"Read the Signs" . . .
Camp SheldonWinnemucca, NevadaDear Mr. Henderson:In Edith McLeod's article about the Nevadaopal field in July issue of your magazine I feelthat she was very unfair to the game refugeofficials here. I have never met a cleaner 01more obliging and courteous personnel thanthe men at the Chas. Sheldon Game Refuge andCCC camp.If visitors will observe certain rules, whichare quite necessary in a public area of this kind,they will have no difficulty. I would suggestthe following code for those who want to en-joy their stay in the Game Refuge:
yourself at the technical serv-ice office in the CCC camp, stating whether ornot you wish to camp in a cabin at Virginranch, Gooch camp, etc. This procedure is tomake it inconvenient for criminals to come hereto evade the law, and also protects you fromsuch outlaws.2—When you cross the wild fowl lake on thelevee, and in Camp Sheldon, the speed limit is10 miles an hour. Blow your horn when turn-ing blind corners to protect yourself and somemother's son who is far from home.3—Close all gates across roads in the Refuge.4—Don't allow dogs and cats to run at largeand destroy birds and small game.5—Don't leave rubbish and garbage at thecampsites.8—Bring extra gasoline. Filling stations are90 miles apart. Disposing of government prop-erty is a felony, so the personnel cannot giveor sell gas even though they personally wouldbe glad to do so.9—Don't destroy the old ranch buildings forfuel, or for other reasons.The Refuge and Camp personnel are courte-ous and obliging, and if you are in distressthey will be quick to give you aid. First aid bythe Camp physician is available for those introuble.The personnel and their families are seclud-ed here, isolated from the outside world. I amsure they will appreciate meeting the collectorwho comes in with a smile on his face, and ap-preciates the facilities that have been providedhere for him. Let's make all our collecting trips"goodwill trips," as many good rockhounds aredoing, and not criticise public officials who arefaithfully performing their duties.MARK M. FOSTER
Information Wanted . . .
Dear Editor:Santa Paula, CaliforniaDo any of your "rock hounds," travelers,geologists or explorers know the name of thislittle mining town in Old Mexico, its location,or something of its history? Richard Bell, anEnglishman from London, England, owned andoperated a silver mine there until he died in1869 at the age of 85. He was noted for hisphilanthropic deeds, and his desire to betterthe Mexicans in the town by building schoolsand churches for them. I believe there are me-morials in his honor . . . such as statues, drink-ing fountains, etc.After his decease, the Catholic church oper-ated the mine. This mine was one of the richestmines in Mexico, and during Bell's time there,hired most of the inhabitants of the town. Thisinformation we have was contained in a clip-ping sent to us in 1934, which was misplaced.I hope one of your many readers will havesome information for us about the town. Thankyou very much for your interest and for publish-ing this letter.AUDREY MURRAY
Score for the Double Circle Ranch ...
Anaheim, CaliforniaDear Sirs:Congratulations on another very fine issueof The Desert Magazine. They are certainlyimproving and to me this August issue is oneof the best. You must have a very hardworkingpersonnel to keep getting out these numbers ofthe desert country so many of us love.I would like to register a contradiction how-ever, to your question number 19 of True orFalse department. I am sure the headwaters ofthe Salt river are in Arizona. I lived on theDouble Circle cattle ranch from 1909 to 1917which is 35 miles northwest of Clifton, Ari-zona. I have been in the White mountains andBlack river heads just under Thomas peak(Baldy) and flows south and west therefromto a junction with White river; from then onit is called Salt river. If either of these forksstarted in New Mexico they would either jointhe Little Colorado, the Blue river or the GilaWhite river heads north of Black river but I amsure it is in Arizona. I'm sure I am right on thisbut would like to know definitely.Incidentally these White mountains and theBlue range (known on map as Prieto plateau)are a very beautiful country. The Coronadotrail runs from Clifton to Springerville (about135 miles) and it is a beautiful drive, well tim-bered, and much of it is about 10,000 feet.With best wishes for continued success ofThe Desert Magazine, I amHARRY K. WILSON
Thanks, Harry Wilson! You are right.The True or False editor's alibi is that hewas thinking about the Gila river when hewrote Salt river. All True or False contes-tants mho missed this one are entitled tomark themselves up another
Worse'n Dishwater . . .
Santa Monica, CaliforniaDear Mr. Henderson:Was amused to read your diatribe againstpeople who don't like the Colorado river water—because I have been yelping all month abouthow terrible it tasted . . .But there's more to it than that. The reasonit tastes so flat, at least here in Santa Monica,is that by the time the water reaches us it hasundergone a double dose of chlorinating, oncein L. A. and again at our own city supply onFranklin Hill. If you don't think the watertastes like "dish water"—you're right; it nowtastes like a swimming pool. So maybe thoseof us who complain are a leetle beet justified?JANE BLACKBURN
S.—Very much enjoy the magazine, par-ticularly department you call Here and Thereon the Desert.
Cheers for Betty Woods . . .
Albuquerque, New MexicoDear Mr. Henderson:I read Desert Magazine regularly and thinkit is one of the best western magazines that wehave.I especially liked "They Learned About Tur-quoise" in the July issue by Betty Woods. Icertainly hope to read more articles like this.GEORGE O. HILL
Rough Roads Cull 'em Out . . .
Pasadena, CaliforniaDear Mr. Henderson:You are to be congratulated on the comple-tion of your efforts to establish the Anza Statepark. I hope, however, that your park willmore successfully protect the beloved and his-torical landmarks in the desert than has theDeath Valley national monument.You undoubtedly have your favorite spot inthe desert. Saratoga Springs was mine. Therewasn't a year that I missed a pilgrimage thereuntil last Labor day. We arrived at the crossingof the Amargosa bed, hot, tired out and eager-ly anticipating that quiet cove with its readypools and deliriously refreshing water (bath-ing, not drinking) and its ancient peace. Werounded the point and found cabin foundationsgoing up, radios blaring, the little pools goneand a big muddy swimming pool dug. The oldspring with its little cave was gone, a concretehouse built over it and the flow increased forbottling purposes.We were invited to stay and swim, but theshock was too much. Though it was late, wedrove on to Shoshone, and I haven't been backsince.If there are any historical spots in DeathValley, certainly Saratoga Springs is one. Per-haps I should say was one. For hundreds ofyears Indians lived there, prospectors made ittheir resting place, desert-lovers came to findits peace. For all that time it was undisturbed,with even the mining companies working there-about respecting its natural beauties. But underthe supposed protection of a national monu-ment it was commercialized.It is a strange contrast to Tecopa Springsnear Shoshone. Here, too, a man filed on theland, intending to commercialize it. But, al-though it was not a national monument or park,the far-sighted people of Tecopa and the sur-rounding territory protested so strongly that thegovernment re-ran the man's lines leaving thespring on public property and Tecopa has seento its protection since then.Please don't misunderstand my complaintabout Saratoga Springs. While I personally pre-fer solitude, there is room on the desert foreveryone who loves it. A score of people cancamp together on the desert and not disturb itspeace. But if there is one carload in the groupvisiting the desert because it is the "smart"thing to do, or because tourists should see thedesert along with the San Francisco bridge andthe Los Angeles city hall, then there is no peace.That's what I like about sandy rutted desertroads. They are hard on the car, but they act asa sorting machine and cull out the visitors ac-cording to their love of the country for whichthey are heading.HAROLD WEIGHT
Prison of the Navajo . . .
Phoenix, ArizonaDear Mr. Henderson:In reading your July issue I came across amisstatement of Navajo history in the articleon Hoskaninni by Mr. Kelly.Mr. Kelly stated that the Navajo after beingrounded up were herded to the great prisoncamp at Fort Sumner in Arizona. According tothe history told by the old-timers as well as re-corded Navajo histories Fort Sumner was inNew Mexico. The fort which Mr. Kelly men-tioned as being in Arizona is Fort Defiancewhere the Navajo captured on the reservationwere put in a great stockade in preparation forthe mass drive to Fort Sumner (Bosque Redon-do) in middle eastern part of New Mexico.They were kept in prison camp for five years,until their release upon signing an agreementwith the United States government.Being a Navajo myself and familiar with itshistory, I am sure the mistake was not inten-tional, and my letter is merely to call attentionto the facts.ANDREW T. BEGAII
THE DESERT MAGAZINE