In The Desert
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Black Point Mystery
Enoch, Utah, Gold
Has this ever happened to you in the desert? Here's how it started. We had been told about these really cute Pygmy Rabbits, and, we also wanted to find a Pack Rat (Woodrat) nest so we could stake it out to get some photos of these ellusive rodents. So we headed for Black Point which is just dead north of Enoch, Utah by about 4 miles. We've seen rabbits there and someone said that we could find what we were looking for there, so off we went.
We've been out here several times before this, once to investigate the Red Volcano we located on Google Earth. This is what it looks like on the way in. The fault is not yet visible. So what does a fault have to do with this? See the next photo.
Once you get to the Red Volcano, if you look to the West, this is what you'll see. An old fault line. There are a lot of cliffs around but not many faults like this one. And there was an old unused (at least that's what we thought) road to be seen. Take a closer look.
If you didn't look at the enlargement above then here's a quick look at the old road up to the upper end of the fault. The old dirt road has been used, but by whom?
The first thing you see when looking down into the fault is this white really heavy plastic. Just some trash that blew into the fault? Maybe. Of course we had to hike down into the bottom of the fault to see if there were any petroglyphs, and maybe a rabbit or a pack rat. For a better idea of how rugged it is see the enlargement.
When you do get down near the bottom you realize how hard it is to negotiate down here with all these loose rocks of differing sizes. Neat looking though, and how often do you get into a fault line like this?
Here's that pile of heavy plastic we saw down there, and it had a board on it to keep if from blowing away. No idea what it was used for, or was going to be used for. So what else is down here?
Just to the left of the plastic and up on a small bench we found this. A framed in hole in the ground with plastic between the wood and the dirt. So is this a mine shaft? In the enlargement you can see some of the plastic off to the right side of the photo and you can also see the wooden ladder they built into the hole.
Looking down into the hole you can see Jesse's name scribed on the rock. Not the petroglyphs we were looking for. You'll also notice that the top ladder rung is broke. This hole was over 8 ft. deep. But how big is it and what was this used for? Is it a mine?
Here's a view from another angle into the hole. Notice the two buckets and where they are, this could be important. Also you'll see this 1x6 paneling stacked in the back. Look how far back this hole goes to the left. In the extreme left side you can see the brace that's holding up this end of the beam for the ceiling. Don't forget the buckets! Taken 10-20-13
Almost the same view as above, but, look at where the buckets are now. This photo was taken 3 days after the one above. This is pretty protected, so what would have moved the buckets? Taken 10-23-13
Above this hole and back against the cliff there is a metal stove flue that runs down into the hole in the ground. Were they going to install a wood stove in there? Or was this for ventilation? This vent pipe sits too far back against the cliff to go into the room that is visible thought the "hole".
Right next to this hole we found another one! Now this one is a little harder to get to, but I did find another way into it. We'll look into this one. Are there any more? There seemed to be a path down into the center of the fault line. The rocks looked like they have been worn where people walked on them. This one is about 8 ft. below the "hole" shown above.
The first trip out here sure got twisted around. Now were looking at a mystery instead of photographing rodents in the desert. So far here's what we found out. We stopped at the BLM office in town as this is on BLM ground. They immediately recognized the photo of the hole above and said that a person (un-named here) was reading petroglyphs nearby (location - see map below) and said they told a story of where to find gold. In our honest opinion this is very unlikely and there are no mines in this area at all for miles around and geologists say it's not at all likely. The BLM archeologist told us that the person that was doing this was building these as mines and also as places for workers to stay. Believe that? We're still looking into this. We're hoping to run into someone out there and also to see the petroglyphs near this. We now think we know where they are located.
We'll update this as we learn more. The GPS track below has also been updated.
Updated 11 - 15 - 13 More info on Map
And 10 days later the buckets are moved again. We haven't been down in the hole at all. So who has? This is like being a detective. This latest photo was taken on 11-02-13
What else did we find down there? Getting a different angle with the camera was hard. We did manage to get this shot. Please mouse over this for a closer view. Interesting!
After looking at the close-up, we've decided that we need more photos of the area. How extensive is this "hole"? There is a big pile of fresh dirt and rocks on the other side of the fault line, to the west of where the plastic is laying. We also need someone that is agile and smaller to go down into this "hole" on the ladder built into the "hole" next to the opening. Volunteers?
Please notice we've changed the map -- one of the Road Continues waypoints is now "Road Ends" We traveled the little extra and found this out the other day. Also we've added the "Entrance" road to a "Parking" area where you can hike into some petroglyphs and a cave. This area was and maybe still has a lot of artifacts in the wash and near the "Cave".
Somebody has been here!
Updated Sat. 11 - 16 - 13
Updated Sat. 11 - 16 - 13
Originally Published 10 - 20 - 13
UPDATE --- Page 2