I-OCTA Members have Membership in National OCTA. All Dues Paid OCTA, Box 1019, Independence, MO 64051-0519XIX Issue 9 November 2007James McGill, [email protected] 467 4853/ Cell 250 6045LAST PLANNED TRAIL MARKING 2007—More Jeffrey-GoodaleEDITORSaturday, October 20, the week following the fall members meeting, the weather tried to stopthe finishing of marking of the section of the Jeffrey-Goodale Cutoff along the Craters of theMoon National Monument. The basalt lake formed by the great lava flows tends to protectthe cutoff along its borders, following along the narrow land strip against the foothills of thePioneer Mountains. The trail section near the base of the slopes and over Bradley Summitwas partially marked on July 21-22 (Trail Dust, August 2007), but some sections of the loopsof trail that parallel Highway 20, 26, 93 were unfinished. A few days of rain before the recentplanned day hinted at a delayed trip, but that morning the sun was shining brightly!A few puddles were left on a later road-bed thatparallels some great trail swales (in places the laterroad covers the trail). Dick Hill, BLM Archeologist,Idaho Falls, came along and assisted the IOCTAmembers involved. The road had been improved by1880, and became the Arco to Bellevue, ID, wagonhighway, and the natural gravel base still supports themodern vehicles. A little water will not prevent its use,and did not stop the marking that was necessary.Convention attendees coming to Nampa in August2008, who choose to drive across Idaho from Blackfootto Mountain Home on the scenic Highway 20, can seemuch of the Jeffrey-Goodale trail. They can choose tofollow some of the trail loops and see the markers onthose pristine swales. The wagon train that is comingacross Idaho to Nampa will follow most of this route.Some people might want to go partial distances withthe train. Schedule info will be made available later.HILLS ON THE LEFT, BASALT ROCK ON THE RIGHT—A NARROW LAND-STRIP BETWEEN, ABOUT 25 MILES OF TRAIL
Many markers can be seen along Highway 20 wherethe trail loops into the coves of once-molten rock, andmost of those loops can be driven to see the offhighway trail segments. The marking included somewide, deep-worn, pristine swales in these coves, inwhich the foliage is much different and almost coversthe evidence. However, with the foliage differencethese trail remnants can easily be identified.TWENTY FOOT WIDE JEFFREY-GOODALE SWALEAlthough I have spent much of the summer working onthis trail, there are still some areas that I don’t knowwhere the actual route went. Yet!On Saturday, October 27, Wayne Anderson, a newIOCTA member from Twin Falls, his wife Colleen,and their dog Daisy joined me for a day of exploringnortheast of Bliss. We found several places withpristine ruts, confirming the location of the route.Jerry EichhorstOn Sunday, November 4, longtime IOCTA memberBill Wilson joined me to continue the field research.We found another excellent area northeast of Bliss andthen found the route of the descent from the ridgewhich Clover Creek Road crosses. This route has rutsover 5 feet deep in places. Imagine the dust kicked upto have carved a rut that deep!SWALE NEAR BLISS POINTPARTIAL TRAIL THROUGH BARREN QUAKING ASPENThe days ahead will surely offer a few times when thetrail work can still be done, mostly last-minuet settrips. There are still many places that need to be visitedand checked in preparation for the convention! Anyonewho wants to drive this route, anytime, including somemarked spectacular trail loops along the Craters lavaflow can request a map from this Editor. : ) : )NORTH ALTERNATE O. T. UPDATEJERRY EICHHORSTIn preparation for a North Alternate (NA) tour duringnext year’s convention, I have been doing a great dealof research on the NA this year. I found that the NA isnot well known and the actual route has been inquestion in many places. About 20,000 emigrantstraveled this route in 1852-1854 from the HagermanValley, across Malad River, on to Clover Creek, overthe hills and up King Hill, and finally across the desertfoothills to join the main trail at Hot Springs Creek.Jerry EichhorstWe then traveled to the Bennett Creek area northeast ofMountain Home and met with rancher Nick Nettletonand his wife Betty Ann. They were kind enough toshare some of their knowledge of local history and thenjoined us to explore another couple miles of the NA.BILL WILSON IN A RUTMy thanks to all who have shared this adventure withme. It has been a lot of fun. I look forward to anotherouting yet this fall if the weather holds and more fieldtrips next spring and summer to mark the NorthAlternate before the convention in August.
ANOTHER TRAIL TRIP—TO OREGONSurely no one knowing this Editor and Patti thoughtthat just because the lead story was entitled the “LastPlanned” trip, that we couldn’t find an excuse to getback on the trail, anywhere! Linda Bergeron, historicresearcher and Halfway, OR, Museum staff member,had been hoping for a long time to get out to see therediscovered Goodale’s trail remnants through thatarea. Carmelita Holland, New Bridge, OR, historianand author, had also wanted to see part of the trail thatshe already knew many facts about. She had driven andlooked in one area, but didn’t have our map!When Linda emailed and said she had a couple of daysfree—and that the weather looked good—the McGillcouple could not resist the invitation or the ‘call of thewild!’ October 28 and 29 were super trail-time days,and Carmelita was also ready to go!pristine ruts that follow a two-track, Class #2 variantpart of the way gave evidence of the many wagons’ useover a lengthy period of time. The experiencing of thisremnant of preserved trail was tasty frosting on thecake of this summers’ many trips!On Monday, October 29, with Linda, Carmelita andCarmelita’s grandson, Phillip, we followed the trailover the ridge from Pine toward Richland. The driveup a two-track road in Road Gulch allowed that day’snew discovery of about 100 yards of a pristine swale,deep and filled with brush (photo above). This roundedthe base of the hillside inside the corner of the road’sturn from west to south, and had not been seen beforebecause of the heavy cover that disguised the trail.The second viewing by all was at the pass near the top,north of China Spring, and the third to see a couple ofswale remnants near the Forest Service road on top.The old accounts by emigrants included descriptions ofthe climb up Road Gulch and stops at China Spring.LINDA LOOKS INTO BRUSHY SWALE IN ROAD GULCHOn the first day the newly found trail east of VirtueFlat was visited, which parallels the north to south flowof Ruckles Creek. It was discovered during June 2008,while Suzanne and Chuck Hornbuckle and MaryOrman, BLM , Baker, were with the McGills. Chuckhad hiked further north than the others in June, but partof the remnants on the northern end, near Highway 86,had not been reached.CARMELITA & PHILLIP WITHIN ROCK-LINED SWALEThe unblemished, lengthy swale that curves down thesouth top of the ridge is partly Class #2 trail, but overone rocky ledge the sides are lined with rocks. The lackof modern use has left this a section of Class #1 trail.This had also been found by the search party in June.The afternoon was spent in a new search up the gradewest of Eagle Creek. Decades ago one of Carmelita’slady friends, one of the last of the area’s emigrants wholived nearly 100 years, shared a lot of history with her.The private land of Oliver Wilde stretches for about.25 mile from Highway 86 to the BLM fence. Olivercame out during the trail visit on that end and we gotacquainted. It was encouraging to know that he hadrecognized the old swales across his land, but he wasunaware of the trail’s significance. He at first had somedoubts that Goodale would have come that way to getto Auburn, OR. It seemed his interest soon relieved alittle of his doubt! Being better informed of theresearch that is ongoing he requested to be told whenthe Goodale book is printed—in summer of 2008!(This information will be publicized in many places.)The Indian trail route up from the creek, which it wasrecorded that Goodale used with the first wagons, wassearched with Carmelita. We had earlier consideredthis and a second more northern route. For the firsttime that day hiking the south route, convincing evidence was found of the Goodale trail. The worn anderoded wagon trail was apparent in many places. Thiswas in place before the nearby Sparta Road was built.Hiking the trail across BLM land from Oliver’s areawas another great experience. The multiple braidsacross part of the area, the deeply worn swales and theWhat a fine opportunity was offered to be out on thetrail with someone like Carmelita, who has beenresearching and writing about the area’s history for
many years! We shared trail route discoveries with her,and she supplied so many facts about the emigrants andpeople who used Tim’s trail—who lived the history.Our thanks are not enough for the sharing, friendshipand interest shown in OCTA’s work by our guests.And all three seemed to have enjoyed! We have anaddress for ordering Carmelita’s Oregon history book!Carmelita Holland Box 283Richland, OR 97870A TELEPHOTO LENSE REVEALS THE DISTANT TRAIL UP FROM EAGLE CREEK,--HIDDEN FROM THE PRESENT ROADPREPING FOR THE WAGON TRAINDell Mangum, new IOCTA board member, who ishelping plan and will be one of the leaders of thewagon train that will come to the Nampa, ID, OCTAConvention in 2008, had requested some trail routeassistance. (The last train that crossed Idaho andfollowed part of the Jeffrey-Goodale Cutoff wasprincipally led by Les Broadie of Arco, ID. He passedaway early this year.) Ben Kern from Wyoming hadworked with him and will also be involved in the 2008train. Dell, however, wanted to familiarize himselfwith most of the trail that can be followed, and to seeall the newly marked parts of the route.Tim’s train had been joined by a couple of other trains,one which had traveled the Oregon Trail from Iowa inwhich the journalist, Nellie Slater, had come. Thus it ishoped that the timing will allow the Wyoming/Idahotrains’ to join in July 2008, and will be somewhat of asymbolic reenactment of the growth of Goodale’s train.By the time Tim left Champagne Meadow (our recentdesignation of the great flat area on Champagne Creek,known about 1900 as Era Flat), which is 15 miles SWof Arco, his combined train(s) had grown to about 350wagons. These crossed South-Central Idaho togetheruntil they reached the Oregon Trail in Elmore County.Idaho’s Preservation Officer flew east across the stateon November 6 (this time he was in a plane and notdriving his car), so he could then travel westerly withDell and IOCTA Vice President, Lyle Lambert of Pocatello, on the 7th. The Jeffrey-Goodale was covered.The route back west did cover only the area from Arcoand across South Central Idaho. Dell will be busysorting out the rest of the best route from Montpelier,ID, where his group of wagons will begin. Jay Ward ofBurley will also be one leader, and traveling with Dell.It is planned for the Idaho group to travel the first partnear the Oregon Trail. Before this Ben Kern will startfrom Wyoming, and hopes to travel the Lander Road.The trains will travel together after the Fort Hall site.Timothy Goodale had scouted for Fredrick Lander inhis construction of the Lander Road, and then Tim alsobrought his 1862 Wagon Train across the same inWyoming and Eastern Idaho. Near the Fort Hall siteDELL – TRAIL AT GRANITE BOULDER, CASTLE ROCKOn the 7th all possible variants of the trail were covered so route and camp sites decisions can be made.Dell was quite reluctant about the pass at BradleySummit, north of Picabo, ID, having only a two-horseteam to pull his wagon! Other wagon drivers with fourmule teams may like the challenge, however. What agreat video this wagon train’s progress would make!
‘JUBILEE’ ISSUE OF TRAIL DUSTWith this issue of Trail Dust Patti and your Editor haveproduced our 50th issue, our Jubilee issue, sinceDecember 2002! Some have noted the “work” that isinvolved, but any work can be drudgery or pleasurable.We have a lot of intrinsic pleasure in just being able toproduce this instrument of communication, one of thebest ways to get out OCTA’s and IOCTA’s messageand important contributions to preservation efforts toour community’s national history and historic assets!Last month the Idaho chapter membership approvedour reappointment to continue in the capacity asEditor (yes, there was also a quiet affirmation andthanks for Patti’s help in getting the paper out—herproof-reading and folding, addressing and stampingevery issue), so I suppose we will be involved for atleast the coming year! She, now fully retired, is mycompanion in every way, and so much appreciated—more than I tell her. Thanks, Vern Gorzitze, for alwaysreminding me to hug her some more. Goldie Talley,my dear sister, is also one of our proofreaders.Some may consider this our own private means ofboasting about what we get done each month [“It’s nobrag, just plain facts!”—Walter Brennan], but we onlywant to give IOCTA all credit for the work being done.We serve our worthy membership! No one will everfully understand our motivations and how great is ourpleasure in just sharing all of OCTA’s note-worthyaccomplishments as we have opportunity. We neverturn down go-and-do chances, but we also never turndown submissions for the paper to help fill the pages asoften as possible. We are waiting to hear from youfor copy and trail-rut goodies for the winter issues!LETTERS AND NOTES[After Ann Pettijohn Tomlinson’s story in the last issueof T. D.—she had included some ancestors’ names—OCTA President, Glenn Harrison contacted her.] Hi Jim - Wonders never cease! Glenn Harrison turnsout to be my 3rd cousin. John Nelson and CatherineWilliamson are my great-great grandparents, as well[as his]. I will no doubt have a chance to meet him atthe '08 convention? I would love to g