprise Reservoir Campground; Hollow Trail is a good local trail; do take a look at Upper Enterprise Dam if you’re here. Such a tremendous pick of attractions and such a great deal of things to do will absolutely have you coming back over and over.During the long summer days highs here at Enterprise Reservoir Campground reach the 90’s; the night is rather cooler of course, generally in the 50’s. The wintertime comes with highs in the 40’s, and winter nights come with lows in the 10’s to Enterprise Reservoir Campground. Gunlock State Park is a delightful site to go if you’re at Enterprise Reservoir Campground; hiking along the White Hollow Pack Trail is delightful fun. There’s wonderful hiking along the Parker Canyon Trail, and nearby you locate great locations like Cave Canyon.
In late fall, water may be turned off in the campground. After the water is turned off, camping fees go down to $6 for single sites and $10 for the large picnic area.
$9 per camp site
$15 for the large day-use area (up to 50 people).
Reservations: First-come, first-serve.
Directions: From Enterprise, Utah, take Utah Highway 219 west 7 miles. Turn left on Veyo Shoal Creek Road and continue 3 miles to the campground.
Amenities: Vault toilets, drinking water, garbage service.
Nearby: Lower Enterprise Reservoir, with boating and fishing opportunities.
The Virgin River has helped to create several impressive Southwestern landscapes, starting with the great white cliffs and canyons of Utah’s Zion National Park and ending at the upper end of Lake Mead in Nevada, where it eventually meets the Colorado River. In between, it flows across the very northwest tip of Arizona for 30 miles, through two gaunt ranges of hills – the Virgin and Beaver Dam Mountains, which have similar, Grand Canyon-like scenery of eroded, stepped cliffs and terraces of metamorphosed sandstone. The Virgin Mountains are the more extensive and isolated range, running alongside the river as far as the north edge of the lake, and forming the southwest edge of the Colorado Plateau; to the west stretch the flat, arid plains of the Mojave Desert, terrain that extends for hundreds of miles across Nevada and California. The Beaver Dam Mountains are a little more accessible but just as rugged and scenic, and part is a designated wilderness area – an untamed region of Joshua trees and cacti, lizards and mountain sheep, and much colorful, weathered rock.
Along the Virgin River if one wishes to experience the pioneer spirit one may wish to check this out along Interstate 15 just exiting the Virgin River Gorge to the north several pioneer ruins are visible although almost un-noticeable access can be found by taking Beaver Dam Littlefield exit and following it through Beaver Dam and following old highway 91. On the right you will see an access road stating Virgin River access the first authorized road on the right take this road and follow this map once parked you can hike the rest.
Clark Memorial Cross – Overton, NV
N 36° 25.523 W 114° 28.143
11S E 726899 N 4034108
Quick Description: This Memorial is located on the south side of State Road 169 in the Valley of Fire State Park in Overton, Nevada, USA.
Location: Nevada, United States
Date Posted: 4/9/2008 7:04:13 PM
Waymark Code: WM3J03
This Memorials was erected as a monument honoring John G. Clark, a pioneer traveler. This Memorial was erected June 1949 by the citizens of Overton, Nevada. It is about 150 feet off the road, on state route #169. According to information at the Valley of Fire State Park, Captain John J. Clark, retired, 46 New York Infantry, died June 1915, age 67. he was driving a buckboard through the desert on the Arrowhead Trail (early trail to the Muddy). He stopped, tied his horse to the back of the buckboard, laid down and died of thirst at that point in the Valley of Fire.”
To facilitate visiting the monument, there is a turnout on the south side of State Road 169 that can accommodate several cars.
From the Valley of Fire State Park website: “Valley of Fire State Park is located only six miles from Lake Mead and 55 miles northeast of Las Vegas via Interstate 15 and on exit 75. Valley of Fire is Nevada’s oldest and largest state park, dedicated 1935. The valley derives its name from the red sandstone formations and the stark beauty of the Mojave Desert. Ancient trees and early man are represented throughout the park by areas of petrified wood and 3,000 year-old Indian petroglyph. Popular activities include camping, hiking, picnicking and photography. The park offers a full-scale visitor center with extensive interpretive displays. Several group use areas are also available. The park is open all year.”