CHAPTER V. ARIZONA, THE FUTURE COUNTRY OF THE STUDENT AND THE HUSBANDMAN...
ARIZONA, THE FUTURE COUNTRY OF THE STUDENT AND THE HUSBANDMAN—THE FERTILE VALLEYS OF THE PLAIN—THE UNIQUE BARRENESS OF THE DESERT—SUNDAY MORNING AT EHRENBERG—THE MOJAVE INDIANS—THE MOUNTAIN PANORAMA SCENES
TO the ethnologist and the archeologist generally no other beaten route offers more inducements than our course to the Santa Rita Mountains; and certainly it has some of the most beautiful valleys and mountain scenery in the territory, except the route from Ehrenberg, on the Colorado River, to Prescott, the capital, in the Sierra Prieta Mountains.
About two hundred miles from the river, going directly east, you enter and pass through the land of the Pimo Indian, two hundred and fifty miles brings you to the old pre-historic ruins of the Casa Grande at the time of the building of which, the mind of man, as the legal investigator would say, ‘‘“runs decidedly
AN INDIAN WATCHING THE APPROACH OF EMIGRANTS ON THE PLAINS OF ARIZONA
As the traveler leaves the Colorado River going east, he passes over the great Colorado basin. Some misapprehensions, I find, exists in the minds of new comers to Arizona, concerning this basin. They conflict it with what is generally known as the ‘‘Colorado Desert.’’ This is a mistake. In times gone by when the vast section of Southern California and the eastern part of Arizona was considered as one great and unknown desert, the whole was indefinitely called the ‘‘Colorado Desert.’’ But it is not so now under the more modern surveys and divisions. The ‘‘Colorado Desert’’ lies wholly in California. The term
A MOJAVE INDIAN CHIEF AT EHRENBERG.
I remember a ride of this kind I had in the early course of my travels, from Ehrenberg to Prescott the capital. It was during the month of August, and the thermometer stood about 115° Fahr. The morning was a bright one. The burning and brilliant sun, seemed to cast a glaring halo around every thing. The sand of the riverbank which crept up to the very door sills of the houses, and then crept all around them to the back door, was one burning strand. I doubt whether I could have walked in my bare feet upon it. It was Sunday, and the Indians about town, having learned from the whites the custom of attiring themselves in their better dress on that day, were out in their fresh new pieces of calico; and with tawdry feathers, or charms of beads around their necks; were strutting up and down the shores of the river to my intense amusement. You will understand when I use the word calico, it is not as we would consider it an article of dress; but simply a piece of
MOJAVE INDIANS AT EHRENBERG TAKING THEIR SUNDAY WALK.
Six horses to our coach and we pulled out of Ehrenberg for Prescott. Each man filled his canteen with water. Two large kegs were filled for the horses, and put in the boot. The whole of this day was a desert ride. On the right of us was sand, on the left of us was sand; to the front of us was sand and behind us was sand. In the distance, and all around us was the ever present indefatigable, persistent mountain, ever the pleasing and interesting society of the Arizona traveler. Up the river were the great ‘‘Needles’’
Almost immediately upon leaving the town we struck a dry sandy bed, into which the wheels of our coach buried themselves to twice the depth of the fell. The day's journey throughout, was one continuous level plain of similar substance save an occasional relief of a fertile plateau.
The first great diversion of these trips is the peculiar and interesting mountain ranges and groups that dotting these plains in all directions, seem to hem you in on every side The mountains of all this country are peculiar in their formation, being broken up in clusters or patches, and dotting the plains and valleys in a most beautiful relief. They occupy such relation to each other, or are so diffusely distributed that they completely encircle you on all sides, and at all times, and at every compass. One will often travel hundreds of miles and although passing seemingly beyond his present encircled position with the mountain ranges, he is as rapidly encircled by others. Ahead of him be will see an opening or gap between two mountain spires which would seemingly let him out upon some almost endless plain. No sooner has be scarcely got through these—nor when, nor how, he scarcely knows—than he is as mysteriously encircled by another, as fully diversified and interesting as the former. You seem to be constantly within some huge amphitheatre, or miniature world surrounded by all the grotesque and wonderful upheavals of mountain formations. In front of you for instance, may now be seen some spires or turrets finding their way into heaven.
MAP OF THE ANCIENT PROVINCE OF TUSAYAN, ARIZONA.
This tantalizes your powers of description. How you get into these natural panoramas you never know. As you ride along, some change of mountain view ahead will take place as if by magic. It will fasten itself upon your notice. Being prompted to look around to find your bearing, when lo! the whole panorama has changed. Let you watch ever so closely, you can never discern nor comprehend exactly how you got away from your former scene of enchantment. The mathematician can understand this, and explains it by the deception of the lateral angle, in its vast field of extent over large and unaccustomed plains or areas. Some of these mountains were one, five, eight, ten, and even twenty miles away, but their lapping, relapping, crossing and rounding each other, would produce the effect described.