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ptillett

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About ptillett

  • Rank
    New Explorer
  • Birthday September 22

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  • Website URL
    http://patricktillett.blogspot.com

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Laguna Niguel
  • Interests
    Hiking, exploring, jeeping, camping, photography, ghost towns, outdoors
  • First Name
    Pat
  • Camera
    Nikon
  • Explore Vehicle
    Jeep Wrangler

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  • dery

  1. This is the long overdue Part 2 of 3 posts relating to the greater Twin Tanks area in JTNP. If you are so inclined, here is a link to Part 1. The following photos are examples of the spectacular sights to be seen in this area. As I said in post 1, this area is very rugged, and great care should be taken while there. This one is posted first, for no other reason that I love it. Take a bite! I was headed that-a-way! Except for the first 50 yards or so, it is very rugged... ...and looks like this. Looking back to where I started. = A happy little rock creature is slithering towards us A bear? Very remote grinding slick Nearby pestle (or mano). I couldn't find any other rocks made of this type of material in the area. Pottery shards!
  2. This is the long overdue Part 2 of 3 posts relating to the greater Twin Tanks area in JTNP. If you are so inclined, here is a link to Part 1. The following photos are examples of the spectacular sights to be seen in this area. As I said in post 1, this area is very rugged, and great care should be taken while there. This one is posted first, for no other reason that I love it. Take a bite! I was headed that-a-way! Except for the first 50 yards or so, it is very rugged... ...and looks like this. Looking back to where I started. = A happy little rock creature is slithering towards us A bear? Very remote grinding slick Nearby pestle (or mano). I couldn't find any other rocks made of this type of material in the area. Pottery shards!
  3. Thanks for the comment John! Are you specifically referring to the barbell looking glyphs? I've seen those all over the place also. Lots of conjecture about what they mean. My grandmother told me they represent a meeting, or conversation between two people, or two groups. If there is a third circle in the middle it means that somebody acted as an intermediary between two people of groups. We'll probably never know.
  4. I haven't been here for a while, and have a lot to post. Just checking to see who is still out there and active. I don't want to keep posting if nobody is looking... Thanks!
  5. The Pinto Basin is about 250 square miles of what most people would refer to as barren and desolate desert. The main park road skirts the edge of it, but rarely does a car stop for anything more than a quick glimpse around. At first glance, you would think it to be a very formidable wilderness. You wouldn't be wrong in the slightest bit. Especially so, during the summer months. This is the hottest and driest area in the park, and those conditions have cost people their lives. I believe three in the past year alone. The basin is outlined in red. The three surrounding mountain ranges are also desolate. It's hard to believe now, but this area was once lush, swampy, and even had water flowing through it. Clearly, that was a long time ago. In almost all cases in the desert, where there was water, there was also people. It was no different here. They didn't leave a lot of evidence, but they did leave some! We'll get to that in a minute. First, a few pics of the beautiful (in my eyes) scenery. embiggen this one Now to the petroglyphs. We were traveling down Porcupine Wash (still in Pinto Basin), keeping this rock jumble on our right. Our destination is that dark rock (that looks like Pac-Man) just to the left of center. Close Closer There! In additions to the barbells, please note the faint "sunburst" image near the brush on the right side of the photo. There was also a nearby rock shelter. There was soot on the overhanging rock to the right. I don't know when this spot was last used, but I'm pretty sure it was a long long time ago. My favorite find of the day was this fossilized shell. I believe it's a freshwater snail (fossil) I was amazed that it was still intact. I moved it into a safer spot and hope it survives for a lot longer. In the middle of this photo, you can see my wife exploring. I believe this material is called Hornblende. It wasn't easy getting into the middle of this jumble of rocks, but there I am. Yours truly... ----------------------------------------------- Mammal fossils relating back to the stone age have been found in the Pinto Basin. Also, traces of very early human presence.
  6. To me, there is another big reason not to keep any artifacts you may find. That reason is bad Juju... Several days ago a friend and I hiked (a long ways) to a couple of sites in a very remote area. Once there, it was not easy to get into (which explains a lot about it) either of them. Both of them were amazing. The first contained an olla nest, that still had dried straw/grass inside of it. The olla was not there, but there was a spirit stick standing next to the nest. The second spot had the entire olla still sitting there. Unfortunately, it was broken into several large pieces, either that, or it had just collapsed where it was sitting. We could tell that it had been there for a very long time, because some of the shards were partially buried in the dirt, or dust. In that rock shelter, there were also three spirit sticks. Outside, there was pottery shards everywhere. Also flakes, a few arrowheads, and a fair number of petroglyphs. We had seen some photos of this stuff taken (by an archaeologist) in 1970. EVERYTHING was in the EXACT same positions when we saw them, 45 years later. There wasn't a shoe print anywhere in the area. When I dropped down into those shelters, especially the first one. I felt the antiquity of the place. I felt the oldness of the place. Although I wasn't tempted to take anything at all. It felt like it would be very bad Juju for anybody who did.
  7. Wow! Bob what a fantastic find. Your videos are also great. These videos fill me up with questions. How long were they mining there? What were they mining? When did the mine open? Did it play out and the folks all left? who were they? And on and on... I love this stuff!
  8. It isn't even an legal quandary. It's far worse than that. An arrowhead or other artifact, found in an old habitation site (or other natural setting) is an amazing historical (or even prehistorical) find. HOWEVER, taken out of that setting and put in your sock drawer, it loses it's provenance, and it is nothing more than an interesting (to you) rock. It loses every single bit of it's archaeological value. Worse though, it loses it's link to the person who created it, who used it, and to the place and time period that it belongs to. Further, another reason why I NEVER take anything I find (and I've found a lot of things). I want to give somebody else the same thrill, when they find it, that I had when I found it before them.
  9. I'm in that part of the country for a couple of weeks and I'm going to try and find time to stop by and check on the fish!
  10. I'll be there soon! I'm waiting for it to cool off just a bit. Right now we're camped in the fog in Oceano. VERY nice photos Cindy!
  11. I've run across a lot of odd things in the desert, right? Today's installment isn't just one of the oddest, it is one of my all time favorites as well. It's called "The Shaffer Fish Bowl." I've spoken to many people who know a great deal about Route 66 and very few had ever heard of it, and not a single one of them had actually seen it. We went there in late March. I knew that photos wouldn't reflect just how isolated this place is. So, If you don't mind, please watch this very short video. I apologize in advance for my nasal sounding and spontaneous narration. I hope the feeling of pure solitude and isolation comes through for you in this video. https://picasaweb.google.com/115893260639092994154/PatrickTillett04#5922211896425413282 Nothing as far as the eye can see. It's that way in the other direction as well. Kingman Arizona is on the other side of the far mountain range. The Shaffer Fish Bowl Moss grows in the tank, the fish eat the moss and the spring keeps the tank full. Add to that the fact that goldfish can live for up to and beyond 20 years under the right conditions. The can even survive under ice. I'm still thinking that somebody replaces the fish if they die. The hike up to the spring is short, but kind of steep. After checking out the fish bowl, I noticed that there was another trail leading around the rocks. I'm no geologist, but I'm pretty sure that there aren't any square caves in nature. I'm thinking that maybe this was going to be a mine shaft and was carved out by the same person who created the tank to catch water from the natural spring. It might have been Shaffer, or maybe he came along later. It's a mystery to me (for the time being anyway). I always have to do this to show you how steep a drop off is. The trail abruptly ends at that large rock. Another mystery.
  12. I've found that some of the most interesting things on Route 66 are the ones that most people don't know about, or don't take the time to seek out. Most of us (who like route 66) have stopped at Roy's Cafe in Amboy, or at least taken a photo while breezing by through the desert. I wonder how many people have seen this in Amboy? These hand prints in once fresh cement belonged to students of the long closed Amboy School. This thing just filled me with questions and melancholy. Just as interesting is this isolated spot between Goldroad and Cool Springs, on route 66 out of Oatman, Arizona. It's called the Shaffer Fish Bowl. It's in one of the most isolated spots of Route 66 through the Arizona desert. People don't know about it. If they do know about it, it's too steep a hike for many of them to see it. It's RIGHT off road. I couldn't get the video to post here, so you'll have to follow the link to my blog to see it. (I'm really NOT using this to pimp my blog). If you do follow the link, please watch my little video while you are there. http://patricktillett.blogspot.com/2013/06/desert-oddity-shaffer-fish-bowl-route-66.html
  13. Welcome to Explore Forums.

    1. ptillett

      ptillett

      Thanks so much Bob!

    2. Bob

      Bob

      You're very welcome. I love your blog, been reading it all day!

  14. Hi there! Cindy, I'm sorry it took me so long to get over here. Thanks for posting the link to my blog. I appreciate it! I spent the early part of my life in the desert with my grandmother, who was a dedicated "desert rat." She knew people all across the Mojave and along Route 66. I have memories of many of these places. I rediscovered the desert several years ago and now spend a lot of time there. My granny took many photos back then and also a lot of notes. Unfortunately, she died about 30 years ago and all of those notes and photos disappeared. If I had that stuff, I could answer a lot of the questions people have about the Mojave and Route 66. I have some memories, but I sure wish I had more. I've been doing posts relating to Route 66 on my blog. I'm just about done with the Amboy to Kingman stretch. Soon, I'll start on the stretch Barstow to Amboy segment. My last post was about Ed's Camp (on Route 66 in Arizona). My granny met her last husband through Ed. I remember running around there as a kid.
  • Our picks

    • This is the location of the famous Mojave Phone Booth. Unfortunately not much is left today, but it's still a cool location to visit with an interesting history. 
      • 1 reply
    • South Pass City WY
      South Pass City, approximately 90 miles north of Rock Springs, is a historic site administered by the state of Wyoming.  It consists of over 30 log, frame, and stone buildings, along with the Carissa Mine and Stamp Mill.



      South Pass City Historic Site
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    • Surprise Canyon, California
      Recently, I’ve been going through my old VHS video tapes and digitizing them to DVDs.  These tapes contain my travels and explorations between 1995 and 2009.  I thought I’d start releasing some video shorts of my early travels on this forum.

      The back story for this particular video is as follows.  On March 30, 1996, I made a short hike of about a mile and a third up the lower third of Surprise Canyon, on the western slopes of the Panamint Range, Inyo County, California.  This canyon is just outside of Death Valley National Park.  This canyon has running water running year round through the stretch shown, fed by substantial Limekiln Springs, and the canyon is a water wonderland.  For those not familiar with the area, refer to the two maps.  The first one shows the canyon in relation to the region, the other a close up of the canyon and the ghost town of Panamint City.  The blue line in the close up image shows the route that was taken.

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    • Exploration Field Trips - March 31-April 2, 2000 - Into the Nevada Triangle with Lew Shorb
      My next series of videos will be based on a trip in 2000 that I took with Lew Shorb.  Lew is a board member here, as well as owner of the popular website http://www.ghosttownexplorers.org/ghost.htm

      In breaking with my past habit of culling out historical sites and ghost towns and creating short videos dealing with these, I decided to keep the exploring part of Explore Forums in and create videos of each day of my travel and exploration, including our camps.  Scenery, travel, camping ghost towns and wide open spaces.

      Part one of this series, as well as subsequent videos, will all appear here within this same thread. Part I will start in my garage, where I was finishing up with the packing my truck.  The following day, after work, I begin my travels to meet Lew Shorb at Rhyolite, Nevada ghost town.

      Our three day, two night travels prowled about the "Nevada Triangle" section of northeastern Death Valley National Park; and will include such sites as:

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      3. Phinney Mine
      4. Strozzi Ranch
      5. Currie Well (LV&T RR)
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      7. Happy Hooligan Mine


      This video, that of March 30th and 31st, will start off this series; and is brief, only being 3:28 long.  Nevada-Triangle_Shorb-2000_Part-1.wmv

      So, below is my narrative of part one of this series to give full context of what is seen in the video.  It will probably take longer to read than the video is long.

      --------------------------


       
      • 9 replies
    • Exploration Field Trips: May 1-3, 2000 - Trip with Alan Patera and Alan Hensher into Death Valley
      Exploration Field Trips:
      May 1-3, 2000
      Trip with Alan Patera and Alan Hensher into Death Valley

      What do you do with three authors, two 4x4’s, two two-way radios, three cameras, and camping supplies? Send them to Death Valley, of course. For three days in the first week of May, 2000, fellow authors and historical researchers Alan Patera, Alan Hensher and myself explored Death Valley north and south.

      Alan Patera writes and publishes the WESTERN PLACES series of monograph books.  Alan Hensher has been published in several periodicals as well as authoring several books, centering primarily on the history of Mojave Desert sites.

      Alan Patera, who hails from Oregon, came south to California and picked up Alan Hensher; then the two came my way. At the time I was living in Ridgecrest, California. After overnighting with my wife and I, the three of us took off for Death Valley.  Alan was busy researching and photographing for a future edition of WESTERN PLACES, this time centering on the camps of the Funeral Range, which forms the eastern border of east central Death Valley.  Circumstances and changes of our journey lead Alan to plant the seeds of two more future books, this time centering just outside the northernmost section of Death Valley.




       

       
      • 4 replies
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