Monday, June 26, 2017

Airmail Navigaton Arrow - Mormon Mesa Near Mesquite, NV

This arrow is a short drive off I-15 ten miles south of Mesquite, NV.  Here's a Google map centered on the arrow.  The road was surprisingly easy.  I imagine the only people driving it are visiting the arrow site.  There aren't any signs and I almost made a wrong turn.  I didn't realize how short the route was.  The arrow is only 1.7 miles down the road once you leave the highway. 

This is beacon 32 along the Los Angeles to Salt Lake City route.  The site is pretty remote and desolate.  

The arrow seems to point to no place in particular.  The CAM 4 route map indicates that the next beacon is just across the state line in AZ.  I can't find any more information about that site (32A).

There's a bit of debris in the area.  Some of the metal pieces might puncture your tires.  

I took care to avoid those when turning around.  In fact, I took an obvious loop used by other visitors to turn around.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Airmail Navigaton Arrow - Quail Creek

This arrow is north of St. George, UT on an uplifted ridge line (named the Harrisburg Bench) overlooking the Quail Creek Reservoir.  Here's a Google map centered on the arrow.  This was beacon 38 on the Los Angeles to Salt Lake City route (CAM #4).

I originally planned to drive the 4wd trail to this one, but ended up walking the route.  I began by walking up the start of the trail to see how difficult it might be.  Four wheel drive trails in Utah tend to be more difficult than those in California, and many 4wd enthusiasts in Utah have heavily modified trucks.  I wanted to see if this trail was super hard and if there was room to turn around if needed.  Before I noticed, I had already walked up the entire route.  In the end, I could have driven this trail.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Airmail Navigaton Arrow - Shinob Kibe

Another airmail navigation arrow sits atop a slanted mesa named Shinob Kibe in Washington, Utah.  This site tells me that Shinob Kibe is pronounced Shih-NO-bee KY-bee and the mesa is sacred to the Paiute indians.  Here's a Google map centered on this arrow.

Visiting this arrow requires a short hike up an established trail.

This site was known as beacon 37B along the Los Angeles to Salt Lake City route.  That route was also known as Contract Air Mail Route 4 and the contract was awarded to Western Air Express.  Their first flight on this route was on April 17, 1926.

This arrow points to another arrow atop a large slanted uplift region just west of Quail Creek Reservoir.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Airmail Navigaton Arrow - St. George: Bloomington

On my way to Zion NP, I visited several airmail navigation arrow sites in the St. George area of southern Utah.  This one is located in a suburban neighborhood on a bluff above an area called Bloomington.  The Arrows Across America web site reports that this arrow site is number 37A along the Los Angeles to Salt Lake City route.

Here's a Google map centered on the arrow.  It's easy to drive to this arrow and I don't even need to describe my route.  The arrow is located next to a water supply tank in the green circle on the image below.

This arrow site includes a monument plaque attesting to Utah's role in aviation history.

This arrow points toward another arrow atop a slanted butte named Shinob Kibe on the east side of St. George in a city named Washington.

Here's a view to the north.

And a view to the SE.  The Walmart store is visible below.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Tri-State Monument: Corner of UT-AZ-NV

I returned to the corner of Utah, Arizona, and Nevada.  I was last here in August of 2009 (here is my previous post).  Much has changed.  The site was renovated in 2016 and sports new monuments and many flags.  The monuments indicate that the site is now named Tri-State Monument.

The old sandstone monolith monument is gone.  It has been replaced with 3 monument plaques and 4 official flag poles.  Several more flag poles have been added (maybe by visitors).  They are strapped to various fence posts.

The route is now much easier to follow.  Nifty little sign posts have been installed marking the way.  Here's what they look like.

The road is in worse condition than in 2009.  It took me an hour to drive the 17.8 miles (one way) compared to 45 minutes in 2009.  Here's the route recorded by my Garmin GPS and shown in Google Earth.  It begins off Interstate 15 in the NW corner of Arizona in the small town of Beaver Dam.  I stop there often to buy Arizona lottery tickets (their odds are better than California).

Slow down for all the cattle guards.  They all have a big lip on them and can damage your wheels if you hit them too fast.

Sections of the road had a rough surface, covered with embedded rocks.  I had to drive either very slow or very fast.  Otherwise, it felt like the car was shaking itself apart.  I should have lowered my tire pressure.

This is the right turn to head ESE along the barbwire fence.

This is the only section of road that presents any challenge.  There are a few dips (much easier than in 2009).  In places, the brush scratches the sides of the car.  My Land Cruiser is kinda large, so I got a few scratches that are deep enough that I'll need to buff them out.

Many flags fly at the monument site.  Several appear to be contributed by visitors.

Here are photos of the three monuments.

The previous geocache has been replaced with a sorry paint can containing junk food.

If you're worried about the dips and the creosote scatches, then there's an alternative.  There's a large area off the road where you can park and hike the rest of the way.  Most of the brush and dips happen after that point.  It's less than a mile from the monument.

Those little sign posts only show the route to the monument.  To return safely to the highway, without getting lost on one of the many side roads, you need to either follow the breadcrumb trail your GPS navigation system displayed for you, or you can look for the sign posts (facing the opposite way) each time you encounter an intersection.  I did that 2nd option and it worked fine.