That little tributary channel that got me expounding about things of no interest to you non-southwestern blogsters diverted me from filling your hearts with adventure and your heads with more yarns about treasure hunting.
Here's something to get me back on track.
Early in the '90s I came across a canyon that satisfied a lot of the needs to be the Lost Adams Diggings. It had most of the right stuff men have searched for during the last 150 years. The place occupied several years of my life, took me through a couple of lady friends and wore two good vehicles down to a small nub.
The place was located on a mountain in Catron County, New Mexico. Fox Mountain.
One weekend in '93 or '94, I took off in my old Mitzubishi Montero with the intention of spending a couple of weeks down there solving it all. I was about twenty miles out of Grants, NM, when a hose sprung a leak and the Mitzu began steaming under the hood. I nursed it in to a parts house in Grants, feeding it water every mile or so, got the hose and changed it. All during a light rainfall.
I was chilled to the bone when I finished, my clothes soaked, but I was in a hurry to get down there and set up camp, maybe get some work done before nightfall. I didn't change out of those wet clothes, just headed on down.
By the time I got to the place I was going to set up camp and trek in I could tell I'd been another of the many fools I've been. I was running a fever and my chest was in a vice. I decided to just throw down a sleeping bag and pull a pancho over me to let this thing go on over.
That night I burned alive with fever. I was hallucinating and getting the blind staggers when I tried to walk. Finally, about mid-day the following day I knew I'd best try to get out of there while I could.
I made it back to Albuquerque and crashed on the living room floor of a lady friend for several days getting over pneamonia. While I was lying there she told me the news. Somewhere down there in the same area as my claim there was a couple, Gary and Judy Wilson, missing. Search and Rescue was scouring the area for them.
I'd never met Gary and Judy Wilson, but I knew their sign. They were woodcutters, and I knew the kind of soft-drinks they preferred, their footprints, their habits from studying where they'd been ahead of me.
It was about nine months later when their bodies were discovered a couple of canyons over from where I was working, folded up yen/yang style together buried carefully in an ancient ruin in a 4x4x4 hole by someone who knew an awfully lot about forensics and police investigations. A bear dug them up and ate away all the soft tissue, leaving them for elk hunters to find.
Gary and Judy Wilson were a part of a series of homicides committed within a 25 mile radius of that place over a period of a couple of years. Those homicides remain unsolved today, but the reasons they were probably murdered were a matter of constant problems for me for several years, working that mountain.
It took a lot of the fun out of it, being constantly stalked by folks who didn't want me on that mountain, and for the law enforcement people who appeared to be cooperating with them. They warned me off every way they knew how short of putting me into a 4x4x4 hole they already had prepared in another ancient ruin. (Disturbed me some, I'll confess, when I stumbled across that vacant hole sitting there waiting for me)
I always figured someday a homicide investigator would want to ask me some questions about that weekend Gary and Judy vanished. I had a lot of discussions with them about other matters, but that one never interested them. The prevailing opinion expressed by law enforcement personnel working in that county was that I needed to stay the hell off that mountain.
I'll probably have some more anecdotes about incidents over the next few years in later blog entries.