Here’s a cool one..

Finally in 2022 I’m going to post again… I got so busy during Covid and post Covid that I’ve been burning the candle at both ends, making great money, working a lot, and playing a little. So here we go!

This morning while drinking my coffee I was reminded of something a good friend and fellow treasure hunter showed me back in 2017. Actually there were several things he showed me on that adventure that could be described as mind-boggling, unless you’ve researched the world of signs and symbols left by the Spaniards and those that came before, and after them. I was visiting one of the western states, and since my buddy was only 2.5hrs from where I was staying, well, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to hang out for a couple days! Especially since I had never actually MET this friend in person…

For almost 15 years I had talked with this friend regarding treasure hunting and decoding the Spanish codex of signs and symbols used to mark trails and sites all across the southwest. This friend has spent his adult life compiling information, following signs, and comparing the various interpretations by some folks with what he knew and saw in his home state. For those two days, actually one and a half days, he took me on a whirlwind tour of just a few large signs that we would describe as ‘obvious’, but the average person would look past, or at most just make a note that nature sure does weird things, and ‘gee, that rock looks just like a face!’. Well, DUH!

So having hiked up and down some mountainsides, no small task for this flatlander, and trying to wrap my head around all these cool sites, discussing how far my buddy has followed to the next sign, seeing the destruction of many signs by either progress, USFS/BLM (don’t get me started), treasure hunters not knowing what they were looking at and assuming treasure was RIGHT THERE, etc, etc. I was on ‘information overload’. Now I say that because not only had he shown me several of the ‘classic’ Spanish signs and symbols, but also some signs that were clearly not Spanish, and obviously much older. Not to go too far down that road but if you’ve read a bit, you probably would have come to the conclusion that the Spanish were not the first to seek gold in the ‘New World’! But then, as if I hadn’t seen enough already to convince me that I needed to move west in order to chase these signs with any regularity-not whirlwind day tours-he mentioned to me that we were going to a very special site. I could tell by the look in his eyes that this one might just be the topper of all that we had seen so far.

So there we were, buzzing along the mountain highway at way faster than I would drive, especially on a downhill grade, when he suddenly said, ‘oops, here we go, hang on!’, while almost putting me through the windshield braking, and veering off the highway and apparently straight off road into no-mans land! Pretty soon it became evident that we were actually on a grown over two-track trail, and I wondered if we were even allowed to be driving here, considering the USFS and BLM rules about what constitutes a road. As we continued, the track went uphill to a point several hundred feet above the highway. After several minutes of constant jarring, vibrating and occaisional ‘shake you out of your seat’ bumps, we came to a stop. Having not explored those particular mountains, I was surprised to see that we could even drive that far. Looking back downhill, I remember thinking ‘wow, we came a long way up, look how small the cars on the highway look’. From there it was a relatively short hike up to a grassy plateau that initially looked like nothing special.

Hiking uphill wasn’t the most fun, even with the gentle slope to the top. Scattered rocks, hidden by the long grass, made it almost like walking on a field full of softballs, every step testing how sure-footed I was. Finally we came into view of something I had certainly never seen the likes of in any of my previous travels – a large ring of stones with radian type lines, marker boulders inside the ring, some of them the size of one of those blow-up exercise balls, and others about the size of cantaloupe to watermelons, arranged so that the larger boulders indicated some type of site, further afield, that you would be able to find if you knew how to decode this marker. I’m not going to include a picture because I’ve been sworn to secrecy about where this site is, and the exact details about it, but I will describe the general details because this type of marker is an example of the type of signs put in place by a much smaller group, known to have recovered and re-hidden some of the early Spanish treasures in order to fund another uprising by the South. You can read about this group online, as well as the arguments as to whether they actually existed or not, but for now, I was standing at a site marked in the particular style/arrangement that this group was known for…

It took me a minute to snap my mind into ‘analysis’ mode after first seeing the full view of the circle of stones in front of me. It measured 40 feet across. Within the circle there were 13 lines of stones, each endpoint marked with larger boulders, some of the lines being interrupted by circles anywhere from six feet across, to three feet across, and within those smaller circles, large chunks of quartz semi-buried by several smaller fist-sized rocks. ‘What the heck is this trying to tell us?’ I asked my buddy. He just looked at me, not saying a word, with an expression of ‘figure it out’ on his face. Well ok. I broke out my compass and quickly came to the conclusion that when this marker was put down, they used true north, and not magnetic north, and that the lines had a very specific spacing, radiating not from the middle, but from the eastern, or 90 degree point of the circle. As the lines went westward, 270/90 degrees being the middle line, they were diverging, each one apparently a degree bearing to follow to another site. Looking westward from our high plateau, it was obvious that this map indicated a very large scale, and to follow any one of these bearing lines would take time, equipment, and probably mules to get across the huge canyons and peaks that we could see just within the first several miles. The view was both intimidating and breathtaking at the same time, and I could feel it calling us. An adventure of such a large scale that ‘once in a lifetime’ would not be a cliche description. As the sun was beginning to set, we knew we had to get off that mountain while we could still see where we were going. Silently I vowed to myself, ‘another day’…

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