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Recently my brother and his wife, both avid geocachers, invited my wife and I to go along on one of their geocaching trips. One of the stops was on a hill overlooking Bloomington, Utah. Atop the hill was a large concrete arrow and a monument.



Since I love aviation and history this really piqued my interest. So I did a little research on the net. Apparently in the early days of airmail it was determined that for airmail to be competitive the mail had to be flown both day and night. So a navigational system was put into place using large concrete arrows, and rotating beacons. These arrows are scattered all across the country. More information here, and here if you're interested. St. George, Utah happened to be on the route between LA and Salt Lake City.



I wanted to find more of the arrows. Hey, one excuse is as good as another to get out into the hills, right? Anyway I got some more information from geocaching.com, and from looking around on Google Earth. I located 4 arrows in the area, and decided I would go check them out. My brother and his wife had already been to 2 of the 4, but decided they would also like to check out the others. The first of the 4 arrows is located on the Mormon Mesa, just west of Mesquite, Nevada. My brother owns a TW, but decided since it was quite chilly he would take his other "bike", a Chevy 4X4 Astro Van. Since the first arrow was over 60 miles away and I had a family event later that afternoon we decided we would speed things up by throwing his rack on the back of the van and hauling my TW to the first arrow. Here we are after unloading the TW.



It was only about a mile from I-15 to the first arrow.



The image at this link shows what it originally looked like. The next known arrow is the one previously mentioned above Bloomington, Utah. There has to be others in between. I'll have to spend some time later on looking for them, but for now we were off to Bloomington. Cruising up the freeway on the TW would be no fun, so we decided to take back roads, and a dirt shortcut. First I cruised back to the freeway, then down the frontage road to an underpass, then south to intersect the old road between Mesquite, and Vegas. The old road was washed out in places. I'm glad there was a bypass here, I would've hated to hit this washout at speed!



An old bridge on the way east to the shortcut.



North of Beaver Dam, Arizona. Do you think this would be a good candidate for photo contest #16?

 

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We finally arrived at the dirt shortcut to Bloomington.



We didn't see any Bighorn Sheep on our way down through the Virgin River Gorge, so this is about the only wildlife we saw that day.



I helped to build these powerline towers as my first job after graduating from high school.



A few years back we had a bad fire year that really burned up a lot of the country.



Looking to the east. We had quite a bit of snow recently.



After awhile we arrive at the next arrow atop the hill north of Bloomington. You can see the remains of the tower. Notice also the arrow is pointing directly at the southern edge of Shinob Kibe, the hill in the distance. That's the location of the next arrow.



The Bloomington arrow is located just south of the recently decommissioned St. George airport.



More of the report tomorrow.
 

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Cool! thanks.
 

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Do you think this would be a good candidate for photo contest #16?



Definitely.

It has to be the longest,

most desolate stretch of road

in any of the pictures so far.
 

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At the other end of Nevada, Highway 140 runs between Denio, NV and Lakeview, OR. Taking a break, I stopped my rig and looked around, marveling when I realized that not only did it seem that the sun rose and set between me and the nearest towns but also, beside the road itself, there was nothing, absolutely nothing man-made to be seen...no fences, no power lines, no roads scratched into the nearby scab land or far-off buttes. I looked skyward and there were no contrails overhead.There wasn't even any litter visible. Some of the hills were a good 30, 40 miles away and to "grok" that everything within view was natural was enlightening.
 

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Thanks for that. I've actually stumbled upon a few of the sites mentioned in the second link, like the concrete supports at Cadiz on old 66. Interesting bit of history, but not as cool as arrows on the ground, which I have not seen.
 

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After riding some backroads to Shinob Kibe we looked around for the trailhead. There would be no riding to this arrow, it involved a "moderately strenuous" hike up the hill. Whomever gave it that description is in a lot better shape than I as I was puffing like an old steam train by the time I reached the top. Here's a shot from near the top of the hill looking down on my TW and my brother's van. They're just above and to the right of the red forklift.



There's the arrow.



You can see that it indicates a turn. The arrow is pointing to a ridge overlooking Quail Creek Reservoir.



I guess the person that placed the cache figured after working that hard to get to the cache you shouldn't have to work hard to find the cache.



On the other side of that little knob is my daughter's house, where I was supposed to be at a birthday party in a couple of hours, and I still had one more arrow to go!



After the hike back down the hill we hit the road again in search of the last arrow, the last one I had identified in our area, that is. We followed a rough, rocky road to the top of a ridge overlooking Quail Creek Reservoir. The funny thing is, I had been on this road before and had not noticed the arrow, even though I drove right by it.



This arrow also indicates a turn.

 

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The arrow is pointing right to the middle point in the distance. I'll have to go back to Google Earth and see if I can find the next arrow.



The reservoir is pretty calm. There doesn't appear to be any activity.



Looking north to Pine Valley Mountain. The sun is getting low in the sky.



In an interesting twist of fate one of the pilots who pioneered the LA to SLC route died near here. Maury Graham was flying the mail north and ran into a snow storm near Cedar City. He couldn't land at Cedar City due to the weather, so reversed course and landed on nearby Kanarra Mountain. Unfortunately he died while trying to hike to safety. One account says he fell off a cliff in the dark, another says he froze to death. More information here , and here if you're interested. On a future trip I intend to go find the monument placed to honor Mr. Graham. Unfortunately, with recent snows I doubt that I could get to it now, even if I joined the "chain gang". Maybe in the spring.
 

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Very interesting these arrow's. Gives you a destination to find something while out TW'ing. I've done a ton of geocashing, but I've never found one that obvious! Of course one has to hike up yonder to get to it! You should keep this "finding the arrow's" a series, should you be able to locate more. Cool stuff.



Sorta like the arrow's, I like to find (ride too) as many fire lookout towers during some of my ride's. Thanks for sharing!
 

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Excellent report. I am looking forward to part 2.


Thanks! Glad you liked it.



Cool! thanks.


Thanks! I've enjoyed your reports as well.



Definitely.

It has to be the longest,

most desolate stretch of road

in any of the pictures so far.


Thanks for your insight. I've posted the picture up over there, we'll see what happens.



At the other end of Nevada, Highway 140 runs between Denio, NV and Lakeview, OR. Taking a break, I stopped my rig and looked around, marveling when I realized that not only did it seem that the sun rose and set between me and the nearest towns but also, beside the road itself, there was nothing, absolutely nothing man-made to be seen...no fences, no power lines, no roads scratched into the nearby scab land or far-off buttes. I looked skyward and there were no contrails overhead.There wasn't even any litter visible. Some of the hills were a good 30, 40 miles away and to "grok" that everything within view was natural was enlightening.


I've been through that end of Nevada also, and enjoyed it too.



Should have parked it in the middle of the road so it looks like the cover of the book!


Yeah, you know what they say - if foresight was as good as hind sight we would all be in good shape. I do think I need to put a little more thought into my pictures.



Very interesting these arrow's. You should keep this "finding the arrow's" a series, should you be able to locate more. Cool stuff.


Great idea! I would encourage anyone on this forum who comes across one of these arrows to post up their discovery here.



lizrdbrth' date='24 February 2012 - 09:33 AM' timestamp='1330101209' post='37841 said:
Interesting subject. This article claims 10 mile intervals on the towers from Salt Lake:



http://bonnevillemariner.wordpress.com/2010/07/12/lake-point-concrete-arrow-points-back-to-early-days-of-aviation/



Presumably the same would apply across the Sierras to SanFran as well as southward to L.A. and San diego.



Would make an interesting geekfest to find them all. I also found another, which lists 6 potential sites in my area:



http://surveymarks.planetzhanna.com/airway_beacons_west.shtml


Thanks for sharing those websites. The cool thing about the second one is it lists lat/long coordinates so you can either look it up on Google Earth, or have a better chance of finding it when on the TW. I did have to use a converter from the internet to convert the coordinates to the format used by Google Earth, however. I'm glad someone besides me found this interesting.
 

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Says your vid is "private".
 

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Do you ride with a satellite phone ? A tracking device ? A signal mirror ?



That is some wide open country. Those quad jockeys probably thought they were big dogs until they saw you. Then they realized they had little bitty peckers.



Thanks for taking us along.
 

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Do you ride with a satellite phone ? A tracking device ? A signal mirror ?



That is some wide open country. Those quad jockeys probably thought they were big dogs until they saw you. Then they realized they had little bitty peckers.



Thanks for taking us along.


No sat phone ($$), I hope to get a Spot someday, and I carry 2 signal mirrors with me at all times! I also wondered why the quads were so quick to move over until I looked behind me and saw my brother in his van not far behind.
 

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No sat phone ($$), I hope to get a Spot someday, and I carry 2 signal mirrors with me at all times! I also wondered why the quads were so quick to move over until I looked behind me and saw my brother in his van not far behind.
I am new to the forum, have just bought a T-Dub, live in Florida but also do a bit of flying out west. We plan to do some in Utah this summer operating out of St. George and will look for these. Really enjoyed the pics and video and am looking forward to using the TW200 for some great "on-the-ground" adventures.
 
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