Sunday, February 10, 2008

Return to Slate Creek (skeleton location)

After yesterday's excitement, today was rather anticlimactic. We returned to Slate Creek this morning to see what, if anything had been done about the skeleton we found yesterday. The skull, neck, arm and shoulder had been removed, presumedly by the Tonto National Forest archaeologist. They left the rest of the skeleton still buried beneath a large mound of sand, silt and rock, it'll take quite an excavation to remove the rest of it if they choose to. We'll give them about a week to make a determination of who, and how old the skeleton appears to be, then we'll begin bugging them for information. Hey, it's "our" skeleton and we want to know!
We checked out the rest of the immediate area, searching for clues about a possible ghost town in the general vicinity. We did find a few remnants of the old mining mill that used to stand on the hillside above Slate Creek. That particular area has been subjected to some heavy flooding over the past recent years, so much of the ruins have unfortunately been washed away. We also saw evidence that mining had been done at one time very near where the skeleton was found. It's a very interesting area because the heavy flooding has washed so many things down river to be caught in tree branches and rocky outcroppings. There's an old truck, 1940s vintage as well as an old VW, also of the same era, smashed and decaying in the now dry part of the riverbed. I'm sure we'll return there again. It'll take some hiking (and lots of stamina) to get into the mountains to search for the ghost town remains, but we'll do it, our curiosity is driving us.