Wednesday, March 4, 2015

CABIN FEVER

Here it is March and 49 of the 50 states have snow and ice. The gear is all ready and the winter research has led to the anticipation of checking new site leads, but it is sleeting right now and the weather forecast is for 10 to 12 inches of snow by morning. I hope where you are it is sunny and warm, but if it is snowy like it is here, I'm sure cabin fever is high on what I call the freak-o-meter.
One cure that has always helped me is to get out in the snow and go learn something. Start up the old 4-wheel drive or ATV, take a camera and hunt for bandit trails. Depending what part of the country you are hunting, the snow seems to reveal trails from the past that are concealed even to trained eyes any other time. Bandits, outlaws, highwaymen, pirates or whatever we like to call them went to great lengths to keep them hidden. Ride around the old country back roads, or around the edge of fields (Always get permission) where the old wagon roads have long been abandoned. These old horse trails will crisscross or run parallel near these old roads, most of the time just out of site. Not all old horse trails are bandit trails, but a surprising number of them are. Back at home in the warm, try mapping these trails along the old wagon roads. Look for creek and river crossings, cross roads with a lot of distance between populated areas. Stagecoach stops, taverns, railroad creek crossings and wagon trails that crossed the railroad were all frequented by highwaymen looking for easy marks. Not only did they rob innocent travelers by using their hidden trails as a means to follow and sneak up, they also hid their loot along these trails sometimes never to return to get it. A trek in the snow may lead to something new to research and get us out of the cabin for awhile.

Congratulations to all the treasure hunters who made the 2015 Annual "Best Finds" issue of  Western and Eastern Treasures. Spring can't get here soon enough, and you never know, the next time you make a find it may the find of your life!

May all your trails be smooth and your treasure sites many.

Best wishes and Good Hunting.


Old Bandit Trail