Strevell Airway Arrow

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Airway arrows are an obscure part of American aviation history. When I found that I would be joining the team at the City of Rocks I started looking around for interesting things to do in the area. I found that the Strevell Airway Arrow was nearby. For an explanation of airway arrows this web site has a pretty good description.

This arrow is located about 300 feet east of the intersection of old Highway 81 and the Strevell Road.

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The arrow

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Retired

I choose to come to the City of Rocks as a transition into retirement. After 40 years of working an established job with deadlines, meetings, massive amount of emails, and my life ruled by my Outlook calendar, my friend Jan strongly recommended that I don’t start my retirement at home. Start with some structure she recommended. Leave. So I started looking for a trip to take and opportunities to volunteer. The results of my search; is coming to the City of Rocks. I give geology tours and hang around Register Rock telling stories about the California Trail for those that stop by.  Plus I walk trails in uniform answering questions. A perfect transition to retirement.

I use to work in a high rise climate controlled building.  My new offices are different.

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My new home office in my camping trailer on a small folding table

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D. Tickner June 12.50

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One of my volunteer tasks is to explain the California Trail and share information. What I explain is that the trip was an arduous undertaking. Many made the trip and encountered death and personal losses. Others were lucky and only encountered an extreme physical adventure.

Daniel Tickner recorded his name on Register Rock in the City of Rocks while making a trip. Research has uncovered his unusual story of crossing the land on the California Trail three times.

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Signature seen on Register Rock

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Where the Pavement Ends – City of Rocks, Idaho

I’m here – at the City of Rocks National Reserve and Castle Rocks State Park – at the end of the pavement. I arrived here during a snow squall, it seemed perfect to me. I left home to live a different life for a month; snow the last day of April was a welcoming sign that life would be different here.  The area is a simple place where most livelihood is ranching. It is a place without distractions.  A place where one can make their life what they want it to be.

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A view from Almo the day I arrived.

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Virginia City

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After settling into my Mill Creek Campground site I returned to Virginia City the next day. I meander up the Alder Gulch Road south of Virginia City looking for evidence of the old mines. A lot of the land was marked private but the further I drove the ”Private – No Trespassing” signs diminished. It looked to me that the hills are filled with old mines with remnants of old roads dug into the hills. With a gps and hiking boots one could spend days exploring. I was aiming for Union City located at the end of the road.  But I didn’t make it to the old city, to keep going it looked like four-wheel drive was required. More adventure than I wanted traveling with only my dogs.

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Unknown grave at the Tunnel Mine

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Mill Creek

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I was off to the Mill Creek Campground east of Sheridan to explore that area. On the way  I ran into a cattle drive; using the road as the cattle drive path. The locals were probably annoyed, but I pulled out my camera and enjoyed it. Cattle on both sides of me and crossing in front of me. Plus real cowboys on horses. All made for a tourist like me.

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Red Rock Lakes NWR or Bust?

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2018-09-30 17.23.05My plans had been to go to the Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. I had been diligently watching the weather forecast. The forecasts weren’t promising. Would the road to Red Rock turn to gumbo with rain? Could the place get an early snow and make driving there risky? The Bannack State Park ranger didn’t know about the road and suggested I ask at Lima. I left Bannack driving in snow and hail. Thirty-two degrees was the outside temperature my truck indicated. I believed the snow would stop soon. The weather forecast was for a high of 54 degrees.

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Bannack

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It was time to move on. I had been at Maiden Rock for four days. I arrived at Bannack early in the afternoon and found no one in either campground. I had my pick of all the campsites. I found the camp host site and made it mine.  There were a total of three of us in the two campgrounds that night.  I visited the town and wandered around looking at the building, the wood textures and the outhouses.  All the doors are kept unlocked which encouraged me to pause and feel the past.

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