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December 22, 2010 deeplink respond

Found a few hundred more feet of the Mud Springs
Canal,
 acutally inside the "black hole of Central". The
full story is eventually likely to unfold as follows:

The Mud Springs canal is 7 miles long and a feeder to 
a 3 mile long Jernigan Canal. It likely sources from far
up Ash Creek. Its early portions remaiin unverified, But
a rancher's PVC pipe verifies the route credibility and
there is no sane alternative to "Where else could it 
have come from?"


A case can be made that this was possibly the first of
at least a dozen prehistoric canals. Owing to its entire
route being viewable at once from certain points. And
to the absence of certain fancier features, unusual
terrain, and nonobvious routes of the others.

There is a short stub canal that apparently dumps into
a wash midway at the Mud Springs Expressway crossing.
A possible explanation is that this is for mud control or
dealing with flood overflows. 

Further downstream is a large and failed flood control dam.

Smaller and different from Allen Reservoir. The dam completely
runs roughshod over the canal without any accomodation of
any type. Which suggests extremely strong evidence that the
canal is in fact prehistoric.

A very well definied "hanging" portion follows, going "up"
a wash wall to continue. Just past where the canal once
again reaches the bajada is a strange circular structure.
Very pithouse looking, but probably centuries newer. And
only half a meter from the canal. Until proven otherwise,
this is the "troll house".

Somewhat further southeast, the canal appears to branch to
source the Jernigan Canal. Evidence in this area is somewhat
weak and consists primarily of long linear arrays of dead flowers
combined with the same linear array studiously avoided by the Creosote
Bushes. But all three ends connect to more credible evidence. 

A small spur in this area leads to a small and obviously Anglo
tank. This is presumed to be a "steal the plans" and "dig
out an old ditch" similar to Hawk Hollow Tank.

The two canals parallel each other for a surprisingly long time
over very minor spacing. Presumably this was needed as a 
"setup" to maintain slope on the two routes. The canals
never seem to get more than 800 feet apart. Sometimes
much closer. 

The west spur vanishes into the Black Hole of Central to
emerge as the well defined Jernigan Hanging Canal. The
east spur also vanishes into the Black Hole of Central to
emerge as a well defined continuance that appears to
be headed for river bottomland near the Union Canal.
The final thousand feet is indistinct and largely trashed.

Slopes and terrain inside the Black Hole are eminently
credible. Possible explanations for the absence of hard
evidence are incomplete exploration, sheet flooding, or
stream piracy. 

Meanwhile, the Allen Canal enters the Black Hole of Central
from the east. Where it goes and whether it merges with the 
Mud Spring canal has yet to be determined. The only other 
route would be unlikely as it is heading towards a cineaga.

Kiddies, we are dealing with utterly spectacular world class
stone age engineering here. Orders of magnitude beyond beyond.

Yet, with one or two grateful exceptions, I cannot seem to interest
the powers that be in the Southwestern Archaeology hierarchy.

Just because I skipped one too many compulsory faculty teas 
half a century ago.

December 14, 2010 deeplink respond

Picked up a Garmin eTrex H personal GPS navigator. It is
proving extremely useful in the Prehistoric Canal 
explorations
.

Ferinstance, I can get the GPS coordinates of a place I
want to go off of Acme Mapper. And then go to it
with the eTrex. Or record where I was, again to
Acme Mapper. Or set a waypoint for my 4Runner
in heavy brush and be able to return right to it.

Or purposely cover a loop route to explore twice
the terrain without worrying about exactly where you
are at all times. There also seems to be a highly
subjective "focus factor" that makes it easier to
cover more ground faster with less energy.

List price is around $100. Accuracy is typically
about ten feet. But you can dramatically improve this
by going to differential GPS. Either with a second
unit or a web or commercial service. Differential GPS
works by tracking the reported position of a known 
fixed position over time. Correnctions are useful over 
tens or even hundreds of miles.

The five buttons make entering alphanumeric data a pain,
but are otherwise intuitive and ergometrically useful.
While the buttons are intentionally hard to press, I
feel they overdid this "feature".

Also nice is reporting such stuff as distance and speed
traveled. As with most GPS, the altitude resolution is
rather crude and largely useless. Hundreds of waypoints
can be saved and stored for later analysis.

More on similar projects here.

December 12, 2010 deeplink respond

Found what likely is another half mile of the Mud
Springs Canal. Closing on the Jernigan Site and 
with highly favorable topography.

But the intermediate terrain is proving enormously
difficult to yield further evidence.

More here and here 
.

December 11, 2010 deeplink respond

Expanded and updated our Prehistoric Hanging Canals
of the Safford Basin
 presentation to include the latest
Mud Springs Bajada developments.

December 9, 2010 deeplink respond

The plot thickens till it clots.

There is a 3000 foot or so square patch here I think I'll call the
Black Hole of Central.

Two prehistoric canals clearly go in, and two clearly come out.
But there is not the slightest trace so far of anything inside.

Possible explanations......

1. I could not find a pig in a dishpan.
2. I'm looking for the wrong things in the wrong place.
3. Massive sheet flooding in the past.
4. Stream piracy.
5. 
Modern trashing.
6. There never was anything there.

I guess I'll try full transects over the non-obvious portions next.

What is really frustrating is that straight line extrapolations
suggest the two canals cross at right angles! 

Your participation welcome. Your Draganfly can be delivered
to 3860 West First Street, Thatcher AZ, 85552.

December 3, 2010 deeplink respond

Did you know that Paul McCartney had a group
before Wings?

November 20 , 2010 deeplink respond

I still do not have conclusive proof that the prehistoric
Mud Springs canal 
exists. IF it exists, it would be
one of the most significant of Mt Graham water
exploitations. Routing the highest flow rate stream
of Ash Creek "up" and over the largest and most obvious 
bajada. 

For a projected length of five miles! A case can be
made that this might have been the earliest of the
canals. Based on the entire route being visible from
its starting point. Which would vastly simplify its
engineering. 

The evidence so far: There is an obvious and 
( largely ) unarguable half mile solid chunk of the 
canal halfway along the route. It even includes
a diversionary canal stub presumably used for
flood control or mud removal.

The Jernigan Canal provides an obvious teminus
for the Mud Springs System. It too is well defined
and unambiguous, but only a quarter mile long. But
any intermediate evidence has yet to be found.
And another canal is within 800 feet but defies
any and all interconnect attempts. 

The only rational source for such a large canal
system would seem to be Ash Creek. And a
rancher has laid a PVC pipe along the route,
both proving its feasibility and raising "stole
the plans" issues. 

But once again, any early or diversionary 
evidence has yet to be found. The topography
is certainly feasible. 4WD access is rough. 
Miles are foot only.

Field mice are very much needed on this project.
email me if you have any interest. 

And your contribution of a Draganfly can be shipped
directly to 3860 West First Street, Thatcher, AZ.

November 16 , 2010 deeplink respond

Found a rather strange local cienega. One that gives
credence to the theory that there were a lot more 
springs in the area and they were a lot larger than present.

This one is strange. It has reeds and breifly flowing
water. The water does not appear bitter or warm.

There are no obvious signs of anything prehistoric,
although it is only a thousand feet from a fairly major
habitation site. Curiously, there are no signs of modern
development as well. Such as fences, traps, dams, 
or diversions. It is "just there".

An interesting question is whether the Allen Resevoir
was once part of a fairly major cienega. The Golf Course and
Cluff poinds may also have had similar origins.

November 14 , 2010 deeplink respond

Truth can certainly be stranger than fiction. As a bunch 
of Gila Valley happenings over the years can attest.

One of the most blatant scams was the McEniry Tunnel,
a scheme to tunnel all the way through Mt. Graham. 
The gold and silver could simply be scraped off the ceiling
into ore cars, greatly simplifying extraction. At the same time,
zillions of acre feet of water could be recovered, along with
great heaping bunches of electricity. Plus lots of timber. 

The entire prospectus, of course, was an outright lie. The
Grahams are precambrian intrusives with virtually zero
mineral content whatsoever. The site today is a plain old
short mining tunnel. 

BTW, all the locals have their own favorite spelling and
pronounciation of "McEniry". And love to argue about it.
I'll stick with his signature on the above prospectus. This
is also sometimes called the "Triumph Tunnel Site". 

Somewhat further west was the Spenazuma Mine, shortened
from getting "them" to "spend their mazuma". And a 
classic example of blatant salting. Today, this is on a private
ranch on which visitation is strongly discouraged.

What might or might not have been a scam was the Bear Flat
Irrigation District.
 In which artesian water was run over a 
long series of canals and lakes in what today is totally barren
and dry as a bone.

More modern is the saga of the Banana Farm scam. Which older
Thatcher residents do not want to talk about. Also, for some
strange reason, nobody but nobody in the entire Gila Valley
wants to talk about the "Golden Letter" scam whose pyramind
scheme flushed out the entire area during the 1980's.

November 8 , 2010 deeplink respond

Yesterday's canal chasing was more or less a debacle,
missing the intended locations by a few hundred feet.

We did more or less prove that the Mud Springs Bajada
route seems viable and that a rancher ran a pvc pipe 
over pretty much the same terrain in what sure looks
like "steal the plans" to me.

The premise so far: If "they" in fact were to exploit every
drop of Mt Graham water, their crown engineering jewel would 
be routing Ash Creek water "up" and "over" the Mud
Springs bajada. 

So far, there is a half mile of mid canal "proven" to well beyond 
acceptable on-ground evidence. And the Jernigan Canal
"needs" a water source that is topographically compatible.
But any linking proof remains elusive.

Meanwhile, the only feasible source for the mid canal would
in fact be Ash Creek. But, again, linking proof remains elusive.

November 2 , 2010 deeplink respond

I'm wondering what our prehistoric hanging canal explorations
can tell us about climatic reconstruction.

The evidence seems to be accumulating that ( even factoring
in our present severe drought ) things seemed wetter then.
And possibly very much so.

Ferinstance, today there is not nearly enough water in Spring
Canyon to justify any canal project. Let alone a major seven
mile long one. Hand built with stone age technology. 

And one credible explanation for an early lake in the failed
Allen Resevoir
 area could be a large cienega. To this day,
there are cienega hints there as well as both up and down
canyon. 

Specialized interpretive help is obviously needed. 

October 31, 2010 deeplink respond

The more engineering I become involved in and the more of it
I see, the more it gets down to its fundamental definition of
a sense of the fitness of things. 


The local prehistoric canals I've been exploring are so utterly 
beyond incredibly brilliant that they clearly blow away any high
tech in the Gila Valley to this day. Given the available tools
and technology. 

The reason you hang a canal on the edge of a steep sided mesa
is that this makes your slope independent of terrain! Leading to
astonishing savings in energy and the amount of material that
needs moved. 

One of their latest features to be pondered over are cutouts,
apparently used for flood control or mud removal. Of the eleven
canals of over 30 miles to date, at least three seem to include 
these cutout features.

Even more amazing, if the premise was made that their goal 
was to totally exploity every drop of mountain stream water,
an extremely conspicuous and difficult site seemed totally
absent. That site has now been found and verified. And appears
to route Ash Creek water "up " and "over" the Mud Springs

Bajada.

We are now so ridiculously far beyond world class that terms like
"second only to Phoenix" or "second only to Tucson" can
clearly be dropped. Engineering a flatland river canal is utterly
trivial compared to mesa hanging. 

Field mice are definitely needed. As are toys. Topping the toy
list is a precision MEMS altimiter and, of course, a Draganfly.

Please email me if you want to be part of the team.

October 29, 2010 deeplink respond

One of the continuing surprises of our hanging canal 
studies is how much "they" relied both on micro and 
mega topographic features. In many cases, an unusual 
and highly localized topo feature that is totally counterintuitive
plays a key role in making an entire canal system possible.

One obvious example is where the Deadman Canal
purposely crosses the narrowest and highest point on its
mesa, exactly where a three way switch can be best
used to route water to three wildly different drainages. 


Or the several instances where a canal makes a "U" turn
and purspurposely routes itself back UP canyon, contrary
to the predominate mega terrain direction.

Or many instances where "up" is really "down" along a mesa
edge. 
The wonderments continue.

October 27, 2010 deeplink respond

The optimal grade for a prehistoric canal is often
something around two percent. Or Four feet of drop
for each 200 feet of reach.

The canal will not work at all with positive slope, and might
self destruct with stronger negative slopes.

The resolution needed is much better than GPS, 
especially with low angles on the birds. And older 
sport altimeters also have limited resolution.

It turns out there is a new generation of MEMS
pressure sensors that might do the job. Such as
a THREE CENTIMETER (!) one or this
NINE CENTIMETER (!) one. Prices for the 
bare sensors themselves are in the $39 range.

Differential operation should be trivial, since you
would simply walk back to your starting point.

Finding suitable terrain would go a long way to deciding
exactly where the "missing" portion of a canal can
or cannot go.

October 25, 2010 deeplink respond

Several of the prehistoric hanging canals seem to have 
branches that do nothing but drop uncontrollably off a 
mesa edge.

A possible credible eplanation is that these are either
storm cutouts to prevent high flood damage. Or that they
are a maintainence tool to periodically remove mud
from the main canal.


The Allen canal cutout seems associated with considerable
caliche scouring. Suggesting uncontrolled flow. Another
potential use problem is that the bottom of the caliche is
only 1400 feet away from the below-dam canal continuation 
on rather unfavorable terrain.  Other uses seem unlikely. 

A newly discovered cutout on the Mud Springs canal
is remarkable similar.

October 22, 2010 deeplink respond

Just found another new mountain stream fed prehistoric 
hanging canal


It is much too early for even speculation, but it may
be five miles long, may source far up Ash Creek,
and may be the long sought delivery venue for 
the Jernigan Canal fields.

Tentative Name is the Mud Springs Bajada Canal.


We are now up to at least eleven hanging canals
with a total length approaching thirty miles! The
engineering here is orders of magnitude beyond
stunning.

Please email me if you want to help with the exploration.
You do have to be the type of hiker that brings 
along your own catclaw, just in case there is not 
enough along the route. 

Next trip leaves Sunday morning.

October 18, 2010 deeplink respond

The weekend saw many new canal discoveries.
Which, as usual, created more questions than 
they resolved.


Many deep cuts were found in the lower Marijilda
area. Which added strong credence and credibility
towards the Culibra Cut in the Allen Canal
being in fact prehistoric.
 

The mid portion of the Allen Canal was extended
nearly to the north mesa edge. But it raised a distinct 
possibility that the upper and lower reaches are
in fact two different canals.


One question is whether the Allen Resevoir received
most of its obviously high inflow from the upper
Allen canal or from once large but now defunct springs.
The watershed is simply too small and runoff free to 
offer other obvious alternatives.

Meanwhile, the upper Allen canal could in fact
end up as the missing source for Jernigan Canal
water. But link evidence to date is sorely lacking,
owing partially to sheet flood damage.

If these two canals are distinct, we might
rename the upper Allen Canal as Spring Canyon
Canal. 

More here and here.

October 9, 2010 deeplink respond

Latest GuruGram #113 is on the Allen Dam Failure Docs

Its sourcecode is found here, and additional GuruGrams here.

October 1, 2010 deeplink respond

Managed to get some very meager but apparently 
accurate info on the Allen Resevoir
. Which suggests 
to me an utterly fascinating posible relationship between
it and the ( presumed ) prehistoric Allen Canal.


Many thanks to Nicole Spence Gibson and 
Michael Johnson of the Arizona Department of 
Water Resources
 for their valuable input.

First the apparent facts: 

The dam was built by the Soil Conservation Service in 
the 1930's using labor from the PWA and possibly 
the CCC.  This was part of the "Gila Project".

In 1948, the overflow pipe became clogged and
nobody bothered to fix it. The dam failed spectacularly
twenty years later in the late 1960's after a heavy storm 
overflowed the emergency spillway .


The local rancher/farmer involved was Geral Claridge.

It is not clear why the resevoir was named for a 
different local historical clan. Use seemed to be 
mostly as a large cattle tank and for recreation,
especially duck hunting. Plus flood control.

No modern irrigation control structures seem 
associated with the dam. 


The dam held quite a bit of water most of the time, 
and even unlikely "water sking" was mentioned
as a common use. Curiously, the watershed for
the Allen Resevoir is quite dry and quite small,
being only a few square miles at most.
 There
are no obvious springs or access to Mount Graham
snowmelt or runoff. Heavy monsoon storms would
be limited to a week or two in July. 


Followed by my rank speculations: 

To me, the 
obvious cause of the dam's demise was 
neglecting to clean the overflow pipe for twenty years.
 
The investigation of the failure appears perfunctory
and cursory at best. Specific immediate causes
of the failure appears to be poorly consolidated 
materials and improper moisture control during
the dam construction. 

Plus, just possibly, a very proud gopher. 


To me, the ONLY credible water source for such a
large resevoir would have been cleaning out and
reusing the prehistoric Allen Canal! As sourced
from a Spring Canyon perennial reach.
 

The canal itself seems to have been completly covered
by the western abutment of the dam. Without any 
attempt at piping, control, or preserving flow in any
manner. Obliterated at a level significantly above
the lake bottom. 

A careful study of the canal immediately above
the dam might resolve some of these issues.
This area is fairly difficult to get to. 

A plausible explanation for the name disparity is
that a pioneer member of the Allen clan diverted
an "old ditch" to create a duck pond or stock tank.
In the same manner that the nearby Robinson Ditch
did so to the east. Long before the dam construction.
And presumably, before the Hawk Hollow tank. 

My present belief remains that the Allen Canal is
in fact prehistoric. And that its significant cut
is in fact world class. But that stronger proof is
still clearly needed.

September 27, 2010 deeplink respond

Yesterday's trip extended the Allen Canal a few hundred
feet more into the sheet flood damaged area. And, as
usual, generated more questions than it resolved.

About 12,000 feet remains to be explored in eight areas.
These include...

Tracing an obvious route from takein to
Hawk Hollow tank. 

Resolving the transition from CCC
spillway to prehistoric continuance.

Determining which direction the canal
leaves Allen mesa.

Finding the continuance south of Allen
Resevoir.

Resolving the route through the flood 
damage area. 

Finding a water source for the Jernigan
Canal.

Finding iron-clad absolute proof that the 
Culebra-like "big dig"is in fact prehistoric. 

Determining the north terminus of the
Allen Canal.

You can email me if you want to participate or add your name and email
added to our continuing interest list.

Should you decide to contribute a much needeed Draganfly, you
can ship it to 3860 West First Street, Thatcher, AZ, 85552. .


More on all this here and here.

September 26, 2010 deeplink respond

Many thanks to all of you that attended our Prehistoric
Hanging Canals of the Safford Basin
 lecture yesterday. 
The turnout was surprisingly good, considering some of the
many competing events were giving away free food.

You can email me if you want your name and email
added to our continuing interest list. "Field mice" are
definitely needed to continue mapping and exploration.

Normally, graduate students are used for field mice.
They are not at all endangered and nobody ever gets
emotionally attached to them. They are quite durable.
Surprisingly, many of them are even housebroken.

The presentation can be viewed here with its sourcecode
here. The original paper is found here with its sourcecode
here. A related Dr. Neely paper is found here, with his book
access here.

September 25, 2010 deeplink respond

Some limited info on the Allen Dam is hopefully on the
way to me.


Which is expected to reveal this is a combined SCS
and PWA project from the 1930's that failed spectacularly 
in the late 1960's. It is also expected to not be in any manner 
irrigation  related.

Supposedly, the original drawings are available in
Phoenix. But they are on parchment and not readily
made web friendly. I'll try to repost what is available
on this. Probably to our Tinaja Questing or Gila
Dayhikes libraries. 

Presumably the west abutment of the dam ran right
over the Allen Canal without any provision for access
or flow maint. Which reinforces my belief that the
Allen Canal is in fact prehistoric.

It IS expected that the prehistoric Allen Canal was usurped
as a water source. This is the only feasible water supply
consistent with long term storage. Otherwise, the watershed
in only a few square miles at most. With no obvious access
to any springs, streams, or mountain runoff. 

For obvious reasons, I am going to call the huge canal 
cut just northwest of the resovoir Culibra.
 

Although the amount of dirt moved is comparable to 
the Marijilda aquaduct, the sheer size of this project
demands that exceptional effort be made finding absolute
and unquestionable proof of its prehistoric origins.

September 23, 2010 deeplink respond

Just got an email from a friend of some Fort Thomas residents
who have some strange rock alignments on their property. Could
these be prehisstoric canals?

Sorry to disappoint, but these are almost certainly totally worthless
CCC busywork boondoggles from the 1930's that are almost ( but
not quite ) as bad as today's failed economic stimulus ripoffs. 


These are usually piled six deep in Fort Thomas. Examples are easily
found on the Black Rock road near the old dump, or on Runway 32
of Eden International Airport. Or especially on bajadas to the North.


Just in the unlikely case the find is real, have them go to Acme Mapper,
and center the cursor on their location, do a page link, and then email
me
 the result .

The usual rule is: "If it is obvious, it is CCC."
 

More here.

September 20, 2010 deeplink respond

Yesterday's trip pretty much proved that the Allen Canal
is in fact sourced by an apparently still perennial reach of 
Spring Canyon. While there might be some possible modern
rework or maint, it remains primitive and totally free of 
any concrete, rebar, or other modern constructs


But many questions remain. Especially a strong and thorough
proof that this structure is in fact world class stone age prehistoric.
Most evidence to date clearly supports this conjecture. 

Also remaining unanswered is the relation to Hawk Hollow
Tank, Allen Resevoir, Jernigan Canal, and exactly where 
this seven mile long (!) canal is in fact ultimately headed. Plus why 
there are at least four different architectural construction 
styles.
 

I'll be talking about our hanging canals in this Saturday's
Discovery Park lecture at 6:30 on September 25th.

September 16, 2010 deeplink respond

Latest GuruGram #112 is on a Hanging Canal Slideshow
Its sourcecode is found here, and additional GuruGrams here.

Some pr from my upcoming presentation,,,

================================================

PREHISTORIC "HANGING CANALS" SUBJECT OF NEXT 
SATURDAY'S DISCOVERY PARK FREE LECTURE

Some recent archaeological discoveries have revealed an astonishing 
series of prehistoric canals just South of the Safford area. These 
mountain stream fed canals have the remarkable property that 
portions are literally "hung" along the steep edges of remnant 
Quatranary bajada mesas. Some as much as ninety feet above 
their valley floor.

At least seven hanging canal systems are known. Their total 
explored length now exceeds eighteen miles. Other amazing 
features of these canals are that some include above-grade 
aquaduct portions. Others provide for elaborate switching to
route water between different drainages. And most include 
a "breakaway" feature that makes flood repair fast and simple.

The stone age technology involved seems well beyond world-class. 
Reaches of at least some of these canals still flow to this day.

Some engineering details on these hanging canals will be 
presented as a talk in the continuing fall Discovery Park lecture 
series by local author Don Lancaster. This free presentation will
begin at 6:30 PM on Saturday, September 25th in the Discovery 
Park Jupiter Room.

The lecture may be previewed at http://www.tinaja.com/glib/hangcan1.pdf
and at http://www.tinaja.com/glib/hangshow.pdf

Everyone is invited to these family-oriented talks. Students of all 
ages may qualify for extra credit. 20 inch telescope viewing and 
free planetary flight simulator rides may also be available. Discovery 
Park is located near the corner of Discovery Park Blvd. ( aka 32nd 
street ) and 20th Avenue in Safford, AZ.

For more details, contact Discovery Park Dean Paul Anger at 
(928) 428-6260 or email paul.anger@eac.edu .

September 12, 2010 deeplink respond

Acme Mapper can sometimes be a useful substitute for 
a GPS receiver. If you do not have differential GPS
available, it can even give you more accuracy!


Even at its "rural" resolution, you are looking at 200 feet
in 70 pixels, or about three feet per pixel. At the "city"
resolution, you have 20 feet in 70 pixels, or well less
than a foot. But the actual data is usually somewhat worse. 

The cross in the middle of your image will give you its
GPS location. These are easily extracted and emailed.

You can also flag various GPS locations. But note that
there is apparently a bug in which the letter sequence
of the flags may change unexpectedly.

September 8, 2010 deeplink respond

The National Inventory of Dams did approve my password
after a few days. There is no information on the Allen Reservoir
in the directory.

What is really amazing is that there is apparently ZERO
overlap in county, state, and national dam directories.

I am mildly curious: Even with "oops, it broke", how do you lose
a 500 foot long, 30 foot high dam with a lake behind it?

And hide every written document on it anyplace ever?

And instill in the locals not the slightest clue nor the least
interest that it exists? Even when you can almost throw a rock
at it from downtown? Its only a short 4WD trek from 
Thatcher International Airport


Conspiracy enthuasiasts might note that this is where they
buried the UFO's before faking the moon shot.

September 6, 2010 deeplink respond

I seem to be having an outrageously difficult time finding
anything at all about Allen Reservoir, a spectacularly failed
and quite large dirt dam two miles southwest of Thatcher.

Yeah, there's lots of web sites that lavishly praise the fishing
at a spot that has been bone dry for decades. And dozens 
more will give you the exact GPS locations.

The geneologcal historian for the Allen clan never heard of
who built it or why. The historical society president is in the
hospital. The SCS ignores completly my local and national
emails. And the national dam directory has locked me out
because they apparently think I am a terrorist intending to 
further destroy an already completely destroyed dam.

All I am really looking for is proof that a canal the dam
completely obliterated and ran over at its western abutment
is in fact prehistoric. The CCC does not seem to be involved 
as there is waay too much dirt and not the slightest trace of 
fancy rockwork. 

There is a thirty foot hole in the dam, likely caused by a
very proud gopher. I suspect the owners do not want to
own up to it, because they apparently destroyed a perfectly
good seasonal duck pond in one of the usual government
boondoggles.

I suspect the houseboat franchise may be available. 

Please email me if you can help on this .

September 4, 2010 deeplink respond

Leave it to the Military to point out to me via email
that a Epiphany is usually overwhelmingly positive,
while a "Holy Shit Momement" can be either very bad
or very good.

Some personal examples...

Way back when I was first developing our
curvetracing routines, I decided to use
Mickey Mouse as a subject. Halfway
in the development process, about 2:15
AM, I entered ONE wrong coordinate.
And Mickey instantly got an appropriate
sized and positioned erection! Sorry, but
for obvious reasons, code ( with or without )
is not available.


I witnessed a tanker rollover in Phoenix 
that created the usual movie-style fifty
foot fireball. In the length of time it took
to say "Holy Shit", the fireball blew itself
out, leaving the rest of the zillion gallons
of diesel fuel below its flashpoint. 

September 2, 2010 deeplink respond

The Central Arizona Grotto of the NSS is having a fiftieth (!)
anniversity bash. Due to a groundswill of popular demand,
I was asked for some comments. Which I'll repeat here...

==================================

I guess Bee and I have been long term CAG members since
1967 or so. We were attracted to the Grotto by an Arizona 
Highways
 story. We had done some minor caving in Bear Cave 
and elsewhere in Pennsylvania and wanted to know more about 
Arizona's Pivot Rock cave.

I was never a gonzo supercaver. That award surely should go first 
and foremost to Jerry Hassemer. Or at least to his dog Suzy. 
With such illuminaries as Ron Bridgemon, Pete Delaney, 
Bob Buecher, Dwight Hoxie, Tom Strong, and Lang Brod 
( and dozens of others ) certainly in the running.

Over the years, I was often the grotto vice president and edited 
the Cave Crawler's Gazette newsletter for three years. In those 
days, properly doing a newsletter involved an awesome amount 
of time, effort, and cost. I still hope to get these newsletters up 
on the archive of my website at http://www.tinaja.com . A classic 
cover involved the DISMAL I, a "Diet Smith" magnetic car 
levitator that really was Pete Delaney and a pair of crutches 
standing in a garbage can. Overlayed on an impressive cliff. Such 
photo edits were a lot harder before PhotoShop.

We often hosted grotto meetings, sometimes involving a "who 
turned out the lights?" drunk Saint Bernard. One of the grotto 
meetings was literally sixty five feet in the air on the Gentry 
lookout tower near Heber.

While we regularly attended CAG events even after moving first 
to Parker and then to Thatcher, my primary "loyalty" was always 
to the ARA. As I felt that outreach from the cave community was 
(and very much still remains) a crucial issue. We probably hosted 
more ARA paper regionals than anyone else, mostly at EAC or TFD.

My biggest Arizona cave "find" was the extension Jerry Hassemer 
and I made to Dum Ditty cave. I remain convinced major wet passage 
remains beyond its present terminal crawlway.

Finding virgin passage remains one of the ultimate highs of the 
caving experience. Out of state, I was involved in finding thousands 
of feet of virgin passage in California's Lilburn Cave. But this was 
largely a trivial task at the time. Bee and I also did some fuzzy 
elephant research in Natural Trap cave in Wyoming as part of a 
scientific expedition. Where I managed to blow up a cave pack 
full of spent carbide. We also played a negligibly minor role in 
Kartchner development.

My focus was often on the Redlake area. We did quite a bit of 
pumping both in Redmond and Bear Sprinhgs. I am convinced 
there is a lot of potential remaining in Bear Springs and in Hot 
Dog pit. There still is a largely unchecked lead half a mile 
northeast and above Hot Dog in a slanty entrance that just might 
lead to big time new cave. The crucial issue of the area remains 
Pishiboro heading South to the Frog Pond with Columbine's 
water source remaining an enigma. Bear Springs may remain 
the key to the puzzle.

One major effort for little return was the search for Mescal Pit. 
Dozens of trips and one regional were made to the Sombrero Butte 
area, eventually finding a minor 95 foot pit in precambrian limestore. 
A second unfound "rocks roll forever" pit, tentatively named 
"Strawberry Awful", is rumored a mile to the northwest. You can't 
get there from here. This did eventually lead to the exploration and 
mapping of El Diablo. Which remains in the most spectacular 
scenery in Arizona and involves rather challenging hiking.

I was also overly enameled of El Capitan canyon. While only 
"almost" a caving experience, it remains a "must visit" for any 
caver. The "next" El Capitan Canyon is likely to be San Carlos Falls.

There are many long term legends of Arizona caving. But four of the
more persistent are the "hall tree", "Bee and the flamethrower",
the "watermelon caper" and the "jawbone of the ass". Seems Greg 
Lazear had a hall tree he no longer wanted, so he hid it in a remote 
and secret Arizona cave. Other cavers found it and rehid it elsewhere. 
Over and over and over again. Simply referring it as "it" and carefully 
never mentioning what it was or its history. It probably has been in more 
caves than anybody and probably recirculates to this day.

Bee was in Peppersauce Cave once and kept asking "Is my lamp lit?" 
At the time her carbide light was putting out a foot long flame. Turns 
out that caving with prescription sunglasses on can be suboptimal.

Students of Dave Thayer knew he was planning a Grand Canyon river 
trip the next week, so they backpacked and preburied a watermelon, 
pineapple, crutons, a silver fingerbowl, and, of course, beer in the sand. 
Only to lose track of time and having to sleep on the Tonto Rim in garbage 
bags on the way back up. One participant who was brand new to caving did
not notice anything out of the ordinary when they handed him a watermelon 
and asked him to backpack it. The prank ended up an overwhelming success.

A jawbone of an ass was found at the bottom of the Grand Canyon and 
placed in the pack of a known volatile caver. Who was furious about finding it. 
After SIX TIMES of refinding it in his pack, he violently threw it over the 
redwall. Sure enough, it ended up back in his pack and it made it all the way 
to the rim. Requiring heroic physical effort on the prankee.

But the ultimate Arizona caving legend had to be the UAAC songbook.

As people age, their endurance and flexibility wanes. So we are more into 
papers, meetings, support, and parties these days rather than gonzo exploration. 
Some of our current projects include studying the Mount Gram Tramway
http://www.tinaja.com/glib/tramshow.pdf, compiling a directory of Gila Valley
day hikes http://www.tinaja.com/gilahike.shtml, and exploring an utterly mind 
blowing group of Safford Basin prehistoric canals. Details on the latter at
http://www.tinaja.com/glib/hangcan1.pdf .

It is important to remember that most rocks can be classified as sedentary,
ingeneous, or metaphoric. The most crucial issue facing Arizona cavers today 
is continuing test and development of the caver's wrist sundial.


And, of course, never store carbide in a nonlocking carabiner.

To paraphrase Buckaroo Banzai, no matter where you go, there you are.

August 30, 2010 deeplink respond

Found the ADOT Proposals to reroute US70 here

Again, there is not the slightest mention of any
prehistoric considerations. The proposed routings
may impact many of the hanging canals.

August 28, 2010 deeplink respond

One sure sign that you are into serious four wheeling:
When the entire windshield is blue.

August 26, 2010 deeplink respond

Found another small chunk of the Allen Canal. While 
there still are some "minor" gaps of 15,000 feet or 
so, evidence is finally preponderating that this in fact
is one entity. And quite likely is prehistoric.

Running over TEN KILOMETERS (!) from Spring Creek
to the Jernigan site. The middle half is astonishingly large. 
But mostly in "badlands" style terrain that is fairly easy to 
dig or scrape. As before, the engineering is astounding.

Age hints are accumulating. There are full size barrel
cacti growing in the wind blown fill in the canal center.
A spectacularly failed flood control dam ran right over
the canal without any regard to access. As did an
apparent CCC Hawk Hollow Tank project. Apparently
very old fencing slices through twice without concern. As
does a major and historic dirt road.

There flat out were not enough historic pioneers to take
on a task like this. And they certainly would have mentioned
it in their carefully kept famiily records. While the prehistoric
population is estimated to be near the present of 30,000. 

And it would be much easier for an early historic rancher or 
farmer to"dig out an old ditch" than it would to engineer a 
world class project from scratch in their spare time.

Proof of age and continuity remains elusive, but should be 
forthcoming
.

August 24, 2010 deeplink respond

Another factor that may help "prove" the hanging 
canals
 are in fact prehistoric: What was the Home Deopt
in Thatcher during the 1880's likely to have in stock? 


Well, mule rentals fer sure. Plus scrapers, picks, shovels,
prybars, block & tackles, wheellbarrows, cement, headgates,
and all sorts of blacksmith odds and ends.


Nothing at any of the hanging canal sites suggests any use
whatsoever of these obvious historic tools and materials.

August 20, 2010 deeplink respond

Found another large chunk of old canal. As with most
any scientific discovery, it raises more questions than it
resolves.


IF this is a continuance of the prehistoric Allen canal, it
is huge, has a different architecture, and appears well east
of where it was expected. But it IS a hanging canal.

If historic, CCC, or modern, it makes no sense at all 
( even for CCC who specialized in the utterly pointless ) 
because there is no credible water source except for the 
prehistoric Allen Canal .

The low end is somewhat closer to the Jernigan site and 
intermediate topography remains barely slope favorable.
But the befuddlement factor is clearly raised.

Much more here.

August 16, 2010 deeplink respond

Revised and updated our Prehistoric hanging Canals of the
Safford Basin.

The source and sink of the Allen Canal is taking form but
remains uncertain. It appears a CCC "steal the plans" 
rebuild/adaption of Hawk Hollow Tank straddles the original 
prehistoric canal. About 12,500 feet remain to be visited. 

The hanging part is sort of vague in that its route is less 
steep than the original canyon bottom. It is, however, very
well defined.
 And accomplishes the same tasks as a true
hanging canal route would


Turns out that nearly all of the hanging canals are newly threatened
by a proposed realignment of US 70 well south of its present
urban route. A major alignment study appears on the web, but
I cannot refind it. Apparently it was a scanned copy that does not
allow search terms. Prehistoric considerations are not even
mentioned. 

These are world class archaeologcal features that very few
seem to have the faintest clue over. A pair of poorly thought out
water tanks already ran roughshod over the Twin Boobs canal and 
trashed many grids and mulch rings. Plus a CCC project.

August 13, 2010 deeplink respond

The EAC Discovery Park lecture series is apparently going 
to continue.

I've got a Prehistoric Hanging Canals paper scheduled for
September 25th and a 365 Gila DayHikes one for November 
13th.

August 10, 2010 deeplink respond

I may have found a credible explanation for why the prehistoric
canals
 were all purposely hung on the edges of steep sided 
mesas:

Doing so gives precise control of canal slope INDEPENDENT of
terrain!!!!! 
And minimizes cuts and fills. 

Which would ( and probably does ) represent utterly brilliant
engineering. 


The gently sloping top of a mesa makes a suitable canal 
surface, while the steep sides let you precisely control the
initial slope. Taken together, these might form an unbeatable
combination for transporting water long distances.

August 8, 2010 deeplink respond

Found another hanging canal! Now up to at least eight. 

This one has been well published as the Jernigan Site.

Its a lot shorter than the others but somewhat wider.
Apparently they bought a "large" from the canal
factory instead of the usual "medium".

It also does not hang nearly as much, ending up "only"
twenty feet or so up in the air. Total length is about
a quarter mile and it is used as a "local" to link two sets
of fields. Rather than an "express" to deliver distant water. 


At one point, the cut is over a meter deep! This is the
deepest I have seen and involves a tremendous amount
of hand labor.

August 6, 2010 deeplink respond

I'm having troubles proving such is so with the prehistoric hanging
canals
. At present, the Allen Canal delivered water somewhere
to an unknown location and purpose. The Jernigan Site
obviously needs a major unknown water source.

The two are 5000 feet apart with a reasonable slope between
them. But with three intermediate stream crossings. The area 
is hard to access partly because of a locked gate on a dam and 
is patrolled 24/7 by roving bands of Gila Monsters. 

There are possible other Jernigan sources and Allen sinks.
None of these seem compelling. Sheet flooding could have
long ago complicated the picture. 

I sure could use some field mice on this project. email me
if you are available.

August 5, 2010 deeplink respond

A newsgroup poster questioned why I had to switch my
membership from the Gurus and Swamis Union local
#415 over to #204.

This had to do with the Godzilla Versus the Night Nurses
cross genre classic. Because of the restraining order
from the Tapioca Pudding Institute, the movie release had
to be pulled and reissued directly to 8-track.

July 23, 2010 deeplink respond

Found some supporting evidence that suggests the Allen
hanging canal is in fact prehistoric. Or at least "fairly old".

In three separate places, there are large barrel cacti growing
directly in the middle of the filled canal path. Considerable time
would likely be needed for the canal to fill, germination to take
place, and the cacti to grow to these large sizes.

It might be interesting to study the fill particles to try and see
whether they are wind or water borne. If wind based, this would
likely add considerably to the age of the last use.

It still is not clear where the canal is headed. Part of the area
to the north is largely alkali and more or less badlands. And
the one known habitation site is pretty much to the north and
west, with several drainages in between.

Total length of the canal seems to be approaching five or more
miles. Construction style and energy levels definitely seem
consistent with prehistoric. And the number of manhours 
involved boggles the mind.

As does the world class engineering.

July 20, 2010 deeplink respond

The sixth hanging canal is real! Haven't found the 
hanging part yet, but it seems to be over five kilometers
long (!) and its characteristics seem totally consistent with
other nearby bajada prehistoric finds.

Size is the usual meter wide by ten or twelve centimeters
deep. We can call it the Allen Canal for now. Have only
explored half a mile or so in the middle of the bajada, so
it is still  unclear where it comes from or where it goes. 

Or what its ultimate purpose was. 

Best present guess is that it sources somewhere near
Hawk Hollow Tank or Upper Central Wash and delivers 
somewhere near Allen Reservoir. Some parts may be 
barely visible on Acme Mapper. But remain unchecked. 

Sure could use some field mice to help with the
exploration. This could easily become world class.
email me if you are interested.

July 16, 2010 deeplink respond

After several years of outstanding service, Harry Swanson
has retired as director of Discovery Park.

The newly selected director is Paul Anger. His phone number is
(928) 428-6260 and his email is paul.anger@eac.edu.


It is not yet clear whether the Saturday Night free lectures 
will continue.

July 11, 2010 deeplink respond

Could there be a sixth hanging canal? Some tantalizing
hints showed up on a Acme Mapper satellite image west
of the Frey Mesa Road. Both the location and the slopes
are credible. 

It is a tad warm to run out and check this instant, and the
area is hard to access. But, if real, the hanging canal
systems would approach an astonishingly staggering
30 kilometers! This area would also seem pristine in
the sense of zero pioneer or CCC overwork as well.


Meanwhile, some minor grid and mulch ring finds North
of the Mud Springs area strongly imply a Ledford to
Lefthand occupational continuium. 

All this stuff has apparently just been sitting there for
eight centuries. And nobody seemed to notice. Piles
of rocks can hardly be subtle. 

June 30, 2010 deeplink respond

Acme Mapper has apparently now picked up the improvements
in Google Maps resolution.


Dramatic further improvements sure would help archaeological
research. Per these details.

June 19 , 2010 deeplink respond

Latest GuruGram #108 is on Prehistoric Hanging Canals of
the Safford Basin
. Its sourcecode is found here, and additional 
GuruGrams here.

More on the Gila Valley here

May 31 , 2010 deeplink respond

Some images of the Robinson hanging canal have been newly 
posted herehere, and here

Similarities to this other nearby hanging canal 
are astonishing.   

The (presumably) thirteenth century stone age engineering 
appears to be orders of magnitude beyond stunning.

May 19 , 2010 deeplink respond

The current phase of the archaeologial survey of the Safford
Bajadas with the hanging canals seems to be winding down.
It is obvious that not nearly enough time and effort is
being spent on what might prove to be a world class ( and 
in places pristine ) prehistoric find.

At least five, and possibly six, major hanging canals have
now been identified. 

The next needed steps are obviously cataloging and a high
resolution full area mapping. Done with bunches of graduate
student field mice or aerial photography.

Web images in the area do not have nearly the resolution
needed. True aerial photography is still stuck in the film
dark ages and remains ludicrously expensive. And the
Draganfly solution may have issues with image tiling and 
rectification and with vanishing forever off the edge of a mesa.

Your suggestions ( and funds ) welcome.

May 10 , 2010 deeplink respond

Managed to get up to our second local cliffhanging canal.
Which bears astonishing similarities to the others.

And likely helps define a world class stone age 
hydraulic and irrigation system technology. As many
as six (!) hanging canals can now be identified . 

These create the illusion of going UP onto mesas.
While maintaining optimal hydraulic grade. A best
guess is that long term agave crops were grown
on the mesa tops. 

In places, the hanging canals are as much as 90 feet (!)
above the surrounding terrain. Multiple "switches" seem
present to route the water to wildly different drainages.

Related canals go many dozens of miles and involve literally
tens of thousands of related "grid" and "mulch ring" structures. 
Many small above grade aquaducts ( and one major one ) seem 
associated as well. 

Some of these are proving enormously difficult to study and
verify, owing to apparently latter day rebuilds first by anglo pioneers 
and later by the CCC.

An earlier paper appears here.

Study grants, and, most especially, a Draganfly, would be
greatly appreciated. 

Some of these world class features are endangered by planned 
community development. Others remain absolutely pristine.

And literally reachable only by cowpath.

April 24, 2010 deeplink respond

One of the most infuriating hassles of local prehistoric
exploration and site surveys is that the CCC often built
useless water control structures directly on top of or
adjacent to prehistoric originals.

Separating the two is sometimes obvious, but there are
times and places where the overlap is appreciable.

Fingerprints are reputed to last 40 or more years on
undisturbed solid surfaces. I'm wondering if the bottom
sides of CCC rocks may have fingerprints while prehistoric
ones may not. 

There's bound to be a master's thesis here for somebody.
 

CSI Gila Bend to the rescue?

April 18, 2010 deeplink respond

An equally frustrating and disrupting "steal the plans"
example was the CCC. Where they repeatedly built their
own checkdams directly on top of prehistoric examples.

In general, the differences are obvious on larger
structures. But it can be infuriatingly difficult to 
decide which origin the smaller dams belong to.

CCC projects tend to be larger, longer, higher,
and more linear. They tend to be more visible
on aerial photos, Their rocks often appear to
display exceptional stone masonry workmanship.
Dams may include filled rock spillways.

Prehistoric projects tend to be less anal and much
more attuned to the land. They often will be
ill defined and incomplete. But most of all, the
prehistoric structures all have a well defined
use and strongly directed purpose. Most of the
CCC structuresf are outrightly pointless boondoggles.

CCC projects often will have rusty oil cans
associated with them. Or rebar stakes. Or concrete.
Or, in one case, Alberto's Signature. 

I just found a bunch of small dams that seem
to have both CCC and prehistoric commonality.
They sure look prehistoric, but there clearly
are a pair of larger CCC projects half a mile
upstream. 

April 17, 2010 deeplink respond

Local residents are quite adament that our hanging canals
are originals from the 1880's. They get extremely upset
with the suggestions that Granddad "stole the plans" from
preexisting 13th century prehistoric waterworks projects.

To "real" archaeologists, the evidence is quite compelling
for prehistoric origins. I'll go with Ockham's Razor on this
one and stay in the prehistoric origin camp.

Any engineering project will show evidence of the tools used.

The typical Home Depot of the 1880's would include mule
rentals, scrapers, picks, shovels, concrete, various chunks
of cast iron, and prybars. 

I'd expect 19th century projects to be wider with larger
and sloppier spoil piles. Along with at least hints of
concrete or iron. The same project done with nothing
but sharp rocks in the 13th century would likely show
a "zen like" absolute minimum disruption of the fewest
and smallest rocks and soil being moved as little as 
possible. 

This "zen solution" certainly seems to be the case to me. 

The "tops of mesas" certainly suggests agave cultivation
rather that midwestern crops brought in the 19th century.

The very point of farming on the bajada when bottom lands
are readily available also makes no 1880 sense. 

The serviced fields also seem exceptionally small and
irregular with a conspicuous lack of linear rows. 


And we do have several examples where "one half"
of a canal system was adapted to modern practices 
with concrete, piping, and iron headgates. With the
other half absolutely pristine early technology. 


More here.

April 12, 2010 deeplink respond

More greasy whistles getting squeaked: If you want to 
walk across Arizona state land, there is now a one year
minimum approval process and a $100 filing fee.

April 8, 2010 deeplink respond

I continue to be utterly fascinated by our prehistoric
hanging canal systems. Whose 1300 AD engineering 
makes the LBT look like a tinkertoy set. 

There are at least four, ( and possibly many more ) of
these enigmatic systems whose reach extended
many dozens of miles. Here's a typical example

Portions even included aquaducts that were significantly
long and well above grade. The largest known of which is
abo t four feet high and over two hundred long! 

These canals would usually start at the lowest
reliable water source in a mountain fed canyon.
And then create the illusion of going UP the
steep side of a mesa. Sometimes being as much
as 90 feet above the surrounding terrain! 

In reality, the mesa slopes were such that the
UP illusion was in fact an optimal water feeding
slope. The tops of the mesas were rather poor
and extremely rocky soils. And, after all that
trouble and effort, the water sort of "fell off" 
the point where the mesa ended. 

Often included was a simple switching system
that let the water be routed to two or three
wildly different ultimate locations. Amazingly,
two of these systems still flow to this day.
But seem to have no major current ag uses. 

Often, the areas served are of little modern
interest. Without even jeep trail access, let
alone significant ag development. 

Obvious questions, such as what crops were 
involved ( a "least objectionable" guess is agave ), 
how the water was actually used, what sort of "transit"
device was used for slope engineering, and the 
relationships between the canals and other ag 
features  ( such as grids, mulch rings, and aproned 
check dams ) that remains unclear and enigmatic.

Some of the most significant developments in
all of Southwestern Archaeology thus remain
pretty much hidden in the Gila Valley.

A preliminary paper appears here. Others are 
in process. But the entire area remains wildly
understudied and underappreciated. 

Additional champions ( and, of course, funding )
are sorely needed.

April 7, 2010 deeplink respond

I just found out that many of Arizona's stream gauges
are about to be shut down because of funding issues.

Accurate streamflow data is, of course, a key measure
of all things climatic.

Which once again seems to be the greasy whistle 
getting squeaked.

April 3, 2010 deeplink respond

Myrnick's Railroads of Arizona, volumes II 
and expecially III make for fascinating reading
and all sorts of area exploration projects.

These are hard to find and pricey, so check a
local library or museum instead.

March 4 , 2010 deeplink respond

I'm a great fan of Ockham's Razor that says "The
simpliest explanation is often both the best and the
most correct."

Curiously, the correct spelling is in fact "Ockham"
and not "Occam". And we don't know his last name.
"William of Ockham" just tells us where he lived. As 
if referring to me as "Don of Thatcher".

At any rate, I just "discovered" another local
hanging canal. It, of course, was there all the time.
Just in a place that nobody ever bothered to look.
And reachable only by cowpath.

It is astonishingly similar to a prehistoric canal
in the next canyon over that also is hung 90
feet in the air on the side of a difficult mesa.

Ockham's razor suggests strongly that this in
fact has prehistoric origins just like the other
one. There is no particular reason for anglo
pioneers to hang water works on the sides of
mesas. But if they already were there, then
"stealing the plans" may sort of make sense. 

February 27, 2010 deeplink respond

Some of the more unusual features of local ag water
works are "switches" that route irrigation water to
several different locations, canals that travel along 
the highest (!) portions of a mesa or bajada, and
pioneers who "stole the plans" and overlaid historic
projects directly over prehistoric canal routes.

All of which are "mountain stream" driven, rather
than involved with the Gila River floodplain. 

The "Robinson Ditch" is an interesting area that
meets these criteria. And its absence of roads and
presence of cliffs may lead to some hidden surprises. 

Frey mesa water can be routed to the Robinson Ditch,
to the Blue Ponds, or to Sheep Tank. The ditch itself
follows a logical but tortuous route and sometimes is
top of mesa or bajada and sometimes at the bottom.

There are hints of prehistoric ag on the satellite 
images, but these are insanely easy to confuse with
the Google Maps copy protection. 

More on similar topics here

February 25, 2010 deeplink respond

Acme Mapper and others have apparently switched to
MyTopo topo maps from accurate scans of the original
and official USGS maps. These seem "prettier" and more
uniform. And certainly display better. 

But they may lack certain details.

Ferinstance, the old jeep trail that goes the "back way"
to Mud Springs is conspicuously absent. Apparently
there is reduced detail and reduced info on many of
their "free" online maps.

Apparently their"for sale" maps may have better resolution
and more detail.

Also conspicuously absent from the web is any page that
shows the available resolution and date of topo, satellite,
or aerial photo data.

And it sure would be nice to be able to transparently overlay
topo and satellite imagry in any ratio. Five spectra channels
would also be nice, as in infrared, red, green, blue, and
ultraviolet. Along, of course with stereo capabilities


But what I really need most locally for prehistoric surveys
is plain old higher resolution. And more of it. Sadly, remote
rural areas are unlikely to have a high priority.

February 22, 2010 deeplink respond

The worst nightmare of any Southwestern Art
Gallery: A Degrazia macrame howling coyote.

In teal.

February 11, 2010 deeplink respond

Google maps really provides a mix of satellite and 
aerial photo images. In certain areas, some of thsese 
can end up with exceptional hidden resolution. In
others, lower resolutions are being upgraded. 

Such as this herd of elephants at five foot per inch
resolution! 

Here is how you can find if "secret" hidden resolution is
available: Go to your target location and raise the thermometer
all the way. If you get an error message, you already have
exceeded the available resolution for this exact area.

If not, click on the Link button, and paste into your Browser
URL bar. Near the right end of the URL listing will be a Z=18 
typically. Try replacing this with the highest Z that does not
get an error message. The elephants are at Z=23. 

Try it on Pittsburgh's Point Park. In regards to this matter, 
yinz guys can count da choppam sammiches. 

Sadly, the prehistoric areas I am locally interested in seem
stuck at 200 feet per inch. Superb aerial photography in the 
"far side of back of beyond" is likely a low priority.

February 4, 2010 deeplink respond

Did I ever tell you my CIA incompetence story?

Bee and I had recently moved to Arizona and started
making Sunday trips that more or less continue to this
day. Sometime around 1963, we decided to explore an
apparently somewhat abandoned army air force base in
Marana. With no more than the vague hope that there
might still be an open lunch restaurant there.

We were stopped by some totally clueless klutzes wearing
no identifiable uniforms and holding enormous and woefully
obsolete huge SCR536 WWII era walkie talkies. 

They obviously did not believe who we were or what we
were up to. But THEY COULD NOT STOP US BECAUSE
THEY WERE NOT THERE! As we continued, dark shadows
tracked us furtively from each and every building, again
with the obsolete walkie talkies. 

Eventually, rumors of CIA involvement in Marana became
legendary.

 

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