Sunday, April 15, 2012

Hot Links

The Denver Post had this article on a historic wooden mining flume clinging to a cliff in western Colorado. There are current research efforts to learn more how it was built in the 1880s and to reconstruct portions of the flume that have deteriorated. I have seen it several times myself and it really is an amazing structure.

I smiled when I read this obituary for a gentleman named Michael "Flathead" Blanchard in the dead tree version of the Denver Post earlier this week. Now I am seeing it linked all over the web described as the "greatest obituary ever." Money graf:

"Weary of reading obituaries noting someone's courageous battle with death, Mike wanted it known that he died as a result of being stubborn, refusing to follow doctors' orders and raising hell for more than six decades. He enjoyed booze, guns, cars and younger women until the day he died."

The Denver Post has had a lot of good stuff this week. This article tells how Douglas County (my home county) here in Colorado plans to turn an area called Lamb Springs into a paleontological/archaeological park. Dennis Stanford of the Smithsonian Institution (and one of the originators of the trans-Atlantic migration theory) led excavations there in the 1980s and 1990s that uncovered lots of Pleistocene megafauna remains and possible evidence of a pre-Clovis occupation dating to about 16,000 BP. That's a picture of the cranium of Molly the Mammoth, recovered there and currently in storage at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

Given brief mention at the end of the article is current research at nearby Scott Spring led by Steve Holen of the Denver Museum. I saw Steve's presentation on this work at the Colorado Council of Professional Archaeologists meeting last month, and he has mammoth and camelid remains that appear to be human-modified dating back to 19,700 BP. Pre-Clovis evidence seems to keep rolling in.


Peter said...

I don't know ... if Flathead had lived that life of debauchery yet made it to 90 before dropping dead in the company of a 21-year-old hooker, well that would be amusing. But he only made it to 67 or 68. That sort of takes the fun out of it.

Darrell said...

An interesting alternative approach to the Uravan/hanging plume area is to go up the Paradox Valley to Bedrock, then turn right and go north, following the Dolores through a funky little canyon to its confluence with the San Miguel. IIRC you come out just downstream from Uravan.

The whole Unaweep-Tabeguache scenic highway is a beautiful drive.