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Old May 21, 2006, 03:29 AM
Professor of Wood
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Nampa. Idaho
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Wickahoney Stage Stop

Kevin’s work is inspirational. I took a trip today and got some Desert Pictures of the “Wickahoney Stage Stop” in the Southern part of Idaho. This Stage Stop served the needs of travelers and Wagon masters on a north/south route between Central Nevada to Idaho City and Boise City and return. Likely to Owyhee city and Elko in Nevada. The place is in ruins but is a pretty obscure place. That helps protect it. It’s on Public land but is hard to get to and not many people know it’s even there.

The first two pictures show the Stage stop as it looked today.

The third one shows my plane, my vehicle, the stage stop and the distant hills. There is a Cairn on top of the hill but is far enough away that it can’t be seen in the scaled down picture by zooming in.

The Fourth picture shows an aerial of the Wickahoney Stage Stop and the grounds with some of the surrounding area. I have identified some features on the picture.

Dan
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Old May 21, 2006, 03:30 AM
Professor of Wood
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Nampa. Idaho
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The next two pictures show the only two inhabitants I found that would stay still long enough to talk to. Neither was doing any talking though.

The final picture shows a more recent and permanent grave marker. It says, “Joshua Dunning, 1842-1909. Margaret Dunning, 1868-1913. Baby Dunning, 1894, Unknown Miner, 1910.

Dan
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Old May 21, 2006, 03:54 AM
Professor of Wood
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Here's a scaled down copy of the aerial picture without the captions.

Dan
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Old May 21, 2006, 04:17 AM
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Wow Dan that is some decent altitude you've got going on there. Did you get an altitude reading at this point? Just curious.
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Old May 21, 2006, 04:28 AM
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Neat old building.. Any fish in that pond?
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Old May 21, 2006, 04:44 AM
HeliAP'er!
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Lorks!! That was HIGH!! You must have been what ... 1500 to 2000 feet up?

The comment about the inhabitants not doing any talking made me chortle

Cool stuff, thanks for sharing!


David
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Old May 21, 2006, 06:08 AM
Did You Hear That?
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Tucson, Arizona
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Wow - now that's a cool place... To have a lone stage station on public land in such good condition makes me envious!... And the tracks!... Longest tracks I've been able to find is about 100' worth... And the skulls!... Sheesh - those things are picked up as if they were gold nuggets around here - I've never seen one just lying around... And the graves!... And! And! And!

Are the tracks on the opposite side of the river part of the stage road, too?... Maybe a river crossing area?... I wonder if the river was more free flowing (no reservoir) and wider back then?... Possible bridge or ferry?...

The building looks as if it may have been 2-stories or at least a generous loft area - you think maybe?...

Great photos and story, Dan... Thanks... I'm going to go compose myself now... LOL

Kevin
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Old May 21, 2006, 07:47 AM
Smile & wave
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Lancing West Sussex
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A wonderful presentation Dan. Thank you.

Gray
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Old May 21, 2006, 07:58 AM
Lift is cheap - Drag sucks
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Dan,

Thanks for the presentation. Definitely an adventure I'd otherwise have missed!

Looks like a great place to contemplate the past. Especially with the names on the graves.

The difference between the grazed and non-grazed area is dramatic.

Tom
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Old May 21, 2006, 01:21 PM
Professor of Wood
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Nampa. Idaho
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Thank you everyone for the nice comments.

No fish in the pond Mike. This creek is from the snow melt off and a few small springs. The Basalt rock (The higher elevation to the West of here) is full of cracks and fissures and is holding melt water. But it's leaking out these creeks. Soon it will be all dried up for the year. The green grasses will be brown. This same place will look quite different in a few months. There are Pit Vipers out here in the form of the Great Basin Rattler. I hear they taste just like chicken. I bet thats what they think of us.

The altitude I'm just not sure of. You're likely right David. I also use a camera with a 28mm lens and keep it at wide angle. That helps a lot. I don't see too many pure verticals taken from AP Pilots posted here. They lack the artistic flair and appeal of the obliques. I set this plane up through design and purpose to carry wide angle cameras and take agricultural pix. It's a very purpose driven design. That gives it a few strengths and a handful of weaknesses too. I don't get the lower artistic pictures you guys get. It's a big plane and I cannot hand launch it or catch it. I need to find a suitable runway. I need a big vehicle to haul it. It's not a very friendly size or design for the remote tactical stuff. That’s really the reason I started the "High Desert AP" thread so I could pick Tom and Kevin and others brains on a good plane for this type of picture. I'll post a picture that I'm pretty sure has been elsewhere so you guys can see the size of the beast I'm using. 102 inch span. 87 inch length. 2cid gas engine. 22 pounds. From a purely scientific standpoint, the pure verticals help show lines and objects not visible from the ground or lower obliques; they also help show scale and direction from geo referenced points to ease in locating them on foot. My plane is in it's own element doing these types of shots.

Anyhow, as you can imagine it is easy to see this plane when it's at a fairly high altitude. The environment like this is dead quiet. No cars, nothing. If a plane approaches, they are very high up and you can see and hear them from many miles away. Risk mitigation is easy to accomplish if you simply keep your eyes and ears open. I use a GPS return to me system for safety, but I fly inside of my see and avoid ability. Nothing comes close to me or I simply lose altitude fast or land while they pass by. I don’t even allow them to get close. If I fly in the more rural settings for the Ag shoots, I always use a spotter because there is occasional ground noise that can interfere with operations.

For what it's worth, I still want to accomplish some of the great photography you guys do and am still working on the smaller plane for that.

Dan
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Old May 21, 2006, 04:15 PM
It flew...nearly!
Norway
Joined Apr 2006
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Holy Moly, Dan!

That plane IS a beast!
When I looked at the high altitude pic I was sure it was off Google Earth!
Verticals are just as interesting and beautiful to look at as low altitude/obliques. They give "The Big Picture". Thanks for sharing pics and history.
matthew
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Old May 21, 2006, 08:35 PM
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Dan,

Nice work! I think that’s probably one of the most interesting vert’s I’ve seen.



Quote:
Originally Posted by wattnoise
And the skulls!... Sheesh - those things are picked up as if they were gold nuggets around here - Kevin
LOL
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Old May 21, 2006, 09:45 PM
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Wow! Dan! Great shots.
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Old May 21, 2006, 10:02 PM
Professor of Wood
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Nampa. Idaho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wattnoise
Are the tracks on the opposite side of the river part of the stage road, too?... Maybe a river crossing area?... I wonder if the river was more free flowing (no reservoir) and wider back then?... Possible bridge or ferry?...Kevin
I should have taken more ground pictures. I think the scale and lack of very many recognizable shapes, coupled with other picture sizing and etc makes them look from very high with huge features. These are not real big features though. The reservoir is more like a holding pond. You can find places where the banks are steep enough and just step across the creek. No bridges or ferry here. These little creeks aren't too big. I think the current two track coming in to the place is very likely the same access used back in the old days by wagon. I forded the creeks in my vehicle without having to lock it into 4x4. I think the creek would dry up at various times depending on snow level through the winter. I should keep an eye on it this year tough. Maybe it stays wet all year. I don't think so though. It might have been different 150 years ago but it's hard to tell. I'm certain the current reservoir was put in with a front loader and is to capture water for the grazing cattle lower down the hill. It was likely added to retain the runoff for later as the source dries up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wattnoise
The building looks as if it may have been 2-stories or at least a generous loft area - you think maybe?...Kevin
Here's a few more pictures from inside the stage stop. You can see it used to have plaster on the walls and it's falling off. I didn't see any evidence of a second story but there could have been a small loft. Most of the rock is still in place where it fell. There are only little scraps of wood around in the rocks. There is a fire pit made up of rocks that fell off the walls outside one wall. I presume after the stop was abandoned, the wood was scavenged for other uses. It's pretty rare out here. Maybe it was hauled off for other use. Maybe it was just burned to heat the coffee and beans and scare off the coyotes.

I see those skulls around from time to time. I have a few at home but I don't even pick them up anymore. That way my dogs don't fight over the new ones when I bring them home. I got a scotty that claims all bones as his. He can't carry them too far though since they're bigger than him. They are the only thing I lug out though.

One of them was a little too fresh. Coyotes got it picked pretty clean but the ants aren't done cleaning the insides out.

Dan
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Old May 21, 2006, 10:03 PM
Professor of Wood
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Nampa. Idaho
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Thank you Patrick and Quailbird. Patrick, didn't you just get married this weekend? Congratulations.

Dan
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