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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
About a year and a half ago my older brother introduced me to a bit of history that I found very interesting as I have a love for history and aviation. He showed me a concrete arrow used as a navigational aid by early airmail pilots. Between the two of us we were able to locate 3 more arrows in our area, and made a ride to check them out. The ride report for that little adventure, and a little bit of history about the arrows is located here.

Recently the word has really gotten out about the arrows, that stretch from coast to coast and to various parts of the US. There have been two news stories by TV stations recently, and a lot more discussion on the internet. This has led me to do more research in an effort to find more of the arrows. If this is something that interests you, just do a google search for concrete navigation arrows, and you'll find plenty of good reading on the subject. Don't neglect the comments on the blogs as a lot of good information is shared there as well.

I was able to locate another arrow by research on the internet. I also located a possible site by using Google Earth, and decided to make a ride to check them out. Coincidentally there were some aviation events going on that I wanted to check out as well.

I started by riding to the St. George airport where there is a small aviation museum that is home to a couple of MIG fighter jets. I knew they were sponsoring a fly in this month, but wasn't sure of the date so thought I would ride by to see what I could see. Luckily I arrived just as the jets were taxiing out to take off. I think those 3 jets in trail are from the Oregon Air Force. Must've heard that a certain Idaho rider is thinking of a trip to southern Utah to recruit some allies.:D



The jets made several passes over the airfield. It was fun to watch and hear them. After they landed I rode over to the RC field where they were also having a fly-in. Same thing happened, I rode up just in time to see a flurry of activity, then things slowed down a bit. After watching for awhile I decided to head up the road to find the arrows.

On my way to the first arrow I passed through Leeds. Leeds is a nice little town with some interesting history. I stopped to check out some things I hadn't seen before. Here's a nicely restored early stone building.



What Leeds looked like about 100 years ago. I'll have to go back and see if I can get a shot from the same vantage point.



There's an interesting story to this home. The owner saved one of the mills at nearby Silver Reef from exploding. The owners of the mill rewarded him handsomely, and he used the money to build his home. It was the nicest home in Leeds at the time.



Any guesses what this might be? I have an idea, but we'll see what you think.





The first potential arrow site was located east of Leeds. I rode to the area, then with my GPS hiked to the site I had marked. No joy. This is what I found.



After getting home and studying the picture I think I might have to go back with a shovel. The size and shape of the depression leads me to believe there might be an arrow under there yet. The whole area is sandy, and it might have been covered by the drifting sand. It's a long shot, but worth checking out.

On the way back to the TW, which was parked near an old mine, I discovered an old trash heap which kind of dated the mine. There was an old muffler, and a few other things which indicated the mine wasn't from the original Silver Reef boom. Anybody need a (well) used water container? Looks kinda like Admiral's gas tank (the bullet holes).:)



On my way to the next arrow I rode the old Arrowhead Trail, which became Highway 91, now replaced by Interstate 15. I had plotted the course with my GPS, so the arrow was pretty easy to find. I had unknowingly rode by it on an earlier ride. I don't think many people know about this one.



This arrow is at the top of the Black Ridge, at much higher elevation than the others I've been too. You can see the effects of the freeze thaw cycles on it.



Still a little red paint left.



This arrow is within a stone's throw from a modern communications antenna installed within the last couple of years, and plainly visible from I-15 near the top of the Black Ridge.



After checking out the arrow I walked back and found the TW patiently waiting for me. I didn't even have to throw the reins down, or anything.
;)



I decided to ride on down to Peter's Leap. Peter's Leap is where one of the original wagon roads into southern Utah crossed a deep ravine. More info here, if you're interested. On the way down I found some fall colors. Not nearly as nice as those in New England (looking forward to those pictures), but hey, we take what we can get - right?



It was pretty rough and rocky going but eventually I arrived where my GPS said Peter's Leap was. I got off and hiked around a little looking for the road down the ravine. After walking out to the point, I decided the waypoint on my GPS for Peter's Leap was on the other side of the ravine.



I didn't want to see it bad enough to climb down the ravine and back up the other side, but thought I would check out another trail that forked off not too far back. Bingo! There it is.




Actually, the road is just to the left of the TW, but you can get an idea of why they called it Peter's Leap.



Yep, that's the road!



Let's see if I can get a better shot. I consider the TW a lot more capable than an old wagon, but I still didn't want to ride it down that road!



In this shot you can see the road up the other side. Not nearly as bad.



By the time I got through checking out Peter's Leap the shadows were getting long, so I decided to head for home. I rode a bit of history out to the pavement.



Once I hit I-15 the ride home was all pavement, so pretty uneventful.

I hope you enjoyed the ride, I did!

















 

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very cool. there are old wagon passes like that in the sierras.... boggles the mind some of the things they crossed.
 

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B-dub, thanks for the ride.

I'm an aviation history buff too. But had not heard of the arrows...very cool.

jb
 

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Thanks for the history lesson
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Nice, thanks for sharing, very interesting.
You're welcome, glad you liked it.

Outstanding!
Thanks!

very cool. there are old wagon passes like that in the sierras.... boggles the mind some of the things they crossed.
Yeah, after travelling for hundreds of miles by wagon or foot, just the sight of the Rocky Mountains or Sierras would've caused my heart to fail me. They were definitely some tough folks to accomplish what they did. I don't know if they had a "can do" attitude, or a "we have to do it" attitude. Probably some of both.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
B-dub, thanks for the ride.

I'm an aviation history buff too. But had not heard of the arrows...very cool.

jb
You're welcome.

For the last year and a half since finding the first four arrows I've been looking off and on for more arrows - without success. So, I was pretty excited to find another one. I'll keep looking for some more, cause I think it's cool, too.

Thanks for the history lesson
You're welcome, it was my pleasure.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
OK, if nobody is going to take a guess as to what the wagon mounted contraption is, I will. It's just a guess, but I'm thinking maybe it's a pump for putting out fires. The post on top is what they manipulated to pump the water? Any other ideas?
 

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Thanks B-dub! I heard about those arrows as a kid from my Grandpa in Cedar City. I finally have my bike running and can't wait to start exploring the St George area. So far it has been short trips around the neighborhood and airport. Nothing to exciting.
 

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Always gotta worry about the OAF from straf us and putting bullets holes in our gas tanks:p

I don't think I can get enough of the airmail navigation arrows. That is such cool history! Interesting that it's getting more attention in the media now. That is once nice house in Leeds and well kept to boot. I can't even imagine a wagon traveling on Peter's Leap. Looks like a bunch of rocks to me!:D


I was gonna guess some kind of telegraph wire threader, but your water pumper is a good one.

Thanks for another great ride report.
 

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That is a horse powered sorghum mill, used for making molasses.There are still a few of them in use here in the Ozarks.
 

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I suppose I'm a true hillbilly, I've fed cane to one of those and stirred the syrup while it boiled down to molasses.:D We must be a couple of old hicks!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I don't think I can get enough of the airmail navigation arrows. That is such cool history!
There was a spur with the concrete arrows from Elko, Nevada to Boise, and on to Pasco, Washington. There has been a sighting of a concrete arrow east of the Boise Airport. You might be interested in this link. On Page 2 of this link it points out (with a picture) that quite often the latitude and longitude was painted on the roofs of fire lookouts so that pilots could identify their location.

That is a horse powered sorghum mill, used for making molasses.There are still a few of them in use here in the Ozarks.
Of course, I can see it now! I thought those round things were pistons and cylinders for pumping water, but they are rolls for squeezing cane. Thanks for sharing your insight, I learned something new. There was a lot of molasses made in Leeds, and in my hometown but I never got to see it being done.

Hey r80rt, You beat me to it. I guess it show a little about our roots, and our age.
Mel
I know my grandpa was involved in making molasses, not sure if my Dad made any, though. I'll have to ask him. We did have plenty of molasses to eat while I was growing up, though, and my Dad always made molasses candy for Christmas. Good stuff!

I suppose I'm a true hillbilly, I've fed cane to one of those and stirred the syrup while it boiled down to molasses.:D We must be a couple of old hicks!
I can't claim to have had the experience of making molasses. Seems like that art kind of dwindled and died in our area before I came along, probably because it is kind of labor intensive from what I've been told. As far as being a hick - I'll throw in with ya! No offense intended to the city folk, but I prefer the small town/country atmosphere.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks B-dub! I heard about those arrows as a kid from my Grandpa in Cedar City. I finally have my bike running and can't wait to start exploring the St George area. So far it has been short trips around the neighborhood and airport. Nothing to exciting.
Cool! According to one of the maps I found there should be an arrow on Leigh Hill, south of the airport. Looking for it on Google Earth, though, it looks like it may have been lost to development. I'll have to ride up there one of these days and take a look.

Good news about your bike. The other good news is that we can pretty much ride year around down here. We'll have to get together for a ride sometime.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Here's one for the guys in the Boise area. Copy and paste these coordinates into Google Earth, and see what's there: 43 30 12.3 n 116 07 40.2 w It's not far from Boise!
 
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