Archive for the ‘San Simon AZ’ Tag

Old Desert Men   Leave a comment

“Old Desert Men” (San Simon, Arizona, 12-01-12) — Image by kenne

Sharing their knowledge
Looking in the direction
They expect to go.

Borrowing years of living
To guide them forward.

— kenne

 

Following The Old Stagecoach Route Though Doubtful Canyon   7 comments

Doubtful Canyon Ranch — Image by kenne

Today ranches exist along the narrow privative road through Doubtful Canyon.
In the 1860’s the Butterfield Overland Stage route went through the canyon.

Apache Raiders made passage through the canyon very ‘DOUBTFUL!’
In April 1861 the Giddings’ Party was ambush near Steins Peak stagecoach station.
Cochise and his Apaches killed nine men, but reserved the worst torture for those captured alive.  

Doubtful Canyon Ranch

In 2012, Tom, Steve, and I decided to follow the old stagecoach route through Doubtful Canyon, which we began in the small ranch town of San Simon. Once making it through the canyon, we planned to stay overnight in Lordsburg, New Mexico.
The old road, now used primarily by area ranchers, is very premature. There were some places. 
The road was so narrow that you could not pass through without the bushes scraping the sides of the truck.
Still, other places were wide-open rangeland having only an occasional gate we would have to stop and open.

Our goal was to find the Giddings Grave Marker, which was marked on our maps. We also knew the location was on the lowest northwest slope of Steins Peak. Even though we scattered out, crisscrossing the area, we were not able to find the marker. Here’s a picture of the area where the grave sits, which I found on the Internet.

John Giddings Marker

Doubtful Canyon Panorama

An Old Bunk House In The San Simon Valley   5 comments

An Old Bunkhouse Near An Abandoned San Simon Valley Livestock Corral — Images by kenne

In the late eighteen hundreds, the land west of the Peloncillo Mountains, known as the San Simon Valley, had many beautiful grassy meadows with mesquite, ironwood, palo verde and other desert trees. This area was very attractive to many west Texas ranchers and by 1895 an estimated 50,000 head of cattle were grazing in the San Simon Valley. However, under the old open range conditions the great herds were devastating the San Simon Valley. Today most of the valuable grasses and forage plants are gone, left behind are many deep trails first worn by cattle, later dug deep by storm waters, easily eroding the land no longer protected by fine stock grasses. 

The destruction to the valley is not an isolated picture, but serves as a poster-child for similar areas in the west that are experiencing the same destructive process in much of the western U.S. 

This weekend we will be spending additional time in the valley and the Peloncillo Mountains photographing more evidence of the southwest’s disappearing water.

kenne

Abandoned Livestock Corral In The San Simon Valley — Image by kenne

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