Friday, July 1, 2011

A Walk in the Old West

GCH Glenamadda Starkeeper Liberty (© Pat Murkland)

Miss Liberty is a dual citizen.
She was born in Canada but was born on our U.S. Independence Day, July 4.
This year she'll be 3 years old, and in honor of her birthday, we traveled together back in time.

We went to the Old West.

(© Pat Murkland)

James Gilman came here in 1869 and began running cattle, along with a stagecoach stop.

Later the family harvested apricots, peaches and other crops, and was especially famous for olives. Their ranch is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Since the 1970s, it's been a historic park that showcases California ranch life in the 1800s.
Unfortunately, recent budget cuts have severely limited its public access, starting today, July 1.

So, the other day Liberty and I took a walk in the Old West, a farewell for now.

We walked on the Bradshaw Trail together.

Walking on the Bradshaw Trail (© Pat Murkland)

I closed my eyes and imagined the dust and noise of arriving coaches at the Gilman Station.
Stagecoaches, freight wagons and prospectors traveled this old route from Los Angeles to the Arizona gold fields in the 1860s.

Overland Stagecoach used in Southern CA (© Pat Murkland)

We passed the ruins of the oldest permanent, non-Indian structure in the Banning area, the Jose Pope adobe building from 1854.

But before then, Native Americans lived near the spring here, and throughout San Gorgonio Pass. Archaeologists found a Native American hearth and other artifacts under the adobe ruins.

And although the stagecoaches are most famous for traveling this road, they were not the first travelers.


Here is the terrain that travelers saw in the Pass:

White sage blooms in foothills (© Pat Murkland)

We are thankful that we still see this beauty, Liberty and I, when we travel back to 2011. Happy birthday, sweetie!