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Badger
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PostWed May 07, 2008 12:26 pm 
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Next time your in Port Angeles......


Controversial Port Angeles founder Victor Smith was fre-quently at the center of a storm of accusations of financial improprieties. A number of treasure stories of varied degrees of authenticity have attached themselves to his name. Some researchers have maintained that as treasury agent, Smith absconded with $1,500 in currency and $7,500 in gold coins in 1861, which he reportedly buried in the Port Angeles area.

This story is probably the result of researchers confusing two separate incidents. In reality, a grand jury in Olympia indicted Smith on 13 counts of misuse of public funds stemming from incidents relating to Smith's tenure as collector for the Puget Sound District Customs House in Port Townsend, but there was no accusation of outright theft. Smith's friend, Salmon Chase, the Secretary of the Treasury, later had these charges dropped and appointed Smith a treasury agent.

As a treasury agent, Smith's first major task was to transport a large sum of money to San Francisco. During the voyage, Smith's ship, the Gold Rule, wrecked but did not sink off Roncador Reef. During the excitement the strongbox containing the money disappeared and was never recovered. Smith accused the captain of the Gold Rule of theft, but there was no proof and some of the suspicion fell on Smith himself. Two weeks later Smith was returning to Puget Sound aboard the Brother Jonathan when she sank near Crescent City with a great loss of life, including Victor Smith.

Given what we know of Smith, it is possible that he did hide the strongbox during the confusion and try to blame the captain.

However, it is equally possible that the money was just plain lost during the accident. In any case, Smith could not have buried the money at Port Angeles unless he did so before the voyage. Smith had no way of knowing of the impending shipwreck in advance. Hiding the gold before departure would have meant he would have arrived at his destination sans money and cover story, not a likely scenario.

The real Victor Smith treasure story was related years later by his son Norman. In his memoirs, Norman recalls that during a flood in 1863 which severely damaged the Smith home at Port Townsend, a cigar box containing $6,000 worth of gold coins which Secretary Chase had paid Smith for his home in Ohio was washed away. The coins were swept up in a mud slide that leveled the Customs House at the foot of Valley Street, killing two customs agents, and were never recovered.
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Beaucephus
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PostSun May 18, 2008 12:30 pm 
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This is a bit off the topic of treasures, lost, hidden or rumored.
But I was wondering what everyone's take is on the story of Mel's Hole, said to be located near Ellensburg WA.????
http://www.uwtv.org/programs/displayevent.aspx?rid=5160
http://everything2.com/index.pl?node_id+1518011 dizzy.gif

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"And these children that you spit on, while they try and change their world, are immune to your consultations. They're quite aware of what they're going through"
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Slugman
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PostSun May 18, 2008 3:26 pm 
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Jake wrote:
A preponderance of information suggest that yes, indeed, the gold find was real.

I'm a bit puzzled by this statement. There appears to be no information that suggests the find was real, and plenty to suggest the story is just a story. The dates are off by decades, the time of year is wrong, the geology is wrong, etc, etc. Also, the story has so many minute details that it smacks of fabrication. How did the story-teller know the sound the horse's hoofs made? And why would Ingalls bury the map? It's a convenient excuse for the map's disappearance, but unfortunately makes no sense at all. All the tiny details are meant to make the story sound real, but are in fact the complete giveaway that it is fiction of the "whole-cloth" variety. Sorry to be a wet blanket/bubble burster.  frown.gif

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touron
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PostSun May 18, 2008 9:01 pm 
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It reads like a dramatization of something that may have happened.  Perhaps some museum or historical society would have further information.  If he was indeed a captain, would it be possible to trace his name to a military roster?

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Touron is a nougat of Arabic origin made with almonds and honey or sugar, without which it would just not be Christmas in Spain.
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Mount Logan
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PostWed May 21, 2008 3:07 pm 
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The thing I always wonder about concerning lost treasure legends is the ever-present "...and it has never been found..."

Assuming it existed in the first place, how does anyone know it's never been found? If you stumbled across Ben Ingalls' gold, would you call up the KOMO news hotline to report it?   uhh.gif

Oh and one other thing...

Quote:
studded thickly with glittering, virgin gold

Gold doesn't glitter, it glows. Pyrite (fools' gold) glitters.   uhoh.gif
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poetoflamancha
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PostSat May 24, 2008 1:30 am 
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Mount Logan wrote:

Oh and one other thing...

Quote:
studded thickly with glittering, virgin gold

Gold doesn't glitter, it glows.

So do virgins.   biggrin.gif
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More Cowbell
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PostSat May 24, 2008 7:26 am 
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Mount Logan wrote:


Oh and one other thing...

Quote:
studded thickly with glittering, virgin gold

Gold doesn't glitter, it glows. Pyrite (fools' gold) glitters.   uhoh.gif

Four words and one pic:
Rare Wire Crystaline Gold
Quote:
From the Ollie Jordin mine - 2004, mined and photographed by Rob Repin.
The photo above is an excellent example of what is known as "Crystalline Wire Gold" found as a naturally occurring form of gold. Crystalline Wire Gold is a rarer form of gold, and as such it is worth more than other forms of gold that you (if you are lucky enough to find it!) might find in rivers, streams or other locations.

Naturally occurring gold often has silver and other metals that, although by percentage are small, devalue the price of the gold found.

Crystalline Wire Gold is very rare and only found in a few locations throughout the world. As such, most crystalline wire gold is not melted, but often saved by collectors of this rare form.

(location where gold found: Kittitas County, Washington.)

The Liberty area supposedly had this rare form of gold besides the other forms.

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“If you want to forget all your other troubles, wear too tight shoes.” - Unknown
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touron
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PostWed May 28, 2008 8:32 pm 
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The Captain Ben Ingalls story reminds me of an experience I had a few years ago.  The following is mostly complete fact, though I am writing from recollection, not transcribing from a journal...

My friend mgd and myself had decided to team up for a hike. up.gif drink.gif  That this had happened at all was unusual in and of itself.  However, as luck would have it, we were unable to agree on which hike we wanted to go on, so after a half hour of disagreeing, we decided to bag the hike altogether and go our seperate ways. shakehead.gif   Ahhh....free at last to choose! up.gif hmmm.gif    I crumpled up my list of potential hikes and decided to head up Mt. Stuart Way.  However, as often happens with nwhikers, when I pulled up to the trailhead, who should I see putting on his boots, but mgd!  doof.gif   We were quite surprised to see each other, exchanged pleasantries, and then bowing to fate, commenced hiking.  It was the longest day of the year, and the sun, though high in the sky, beat down on us with an intense ferocity.  Hours of dusty hiking passed.  At length, mgd suggested an off-trail shortcut, and so we angled up a lightly timbered slope for the next two hours.  As we trodded longer and further, the sun seemed to alter its path, following us in our short cut, an apparent attempt to maximize our agony.   At length we reached what appeared to be an unbreachable headwall.  "mgd," I said through gritted teeth, "Remind me not to listen to your suggestions in the future.  We just went up a 2 hour dead end street." mad.gif   mgd did not respond.  In fact, where was mgd?  An instant later, I saw mgd appear as if by magic through the wall. "Touron," he shouted, "there is hidden pass!  Come here!"  And when I reached the wall, there it was, a pass through the wall, hidden at a distance, but obvious from up close.  We followed this channel which lead between two peaks, and finally circled out to a ledge high above a basin.  I wiped the sweat from my eyes, and shuffled my feet a bit, hoping mgd would notice my sloggishness and suggest a break. "Touron," says mgd, "let's take a break."  At last! agree.gif   I found the least sharp rock I could and plopped down on it. mgd, sat down as well.  A slight, cool breeze at last cut heavy Summer air.  Far below us, the waters of three alpine lakes danced and sparkled in the sun.  Inviting to look at, but too much work to reach. down.gif   The day was growing long, we were tired, and this would make a good turnaround spot.  But what lakes were these?  I pulled out my map. There was Stuart, yes. But the lakes...hmmm....  The crescent shaped one should be obvious...  A mosquito lazily made another circle around my head. bug.gif I folded up the map and swatted it. It dropped to the ground. ninja.gif    Ahhh....a breeze...the sun...the lakes...no mosquito--relaxation at last!  Then, a clinking noise broke my reverie. paranoid.gif   I turned my head, and  as I enviously watched, mgd opened his pack and pulled out an ice cold bottle of beer.  He paused for a long second, seemingly deep in thought, and finally reached into his pack again, and pulled out second one.  "Here," he said, "it's on me."  Wow!  A real sacrifice! angel.gif   We had not planned on hiking together that day, and here he was dipping into his reserves to help quench my thirst.  "Too bad," he said.  "Two beers, but only one coaster."  One coaster?  "Why did you carry a coaster all the way up here?  The eleventh essential?"  "No," said mgd. "The coaster was just lying here.  See?"  He picked it up and showed it to me.  "That's not a coaster!" I replied.  "That's a horseshoe!"  It appeared to be centuries old, and on the side of it I could barely make out the inscription "US Cavalry LR".  As mgd turned the horshoe for a better view, my jaw dropped.  Embedded in its bottom were large flecks of gold, that glimmered in the mid-day sun. eek.gif   Eureka!  What a find!  "Here", I said, dropping my peanutbutter sandwich. "Let me see that."  As I reached for the horseshoe, I realized it was heavier than I thought.  Suddenly, it slipped through my peanutbuttery fingers, bounced off a rock, and went tumbling over the ledge. hairy.gif  In panic, I traced the arc of its trajectory with my eyes,  watching it hurl slowly through space, and then glance off a boulder far below, and finally hearing it clatter to a rest near the shore of the middle lake. bawl.gif   I jumped up. There was gold in that horseshoe, and I aimed to retrieve it!  Now the distance to the lakes was of no matter.  It took a half hour to reach the lakes, and another 20 minutes to find the horshoe, but when we did, oh, what a find!  It lay atop a pile of crumbling quartz rock, a pile that glittered with gold.  I looked at mgd. strange.gif   If not for him finding the horseshoe, we would not have stumbled on this mother lode, but if not for me dropping it, we would not have stumbled on this mother lode. uhh.gif Right then we agreed--a 50/50 split was in order.  My pack, however, was filled with the 10 essentials.  mgd claimed his pack was full as well, though I knew for a fact it was 24oz lighter than it had been.  Still, as I swigged the last of my beer, it seemed in poor decorum to press my case.  We both agreed it would be best to come back in a week with large packs with enough room to pack out a suitable quantity of gold.  Should we draw a map?

devilsmile.gif No, it was starting to get dark.
angel.gif Yes, a map might come in handy.
devilsmile.gif No, a map could be stolen by others.
angel.gif Yes, we could code the map so only we could read it.
devilsmile.gif No, stories of maps + buried treasure = treasure is never recovered, well-known fact
angel.gif Yes, we would be fools not to and the laughingstock of history
devilsmile.gif No, the visual cues were obvious, and I could distinctly hear a burger calling my name far down the valley... burger.gif

Oh, that lonesome burger call!  We decided not to even take a nugget back to have it assayed--why create a gold rush?  Leave not trace.  We would tell no one. mum.gif   Who wants to be shadowed by greedy prospectors every time you leave town? sneaky.gif   I suggested a cairn to mark the spot. mgd said a cairn, when knocked over, looks like a bunch of random rocks, but two beer bottles, when knocked over, look like two beer bottles. Plus, we would be back in a week. This would not be littering.   We shook hands, hefted our packs, and headed back. cheers.gif   A week later, Winter with all its fury made an early November appearance--a storm of the century.  Argh!  Not even the coldness of that Winter could reduce my gold fever!  I dreamed of the gold.  I had hallucinations of gold.    It would be Summer now before we could return. rant.gif
And when at last Summer arrived, we retraced our steps.  For some reason, though, things looked different now. uhh.gif  We could not find the ledge.  We could not find the lakes.  And of course, we could not find the gold.  The treasure should still be there, for he who stumbles upon it.  But if you see only two bottles, and no gold, you may return them for deposit. souse.gif

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Touron is a nougat of Arabic origin made with almonds and honey or sugar, without which it would just not be Christmas in Spain.
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More Cowbell
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PostWed May 28, 2008 9:08 pm 
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You da man, Touron.  I'm writing you in for president now.   up.gif

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“If you want to forget all your other troubles, wear too tight shoes.” - Unknown
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peltoms
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PostTue Jun 10, 2008 5:45 am 
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Bravo!! Wait I do not remember a snow storm that big that early that year hmmm.gif .  Oh and I do see plenty of beer cans and bottles, so since it is a bottle that rules out lite beers, so what kind of beer was it, so I do not get to excited when i come across just two random beer bottles. wink.gif
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touron
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PostTue Jun 10, 2008 8:20 pm 
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Good question.  I wish I knew what kind of beer it was! doh.gif  mgd told me that on the day of the hike he was in a hurry.  He ran into the grocery store and just grabbed what was on sale.  And when we discovered the gold, the find just overwhelmed all of the other minor details of the hike.  Heck, any beer would have tasted great at that point, the fever had taken us so!!  Imagine!  Once we failed to refind the gold, however, we both realized that knowing what kind of beer it was at least might be vital to finding the bottles. uhh.gif  As you note, yahoos have left bottles galore strewn hither and yon. shakehead.gif   For a whole month we sample every beer that grocery store sold!  An exhaustive sampling would surely yield the answer.  One day I would stop by mgd's and we would both have a beer.  The next day, mgd would visit me and we would have a beer.  The conversation went something like, "Maybe this is it!" "Nope not this one."  "Perhaps--?" "Nope, wrong again!"  "At last!"  "Not by a long shot!"  Every beer we tried, we could not arrive at an agreement!  mad.gif

Tonight, I invited mgd to watch the NBA Celtics-Lakers game.  mgd is a diehard Celtics fan, while I am an avid Lakers fan. down.gif  up.gif    When the Celtics made their first basket, mgd shouted exultantly, "Hooray! I think this is it!"  "What do you mean?" I replied irritably. Sure the Lakers were down by two games but the series was nowhere near finished.  I didn't want mgd running off and getting the broom and doing another 2 hour "sweep" dance. rolleyes.gif   "No," said mgd.  "This is the beer! It is the one we took on the hike!"   I sipped the beer. drink.gif  I looked at the bottle.  "No," I said.  "This beer is a lighter color, the flavor too heavy, the aroma too pungent.  And see how the bottle has a long neck and is dark?  I can barely detect my fingers on the other side when I hold it up to the light.  Of course the sun that day was brighter than this lighting. cool.gif   But the label even looks different, and it is harder to peel off.  And it does not have the twist-off cap.  Remember?  I had to use my Swiss Army knife to open it."  The gold fever having subsided, some of the details were returning, but alas, no details that we could agree on! lol.gif

So there the treasure sits, in plain sight, awaiting someone to stumble upon it. bawl.gif

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Touron is a nougat of Arabic origin made with almonds and honey or sugar, without which it would just not be Christmas in Spain.
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Lost Cosmonaut
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PostSun Jul 27, 2008 11:26 pm 
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I've been fascinated by this story for a couple weeks now since I picked up the Washington Myths and Mysteries book.  I had never heard this story, despite being a 20 year resident and knowing several miners and locals in the Liberty/Blewett area.  I plan on visiting Ingalls Lake if I ever get the chance.

Gold was first officially discovered in the Blewett area around 1860.  In fact, by the time Ingalls would have returned to the area for his second expedition, gold mines would have already been started.  Most of the gold found in the early days was placer gold.

So is it just a legend?  The problem is, most legends have something of a shred of truth to them wink.gif

- Patrick
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AR
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PostMon Jul 28, 2008 12:37 pm 
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touron wrote:
The Captain Ben Ingalls story reminds me of an experience I had a few years ago.  The following is mostly complete fact, though I am writing from recollection, not transcribing from a journal...

My friend mgd and myself had decided to team up for a hike. up.gif drink.gif  That this had happened at all was unusual in and of itself.  However, as luck would have it, we were unable to agree on which hike we wanted to go on, so after a half hour of disagreeing, we decided to bag the hike altogether and go our seperate ways. shakehead.gif   Ahhh....free at last to choose! up.gif hmmm.gif    I crumpled up my list of potential hikes and decided to head up Mt. Stuart Way.  However, as often happens with nwhikers, when I pulled up to the trailhead, who should I see putting on his boots, but mgd!  doof.gif   We were quite surprised to see each other, exchanged pleasantries, and then bowing to fate, commenced hiking.  It was the longest day of the year, and the sun, though high in the sky, beat down on us with an intense ferocity.  Hours of dusty hiking passed.  At length, mgd suggested an off-trail shortcut, and so we angled up a lightly timbered slope for the next two hours.  As we trodded longer and further, the sun seemed to alter its path, following us in our short cut, an apparent attempt to maximize our agony.   At length we reached what appeared to be an unbreachable headwall.  "mgd," I said through gritted teeth, "Remind me not to listen to your suggestions in the future.  We just went up a 2 hour dead end street." mad.gif   mgd did not respond.  In fact, where was mgd?  An instant later, I saw mgd appear as if by magic through the wall. "Touron," he shouted, "there is hidden pass!  Come here!"  And when I reached the wall, there it was, a pass through the wall, hidden at a distance, but obvious from up close.  We followed this channel which lead between two peaks, and finally circled out to a ledge high above a basin.  I wiped the sweat from my eyes, and shuffled my feet a bit, hoping mgd would notice my sloggishness and suggest a break. "Touron," says mgd, "let's take a break."  At last! agree.gif   I found the least sharp rock I could and plopped down on it. mgd, sat down as well.  A slight, cool breeze at last cut heavy Summer air.  Far below us, the waters of three alpine lakes danced and sparkled in the sun.  Inviting to look at, but too much work to reach. down.gif   The day was growing long, we were tired, and this would make a good turnaround spot.  But what lakes were these?  I pulled out my map. There was Stuart, yes. But the lakes...hmmm....  The crescent shaped one should be obvious...  A mosquito lazily made another circle around my head. bug.gif I folded up the map and swatted it. It dropped to the ground. ninja.gif    Ahhh....a breeze...the sun...the lakes...no mosquito--relaxation at last!  Then, a clinking noise broke my reverie. paranoid.gif   I turned my head, and  as I enviously watched, mgd opened his pack and pulled out an ice cold bottle of beer.  He paused for a long second, seemingly deep in thought, and finally reached into his pack again, and pulled out second one.  "Here," he said, "it's on me."  Wow!  A real sacrifice! angel.gif   We had not planned on hiking together that day, and here he was dipping into his reserves to help quench my thirst.  "Too bad," he said.  "Two beers, but only one coaster."  One coaster?  "Why did you carry a coaster all the way up here?  The eleventh essential?"  "No," said mgd. "The coaster was just lying here.  See?"  He picked it up and showed it to me.  "That's not a coaster!" I replied.  "That's a horseshoe!"  It appeared to be centuries old, and on the side of it I could barely make out the inscription "US Cavalry LR".  As mgd turned the horshoe for a better view, my jaw dropped.  Embedded in its bottom were large flecks of gold, that glimmered in the mid-day sun. eek.gif   Eureka!  What a find!  "Here", I said, dropping my peanutbutter sandwich. "Let me see that."  As I reached for the horseshoe, I realized it was heavier than I thought.  Suddenly, it slipped through my peanutbuttery fingers, bounced off a rock, and went tumbling over the ledge. hairy.gif  In panic, I traced the arc of its trajectory with my eyes,  watching it hurl slowly through space, and then glance off a boulder far below, and finally hearing it clatter to a rest near the shore of the middle lake. bawl.gif   I jumped up. There was gold in that horseshoe, and I aimed to retrieve it!  Now the distance to the lakes was of no matter.  It took a half hour to reach the lakes, and another 20 minutes to find the horshoe, but when we did, oh, what a find!  It lay atop a pile of crumbling quartz rock, a pile that glittered with gold.  I looked at mgd. strange.gif   If not for him finding the horseshoe, we would not have stumbled on this mother lode, but if not for me dropping it, we would not have stumbled on this mother lode. uhh.gif Right then we agreed--a 50/50 split was in order.  My pack, however, was filled with the 10 essentials.  mgd claimed his pack was full as well, though I knew for a fact it was 24oz lighter than it had been.  Still, as I swigged the last of my beer, it seemed in poor decorum to press my case.  We both agreed it would be best to come back in a week with large packs with enough room to pack out a suitable quantity of gold.  Should we draw a map?

devilsmile.gif No, it was starting to get dark.
angel.gif Yes, a map might come in handy.
devilsmile.gif No, a map could be stolen by others.
angel.gif Yes, we could code the map so only we could read it.
devilsmile.gif No, stories of maps + buried treasure = treasure is never recovered, well-known fact
angel.gif Yes, we would be fools not to and the laughingstock of history
devilsmile.gif No, the visual cues were obvious, and I could distinctly hear a burger calling my name far down the valley... burger.gif

Oh, that lonesome burger call!  We decided not to even take a nugget back to have it assayed--why create a gold rush?  Leave not trace.  We would tell no one. mum.gif   Who wants to be shadowed by greedy prospectors every time you leave town? sneaky.gif   I suggested a cairn to mark the spot. mgd said a cairn, when knocked over, looks like a bunch of random rocks, but two beer bottles, when knocked over, look like two beer bottles. Plus, we would be back in a week. This would not be littering.   We shook hands, hefted our packs, and headed back. cheers.gif   A week later, Winter with all its fury made an early November appearance--a storm of the century.  Argh!  Not even the coldness of that Winter could reduce my gold fever!  I dreamed of the gold.  I had hallucinations of gold.    It would be Summer now before we could return. rant.gif
And when at last Summer arrived, we retraced our steps.  For some reason, though, things looked different now. uhh.gif  We could not find the ledge.  We could not find the lakes.  And of course, we could not find the gold.  The treasure should still be there, for he who stumbles upon it.  But if you see only two bottles, and no gold, you may return them for deposit. souse.gif

Okay, now that I am salivating over this story, a few questions come to mind touron.  What trailhead did you park at, there are several for Mt. Stuart.  Can you show a pic of the horseshoe with the gold?  If I had to carry the samples back buck naked I would have, let alone because of a full pack.  Why not just one chunk?

--------------
...wait...are we just going to hang here or go hiking?
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snowman_312
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PostSun Oct 19, 2008 5:50 pm 
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I grew up in the Peshastin area, so did several generations before me.  My grandmother knew Kate Bailey and the Hansels also

In my tracking down bits and pieces, found out that Captain Ingals was a captain for the union in the Civil War, was also let to believe he was also still a Captain on army business when the "gold" was discovered.

Also I believe he was in the Mclean house when Robert E Lee surrendered to Grant

Now most of us "locals" do not believe in the lost gold even though the Blewett region is one of the biggest gold finds in the state.  Most of us have hiked all over the area in our years and found nothing.

But there is one place that most of us believe if it exist that is the place, within 5 miles of Lake Ingals is such a place, a place where there use to be some "ponds" but was covered over by a landslide of unknown date.

but who really knows

good luck you all and it is not in the Enchantments, that is all granite and never have found much quartz in the area.  Look where there should be a lake or lakes and there are not
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Jake
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PostSun Oct 19, 2008 6:01 pm 
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Thanks for your input Snowman. I'm glad someone is doing more research on the subject.
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