Wednesday, June 5, 2013

"I think that the Internet - and I do love the free flow of ideas on the 'Net - is like the wild west of the information world."
Part 3:
Speaking of the wild west, this past Sunday my journey on Road 2b brought me to what remains of Fort Churchill.  The Fort is part of a 200 acre site that includes camping (20 spaces), hiking trails, bird watching,  and a group area.   The remains of the Fort are in decay.  Built in 1861 it served as military base for 9 years when it was abandoned (hmmm, 'abandoned' does seem to be a theme here) .   The cemetery that sits in front of the Fort contains only the remains of the Buckland family (suppliers to the Fort).  The remains of others who died and were buried at Ft. Churchill were moved to Carson City some years back.

The Fort's history is linked to the fear of white settlers of Native Americans. Two white men up at Pyramid Lake kidnapped two Paiute girls and refused to give then back.  The Indians killed them.  Hmm, seems about right to me but this is now ~ then white folks panicked thinking an Indian reprisal was on its way. That rumor spread and grew that the tribe was amassing and planned to massacre other whites.  The Fort was built in haste and men assigned to protect the settlers. Reinforcements came in from California and attacked the Paiute, forcing the Native Americans to retreat.  Such was life in the Wild West - manifest destiny at work.

 In addition to fighting the Tribes, the Fort was also a stop over for the Pony Express and a station for the Overland Telegraph.

On a more gentle non-violent note, this segment of the Carson River valley makes for great birding.  My trusty binoculars and I saw a variety of birds there including: egrets, a loggerhead shrike (a first sighting for me), a golden eagle, herons, hawks and wood ducks.  Next time I'll bring a tripod, a picnic, a patient friend and lots of bottled water as it is hot and dry from end of May through September.  And lest I forget ~ bring a fishing pole!

(to be continued one more time)

1 comment:

the walking man said...

Oh yes the great western deserts..and history.