Monday, October 20, 2008

The Superstition Mountains (no, not those)

When someone mentions the Superstition Mountains almost everybody automatically thinks of Arizona and “those” Superstition Mountains. This article is about a treasure, a lost gold mine to be exact, on Superstition Mountain located in California. I know, most of us are pretty far away from California but just in case there are any beach bums or “surfer dudes” out there that like to hunt for treasure I thought I would mix things up a little.

This is a story about a man named Hank Brandt who, back in the early 1900s had a hidden gold mine on Superstition Mountain in California. It seems Hank would go out to his mine every spring and return with about $4000 in gold. He did this every year for a period of about eight years. When Hank died he left a friend of his $16,000 in gold and the directions to his mine. Here are those directions:

“Three miles east of Coyote Wells on Highway 80, turn north and cross the washes to a place where jade may be found. From here head for a certain dark appearing cut in the Superstitions, the course leads northeastward across the old Butterfield route. If you are on the correct route, you will find a place where there are several petrified palm trees and a pile of old whale bones. Continuing on this course, your next landmarks are two dry lakes. The larger one, at the south, has two big ironwoods on its northern edge. This dry lake is known as Dos Mesquites Lake”

“Cross the lake near the trees in such a way that the course is parallel to an imaginary line into the Superstitions. When you have found the correct entrance to the mountain, follow the canyon wall upward until it reaches a small mesa, and then look for another canyon leading down the eastern front of the mountain. The walls of this second canyon are reddish-brown sandstone. In this canyon a petrified ship will be found. A deep notch where the bow of the ship lay can be seen. Sandstone has formed around the ancient ship, and at present all that remains is the curving line of the ship’s beam and some petrified pieces of what once was a very fine grained wood planking.”

“Having located the canyon of the ship, follow it down to its mouth on the eastern front and then turn north along a wall of purple talc between some small hills. After passing the talc stratum, you will find a canyon similar to that containing the ship. This canyon is filled with low, stubby mesquite bushes. You will then come to a high bank out of which a big rock protrudes. Turn the corner of this rock sharply, and you will see a big ocotillo stalk set in the rocks. The mine is above in a hidden gully.”

There you go, how much more do you need?

It is thought that the “whale bones” talked about in these directions may actually be some type of prehistoric fossils of some large animal and not that of a whale. Who knows, maybe it is whale bones, I mean if there is an ancient ship that has petrified in the mountains then maybe there could be whale bones. I think just coming across an old ship in the mountains would be one hell of a story!

Send me some photos if you find that ship!

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