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December 21, 2012 deeplink respond

For years, I've been fascinated by "secret" rumors of
spectacular wet desert hiking in Arizona's Santa Maria River
area. These days, its a simple matter to do a flyover using
Acme Mapper.

Of its 30 mile or so length, the last and westernmost third
seems pretty much wide, sandy, and dry. This part goes to
Alamo Reservoir from the Las Vegas Highway and routes
throug the Arrasta Mountain Wilderness area. A feeder
area called Peoples Canyon appears to be pristine but
likely quite dry and of restricted access.

Things get much more interesting in the middle third ten
miles between the Bagdad Road and the Las Vegas highway.
The area is often perennial with a few occasional pools.
Some appear eminently swimmable.   The riparian part
tends to get scrubbed out by violent but occasional floods.
This is definitely canyon country with the river cutting
through thousands of feet of  elevation difference.

Winter or spring are probably the best visit times.

But the best part would appear to be the initial ten mile reach
from the Muleshoe Ranch to the Bagdad Road.
The ranch is
where the Santa Maria gets fed from Kirtland Creek and
others. This portion does look like it has bunches of
really spectacular desert pools and quite narrow canyon
vistas. Access would seem to be foot only.

While you are in the neighborhood, there's also opaque
apache tears, a pair of world class bridges, a warm
spring, six mile crossing, one of two remaining company
towns in Arizona, several wilderness areas and the "lost"
Zanarapolis ghost town. Which was really a tungsten mine.

No services, except for the rather unlikely Wayside Inn that
you can't get to from here. More Arizona stuff to do here.

December 19, 2012 deeplink respond

Once again expanded and updated our Gila Valley
page. We've now newly reached our initial
goal of 365 major entries.

Enough to keep you busy for at least a year.

Please email me with any additions or corrections.

December 18, 2012 deeplink respond

There's a virtually unknown "CCC Playground" somewhat
north of the Hawk Hollow tank. Here you will find many
dozens and possibly many hundreds of utterly useless
water spreader projects.

This area gives historic meaning to "shovel ready stimulus"
projects, aka "totally worthless boondoggles".

While the area is fascinating to visit, it does take some
remote bushwacking. The Allen Hanging Canal tunnels
under all of this worthless grunge and I have still been
unable to trace its exact path thru this labyrinth.

In places, the water spreaders clearly cross the original
canal route. Strongly suggesting that they are in no
way prehistoric.
They also have a "too new" and "anal"
look about them, besides having jumbled patina.

The exact canal path is somewhat limited as it has to
be of constant slope, below its entry altitude and above
its exit altitude. Besides being likely to stay east of the
wash bottom.

Hawk Hollow tank is a mile or two southwest of Thatcher
International Airport
. Which is rumored to still offer late
night DC3 service to Columbia.

Much more on similar stuff here

December 16, 2012 deeplink respond

Coronado Vinyards has switched to a wine and tapas lounge
format from their restaurant. So far, the results are superb,
but I am wondering how well the venue will long term fly in
rural Arizona.

I'm not even sure how many of the locals would even know
the difference between "tapas" and "topless". At any rate,
Coronado is located just south of the easternmost Willcox
I-10 exit.

Arizona has a surprisingly wide variety of quality wines
and vinyards. But note that the Dos Cabezas Wineworks
is nowhere near Dos Cabezas. Not by a country mile.
Or eighty six of them even.

Be sure to check out Coronado's Dolce Veritas, an upscale
sweet and bubbly white.

December 7, 2012 deeplink respond

I was cleaning out some very old files and found a printout
of The Encounter of the Long Count Keeper, which I
feel is/was the finest cave ballad of all time.

It seems newly relevent with recent interest in the Mayan calender.

December 6, 2012 deeplink respond

The Bear Springs area is a candidate for a prehistoric
hanging canal
. While I've found nothing obvious so far,
it is unlikely such a major water resource would be
ignored by canal literate people.

There is a huge but abondoned and obviously modern
canal nearby. I had this going FROM Bear Springs
to the north. However, a study by a historian has what
likely is the same canal going TO Bear Springs from
the Lowland Union Canal.

Some of the historian photos do indeed have a prehistoric
look about them.

The only little problem I have with the reverse canal
is that Bear Springs seems to be around 150 feet or so
HIGHER than the Union Canal.

The mystery deepens, but the known prehistoric
canals take precedence in resolving known issues.

November 30, 2012 deeplink respond

Believe it or not, there really is a Nothing, Arizona and a
Nowhere, Arizona. They are/were roughly 60 miles apart.

Things get somewhat confusing when Nothing sometimes
calls themselves Nowhere
, and over some minor issues,
such as no population or signs that are conspicuously absent
or long gone.

At any rate, the two would make a very interesting winter or
spring bicycle tour, almost all of which would be on pleasant
paved rural roads with little traffic. But the route has few services.

There would also be Nothing to Nowhere race potential.

Nothing has some little known features of interest
nearby, such as a vast opaque apache tears field,
a pair of world class bridges, ( AZ. #5 and #6 or #7 and
#8, depending on how you count ), seasonal swimming,
the "lost" Zannarapolis ghost town, one of two remaining AZ
company towns, six mile crossing, the Upper Burro Creek
, a top "secret" hidden wet canyon and an
interesting warm spring.

Much more on little known Arizona things to do here .

November 29, 2012 deeplink respond

The "anvil test" for camp coffee...

If the anvil sinks, it it too weak.
If the anvil floats, it is just right.
If the anvil dissolves, it is too strong.

November 28, 2012 deeplink respond

A reminder that I'll be putting on a hanging canal slide
show this Saturday December 1st at 6:30 PM in the
Jupiter Room of Discovery Park.

You can preview the free show here. Discovery Park is
located at the corner of 20th Avenue and Discovery
Park Boulevard in Safford.

November 20, 2012 deeplink respond

I'll be presenting a revised and updated talk on our prehsitoric
hanging canals Saturday December 1st at 6:30PM in the Jupiter
Room of Discovery Park.

Here is an excerpt of what may end up the Courier PR...

"Prehistoric hanging canals of the Safford Basin"
subject of Saturday's free Discovery Park Lecture

Local author and researcher Don Lancaster returns
to Discovery Park this Saturday December 1st at
6:30 PM. As part of Discovery Park's ongoing fall
lecture series.

The presentation will report on the latest updates
and rediscoveries on a stunning world class
series of Safford area mountain stream fed prehistoric
canals that are literally "hung" high on the edges of
steep sided mesas.

Over twenty hanging canals remain virtually unknown
with a total distance of at least forty miles.
The canals are believed to date from the 1350's.
Some have also seen historic adaptation and a few

still remain in active use.

The construction of a hanging canal can be
exceptionally energy efficient in that its slope
can be made largely independent of terrain. The high
side of the canal is often "free" and construction
can largely take place across rather than along the

In many places, the canals provide a strong illusion
of "water flowing uphill". In reality, most of their
slopes are at a nearly optimum downhill grade. The
evidence suggests that virtually every drop of
northeastern Mount Graham stream water was put to

While no survey tools are known to survive, "pilot
extensions" of the canals themselves were thought
to serve as water levels to establish the needed
grades. Many independent arguments verify the
prehistoric origins of these canals.

These include roads, tanks, fences, dams, and even
cemeteries that run roughshod over the canals
without access or accommodation; large Mesquite
trees and barrel cacti mid channel; uniform desert
varnish, caliche, and lichens; absence of any
apparent modern tool use; and, above all, a
purposefulness that clearly and uniquely meets
prehistoric needs. The newly updated presentation
can be previewed at Don's

< > website.
There is no charge and families are welcome.

Discovery park is located at the corner of Discovery Park
Boulevard and 20th Avenue in Safford. You can get more
info by calling Paul Anger or Jackie Madsen at
(928) 428-6260.

The slideshowcan be previewed here. And its underlying
paper here.

The slideshow will likely be repeated in late January
for the ARA, possibly on a saturday on the ASU campus.

November 11, 2012 deeplink respond

Canal 21 aka the Blue Ponds hanging canal may end
up being wishful thinking.

A field verification visit to this location has revealed
what looks a lot more like an early wagon road,
complete with broken horseshoes and an often
double spoil row.

And the obvious short canal at this location seems
to be modern, judging from its concrete diversion
section. And appears to be a simple switch to select
the upper or lower Blue Pond as a destination.

A presumed hanging portion remains unchecked
here, but it now would likely seem to be a wagon
road continuance. Closer aerial photo inspection
again suggests double spoil rows in places.
Although it is not quite clear why a wagon road
would get hung on a mesa edge.

There are some sparce tradeware shards remaining
in the area. And the location is certainly reasonable
for a major early hanging canal.

Canal 21 cannot quite be written off, but its
evidence to date seems to be diminishing.

November 5 , 2012 deeplink respond

The plot thickens till it clots. Org.

Got to the northernmost obvious portion of the Blue
Ponds canal. On closer inspection, this seems to be
an abandoned but historical build or adaption. There
is a definite concrete headgate that lets canal water
apparently be routed to the northern or southern
blue ponds. Seemingly via short wash segments.

The canal portion here seems to have somewhat
high spoil banks and a moderately deep Vee,
It also is clearly in the prehistoric hanging style.

There is a huge mesquite tree present.

There are many examples of "stole the plans"
prehistoric rebuilds. This seems to be the case here
but is by no means proven.

Flood damage makes southerly exploration difficult.
More here.

November 3 , 2012 deeplink respond

I've just about convinced myself that Canal #21 is major
and real. Getting within 300 feet of the hanging portion
sure looked promising and a major cut appears to
exist well downstream.

Current thought is that the canal sources in Frye Creek
and serviced fields presently under the southernmost
Blue Pond.

I'll likely rename this one the Blue Ponds canal after
more evidence accumulates. Much more here.

November 1 , 2012 deeplink respond

Many thanks to those of you who attended today's
BLM Brown Bag lecture on the hanging canals.

Further expansion is planned early December in
Discovery Park and at the ARA in Late January.

As usual, there's bunches of research to be done on
these world class discoveries
. Field mice are definitely
needed and your skills can be as limited as knowing
what a GPS location is, bringing along your own catclaw
on a hike ( just in case there is not enough along the route.
The word "trail", of course, is not in your vocabulary. ),
and having a reasonable offroad vehicle.

Contact me for more details.

October 30 , 2012 deeplink respond

A case can be made that "important" southewestern
archaeology sites largely evolved from wherever the
U of A's Dr. Emil Haury happened to be standing at the
time. Our own Safford Basin of the Upper Gila Valley
remained very much out of the mainstream, primarily
because its location was far away from the focus of
the major research institutions.

The deep dark secret is that there are great heaping
bunches of world class prehistoric stuff here that,
despite a few dedicated researchers, are absolutely
stunning but remain woefully underexplored, largely
uunderpublished, and underappreciated.
And that
the Safford Basin apparently played an extremely
importatnt role in much of regional prehistory.

Some of the many classes of stuff that clearly
merits additional local study includes...

October 28 , 2012 deeplink respond

I'll be doing a BLM brown bag talk on the hanging
this thursday November 1st. Here is the
announcement that purportedly will appear in the
local paper...


           November BLM Brown Bag Talk
“Prehistoric Hanging Canals of the Safford Basin”

Safford, Ariz.  As part of Bureau of Land Management
(BLM) Safford Field Office’s ongoing Brown Bag lecture
series, Thatcher author and researcher Don Lancaster
returns on Thursday, November 1, at noon.  His
presentation will report on the latest updates and
rediscoveries on a stunning world-class series of Safford
area mountain stream fed prehistoric canals that are
literally “hung” high on the edges of steep sided mesas.

There is no charge and families are welcome so bring
your own “Brown Bag” and spend your lunch hour learning
about these unique local features.  The BLM is located at
the corner of 14th Avenue and 8th Street in Safford.

Over 21 hanging canals remain virtually unknown with a
total distance of at least 40 miles.  The canals are believed
to date from the 1350s.  Some have also seen historic
adaptation and a few still remain in active use.

The construction of a hanging canal can be exceptionally
energy efficient in that its slope can be made largely independent
of terrain.  The high side of the canal is often “free” and
construction can largely take place across rather than along the

“In many places, the canals provide a strong illusion of “water
flowing uphill,” said Lancaster.   “In reality, most of their slopes
are at a nearly optimum downhill grade.”

The evidence suggests that virtually every drop of northeastern
Mount Graham stream water was put to use.  While no survey
tools are known to survive, “pilot extensions” of the canals
themselves were thought to serve as water levels to establish the
needed grades.

Many independent arguments verify the prehistoric origins of
these canals.  These include roads, tanks, fences, dams, and
even cemeteries that run roughshod over the canals without
access or accommodation; large mesquite trees and barrel cacti
mid-channel; uniform desert varnish, caliche, and lichens;
absence of any apparent modern tool use; and, above all, a
purposefulness that clearly and uniquely meets prehistoric needs.

The newly updated presentation can be previewed at
Lancaster’s website.

– BLM –

October 26, 2012 deeplink respond

Updated and expanded our Gila Valley Dayhikes library
page. The latest additions also include a major update of
the hanging canal paper and its companion slideshow, plus
a little known dayhikes slide show.

We are now only three entries short of our goal of 365
major useful listings. Please email me with any further
suggestions or corrections.

October 20, 2012 deeplink respond

I still do not have positive proof over whether "Canal 21"
is real or not. Because of rough 4WD tracks and difficult
hiking routes.

But I did manage to get within 300 feet of what sure
appears to be a typical mesa hanging portion.

I did also verify that the more western traces a few
hundred feet to the west are almost certainly a city
of Safford water line.
One of the hints is that there
are very few prehistoric canals that include chlorinator
buildings. Handmade "old style" rivited steel scrap
pipe gives additional age and use clues.

If real, #21 would be one of the more significant canals.

It would appear to originate in Frye Creek and seems
to be headed to yet unverified fields under the Blue
Ponds. Getting to Longview would seem to be a stretch.

Field mice welcome. More here.

October 14 , 2012 deeplink respond

One of the more interesting things to do with Google Earth
and the .kml custom programming language might be to
slice up an area to only show imagery between two different

Our canal research still has many unknown gaps. Usually
Ockham's Razor lets you conclude that the canal going into the
gap is the same one as the one coming out. It is also a
given that the reach in the gap can be no higher than the
input elevation and no lower than the output one.

A further reasonable assumption is that the slope in the
gap is more or less constant, and will likely be near half the
height at half the distance.

The lower slice could be opaque black, while the upper
one might be a highly transparent white.

Other potentially more nerfarious uses of altitude slicing
could be to pin down the location of a site for which you
only know the altitude and general neighborhood. The
strength and direction of the altitude gradient could
also sometimes be of help in further narrowing things down.

( BTW -- Wickipedia nothwithstanding, "Ockham"
is the correct spelling and we do not know William's
last name
. "William of Ockham" was then the equivalent
of calling me "Don of Thatcher". )

October 13, 2012 deeplink respond

A possible twenty first (!) hanging canal canidate has been
tentatively identified here...,-109.78618&z=16&t=S
&marker0=32.76937%2C109.79064%2C7.2%20km%20W%20of%20Cactus%20Flat%20AZ &marker1=32.76471%2C109.79453%2C7.5%20km%20W%20of%20Cactus%20Flat%20AZ

This has not yet been field verified, but the topography
and imagery both seem
quite favorable. It would seem
to source in Frye Canyon and deliver somewhat west
of the Longview area.

Total projected length might approach four miles.

A hanging portion is likely at the second and third
southernmost markers.

The somewhat more obvious reach roughly 500 feet
to the west is believed to be a buried City of Safford pipeline.
Presently in disuse because of a chrolinator issue.

While there are many examples of "steal the
plans" and "dig
out an old ditch" in the area, there is no compelling evidence
yet for an underlying prehistoric reach along this particular
portion of the more western pipeline route.

But the earlier "Deadman Branch" of this pipline route
further to the south was almost certainly stolen.

October 11 , 2012 deeplink respond

As we have seen, .kml is html related language addon that
can give you amazing personal control of Google Earth.

The .kml reference manual appears here and a more
detailed tutorial text here.

A hanging canal example of .kml use can be found here.

October 10 , 2012 deeplink respond

Our newly revised hanging canal slide show can be found
here. And its main paper here.

These are based on this slide sourcecode.

October 07 , 2012 deeplink respond

This older and rather crude aerial image of Pacman, Arizona
shows us some of the potential of blended satellite and topo

October 6, 2012 deeplink respond

Some interesting new Trackstick GPS loggers are now available in
USB thumb formats. There are several models wiith pricing in the
$200 range.

These continuously records location and altititude and speed
and even temperature every few seconds for many thousands
of data points.

There's a few additional features I would like to see added.
While you can post identify any location, there does not seem
to be any real time way to mark or label a particular point.

An obvious workaround is to run a hundred feet east and then
run back.

GPS altitude resolution remains basically terrible due to fundamental
geometry constraints. Adding an onboard  altimeter could very
dramatically improve this.

October 5, 2012 deeplink respond


A directory of Arizona lighthouses can be found here.

The US town with the greatest number of lighthouses is
Lake Havasu City. With further details here.

A listing of the more significant Green Valley lighthouse
consultants is found here. And the better known Avondale
lighthouses here.

And, of course, a navigation lighthouse is planned for the
Superstition Mountains.

October 02 , 2012 deeplink respond

There's a lot of hidden or little known features of Google Earth.

Ferinstance, you can use the history bar to find out when the
last resolution upgrade was made
. And you can request
notification of your favorite area updates by using this link.

There's also a time of day slider that can be used to vary
the contrast in any particular area. I've found this very
useful to reveal hidden mesa edge details in our canal studies.
The image tone is also somewhat adjustable.

Also available is a ruler that can measure exact distances in
your choice of units.

The altitude reading changes as you mouse around, and does
so apparently to much better than GPS resolution. One of
the characteristics of a canal is that it has to go downhill at
a constant and measurable slope
. Repeated checks can
separate a potential canal from a cowpath or 4WD track.

Acme Mapper also uses the Google Earth and Google Map
underlying data base. So one way to find the age of an Acme
mapper image is to bring the same area up in Google Earth
and read its date in the lower lefthand corner.

One thing I sure could use seems to remain absent in these
services. It sure would be nice to be able to variably blend
topo and images on a custom basis.

September 25, 2012 deeplink respond

Updated and expanded our Gila Valley Dayhikes page.

Some of the more unusual hikes can be found here.
And bunches of similar stuff here.

September 24, 2012 deeplink respond

The latest version of our interactive Google Earth
Hanging Canal map can be found here.

It is essentially complete but could still possibly use
some additional data points and some smoothing.

More on the hanging canals here.

September 23, 2012 deeplink respond

Here's a summary of the links to our Hanging Canal
field notes...

More on the hanging canals here with ongoing developments here.

September 21, 2012 deeplink respond

I've been planning on copublishing my hanging canal info in a
( literally ) hide bound traditional scholarly journal.

But the problem is that paper journals are now hopelessly passe.

Let's see. Acceptance of a Wesrch or equivalent online paper is
guaranteed and instant. The audience is hundreds or thousands of
times higher. Moreso if the journal is so expensive that even large
libraries cannot afford a traditional printed copy.

Online publishing costs are nearly zero. 100 percent searching and
full color is the norm
. There are no restrictions whatsoever on size or
layout. "Click to link" and "Click to expand" are givens. Revisions
are trivial. Availibility is 24/7 and potentially forever. And Google
is your friend.

Peer review can involve many more individuals and be vastly better
done. Bibliographies can largely be replaced with actual links to
real content. More detail can be provided only for only those who
really want or need it.

And best of all, the "faculty tea mafia" is no longer in control.

September 20, 2012 deeplink respond

My hanging canal paper has been expanded, updated,
and revised.

You can find it as

And its sourcecode as

This will also be GuruGram #122, and it has been uploaded to
Wesrch as well. But the Wesrch version lacks the fancy interactive
map and the clickthrough links to the field notes.

September 18, 2012 deeplink respond

The super secret insider directory of Arizona indian ruins has
long been maintained by ASM, aka the Arizona State Museum.

The basis is a gridded system, such as CC-1-37 in which the CC
is a main grid, 1 is the subgrid., and 37 is the 37th entry in that region.

Access to the data base has been tightly restricted and often outrageously
expensive. But they have recently added a new but severely limited public
access website.

All of which may be far too little and far too late. The web has absolutely
guaranteed that "secret anything" is now utterly and totally pointless.

Google Earth and Acme Mapper have made instant topos and aerial photography
available to all. And just about everybody now knows what a GPS coordinate
is and how to use one. And Geocaching is now a popular sport. As are small
recreational vehicles.

Or how about this: Most archaeological sites can now be located given only their
( usually reported ) elevation and ASM number!
Just write your own .kml routine
to strip out and plot plus or minus ten feet of elevation from the subgrid.

Then pick an elevation gradient direction and slope. Chances are that with a little
more skulduggery, the exact location can be nailed down to a very few candidates.

September 17, 2012 deeplink respond

That was fast. If you want an answer to ANY reasonable question,
try the newsgroup. Several Mac users verified
that yesterday's interactive map works just fine for them.

But it did turn out I had an extra comma at the end of the Marijilda
latlon entry in the .kml file

It also turns out that Google Earth  keeps all of your previous work
in a "Temporary Places" file. And will pile new stuff on top of the
old. Including any parsing problems or potential errors.

The workaround is to always save the important stuff anywhere BUT
the temporary places file
. And to routinely and often clear your
Google Earth cache.

September 16, 2012 deeplink respond

for some of our new Hanging Canal papers. This file works just
fine for PC users, but one Mac user ends up with a symptom of
"stuck on South America".

Does the file work for you on a Mac? It is supposed to show zoomable
and panable Safford basin prehistoric canals.

The problem could be the user's JavaScript, not waiting for a full load,
ISP issues with carriage returns versus linefeeds ( we already elimated
all of these from the coordinate data ), or my own .kml coding errors.

Note that a .kml file can be viewed in any word processor.

September 12, 2012 deeplink respond

Sincerity is everything.

Once you have that faked, all else falls in place.

September 6, 2012 deeplink respond

Free online reprints of early issues of LIFE magazine
are available here. And, while somewhat more obscure,
you can get many Desert Magazines here.

September 5, 2012 deeplink respond

Curiously, rectocranial inversion can be both acute and

August 27, 2012 deeplink respond

There's a new fly swatter from the Cayuga Manufacturing Company
thea has an extendable handle that reaches as far as twenty feet.
And thus there is no insect that can "fly above Cayuga's swatter."

August 26, 2012 deeplink respond

A .kml file executes when you send it to a browser. Or can
be viewed or edited by any word processor.  Here's some
truncaded example code...

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<kml xmlns="">
<name>Multiple Canal Example </name>
More detail here </description>
<Style id="redLineNoPoly">

A folder is a container that can hold multiple other objects

<!-- Allen Canal -->
<name>Allen Canal</name>
<description>Sources in Spring Canyon,
overrun by Allen Dam,
major Culebra Cut,
end fields unknown</description>
<coordinates> -109.83547,32.78239,0
     . . . .

<!-- Next Canal, etc...-->


August 25, 2012 deeplink respond

I'm in the process of updating our Prehistoric Hanging
Canals paper and lecture. Plus possibly generating some
new "real" papers as well.

A master resource directory can be found here. It should
be reasonably complete and up to date except that
the map still needs expansion and verification.

I hope to finish the map in a day or two.

Much more here.

August 24, 2012 deeplink respond

Drawing custom publishable maps has been ridiculously
improved and simplified by some new extensions to
Google Earth.

In particular, there ia new language called .kml that gives
all sorts of extensions to .html or .xml. These extensions
let you add bunches of custom stuff to Google Earth.

.kml stands for Keyhole Markup Language. It is basically
a few dozen commands in the usual <something>...</something>
.html format. A .kml tuturial and reference can be found via
these links. .

There is also an automated process at
Bit I found it to create far more problems than it solves and I
overwhelmingly prefer to work directly in "raw" .kml

An example ( which should dramatically improve in the next
few days ) can be found here. And its viewable code here.

One nonobvious hint: If you want several canals ( or whatever )
on your map with individual clickable ballon data, you should
bracket your selections with a case sensitive <Folder> and

The altitude data can be skipped, but you must enter
with Longitude first and Latitude second in a continuous
comma separated string.
Note that this is the opposite
sequence than that used in Acme Mapper. And that you
likely will have to change Acme's reporting format. The baloon
title and data appears in a <description>...</description>

.kml coding can be done in any old word processor.
Wordpad works just fine.

August 21 , 2012 deeplink respond

There's a spectacular series of prehistoric agricultural
north of the Gila Valley. That number in the
thousands total.

There are also grids south of the Gila Valley, but these
are far fewer and pretty much spread out. But one fairly
impressive southern collection can be found here.

More on Gila Valley prehsitory here.
More on neat Gila Valley stuff to do here.

August 19 , 2012 deeplink respond

Once again uppdated and expanded our Gila Valley Day Hikes.

We are now only five entries shy of our goal of 365 major entries.

Please email me with anything I missed or suggested improvements
or elaborations. I still have a hollow feeling I left off something really
big and glaringly obvious.

August 18 , 2012 deeplink respond

Finding Free online acces to USGS topo maps is readily available
many places on the net, with Acme Mapper being my favorite.

But finding the name of the topo map you are looking at can end
up tricky. This site gives one convenient solution.

August 16 , 2012 deeplink respond

A termite walks into a bar and asks "Is the bartender here?"

August 11 , 2012 deeplink respond

Did I ever tell you about the day I invented the frisbee?

It was at a Sunday School picnic at Rose Barn in North Park.
Sometime around 1953. Seems they had a kiddy contest that
involved sailing paper plates for a ball mitt.

The first six kids sailed their plates right side up and they
all went about seven feet plus or minus an inch or two.

I was last in line and decided to sail my plate upside down.
It almost went thirty five feet. Until the last instant when
a puff of wind caught it and blew it out of sight downhill.

Reymer's Blennd, any of yinz guys?

August 10 , 2012 deeplink respond

I finally found out what that big fan is for at the front of single 
engine aircraft. It is to chop holes in the clouds so the pilot 
can see.

A secondary purpose is to keep the pilot cool. If the fan stops,
the pilot immediately starts sweating.

August 9, 2012 deeplink respond

All you need to know about ships: The binnacle goes on
top and the barnicle goes on the bottom.

Interchanging the two is a serious breech of maritime

July 30, 2012 deeplink respond

Well, maybe one more punchline only...

"I'm a furry with a syringe on top."

July 28, 2012 deeplink respond

Continuing the rough drafts of the updates to the prehistoric hanging canals...

%%%%%%%%%% DEADMAN CANAL %%%%%%%%%%%

% Date of this update: Jul 25 2012

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% Deadman Canal map some of these GPS locations may be approximations.
% some locations are from < > . Others are
% field measurements using a Garmin eTrex 30.


USGS Topo Name:     Thatcher, AZ 7.5'
Canal Length:             6.4 kilometers or 4 miles depending on yet undertermined delivery points.
Canal Slope:               6.5 percent includes projected mesa dropoff
Nominal Size:             1 meter wide 30 cm deep
Land Ownership:       Begins in Coronado National Forest; Mostly in Arizona State Lands
Access:                      Difficult to very difficult: Mostly foot or small ATV only
Field Verified:          60 percent
Hanging Features:    Presumed high but buried by modern pipeline.
Study Confidence:    Very high but Twin East or other use areas still need resolved

Locations of interest:

N 32 44.354' W 109 48.687' Presumed Deadman Creek takein point
N 32 44.697' W 109 48.394' Pond ends modern userpment
N 32 45.079' W 109 47.660' Typical delivery reach along HIGHEST mesa elevation
N 32 45.640' W 109 46.877' Possible 3-way routing switch in unique location
N 32 45.743' W 109 44.625' Southernmost verified limit of Twin West pondment
N 32 44.098' W 109 45.737' Alternate Twin West source deemed less likely

Signifiant Features:   Significant hanging canal presumed buried by modern pipeline
                                   Canal flows year round to this day
                                  Modern adaption as city water supply and stock tanks
                                   Apparent prehistoric portion consistently along HIGHEST mesa elevations
                                   Possible three-way delivery "switch" in highly unique location
                                   Delivery fields unknown, but Twin West a credible candidate

                                  &marker0=32.76073%2C-             1   1 10      


%20Cactus%20Flat%20AZ >
shows location of possible three way switch

Present work that needs done on the Robinson Canal...

\267 Survey and map the entire canal.
\267 Verify that the hanging portion did in fact exist.
\267 Seek additional evidence of three way switching.
\267 Prove or disprove Twin West link.
\267 Seek out and study any historical records.
\267 Clarify Longview and possible other destinations.

The |jDeadman |jCanal
The Deadman canal is presumed to be a 6.4 kilometer long partial historic rebuild
and reuse of a prehistoric original. The route is well marked on the topo maps
and is believed to originate in Deadman Creek near its perannual flow limit.

The reach of the canal between < N 32 44.354' W 109 48.687' > and
< N 32 44.697' W 109 48.394' > appears to be consistent with other significant
hanging portions of nearby canals. This reach has apparently been completely
buried by a City of Safford water project pipeline. There is no present use of
this resource owing to a chloninator issue.
There is a small collection pond at < N 32 44.697' W 109 48.394' > that marks
the diversion limit of extensive modern rework. The canal continues eastward
along the HIGHEST portions of Deadman Mesa still in its apparent original
prehistoric form. This portion of the canal flows year round to this day. Some
diversions into modern cattle tanks seem to have been done. Some of these
appear to be in current disuse. No apparent use of modern tools and
techniques appear below the collection pond.
At < N 32 45.640' W 109 46.877'>, the mesa top is literally two meters wide,
with a one meter canal centered on it. It is unlikely there is any similar routing
anywhere in the entire southwest. Attribuiting this to coincidence would seem
highly improbable. At this point, diversion of the canal into three different
routes would appear easily done. Thus forming a "three way switch". One
route would lead to Porter Springs tank and a well established Longview
prehistoric habitation area. However, only very limited hints of canal
structures have been found in this area, which is characterized by numerous
apron enhanced check dams. The center diversion currently routes to an
apparently abandoned Lower Deadman Tank. Fields or prehistoric
evidence in this area have yet to be extensively studied. The eastern
diversion presently seems to route to Upper Deadman Tank and would
appear to be consistent with linking to the Twin West canal.
An alternate source deemed less likely for Twin West could be found
at < N 32 44.098' W 109 45.737' > As considearably time, energy, and
engineering obviously went into the Deadman Canal, use questions arise
if Twin West is not a credible primary destination.
Some enignmatic constructs near < N 32 45.564' W 109 45.864' > and
< N 32 46.251' W 109 45.860' > have yet to be evaluated.

( to be continued... )

) cl

July 25, 2012 deeplink respond

Well, maybe just the punch line...

The koala tea of Mercy is not strained.

July 20, 2012 deeplink respond

Continuing the rough drafts of the updates to the prehistoric hanging canals...


% Jul 18 2012

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% Riggs Complex map  some of these GPS locations may be approximations.
% some locations are from < > . Others are
% field measurements using a Garmin eTrex 30.


USGS Topo Name:        Thatcher, AZ 7.5'
Study Length:          Very short until Robinson Canal Links can be verified
System Slope:          approximately two percent
Nominal Size:          varies; one meter wide by 20 cm deep
Land Ownership:        Arizona State Lands
Access:                Rocky foot access off 4WD road
Hanging features       None apparent
Field Verified:        North end only
Study Confidence:      Low to medium

Locations of interest:

                       N 32 46.633' W 109 47.472' Typical braided water channel
                       N 32 46.699' W 109 47.399' Typical braided water channel
                       N 32 46.760' W 109 47.290' Typical braided water channel

Date of this update    July 19, 2012

Present work that needs done on the Frye Mesa constructs...

                       \267 Begin more detailed field studies.
                       \267 Determine age and purpose
                       \267 Seek Robinson Canal or similar source link

Frye |jMesa |jConstructs
There seems to be a minor assemblage of artifacts in a rocky area of Frye
Canyon just south of Riggs  Mesa that suggest braided prehistoric water
channels. Their age remains somewhat indeterminate but they would appear
to serve no obvious historic or more recent purpose. The workmanship and
quality of construction seems to be lower than most of the hanging canals in
this study. Terrain is extremely rocky Holocene valley fill.
Channels at < N 32 46.633' W 109 47.472' >, <  N 32 46.699' W 109 47.399' >,
and < N 32 46.760' W 109 47.290' > are typical. These seem to end in sudden
drops into modern wash erosion. There are also a few minor CCC water
spreader projects and several unknown age check dams in the area. No
linkup with the Robinson Canal or Frey Mesa water  further south and
upcanyon by 0.3 kilometers or 0.5 a mile has yet been determined. Terrain 
further north would appear to be largely inhospitable to either canal
construction or end use fields.
There are habitation sites 1.6 kilometers or 1 mile further north downcanyon.

( to be continued... )
) cl

July 18, 2012 deeplink respond

Continuing the rough drafts of the updates to the prehistoric hanging canals...


% Jul 15 2012

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% Frye Mesa map  some of these GPS locations may be approximations.
% some locations are from < > . Others are
% field measurements using a Garmin eTrex 30.  


USGS Topo Name:        Thatcher, AZ 7.5'
Study Length:          up to 8 kilometers or 5 miles depending on ultimate actual verified source
System Slope:          presently indeterminate
Nominal Size:          braided channels open to interpretation
Land Ownership:        Coronado National Forest and Arizona State Lands
Access:                Difficult: Rough access 4WD roads. Mostly foot only or small recreational vehicle.
Hanging features       Highly significant and possibly world class
Field Verified:        0 percent
Study Confidence:      Extremely speculative and remaining highly unproven.

Locations of interest:

                       N 32 44.768' W 109 50.282'  Base of Frye Mesa Falls
                       N 32 45.017' W 109 50.271'  Linear image feature
                       N 32 45.125' W 109 50.236'  Linear image feature suggestive of canal
                       N 32 45.196' W 109 50.257'  Possible canal continuance
                       N 32 45.316' W 109 50.104'  Beginnings of braided stream channels
                       N 32 45.336' W 109 50.026'  Channels showing possible CCC spreaders
                       N 32 45.464' W 109 49.725'  Well defined possible CCC spreader area
                       N 32 45.601' W 109 48.858'  Apparent distinctly braided channel area
                       N 32 45.605' W 109 48.686'  Potential distribution pond region
                       N 32 45.535' W 109 48.820'  Possible counterflow canal delivering UPCANYON
                       N 32 45.467' W 109 48.908'  Possible manmade water deliver channel
                       N 32 45.465' W 109 48.836'  Low slope area suggesting possible use fields
                       N 32 45.587' W 109 48.473'  Possible Robinson canal delivery channel
                       N 32 46.004' W 109 47.919'  Western limit of previous Robinson canal study

Signifiant Features:   Highly enigmatic and still undated braided water channels along the
highest portion of Frye Mesa. IF prehistoric and IF the takein point was in fact the base
of Frye Mesa falls, this would clearly be the crown jewel of the hanging canal system and
would represent utterly exceptional world class civil engineering. Somehow, this
assemblage or a non-obvious alternate apparently has to provide Robinson Canal and
possibly Riggs Complex water. Not yet field verified.

Date of this update    July 19, 2012

Present work that needs done on the Frye Mesa constructs...

                       \267 Begin extensive field studies.
                       \267 Verify which image features are or are not canals.
                       \267 Determind ages of component features.
                       \267 Attempt to map feasible canal source route.
                       \267 Define Robinson Canal water source.
                       \267 Explain the reverse flow upcanyon channel.
                       \267 Resolve Riggs Complex involvement.  

Frye |jMesa |jConstructs
A recent revision of Acme Mapper has revealed
some unique potential artifacts along the northern and upper elevations of Frye
Mesa. There is a possibility of a hanging canal system that sources the Robinson
Canal as well as some potential field regions both up and down canyon. If these
as yet largely unstudied discoveries are in fact prehistoric, the engineering
implications could well be stunning. Besides beng the "crown jewels" of the
entire regional hanging canal systems.
The fact that most of Frye mesa is lower in elevation than the constructs would
tend to exclude watershed gathering possibilities. Shuttling water "sideways"
from Spring Canyon would also appear rather unlikely. Strongly suggesting
Frye Creek itself as the Robinson Canal source. The highest feasible water
takein point would likely be at the base of Frye Mesa falls at < N 32 44.768'
W 109 50.282' >.  It is not yet clear whether any viable hanging canal route
exists, nor whether it was in fact prehistorically exploited. But there are
definite linear satellite imagery features at < N 32 45.017' W 109 50.271' >,
<  N 32 45.125' W 109 50.236' >, and < N 32 45.196' W 109 50.257'>
that suggest potential canal reaches.
A unique series of braided and presumably manmade water channels of yet
to be determined age appears to begin near the Frye Reservoir turnoff at
< N 32 45.316' W 109 50.104' > and routes to a potential gathering and
dispersal pond at < N 32 45.605' W 109 48.686' >. While intermediate
areas clearly show definite signs of CCC water spreader involvement,
these structures would appear to be later add-ons of opportunity running
across rather than along the braided channels.
The ponding area appears to split into two separate potentially prehistoric
canals. The western one at < N 32 45.535' W 109 48.820' > seems highly
unusual as it would appear to deliver water UPCANYON. This canal ends
in a deep and presumably manmade channel at <  N 32 45.467' W 109 48.908' > .
A study of the USGS topo map would reveal that Frey Canyon widens
considerably at this point while assuming a much more modest elevation slope.
Leading to the possibility of prehistoric fields in this area that could be the
reason for the unusual water delivery system direction.
A second eastern apparent delivery canal at <  N 32 45.587' W 109 48.473' >
seems to route water downcanyon in a reasonably expected manner.
And could be the water source for the Robinson Canal whose study area
extended from <   N 32 46.004' W 109 47.919 > northeastward.
An alternate water source could be in the area of Frye Mesa Reservoir.
The topography in this area was seriously compromised both during initial
construction and later rebuilding and revision. This alternate does seem
somewhat more topographically favorable, but would exclude some of the
earlier potential channels and braided delivery routes.

( to be continued... )

) cl

July 17, 2012 deeplink respond

Continuing the rough drafts of the updates to the prehistoric hanging canals...

%%%% %%%%  JERNIGAN CANAL %%%%%%%%%%%

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% jernigan map  some of these GPS locations may be approximations.
% some locations are from < > . Others are
% field measurements using a Garmin eTrex 30.

%  N 32 49.659' W 109 49.170'  Takein "headgate" off the Mud Springs Canal
%  N 32 49.751' W 109 49.132'  Well defined area just west of 4WD Track
%  N 32 49.806' W 109 49.086'  Route becomes indistinct and unknown
%  N 32 50.215' W 109 48.898'  Credible waterbar crossing of W. Layton road
%  N 32 50.364' W 109 48.850'  Possible western branch leading to aquaduct
%  N 32 50.347' W 109 48.926'  Possible aquaduct or enigmatic historic construct
%  N 32 50.410' W 109 48.763'  Well defined near recontact with Mud Springs
%  N 32 50.574' W 109 48.760'  End of easily traced area
%  N 32 50.570' W 109 48.869'  Canal resumes near possible cutout
%  N 32 50.550' W 109 48.871'  Large Mesquite Tree mid channel
%  N 32 50.528' W 109 48.884'  "U" turn at wash crossing
%  N 32 50.564' W 109 48.927'  Significant hanging and fairly deep cut
%  N 32 50.526' W 109 48.962'  French drain drop into fields,-109.81483&z=15&t=S

% Jernigan photo...

%< >


The |jJernigan |jCanal
The Jernigan canal is a western branch of the Mud Springs Canal. It
likely is 2 kilometers or 1.2 miles long  It terminates in a French Drain
cascade and routes to an apparent prehistoric field area in the vicinity of
the old Central dump and near sites previously studied as EAC field
projects   << Jim -- Need Site Numbers and Jernigan Reference?  >> .
The Jernigan Canal is characterized by sweeping "double S" curves
apparently used to maintain slope independent of terrain and is
moderately hanging near its northern terminus. A fairly deep ( 90 CM )
and fairly long ( 100 M ) cut is present near its northern extreme loop.
One seven inch Mesquite tree is present mid channel suggesting antiquity.
At one point, thet canal mid route returns remarkably close to the Mud
Springs canal, with a kilometer or more of converging dual channels
apparently purposely used to gain only a very modest elevation difference.
Two large gaps remain in the canal's exploration, possibly explained by
sheet flooding or unverified alternate routes. An associated "solid
aquaduct" like structure has yet to be age determined and remains
highly enigmatic. Significant portions of the canal remain well defined,
while other areas are only suggestive or seem to be missing entirely.
The Jernigan Canal apparently branches off the Mud Springs Canal in
a "T" structure at < N 32 49.659' W 109 49.170' >. Several smaller
rocks in the otherwise uniformly coarse Holocene valley fill soils
suggest a possible unexcavated "headgate" or similar diversionary
structure. Both canals in this area are not well defined. However,
seasonal dead wildflowers at times rather strongly reinforce this
likely routing.
The canal becomes better defined just west of the 4WD track at
< N 32 49.751' W 109 49.132'> and may even have a second parallel
channel at this point. Size is the typical one meter wide by 30 cm deep.
After crossing the track near < N 32 49.806' W 109 49.086' >, the
canal route seems to vanish entirely without a trace. Considerable
time and effort has been spent trying to find the projected missing
600 meters or 2000 feet of route without positive results.
The most credible canal crossing of the West Layton Road would
appear to be the modern waterbar at < N 32 50.215' W 109 48.898'>.
The potential route between here and < N 32 50.347' W 109 48.926' >
is rather vague but seems to be the only somewhat reasonable
"Ockham's Razor" choice.
There is a possible western canal branch at < %  N 32 50.364'
W 109 48.850' > leading to a possible partial aquaduct at
<N 32 50.347' W 109 48.926' > However, this structure is highly
enigmatic and could in fact be a historic wash crossing.
At < N 32 50.410' W 109 48.763' >, the canal is very close to
West Layton Road and amazingly near the adjacent Mud Springs
Canal. It is only slightly higher in elevation. Extreme length
measures were apparently taken to gain this exceptionally
modest height gain.
The Jernigan canal continues north in a well defined manner
and then suddenly disappears near < N 32 50.574' W 109 48.760' > .
A large "S" turn is anticipated at this point and sheet flooding is
a possible reason for the lack of on-ground evidence. There is no
obvious connection between this point and the continuing northerly
Mud Springs canal after its road crossing.
The Jernigan Canal resumes at < N 32 50.570' W 109 48.869' >.
There is a possible west trending cutout at this point dropping into the
wash. This may go to minor fields, may have been used for flow
regulation or desilting, or may not exist at all. The main canal is
well defined south of here and includes a large Mesquite tree mid
channel. Finding this portion of the canal proved quite difficult
because of a non-obvious and unexpected "U" turn when
crossing the wash from the west.
The canal makes another "U" turn in an obvious well hung
portion that includes a fairly long and deep cut at < N 32 50.564'
W 109 48.927' > It then routes northerly and drops into an apparent
French Drain type of structure that feeds some well defined apparent
prehistoric fields.
This east viewing photo  < >
shows a hanging portion of the canal just above the fields with the
tentative French Drain structure just off image to the right.

Present work that needs done on the Jernigan Canal...

   \267 Resolve the route over the two missing pieces.
   \267 Further interpret the possible headgate structure.
   \267 Verify the credibility of the modern waterbar crossing.
   \267 Determine the age and purpose of the potential aquaduct.
   \267 Core date the mid channel Mesquite Tree.
   \267 Resolve the possible cutout.
   \267 Further study the French Drain.
   \267 Investigate the fields for northern contuiance.
   \267 Study the relationship with nearby habitation structures.

( to be continued... )

) cl

July 16, 2012 deeplink respond

Continuing the rough drafts of the updates to the prehistoric hanging

%%%%%%%  ALLEN CANAL %%%%%%%%%%%

% Jul 15 2012

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% Allen Canal map  some of these GPS locations may be approximations.
% some locations are from < > . Others are
% field measurements using a Garmin eTrex 30.

% N 32 46.943' W 109 50.130'  Diversionary takein point.
% N 32 47.119' W 109 49.984'  Hawk Hollow tank overlay
% N 32 47.198' W 109 49.931'  Numerous CCC water spreaders
% N 32 47.461' W 109 49.691'  Fairly long and deep cut
% N 32 48.043' W 109 49.186'  Crossing Mud Springs Back Trail
% N 32 48.652' W 109 48.717'  Well defined mesa route
% N 32 49.732' W 109 48.094'  Presently untraced off mesa edge
% N 32 50.022' W 109 47.702'  Resumes from under Allen Reservoir
% N 32 50.133' W 109 47.870'  Exceptionally deep and long Culebra Cut
% N 32 50.133' W 109 47.870'  Northern limit of easy traceability
% N 32 50.945' W 109 48.027'  Presumed destination field area,-109.80646&z=13&t=S

Ownership: Predominately Arizona State lands
Percentage field verified: Approximatly 60. Destination remains unknown.
Slope: 4.1 percent includes mesa edge drop

% Allen Dam photos:

    < > near takein point before
Hawk Hollow Tank
    < > hanging portion just
above Culebra Cut

% Allen dam document collection:

   < >
% McEniry Scam info
   < >


The |jAllen |jCanal
The Allen canal sources from Spring Canyon and presumably delivered
water to fields under the present Layton flood control dam. It is
potentially 9.6 kilometers or 6 miles long and has an average slope of
4.1 percent. However, this  surprisingly high figure includes a
significant drop over a mesa edge. Most Allen slopes are comparable to
the other hanging canals in the series. Portions have been convered by
modern cattle tanks and failed flood control dams. There is a rather
spectacular "Culebra Cut" that is far and away the deepest and longest
known excavation in the entire hanging canal series, approximating some
two meters deep, three meters wide, and over a hunderd meters long.
There are also more modest hanging portions and less deep cuts
apparently used to maintain grade largely independently of terrain.
Almost all of the known portions of this canal lie on Arizona State
lands. Access is generally difficult and largely limited to foot or
small recreational vehicles.
This canal has apparently been historically modified to create the
seemingly misnamed Hawk Hollow cattle tank and has also seen CCC style
water spreader construction features. Two segments of the canal remain
unexplored and its ultimate destination remains presumed but unknown.
Evidence of anquitity includes the spectacularly failed SCS Allen Dam
running roughshod over the canal without any apparent accomodation
whatsoever. There are also numerous mature barrel cacti midchannel on
the mesa. Plus the fill and spoil areas show highly consistent patina,
desert varnish, lichens, and caliche.
The canal Spring Canyoun takein point is rather obvious at < N 32
46.943' W 109 50.130' > . Erosion has rendered its present use
nonfunctional. This takein point seems to correspond to a modern
seasonal stream flow limit and is near the expectecd contact between the
Precambrian Mountain Schist and the Holocene Valley Floor fill. While
the canal has obviously been diverted to meet historic needs, the
reaches themselves appear to be largely devoid of any evidence of modern
tool use.
This image near the takein shows the typical size and construction
characteristic of most portions of most of the hanging canals. The image
also exhibits a rather strong "water flows uphill" illusion\274

< < >

The Hawk Hollow tank ( which is really in the Central Wash branch of
Spring Canyon ) represents a modern adaption with obvious tool use and
European style precision coursed masonry construction in its overflow
channel. At present, the area south of the tank remains unexplored but
is expected to yield no surprises. Similarly, the area north of the tank
remains unexplored. Satellite imagry in this area reveals numerous CCC
water spreader projects. Rock cobbles in this area are generally larger
and less uniform, leading to apparently cruder canal construction. There
is also a modest hanging portion where the canal "climbs" out of a wash.
The canal tracing can be resumed further North where a rather long but
fairly shallow cut was made to retain grade.

From here northward, the canal is usually quite easily followed.

Especially near < N 32 48.652' W 109 48.717' > Typical size might be a
meter wide by 20 CM deep. There are numerous mature Barrel Cacti mid
channel, suggesting a total lack of recent use beyond the Hawk Hollow
tank. None of the mesa reach seems to show the slightest evidence of
modern tool rework.
Only scant hints of possible canal routes have been found between the
mesa edge at < N 32 49.732' W 109 48.094' > and the Allen Resorvoir at <
N 32 50.022' W 109 47.702' > to date. Leaving a definite gap yet to be
resolved. The Allen reservoir clearly ran over the canal route without
regard to any use or accomodation whatsoever. Giving yet another example
supporting the prototype canal being prehistoric. This reservoir was
built by the Soil Conservation Service in the 1930's and its overflow
was possibly intentionally blocked in the 1950's. Which resulted in its
specatcular failure two decades later.
The watershed of the Allen Reservoir is quite small and significantly
lacking in mountain runoff, major springs or artesian sources. It is
possible that the Allen Canal itself served as an early primary or
auxiliary water supply source. However, the midchannel Barrel Cacti
would seem to pose contrary evidence. There are anecdotal claims < > that the resrvoir once
supported water ski recreation.
The canal is easily traced below the dam, leading to this moderately
hanging image just above the Culebra Cut at < N 32 50.133' W 109 47.870'

< > hanging portion just
above Culebra Cut

The white channel color is likely based on caliche related dissolved
solids. The few washouts in this area seem amazingly minor.
The Culebra Cut at < N 32 50.133' W 109 47.870' > represents an amazing
commitment of manual labor and transport resources. No other hanging
canal artifact approaches its scope. In retrospect, the Culebra Cut
seems to be much larger than the rest of the Allen system and of an
architecture significantly different from the higher mesa canal areas.
Reasons for this discrepancy are not entirely clear. But there seems to
be no evidence whatsoever of any modern use of this canal reach.
The canal continues westward beyond Culebra and remains fairly easily
traced. There is a rather complex double "S" where the canal crosses the
double tracked north south fence. The canal suddenly loops northward
when it crosses Central Wash near < N 32 50.133' W 109 47.870' > . Just
north of here, the previously obvious canal track vanishes entirely.
Possibly caused by sheet flooding or major wash rework.
While the Mud Springs canal is a reasonable distance further west, the
presence of minor hillocks and a somewhat rolling terrain largely seems
to preclude any connection. Instead, the canal is presumed to continue
northward. With a logical but unverified termination in fields presently
under the modern Layton Flood Control Dam.

Present work that needs done on the Allen Canal...

    \267 Explore and map the missing segments, especially mesa to dam
    \267 Resolve the destination and terminal use disappearance.
    \267 Carefully survey the Culebra Cut.
    \267 Study the CCC water spreader interactions.
    \267 Resolve the Allen Reservoir water sources.
    \267 Further research the Allen Dam Disaster

( to be continued... )

July 12, 2012 deeplink respond

Continuing the rough drafts of the updates to the prehistoric hanging canals...

%%%%%%%  SHINGLE MILL CANAL %%%%%%%%%%%

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% Shingle Mill map  some of these GPS locations may be approximations.
% some locations are from < > . Others are
% field measurements using a Garmin eTrex 30.

%  N 32 47.327' W 109 53.401' Projected but unverified takein point.
%  N 32 47.869' W 109 52.384' Southern limit of obvious historic canal
%  N 32 48.100' W 109 52.227' Northern limit of present field verification
%  N 32 48.769' W 109 51.988' Projected field use or delivery area.,-109.86985&z=15&t=S

% There are no Shingle Mill photos at present


The |jShingle |jMill |jCanal
If the premise that virtually every drop of Northeastern Mount Graham
stream water was totally exploited by the hanging canal systems is valid,
then a prehistoric canal rather likely existed in the Shingle Mill Canyon
or Merrill Wash area. And might otherwise be conspicuous by its absence.
There is in fact a rather obvious abandoned historic canal called the
Minor Webster Ditch System present. Although of a somewhat deeper
vee construction, having evidence of modern tool use, and having an
atypical access road, a reasonable case can be made for adaption from
a prehistoric prototype. Total length would be approximately 3.2 kilometers
or 2.0 miles. While presently largely unexplored, the canal could reasonably
be expected to deliver water from the Shingle Mill and Merrill Wash
transition area to fields near the present Cluff Ranch headquarters of
Arizona Game and Fish. Approximately one-half of the historic canal is
quite obvious and easily traced and followed from the satellite images.
No hints of a canal, historic or prehistoric, have yet been found south and
west of the Mceniry Road crossing at < N 32 47.869' W 109 52.384' >.
There are, however, numerous CCC diversion structures in the immediate
area. This area is a floodplain and a case can be made for major and
possible distruptive flooding over time. A reasonable input point might
be at the transition between Shingle Mill Canyon and Merrill Wash,
perhaps at <N 32 47.327' W 109 53.401'>.
The historic canal becomes rather obvious just east of the Mceniry Road
at <N 32 47.869' W 109 52.384'> and is easily traced northward. Present
exploration ended near < N 32 47.869' W 109 52.384' >, with the canal
continuing to be readily extended northward. A modest hanging portion
of the canal can be reasonably expected further north, but has not yet
been field verified. The projected end use area was likely around
< N 32 48.769' W 109 51.988' >. Terrain in this area has been
extensively and repeatedly modified by farming activities and
more recent AGF projects.
Many thanks to historian George Hayes of Arizona Game and
Fish for his highly useful research input to this topic.

Present work that needs done on the Shingle Mill Canal...

   \267 Explore the remainder of the historic canal route.
   \267 Attempt to prove or disprove its prehistoric origins.
   \267 Try to find any canal evidence northwest of the Mceniry Road
   \267 Continue researching historians and create or locate historic documents.
   \267 Establish a more definite water takein source.
   \267 Separate CCC and historic constructions.
   \267 Determine more precise end use areas.

( to be continued... )

) cl

July 10, 2012 deeplink respond

Continuing the rough drafts of the updates to the prehistoric hanging canals...

%%%%%%%%%  ROBINSON CANAL %%%%%%%%%%%

% Jul 15 2012

/shiftin {/xposhold xpos store /xpos xpos 4 add store /txtwide txtwide 20 sub store} store
/shiftout {/xpos xposhold store /txtwide txtwide 20 add store} store



% Robinson Canal map  some of these GPS locations may be approximations.
% some locations are from < > . Others are
% field measurements using a Garmin eTrex 30.


USGS Topo Name:        Thatcher, AZ 7.5'
Canal Length:          8 kilometers or 5 miles depending on yet undertermined takein and delivery points.
Canal Slope:           3.8 percent includes mesa dropoff
Nominal Size:          1 meter wide 30 cm deep
Land Ownership:        Arizona State Lands
Access:                Difficult: Mostly foot only via dim cattle trail
Field Verified:        60 percent
Study Confidence:      Very High but Frye Mesa origins and use areas still need resolved

Locations of interest:

                       N 32 45.385' W 109 49.168'  Temporary Frye takein marker
                       N 32 45.996' W 109 47.919'  Beginning of hanging portion & initial survey
                       N 32 46.394' W 109 47.785'  Significant hanging; dead parasitic trees
                       N 32 46.775' W 109 47.762'  Level mesa top reach
                       N 32 47.297' W 109 47.494'  Catastrophic unrepaired sluffing failure
                       N 32 48.349' W 109 47.154'  Crossing of Frye to Daily track
                       N 32 48.557' W 109 46.655'  Possible destination field

Significant Features:   Long high hanging portion; strong "water flows uphill" illusion
                       mesa slumping; historic rebuilding and use; parasitic vegetation
                       possibly the longest hanging canal.
                       < >  main mesa hanging portion
                       < >  "climbing" portion with parasitic trees
                       < >  typical mesa top reach

Date of this update    July 17, 2012

Present work that needs done on the Robinson Canal...

                       \267 Survey and map the entire canal.
                       \267 Resolve the Frye Mesa takein point and initial distribution.
                       \267 Seek additional evidence of prehistoric origins.
                       \267 Determine the delivery use area.
                       \267 Seek out and study any historical records.
                       \267 Clarify the Frye/Robinson/Riggs relationships.

The |jRobinson |jCanal
The Robinson canal is presumed to be a historic rebuild and reuse of a prehistoric
original. The route is well marked on the topo maps and believed to originate in
Frye Creek near Frye Mesa Reservoir and originally deliver water to fields possibly
in the Robinson Flat area. Partial modern use apparently delivered water to the
Thorpe and Stowe stock tanks. Long dead but still extant remnants of parasitic
trees suggest fairly late continued use.
The "earlier" section of the Robinson Canal was treated separately, owing to
ongoing and complex Frye Mesa source research. Difficult access is largely by
foot only via an obscure cattle trail that passes several CCC constructs. Just
north of the Spring Canyon branch at < N 32 45.996' W 109 47.919' >, the
canal enters a significant hanging portion with a very strong "water flows uphill"

           < >

The canal appearance in the < N 32 46.394' W 109 47.785'> area is fairly
represented of similar canals in their higher hung areas\274

           < >

Once on the mesa top, appearance seems typical and as expected\274

          < >

As in the other presumed rebuilds, there seems to be no obvious evidence
of modern tool use along the main delivery reaches of this canal. Thus
supporting a "stole the plans and dug out an old ditch" premise.
A catastrophic and apparently never repaired "sluffing off" failure
occured at the mesa edge near < N 32 47.297' W 109 47.494' >
Once north of and off the mesa, more recent cattle ranch related
construction makes tracing the canal difficult. Many thanks to
Henry Schneiker and Phyllis farenga for their survey and ground truth assistance.

( to be continued... )

) cl


July 7, 2012 deeplink respond

How many mathematicians does it take to change a light bulb?

Only one. Who hands the bulb to six Califorinans. Thus
reducing the problem to a previously solved riddle.

July 3, 2012 deeplink respond

One of the favorite four paws of our local paper is to
inadvertently relate pictures with headlines. Such as
placing "Meth Dealer Gets 10 Years" next to a photo
of the president emeritus of the garden club.

In the latest incantation "Uncaught UDA's still at large" got
combined with an image of a high school honor society.

June 29, 2012 deeplink respond

Farm sibling explaining why he kept feeding raw pork
to city slickers: "Its the only trick I know, Sis."

June 19 , 2012 deeplink respond

Expanded and updated our Gila Valley Dayhikes site.
we are now only seven short of our goal of 365 major
useful entries.

Please email me with any additions or corrections.

June 14, 2012 deeplink respond

Someone asked me where "Nogales Junction" was.

This is simply that wide spot in I-10 between Marana and Vail.

June 13, 2012 deeplink respond

Continuing the rough drafts of our upcoming field guides
to the prehistoric hanging mountain canals...


A newly reexplored group of spectacularly engineered prehistoric
"hanging" mountain canals appears to exist South of and above the
Safford Basin in Arizona's upper Gila Valley.

The canals appear to be agriculturally oriented and possibly date
from the 1360's late classic era. They apparently attempted to
exploit virtually every drop of Northeast Mount Graham
perennial stream water. And apparently had more than succeeded
in doing so.

At least fifteen canals are now verified with a total distance of at
least 40 miles. Twenty canals of at least 55 miles does not
presently seem a totally unreasonable extrapolation. Each and
every preannual stream shows moderate to strong evidence of
activity. Many are remarkably and consistently
and uniformily similar.

The canal system appears to be total and complete. Because
of system completion, it apparently can be considered largely
successful. No
evidence of incomplete canals under obvious
construction are presently known.

The engineering required appears to be exceptional and world
class significant. And certainly underappreciated. Several of
the canals
flow to this day. Albeit with modern adaption and

There are also apparently solid aquaducts, headgates,
"french drains", route switching, and multiple sources
and diversions present. Some
extreme cuts are present.
The "Culebra" cut on the Allen Canal is some six feet
deep, twenty feet wide, and many hundreds of feet long.
And would clearly represent a staggering amount of hand
labor. Other fairly deep and long cuts exist elsewhere in
the complex.

Extreme measures were apparently spent in maintaining
efficient slope. Even if it meant multiple "S" curves or
building a mile or so of
parallel canal simply to gain or
lose a few feet of elevation.

A hallmark of a typical canal would be its being partially
"hung" on the edge of a steep sided mesa. Such a
"hanging" canal has the
remarkable property of its slope
being largely independent of terrain. Thus leading to extreme
energy efficiency in which most labor and
effort went across,
rather than along, the canal constructions. The amount of
hang elevation can vary from a few feet to the better part
of one hundred.

Another hallmark of the canals is the often presence of a
rather strong "water flows uphill" illusion. In reality,
most known canal
slopes remain just over a consistent one
percent range. One that appears to have been exceptionally
carefully maintained.

The hanging mountain stream canals appear to be independent
of possibly contemperaneous lowland based Gila River
canals. They would seem
to have an advantage over the larger
canals in that the hanging canals are less likely to fail
catastrophically and would be much easier
and much faster
to repair.

Many of the hanging canals were apparently adapted by
Anglo and Spanish pioneers. Involving cement lining or
adding reservoirs and cattle
tanks. A strong case can be
made that most of these adaptions seemed to be of a
"steal the plans" and "dig out an old ditch" variety.

With very little of modern tools and techniques being
applied to improve the actual pre-engineered canal
route or construction. Almost
always, only a portion
of the original canal was adapted. With other reaches
remaining largely intact and unmodified.

The canal routes appear to be exceptionally attuned
to immediately local topography. And often made
use of highly unusual grade
situations. Of particular
note is the crossover between Ash Creek and the
Mud Springs bajada.

Evidence of the canal ages can be based primarily on
their purposefullness and extreme energy efficiency.
An efficiency demanded by a
total lack of horses or
wheelbarrows or Gradealls.

Age evidence can be based supplementally on their
lack of evidence of modern tools and techniques;
the presence of mature trees, cacti,
and shrubs mid
channel; the consistent desert varnish, caliche, and
lichens; weak to nonexistent aerial photography
compared to newer
structures; a generally "vague"
or "fuzzy" appearance; dams, roads, and fences
running roughshod over the system without any
regard to
use or accomodation; significant
"missing" portions; the presumed much higher
prehistoric population compared to the pioneer;
of later day adaption; extreme
differences compared to CCC architectural
techniques and purposes; routes largely unadapted
or meeing
modern needs; lack of respect or a
pioneer preservation ethic; possible CCC fingerprint
and tool foresnics; lack of mentions in pioneer
family histories; and the exceptional measures taken
in avoiding significant cuts and fills.

No evidence of survey tools have been recovered.
A speculative case can be made that the canal under
construction itself served as a
modifiable "water level".
In which a very small and easily modifiable exploratory
canal could initially establish a desirable slope.

The majority of the canal routes lie on Arizona State
lands. Several takein sources appear to be inside
Coronado National Forest. There
is some but very
little BLM or private landholder involvement.

All but one of the canals appears to be mountain stream
fed. There is one possible exception of an artesian
sourced canal. None of the
mountain streams are particulaly
large today, with average flows in the one CFS range
being typical.

The canal takein points appear to be largely consistent
with the last modern elevation of reasonably reliable
water flow. This tends to
correspond with the contact
between Precambrian mouontain gneiss and Holocene
lowland conglomerate fill.

The canals are largely devoid of artifacts or intermediate
use along the delivery portions of their reaches. Although
there is a highly
atypical field house or "wading pool" in
direct association with the mid reach of the Mud Springs
Canal. This enigma remains under study.

As is expected, the few potsherds found in weak
association include corregated, black-on-grey, black
on white, or red slipped tradeware.
And appear to
demonstrate an exceptional trading activity between
most major Southwestern cultures. Apparently including
Mimbres, Salado, Anazazi (or ancient pueblo
peoples), and possibly Sinagua.

Tentative working renames of the canals in counterclockwise
order are P-Ranch, Ledford, Henry's, Modern, Marijilda,
Tranquility, Twin
Boobs East, Twin Boobs West, Deadman,
Longview?, Riggs Complex, Robinson, Frye Mesa Complex,
Allen, Mud Springs, Jernigan, Shingle Mill,
and Lefthand.

A case can be made that the Mud Springs canal was an
earlier prototype. There are points along this canal where
the entire route can be
simultaneously viewed.

There are many examples in which a canal "climbs" out
of a wash to "higher" ground. As before, the involved
engineering appears utterly

It would seem difficult to imagine the needed technology
and engineering being imported from elsewhere. Owing
to the unique presence of
multiple small mountain streams
in the Safford Basin area. Which possibly suggests that
the engineering and technology largely evolved in

There are many layers of complexity to the Safford Basin
prehistory. Many of which are apallingly understudied and
underreported. These
include Gila River major lowland
canals, many thousands of agricultural grids, even more
mulch rings, numerous habitation sites and field
houses, aproned check dams, extensive tradeware
decorative pottery, other apparently ag related rock
alignments, and the usual odd point,
core, or knife, It
is not yet clear what spatial and temporal interactions
took place between these and the hanging canals.


More here and here.

June 10, 2012 deeplink respond

Dragan Innovations has just introduced a new Dragonflyer X4-P
aerial drone that is cheaper, has a longer fly time, and is
better optimized to still, motion, and uv cameras.

Although it has an amazing 11 sensors including GPS, It seems to
me that the lack of a downed craft locating beacon could be a problem.
I can see one of these disappearing forever off the edge of a mesa.
With no good or obvious way of finding where it went.

Gone.  Hasta la bye bye.

Nonetheless, We sure could use one or more of these for our prehistoric
canal research.
Please deliver it to 3860 West First Street,
Thatcher, Arixona, 85552.

June 8, 2012 deeplink respond

Did you know that nearly FIFTY PERCENT of all North
Dakota school children are below average?

June 5, 2012 deeplink respond

I was susrprised that a scientific type living in east
Payson never heard of the Tonto National Forest
Seismological Observatory

It turns out the facility north of but halfway on the road
to Starr Valley is long gone
. And apparently now part of
a golf course in a slurb.

This was really a cold war facility to snoop on the evil
empire's nuke testing. Supposedly the instruments were
sensitive enough to have to compensate for a squirrel
stamping its feet.

Useful research was also done on measuring and
analyzing such things as sonic booms and surface dispersion.

The web does show some abandoned and grafittied instrument
bunkers. I'm not sure these still exist, given that the area is
now a wall-to-wall slurb.

A book on the observatory here. More on similar stuff here.

June 4, 2012 deeplink respond

Continuing the rough drafts of our upcoming field guides
to the prehistoric hanging mountain canals...


/shiftin {/xposhold xpos store /xpos xpos 4 add store /txtwide txtwide 20 sub store} store
/shiftout {/xpos xposhold store /txtwide txtwide 20 add store} store



% tranquility map some of these GPS locations may be approximations.
% some locations are from < > . Others are
% field measurements using a Garmin eTrex 30.

% N 32 45.599' W 109 43.964' Presumed artesian source
% N 32 45.599' W 109 43.964' Closest approach to Lebanon Ponding East canal
% N 32 45.599' W 109 43.964' Hanging portion in subdivision with lining
% N 32 45.881' W 109 43.769' Annes Ranch road crossing obliterates route
% N 32 45.894' W 109 43.772' Possible evidence of parallel development
% N 32 46.068' W 109 43.726' Obvious continuance on Acme Mapper
% N 32 45.599' W 109 43.964' Classic hanging canal appearance on Schmoller property
% N 32 46.445' W 109 43.678' Presumed terminance in likely field under Cook Reservoir

<,-109.72462&z=15&t=S &marker0=32.75997%2C-109.73274%2C1.7%20km%20W%20of%20Cactus%20Flat%20AZ&marker1=32.76254%2C-109.73209%2C1.7%20km%20WxNW%20of%20Cactus%20Flat%20AZ&marker2=32.76446%2C-109.72968%2C1.5%20km%20WxNW%20of%20Cactus%20Flat%20AZ&marker3=32.76490%2C-109.72954%2C1.5%20km%20WxNW%20of%20Cactus%20Flat%20AZ&marker4=32.76781%2C-109.72878%2C1.7%20km%20NW%20of%20Cactus%20Flat%20AZ&marker5=32.77051%2C-109.72826%2C1.8%20km%20NW%20of%20Cactus%20Flat%20AZ&marker6=32.77410%2C-109.72797%2C2.1%20km%20NW%20of%20Cactus%20Flat%20AZ >

% Tranquility photos...

% < > % Just South of Annes Ranch Road
% < > % Shows lining and "dead flower" indicator


The |jTranquility |jCanal
The Tranquility canal would seem somewhat atypical as it appears
to be artesian sourced, is only 1.6 kilometers or one mile long, is
"urban" subdivision located, and remains very much in need of
stronger proof of verifiable prehistoric origins.
The canal appears to start at an artesian source of N 32 45.599'
W 109 43.964'
and ends in the Cooks Reservoir of N 32 46.445'
W 109 43.678'.
Much of the canal reach lies on posted private
There remains considerable evidence of historic artesian
building/rebuilding at |/to N 32 45.599' W 109 43.964'/tx ,
mostly in the form of iron or steel pipes, headgates, and
diversionary channels. This is presently the presumed
location of a prehistoric canal takein as well. All
development appears to be presently abandoned.
Presumably because of a dropping water table.
At |/to N 32 45.599' W 109 43.964'|/tx , the Tranquility
canal comes amazingly close to the Eastern prehistoric
hanging canal feeder of the Labanon ponding area.
Approaching within 250 feet or 75 meters horizontally
and perhaps only 25 feet or a mere 8 meters vertically.
However, the Eastern Lebanon feeder is at a distinctly
higher elevation and the two appear totally unrelated.
There is a significant cliff between the two water channels.
This image just south of the Annes Ranch Road shows
a curious mix of prehistoric and historic canal features\274
< >
The channel is "hung" in the normal prehistoric manner
and appears to be of minimum energy construction. But
there also is an access trail and a thin puddled and lager
aggregrate concrete liner remarkably similar to the
Marijilda Canal historic improvements. Unlike virtually
all of the prehistoric canals, the routing goes through a
modern "urban" housing development and crosses
posted private property.
The Annes Ranch Road at |/to % N 32 45.881'
W 109 43.769'
|/tx runs roughshod over the canal,
completely oblitering it without any regard whatsoever
for continued use. The date of road construction is
presently unknown but assumed to be in the 1960's.
Just north of this point, the puddled large aggregate
concrete lining appears to be taking a parallel "short cut"\274
< >
Should this rerouting in fact be verifiable, it would
strongly support the usual "steal the plans" historic
modification  of a prehistoric origin. Note also the
"dead flowers" that seasonally tend to verify routes.
The canal becomes indistinct where it crosses West
Lebanon Road but shortly becomes obvious on Acme
Mapper further to the north. When the canal crosses
the Schmoller property yet further north at
|/to N 32 45.599' W 109 43.964'|/tx , it no longer has any
concrete lining or access trail. And very much appears
exactly like any of the other prehistoric hanging canals
in the Safford Basin system. Locals in this area even
call it "the old indian canal". This reach is quite obviously
and fairly easily explored.
The Tranquility Canal presumably ended in fields under the
Cooks Reservoir. This reservoir presently appears unused.
Tranquility Canal topics needing further investigation\274
\267 Study and map the historic artifacts at the artesian takein.
\267 Seek additional proof or disproof of prehistoric origins.
\267 Verify if a concrete liner shortcut was in fact taken.
\267 Seek local historian input.
\267 Map, videotape, and more closely document the entire route.

( to be continued... )
) cl


June 2 , 2012 deeplink respond

    As previously mentioned, improvements in Acme Mapper
    have shown some curious rock alignments on Frye Mesa
    that would appear to be prehistoric canal related.

    It is never a good idea to let speculation run rampant over
    the hard facts on the ground, but a possibility exists that
    a Frye Creek canal system is real and could represent
    yet another crown jewel of the dozens of prehistoric mountain
    stream hanging canal systems of the Safford Basin.

    Both the Robinson Canal System and the Riggs
    Complex further downstream need a water source
    and Frye Creek would seem probable. The modern
    water pipeline appears to have a totally different
    route further south and more in the canyon bottom.

    Obvious CCC involvement in the alignments would
    seem to be busywork "targets of opportunity" on
    existing structures.
    Just as with the Deadman
    prehistoric canal, the route appears to consistently
    be along the highest mesa slope. Any attempt to
    use Frye Mesa itself as a watershed would likely
    be lower and further north. Similarly, sourcing
    from Spring Canyon or even Hawk Hollow would
    appear unlikely as Frye Creek is far more obvious.

    All of which suggests the highly speculative premise
    that an incredibly sophisticated canal was prehistorically
    present between the bottom of Frey Creek Falls and the
    rock alignment structures on Frye Mesa

    Proof is presently lacking, and initial and recent rework
    of the reservoir may have masked the existence of
    such a canal. One hint of a whiff of bare fumes of a
    possibility appears here and certainly needs field

    More on the canals here and here. Field mice welcome.

May 30, 2012 deeplink respond

Probably the best instrument to "solve" the problem
of measuring prehistoric canal slopes is called a
self-levelling exterior laser level. While these cost
$400 to $1000 each, they sometimes show up for
much less at auctions. Presumably they are rentable.

These are a laser on a pendulum with a rotary motor.
They produce a rotating beam that is dead level so
long as they are minimally set up. Range of a quarter
mile is reasonably obtained. More at night.

They also should be useful to find missing portions
of a canal by noting that half the distance would
likely occur at half the elevation between the
missing ends.

And that elevations above the inlet and below
the outlet can be categorically excluded.

May 29, 2012 deeplink respond

    One reliable source for wildfire info is InciWeb.

May 27, 2012 deeplink respond

Continuing the field guide to the Mud Springs Canal.
Previous coverage appears here...


% Mud springs photos...

% < > % mid point below dam
% < > % near northern limit, showing most of route,
% < > % troll house mystery structure

A rare and curious structure that appears intimately associated
with the canal lies just South of the 4WD track crossing at
( % N 32 49.522' W 109 49.368' )\274
< > % troll house mystery structure
The structure can be variously ascribed to being a field house or a
"wading pool". It is circular, three meters in diameter, and presently
half a meter deep. Its basal elevation is apparently flush with and
one meter from the canal proper. Its purpose remains enigmatic.
Tentative name is the "troll house".
The Mud Springs canal continues eastward, just north of the
4WD track until it reaches an apparent "Tee" junction that is
possibly the inditial diversion point for the Jernigan Canal.
There are a few small rocks buried in the otherwise southern
dirt sidewall at this point that suggest a headgate structure.
"Dead Flowers" are sometimes a fairly unique but highly
seasonal marker for canal routes in this area.
After crossing a larger 4WD track to the east, there is a split
that appears to provide a short feeder to a more modern small
cattle tank. This tank has surprisingly dense brush content.
The tank's origin and actual water supply presently remains
unexplained. The Mud Springs canal tends northward and
eastward from here and remains somewhat dim and rather
small but fairly tracible for the better part of a kilometer.
In general, there are very few artifacts associated with any
of the hanging canals. But in this area, very rare and quite
sparce potsherds can occasionally be found. Although not
in direct association. These are typically late classic
tradeware, often corregated or red slipped. As is typical for
the entire Safford Basin, the varieties suggest exceptionally
strong trading patterns between the dominant Southwestern
The canal seems to totally disappear between N 32 49.826'
W 109 48.955' and N 32 50.296' W 109 48.597' Possibly
because of sheet flooding or simply looking in the wrong
place. There also seems to be a possible short canal
segment at a totally unreasonable |/to N 32 49.735'
W 109 48.932'|/tx that presently defies explanation.

Further east, the Allen canal approaches within a
kilometer but appears "blocked" by small rolling hillocks.
No evidence of a more southerly direct canal route down
Hawk Hollow has yet been found and is presently deemed
Once relocated northerly, the canal remains fairly
traceable, although a portion of it has clearly been
trashed by an offroad bike track. Things get somewhat
dim near the major east west fence but renew
themselves nicely further north. At |/to N 32 50.556'
W 109 48.631'|/tx , the canal goes into a hanging mode
and is remarkably white. Most likely owing to caliche
deposits. The canal crossing of the main West Layton
road is fairly obvious but heavily erroded. There is a
distinct ocotillo on a small slope to the east.
Curiously. the Mud Springs canal and the Jernigan
canal remain quite close together in this area. Despite
their apparent intentional separation a full two
kilometers earlier.
Near |/to N 32 50.556' W 109 48.631'|/tx , the Mud
Springs canal becomes wider and quite easily traced...
< >
Nearly the entire route of the canal can also be viewed
from this point. Patina and desert varnish here would
seem to strongly support a prehistoric canal origin.
Frustratingly, the canal seems to vanish directly to the
north. With the most likely explanation being it lying
|/to under|/tx the obvious 4WD tracks. Terrain further
north is highly disturbed, including flood control
strucutres, a cemetery, trash dumps, offroading,
and power lines. While there are no obvious field
candidates, the canal route at this point is remarkably
close to ultimately merging with lowland Gila River
based canal systems.
Considering the stupendous effort that went into
canal construction and maintenence, a well defined
and obvious purpose must surely have existed.
Mud Springs Canal topics needing further investigation\274
\267 Locate the Ash Creek takein and initial hanging portion.
\267 Locate the northern continuance past the bajada crossover.
\267 Fill in several short missing segments in the wash area.
\267 Date the ten inch Mesquite tree midstream
\267 Further study the troll house and modern tank.
\267 Resolve if a headgate is present at Jernigan turnout.
\267 Continue trying to locate the missing "black hole" portion.
\267 Find the northern limit and purpose of the canal.
\267 Videotape, photograph, and GPS log entire canal.

( to be continued... )

May 21, 2012 deeplink respond

I'm in the process of upgrading and extending the field notes on
our prehistoric hanging canal systems. I'm not sure yet whether I'll
do a new paper or update the existing ones.

But, I thought I'd put some of the rough copy here on an ongoing
basis for your comment...

%%%%% MUD SPRINGS CANAL %%%%%%%%%%%

/shiftin {/xposhold xpos store /xpos xpos 4 add store /txtwide txtwide
20 sub store} store
/shiftout {/xpos xposhold store /txtwide txtwide 20 add store} store



% mud springs map some of these GPS locations may be approximations.
% some locations are from < > . Others are
% field measurements using a Garmin eTrex 30.

% N 32 47.247' W 109 51.272' Projected Ash Creek Takin
% N 32 47.492' W 109 51.228' Crossover to Mud Springs Bajada
% N 32 48.191' W 109 50.360' Verified location - one meter width
% N 32 48.417' W 109 50.274' Possible Diversion Channel at Road Crossing
% N 32 48.793' W 109 49.969' Verified location - one meter width
% N 32 48.793' W 109 49.969' Significant hanging portion on east bank of wash
% N 32 49.098' W 109 49.887' Ten inch Mesquite tree mid channel
% N 32 49.361' W 109 49.523' Major CCC or SCS Modifications
% N 32 49.415' W 109 49.459' Flood control dam overlays without accomodation
% N 32 49.415' W 109 49.459' Location of photograph "A"
% N 32 49.522' W 109 49.368' Associated mystery structure
% N 32 49.522' W 109 49.368' Jernigan Canal possible headgate and diversion
% N 32 49.661' W 109 49.133' Possible anglo cattle tank adaption
% N 32 49.826' W 109 48.955' Untraced segment to date north of here
% N 32 50.296' W 109 48.597' Untraced segment to date south of here
% N 32 50.556' W 109 48.631' Well defined and wide moderately hanging portion
% N 32 50.556' W 109 48.631' Location of photograph "B" in well defined run
% N 32 50.556' W 109 48.631' Present north limit of reliable traceability
% N 32 51.120' W 109 48.403' Projected possible continuance
% N 32 51.612' W 109 47.841' Nearest modern lowland canal

% &marker0=32.78745%2C-109.85453%2C9.7%20km%20N%20of%20Mount%20Graham%20AZ
% &marker1=32.79153%2C-109.85380%2C10.1%20km%20N%20of%20Mount%20Graham%20AZ
% &marker2=32.80319%2C-109.83934%2C9.1%20km%20SW%20of%20Thatcher%20AZ
% &marker3=32.80694%2C-109.83790%2C8.8%20km%20WxSW%20of%20Thatcher%20AZ
% &marker4=32.81322%2C-109.83282%2C8.0%20km%20WxSW%20of%20Thatcher%20AZ
% &marker5=32.81519%2C-109.83212%2C7.8%20km%20WxSW%20of%20Thatcher%20AZ
% &marker6=32.81830%2C-109.83145%2C7.6%20km%20WxSW%20of%20Thatcher%20AZ
% &marker7=32.82268%2C-109.82539%2C6.9%20km%20WxSW%20of%20Thatcher%20AZ
% &marker8=32.82358%2C-109.82432%2C6.8%20km%20WxSW%20of%20Thatcher%20AZ
% &marker9=32.82537%2C-109.82279%2C6.6%20km%20WxSW%20of%20Thatcher%20AZ
% &marker10=32.82763%2C-109.81949%2C6.2%20km%20WxSW%20of%20Thatcher%20AZ
% &marker11=32.83079%2C-109.81541%2C5.7%20km%20WxSW%20of%20Thatcher%20AZ
% &marker12=32.83827%2C-109.80995%2C5.0%20km%20WxSW%20of%20Thatcher%20AZ
% &marker13=32.84260%2C-109.81052%2C4.9%20km%20W%20of%20Thatcher%20AZ
% &marker14=32.84595%2C-109.81143%2C4.9%20km%20W%20of%20Thatcher%20AZ
% &marker15=32.84790%2C-109.81104%2C4.9%20km%20W%20of%20Thatcher%20AZ
% &marker16=32.85200%2C-109.80672%2C4.5%20km%20W%20of%20Thatcher%20AZ
% &marker17=32.86020%2C-109.79735%2C3.8%20km%20WxNW%20of%20Thatcher%20AZ

% Mud springs photos...

% < > % mid point below dam
% < > % near northern limit, showing most of route,

The |jMud |jSprings |jCanal
The |/to Mud Springs Canal|/x appears to be the crown jewel of the prehistoric
mountain stream fed hanging canal systems. It sources in Ash Creek, crosses
over into the Mud Springs Bajada and ultimately delivers water both to the
Jernigan Canal and to apparently fulfill yet unresolved needs in the Central
Cemetery area or even within the Gila basin flatlands themselves. Total
primary canal length is projected to be 6.0 miles or 9.6 kilometers. Of which
two thirds have now been reasonably field verified.
A case can be made that Mud Springs could have been the initial or prototype
on which all of the other hanging canals were based. The reasoning being
that from location |/to N 32 |47.492' W 109 51.228'|/tx , the |/to entire length
of the canal can be viewed at once|/tx , planned, and possibly surveyed. No
other known area prehistoric hanging canal seems to permit a one point
total viewing.
The Ash Creek takin is believed to be just within the Coronado National
Forest at |/to N 32 47.247' W 109 51.272'|/tx . The takin is not yet
explored and likely has been obliterated by long term flood damage.
A significant hanging canal can be anticipated in heavy brush on the
east canyon wall between the takein and the crossover saddle.
This reach also has not yet been located. Finding the actual route
may prove difficult.
The saddle point |/to N 32 47.492' W 109 51.228|/tx at which the
canal crosses from the Ash Creek drainage to the Mud Springs
bajada watershed appears to be remarkably well chosen from
both a minimum energy expenditure and a hydraulic engineering
standpoint. The crossover also appears to be topographically
unique with no reasonable route alternative. The canal at this
point is one meter wide by 30 centimeters deep. The channel is
reasonably and uniquely defined by its rock borders but is not
exceptionally obvious here.
The 4500 foot or 1.4 kilometer reach northward between the
saddle point and the Mud Springs Corral at |/to N 32 48.191'
W 109 50.360'|/tx has not yet been located. No significant surprises
are expected. This reach is projected to be reasonably findable
over much of its length and to include minor hanging portions.
The route is presently expected to be largely along the western
periphery of the Mud Springs Bajada. A resumption of the well
defined canal is easily viewed somewhat west of the corral
access road, again at |/to N 32 48.191' W 109 50.360'|/tx and
is easily traced a significant distance to the north.
The canal crosses the Mud Springs access road at |/to N 32 48.417'
W 109 50.274'|/tx . Which, coincidentally, was the initial
rediscovery point of the Mud Springs Canal route. A west
trending side diversion channel appears to be located at this
point. Whose apparent goal may have been to dump excess
water into a nearby wash, to adjust flow, or to aid in silt control.
There are also hints of apparently not well developed grids, rock
alignments, and possible smaller and ill defined water channels
somewhat north of this point and east of the access road.
Perhaps in and around the |/to N 32 48.836' W 109 50.350'|/tx area.
From the road crossing, the canal is easily traced northward,
eventually ending up in association with some rather obvious
CCC water spreading projects. The CCC architecture is
distinctly unique and almost always is routed across, rather
than along any canal or wash channels. There are many dozens
of CCC project examples in the area.
Eventually, the canal ends up in a brushy wash bottom and
becomes difficult to trace. But somewhere near |/to N 32 48.793'
W 109 49.969'|/tx , the canal begins a rather significant,
distinctly obvious, and superbly spectacular "climb" out of
the eastern wash terrace face. The engineering involved in
this task seems most impressive. Once back "up" in the
flats, the canal becomes indistinct and difficult to trace. At
a significant east-west fence, the canal is believed to cross
a short distance west of a unique triply "rock weighted"
wire reach. Access to this point is a not overly difficult
southwesterly hike from the end-of-track flood control
barrier at |/to N 32 49.049' W 109 49.664' |/tx . Besides
the GPS locations, a useful process would be to "find
the fence" to the southwest, then "find the weights". The
significant hanging portion will then be a short distance to
the southeast.
North of the major east-west fence, the canal becomes rather
indistinct. But eventually makes a sweeping "S" turn to
maintain grade. The canal resumes obviousness and easy
tracability somewhere near |/to N 32 49.098' W 109 49.887'|/tx .
At this point, there is a ten inch or 25 centimeter diameter
mesquite tree squarely in the canal mid channel. Which
strongly suggests a possible prehistoric origin for the
canal's origin. The tree has not been cored, owing to augers
being exceptionally easily damaged by such desert hardwoods.
From the Mesquite tree, the canal is easily traced northwards
nearly to the largest flood control dam in the area at
|/to N 32 49.415' W 109 49.459'|/tx . There is a short cut nearly
a meter deep where the canal exits a ridge. The canal appears
to go through several architectural variations in this area,
owing to topography and the problem of maintaining reasonable
grade. There are also extensive and enormous CCC or SCS
side channels present near here, along with possible actual
canal rework. Whose apparent purpose was to route flood
waters into the flood control dam. These are presumed to be
modern and date from the 1930's. The canal itself seems to
route somewhat west of the 4WD access trail. The canal at
this point appears somewhat smaller than its earlier and later
reaches. And might in fact be diversionary to separate fields
with the main channel buried or modified under newer construction
and rework.
|/to The flood control dam apparently ran roughshod over the canal|/tx ,
obliterating its route under silt fill and making no apparent
accommodation whatsoever to preserving or using the canal
channel in any manner. At present, there is a major and
unrepaired blowout in the lower dam wall that precludes its
intended use. Exploration of this blowout would appear to be
extremely unsafe and is definitely not recommended.
The canal is easily traced quite a distance from the dam face
southward and eastward. It initially begins yet another hanging
wall climb "up" the north wash wall. In reality, all of the
"climb" or "water flows uphill" portions strictly maintain an
optimal |/to downward|/tx slope in the one percent range.
The sheer brilliance of using a hanging canal for extreme
energy efficiency and to force its slope to be largely
independent of terrain cannot be overemphasized.
Here is an image near the mid point of the Mud Springs Canal...

< >

This reach is somewhat atypical in that it is wider and shallower
than most portions. The SCS flood control dam dating from the
1930's can be clearly seen in the background, along with its failure
blowout. The dam crosses the canal somewhat north (right) of the
blowout. And does so without any regard or accomodation
whatsoever. Neither adding to, removing from, or preserving any
flow possibilities. Also viewable is the Mud Springs Bajada,
appearing as a large triangle "pointing" to the also visible upper
Ash Creek drainage. About three miles or 4.8 kilometers of the
canal are more or less visible.
The scope and magnitude of the hydraulic engineering can be
appreciated by noting that this is one half of one of something
like twenty hanging canals in the total system. It appears that
a consistent attampt was made to totally exploit every possible
drop of Northeastern draining Mount Graham stream water.
Note that the canal goes |/to uphill|/tx into the picture. Despite
the illusion of climbing "up" out of the wash from the base of
the dam. Such "water flows uphill" illusions are quite common
elseware in the local hanging canal systems. In reality, a
carefully controlled slope often approximating one percent is
consistently made.
Note further that mid-channel brush strongly suggests no
recent use. Note also the exceptionally uniform patina, desert
varnish, and ( sometimes ) lichen patterns. Strongly
suggesting no recent canal wall or spoil bank modifications.
At this point, the canal appears to have a moderate fill that
could be water borne silt or aeolean dust.
A rare and curious structure that appears intimately associated
with the canal lies just South of the 4WD track crossing at
( N 32 49.522' W 109 49.368' ) The structure can be variously
ascribed to being a field house or a "wading pool". It is
circular, three meters in diameter, and presently half a meter
deep. Its basal elevation is apparently flush with and one meter
from the canal proper. Its purpose remains enigmatic.

( to be continued... )
) cl

May 16 , 2012 deeplink respond

Josh Billings quote, often wrongly attributed to Mark

"I've never known an auctioneer to lie. Unless it was
absolutely convenient."

May 14 , 2012 deeplink respond

Expanded and updated our Gila Valley Dayhikes site.
we are now only nine short of our goal of 365 major
useful entries.

Please email me with any additions or corrections.

May 11, 2012 deeplink respond

I was chasing down some rumors of a local Apache Tears
field. And concluded the info was not yet good enough
for our Gila Dayhikes library. It is supposed to be south
of the San Francisco river above Cliffton. But I find it
strange that none of the "usual suspects" mention it at all.

Obsidian points and knives are quite rare in local prehistory. This
would seem unlikely if an obvious nearby field existed.

Not too long ago, I did check into the Bluebird Mine reference
in MinDat. But all I found was some exceptionally low quality
obsidian outcrops
. Awful, even.

Meanwhile, there is a web scam going on where most of the
Apache Tears being sold are really glass nodules being mass
produced in Indonesia via industrial processes.

One of the traditional best locations for smoky translucent tears
had been the perlite beds a mile SSW of the Superior Arizona airport.
But access was somewhat restricted the last time I checked.

We still have some fist sized specimens from way back when kicking
around somewhere.

There's also an extensive field of opaque tears a mile southeast of
the Burro Creek bridge, in the flat mesa just south of the highway.
Also check out sometimes excellent swimming in Burro Creek and
a nearby warm spring a
mile further west .

More on similar stuff here. The name seems vaguely familiar.

April 28, 2012 deeplink respond

Expanded and updated our Gila Valley Dayhikes site.
we are now only twelve short of our goal of 365 major
useful entries.

Please email me with any additions or corrections.

Expanded and updated our Auction Help library page.
Your own custom auction finder can be created for you
per these details. With additional auction resources here.

We've also further expanded and improved our banners.
You can view the sourcecode by using your browser's
"view source" feature.

Your own ad banner can be created for you per these details.

April 23, 2012 deeplink respond

The new high resolution imagery from Acme Mapper may
have revealed what may end up proving to be an utterly
stunning discovery: Rock alignments on a seldom explored
portion of Frye Mesa might be a rainwater gathering watershed
feeder to the Robinson prehistoric hanging canal!

Yeah, there clearly is some CCC involvement, but this may
prove to be "steal the plans" rework involving water spreading
rather than gathering. Careful study of caliche/patina /lichens
should be able to sort this all out.

The alignments seem remarkably similar to another inexplicable
well down canyon.

Field mice welcome.

April 17 , 2012 deeplink respond

"Truth is stranger than fiction" gets even more bizarre 
when you wander into Western New Mexico. 

The Brushy Mountain Radar Station is South of Mule 
Creek at the end of a secret mountain laboratory road
whose access is easily controlled. It likely started life as a 
cold war facility and presumably still sees use for drug
interdiction activity.

Little known is that it includes oversize kitchen and
dormitory facilities.
It was supposedly used as a remote
retreat by both the Kennedy and Johnson presidental
administrations. Since then it occasionally has seen such
mundane uses as BLM team building excercises.

BUT and IF you needed to stash some super secret stuff
( such as, say, some extraterrestrial aliens ), the facility is
virtually ready to go.

Even stranger is nearby Terrortown, once known as Playas.
This began as a company town for a long defunct smelter
and was bought by a New Mexico school and funded by
the Department of Homeland Security for a training
facility for counterterrorism and urban hostage situations. 

More herehere, and here.

April 16 , 2012 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.

April 15, 2012 deeplink respond

Managed to field verify that nearly ALL of these "curious
rock alignments"
  do seem to be prehistoric canals!

I'll change the name to the Riggs Complex.

Evidence includes their apparent extreme efficiency of
construction, their slope and linearity, the lack of any
concrete or rebar, the lack of hallmark CCC signatures,
a five inch mesquite growing mid channel, consistency
of cross section, and uniform caliche/pavement/lichens.

Beyond that, things get highly speculative. Frye Creek
suggests a credible water source, delivered via a branch
off the Robinson Canal. Fields associated with the canals
are rather vague and possibly demolished by heavy
area flooding.
Huge boulders are involved.

It is not at all clear whether all the canals were used at once
or in some sort of time sequence.
One alignment is wide
enough to be a pioneer wagon road, but seems to lack any
evidence of grading or mechanical assistance. Let
alone any pioneer purpose or goal.

Things are rather vague compared to the other hanging canals.

Even stranger and yet unchecked is this area. While obviously
CCC, did they "steal the plans" from an underlying
prhistoric origin? Why? Curioruser and curiourser .

Field mice welcome.

April 14, 2012 deeplink respond

I recently revisited the Crazy Horse Canyon we just added
to our Gila Valley Dayhikes.

This little known and seldom visited riparian site is remarkably
unexpected and quite impressive. It is located off the Aravapia
road across and below the telephone radio tower.

Amazingly, the tiny wet stream seems to be surviving our
long term drought. Center portions of the three mile long canyon
often include pools and narrows.

The wet parts start half a mile off road on a progressively
worsening canyon bottom jeep trail. Because of the elevation
differences, thru trips with a pick up off the Bonita road may
be the best choice.

April 12, 2012 deeplink respond

Conspiracy enthuasiasts should take great delight in this
totally inaccessible ongoing new site development.

The "official" explanation sure sounds fishy to me.

April 11, 2012 deeplink respond

One of the leading indicator species of overgrazing is ---> cows.

April 8, 2012 deeplink respond

Another reminder that I'll be presenting a free BLM "Brown Bag
talk on Little Known Gila Valley Dayhikes on April 12th
at noon.

BLM is located at 14th avenue and 8th street in Safford.

Bring your own coconut anchovy pizza.
Whose big advantage, of course,
is that you will not have to share it with anyone.

April 7, 2012 deeplink respond

One thing the new Acme Mapper Gila Valley image resolution
has made apparent: There are an unbelievable number of CCC
projects remaining in the area.
Way beyond hundreds, and
possibly in the thousands.

The overwhelming majority of which seemed to me to be totally
and utterly useless makework boondoggles. Your economic
stimulus spending in action.

Here's a dozen water spreaders as examples.

In general, a CCC project will be much larger, more linear,
and higher than a prehistoric one.
It will also be much more
distinct on an aerial photo. And often exhibits anglo
"stone masonry" skills. With railroad tracks or cables or
fencing sometimes thrown in for good measure.

Caliche, desert pavement, and  lichen demarkments tend to be
obvious and wildly out of line. Some rocks will often show signs
of wheelbarrow or truck use through their local mismatch.

Prehistoric projects will almost always be much more energy
efficient in their construction
, and will almost always have an
obvious and an overwhelmly defining purpose. Aprons are more
common on prehistoric check dams.

Prehistoric projects are also much more likely to have very old
cacti or mesquite trees mid channel and are often "run over"
by dams, roads, and old fences without any accomodation
whatsoever. There is also very strong "stole the plans" evidence
where anglo pioneers repurposed small portions of spectacular
prehistoric originals.

Much more here.

April 6 , 2012 deeplink respond

One of the stranger things to pop up out of the new Acme
resolution is a huge construction project at Blue
River Confluence.

Which is kinda weird because you literally cannot get
there from here.

Turns out this is a ten million dollar fish barrier project.
With all equipment being helicoptered in from the Juan
Miller road crossing four miles north.

Much more on the project here. And more on Gila Valley
strange wondrosities here.

April 5 , 2012 deeplink respond

The improved imagery in Acme Mapper has just found yet
another hanging canal

We might call it the Riggs Canal. Small, very steep and rather
poor workmanship. Extremely rocky terrain with huge
boulders. Area to the north is even less hospitable near the
east-west fence.

Potential length is two to three miles.

There is no obvious reason to believe this is not prehistoric,
despite the extensive CCC work in the area. I feel this
particular canal may have been incomplete or a failure.

Potential source would be an off feeder from Frey Creek
via the Robinson Canal. Its potential use is not at all
obvious and does not look ag in the least .

Also curious is that the hiking trail to the main Robinson
Canal should have crossed this canal at some point. But
such a crossing has not yet been noted.

April 4 , 2012 deeplink respond

Verifying the exact route of our Allen prehistoric hanging
below the misnamed Hawk Hollow Tank may prove
tricky because of the extensive CCC rework in the immediate
area. There are at least three dozen CCC water spreaders in the
target area!

This is over and above its fairly difficult access. Nearby portions
of the canal are interesting because they "hang" their way
"up" out of washes and include remarkably long and deep cuts.

As always, the world class prehistoric engineering boggles the mind.

The reason to hang the canals in the first place is to make their
slope independent of terrain
. For spectacular energy savings.

At present, there are several gaps in the six mile long Allen Canal
route. A short unverified stretch near the Spring Creek takein point
that is not expected to have much in the way of surprises. The
abovementioned CCC spreader area, and the crucial region between
the mesa and the dam.

Plus, of course, determining the ultimate destination and use of the
system. To date, it simply vanishes into the "Black Hole of Central"
after a well defined run.

Field mice most welcome.

April 3 , 2012 deeplink respond

For years, I've been creating what, for a better name, we might
call Lancasterisms. These are intentional but apparent
topographical errors intended to reveal a higher or greater truth.

Such as a groundswill of popular demand. Or what those French
Veternarians call a "four paw". Or being overly enameled on some
idea. Or ending up a few bricks shy of a full deck. Frosting the lily or
guilding the cake. Or not being able to hit the barn side of a broad.
Or the mythinterpretiation of something.

Or sources close to an associate of the barber of a usually reliable
spokesperson. New uses for Chebycheff Polynomials would take
the Cheby to the Leby. 
Many of the web perpetual motion schemes
and those electrolysis fantasies seem to involve electrocity.

All in one swell foop. Provided there's no oint in the flyment
An unauthorized autobiography. A jerk of all trades. The
local hysterical society. The word "gullible" is not in any
major dictionary or spell checker.

Letting the cows come home to roost. So long as they are
elected by acrimination. That little dip between the winter slump
and the spring slack period. Sort of the qualm before the scorn.
Geranium transistors.

Plays a mean eclectic guitar. Pioneers new methods of animal
husbandry. Speaks Esperanto like a native. Bruno's attitude
relateralization facillitation. Or the long lost oriental martial art
of Tai Wun Oun. Will be persecuted to the fullest exteristent of the law.
Thus reaching a new millstone.

Geologists, of course, classify rocks as sedentary, ingeneous, or
metaphoric. And New Mexico hikers might call an emergency
rain shelter a Poncho Villa. The illegal aliens in the Alabama
Grits Harvest, will, of course, be used for flavor only.

Right after the Ayatolla's Bar Mitzvah.

"I'll give you just three hours and fifty one minutes to STOP THAT!".
Norfolk & Waay is the leading eBay supplier of drop ship items.
Separating the useful adjuncts for porcine whole body cleanliness
from the total hogwash.

These are somehow related to the Yogi Berra's of others, such as
"Nobody goes there because it is too crowded", "Deja Vu all over
again", or "Let's keep the Status Quo right where it is. Or "When
you come to a fork in the road, take it".

Or Ed Abbey's classic "Androgynous Ammonia". Which might
even involve an engendered species.

I have a hollow feeling I've lost some of the better ones of these
somewhere along the way. As you go through some of my older
books and stories, please report any that may be missing in

Because Opporknockity tunes but once.

March 29 , 2012 deeplink respond

My favorite definition of engineering remains the somewhat
ancient "a sense of the fitness of things".

March 28 , 2012 deeplink respond

Our first new Acme Mapper discovery: The Robinson
seems to head much higher and much earlier than
we suspected
. Per this as yet unverified takein and this as
yet unchecked run.

But this needs carefully field checked. It could instead be the
more modern Frey Mesa pipeline. Which sees no current
use because of a noncompliant chlorinator.

The image "obviousness" makes it highly suspect.

Much more on our stunning prehistoric hanging canals here.

March 27 , 2012 deeplink respond

Both Google Maps and Acme Mapper seem to have dramatically
improved the recency and the resolution of their Gila Valley Images.
Both seem to be using the same imagery data base.

Google is better for street views and driving instructions. Acme
is better for topo map options and GPS locations.

In particular, check out the CCC Camp, the Grids, the water
, and the UFO fish fillets.

One thing that is newly apparent: There are an utterly astounding
number of CCC water spreaders
. Many, many hundreds, and possibly
many thousands. All of which seem an utterly pointless ecomonic
stimulus boondoggle to me.

More on the UFO fish fillets here.
These were really a way for young
Texas men to get their first pair of shoes.

March 26, 2012 deeplink respond

I've long been fascinated by the "Potholes Country" and
"Cave Canyon" place names north of Mule Creek just
over the New Mexico line.

This geoligical paper sheds some light on what is there.
Apparently the rhyolite base excludes anything serious
in the way of caves. But the geology seems fascinating
none the less.

Another enigmatic "pothole" appears here. Very close to
the Montez toll road. I've made several trips but found
nothing. Part of the problem is that the term itself can
have many different meanings.

March 22, 2012 deeplink respond

Yes, these may be on the final...

1.  To what extent can the hanging canals and the
     grids represent a technocracy?

2. The hanging canal takeins seem precisely located
    exactly where the modern streams go underground.
    What can this reveal about climatic reconstruction?

March 13 , 2012 deeplink respond

Because of a filename mixup, the gramtram.pdf sourcecode
apparently has been 404'ing and may be lost.

Some newer and partially recoverable figures sourcecode
is now available here.

March 12 , 2012 deeplink respond

Truth in advertising: Hester Prynne was really a C-.

March 1 , 2012 deeplink respond

The Barbie Index is a new method of measuring math
understanding and competence.

Ferinstance, an individual with a BI of 0.7 would have
seventy percent of the math capabilities of a Barbie doll.

More math stuff here.

February 28, 2012 deeplink respond

Managed to find a few hundred more feet of the Allen Canal...,-109.82914&z=19&t=S

The new area is well defined, with cut depths approaching
one meter. The area is slightly "hung" where it gently
"climbs" downhill out of a wash. The wall rocks are unusually
large, owing to the immediately available materials. There is
one ten inch Mesquite tree almost in midstream.

Several reaches of the Allen Canal remain undiscovered and
unexplored. There is a short reach between the takin and
the misnamed Hawk Hollow Tank and a few hundred
feet between the tank and the current find. The point at
which the canal leaves the mesa top for the dam
remains a mystery.

Below the dam is the spectacular and world class "Culebra"
cut. A quarter mile further, the canal suddently turns south
and becomes well defined for a few hundred feet, and then
vanishes without a trace into the Black Hole of Central.

Field mice and funding welcome.

February 23, 2012 deeplink respond

Expanded and updated our Gila Valley Day Hikes.

We are now only twenty shy of our goal of 365
major recommended entries. 

Please email me with anything I may have missed.

February 18, 2012 deeplink respond

Well, it literally took many dozens of trips to do so, but
I think I've managed to minimize part of the black hole of
central that was puzzling our prehistoric hanging canals.

The latest section is only 200 feet long and well east of
where it was expected. But it remains exceptionally well defined
with obvious walls and wide, smooth grading.

There's still some 2000 feet still missing, and there is what
seems like an "almost" canal segment well south of
where it could reasonably be expecte
d. And the adjacent
Allen Canal seems to "poof gone" vanish without a trace.

Field mice and funding are most certainly welcome to
explore this mind boggling unique thirteenth century
engineering extravaganza. email me for your support.

February 14, 2012 deeplink respond

Welcome to hell. Here is your accordian.

February 5, 2012 deeplink respond

Finally managed to verify the slope of the eastern feeder
to the Twin Boobs Hanging Canal ponding area.

It is in fact a feeder, delivering water "counterclockwise"
to the north and east. A typial slope is one percent, or
three feet in three hundred.

Measurement was made by a tripod mounted automatic
level. An automatic level is similar to a Dumpy Level
except that it has a "floating" gravity sensitive pendulum
in the optic path. Which means if you get near level, it
makes you truly level.

Kiddies, this is a whole new ball game. We now appear to
have a ponding area that receives water from two sources,
possibly Marijilda and Deadman. As far as I know, there
are no other instances anywhere of such a structure, let
alone in the prehistoric Southwest.

The engineering and the social structure involved boggles
the mind.

February 2, 2012 deeplink respond

I remain extremely impressed with the new Garmin
eTrex -30 handheld GPS navigator. It is particularly useful
for looping a hiking return path or for refinding an obscure
location. Such as your vehicle in heavy brush.

The unit combines GPS and Glonas, with an accuracy
that sometimes approaches six or seven feet.  Sensitivity
is good enough that it works in some inside loctions.
As a $100 option, four states worth of topo maps can
be downloaded into the unit as well.

The unit includes a barometric style altimeter, which is
ridiculously better at resolution and accuracy than straight
You can actually raise or lower ths unit by a foot and
have the reading change by a foot.

But weather variations and such limit you to much worse
altitude resolution. I've yet to find a way to measure
prehistoric canal slopes to the needed accuracy of a few
inches per hundred feet without going to an automatic
level "real" survey device.

Using the altimeter inside a cave should also be useful,
but I have not yet found out how to use the barometer
part without a companion GPS signal being present.

January 29, 2012 deeplink respond

An Arizona Land Use GIS resource can be found here.

January 27, 2012 deeplink respond

A reminder that I'll be once again presenting Little Known
Gila Valley Dayhikes,
this time at the winter ARA technical
regional tomorrow Saturday January 28th at 11 AM at the
Gould-Simpson Building  Room 209 at 1040 East 4th
Street on the University of Arizona Campus. 9AM-4PM.

Attendance is free and anyone with an interest in Arizona
Caving is both welcome and encouraged to attend. There
is free parking on Saturday at the usual U/A garages

January 23, 2012 deeplink respond

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

January 16, 2012 deeplink respond

Current work on our prehistoric canal project includes trying
to determine the slope of the eastern feeder to the Twin
Boobs canal.
We now have an automatic level and a new
tripod, but the slope is extremely slight and complications

Yet to be explored are the first 600 feet of the Mud Springs
canal takein of Ash Creek. As well as nearly a mile beyond
the crossover saddle.

Two of the canals have clearly seen major pioneer rework.
And thus demand finding exceptional proof of their
This would include the Tranquility Canal and
the Shingle Mill Canal.

The Black Hole of Central remains enigmatic as always, with
three canals going in, two coming out, and not a trace whatsoever
inside a 3000 foot square. The destination for two of the three
canals remains unknown.

An associate reports pottery viewable from horseback in an
unexpected location near the canal study areas. Finding same
is proving difficult.

Field mice are desperatelly needed to study this world class
mind boggling ancient engineering project. Total length is
rapidly approaching sixty miles!

January 15, 2012 deeplink respond

The ARA Winter Technical Regional will be held on
Saturday January 28, 2012 at the Gould-Simpson Building
Room 209 at 1040 East 4th Street on the University of
Arizona Campus. 9AM-4PM.

I'll be presenting the Little Known Gila Valley Dayhikes
paper there again at 11 AM.

Attendance is free and anyone with an interest in Arizona
Caving is both welcome and encouraged to attend.

More info here.

January 6, 2012 deeplink respond

The way to tell an extroverted engineer: They stare
at your shoes, rather than their own.

January 1 , 2012 deeplink respond

Closed out the 2011 Archive and started this 2012 one.


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