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In Search of Cibola by catch---22 In Search of Cibola by catch---22
The Antelope Hills

One evening in 1541 Coronado camped here with his men while on his assigned task of finding the 7 Cities of Cibola, the cities of gold. He returns to New Spain with empty hands and pockets. Then in 1593, Francisco Leyva de Bonilla and Antonio Gutiérrez de Humaña pause at these hills during their unauthorized and ill fated expedition for Quivira, where it was said the residents ate from plates of gold. A little later in the journey, feverish with gold lust, Humaña murders Bonilla and then The Wichita massacre all in the party but one... a Native American named Jusepe.

Finally in 1595, the Spanish viceroy named Juan de Oñate to be the governor of New Mexico, adelantado and captain-general of the new province. Oñate was the son of Cristóbal de Oñate, the conqueror of Nueva Galicia where he operated mines, and one of the founders of Zacatecas. His wife was the granddaughter of the famous conquistador Hernando Cortez and the great-granddaughter of the Aztec leader Montezuma.

On June 23, 1601, Don Juan de Oñate and eighty to one-hundred men set out to explore the lands northeast of New Mexico into Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. They based their journey on the route taken by Humaña and Leyva, guided by Jusepe. The siren's song of Quivira and its gold sounds again in these hills. The party camps near here before heading north and meeting The Escanjaques and The Wichita. It was another long journey back to New Spain with nothing but injury and disgrace.

The Comanche ruled this area many years without challenge. Then in the spring 1858 Capt. John S. "Rip" Ford led a combined force of 102 Texas Rangers and 113 Indian allies, mainly Tonkawa, Anadarko, and Caddo, north from Texas. A little bit north of the knob on the left, Chief Iron Jacket (so named because he wore an old Spanish shirt of mail) met his doom at a creek named Little Robe. He believed his magic and armor would protect him from bullets. He was killed by a bullet from the rifle of Anadarko and Caddo chief Jim Pockmark.

Just South of here, on November 27, 1868, Custer set karma into motion with the Battle of the Washita that he would later reap at Little Big Horn.

Never one to be daunted by the shortcomings of others... or is that the lessons of history :shrug: in February of 2013 I set my sites on these hills and their gold. Armed with google earth/maps/crappy tourism shots/snow cover maps/ road condition reports/satellite imagery , I scout the place... piece of cake, I said. Timing and roads are working out well as I approach the surrounds. Then joy of joys, one of the roads that I fully expected to be muddy, was paved! Off the highway I go. Most of the 10 inch snow cover was melted or melting and the area was supersaturated. I knew it was going to come down to how it looked where it turns into dirt road and just how big of a dumbass I was.

About a mile and a half south of the hills I stop at the cattle guard at road's end. It's not as charming as Shel's Where the Sidewalk Ends but with these hills looming ahead, it was just as enticing. I tell myself, "with a run at it, I can make it past the first bad spot." I knew then that it was decided... gold fever strikes again. At the time I didn't realize that the cattle guard was the point of no return. I fully realized this after going down the first supersaturated hill thinking, I'll never make it back up that. These roads were more reminiscent of pasture roads rather than any conventional road. Open range land... god it's a wonderful sight and feeling, that I didn't fully get to appreciate as I slipped and slid along in the mud. Steering seemed more dependent upon the ruts in the road rather than most things I did with the steering wheel. Yes... I was thinking omg wtf? The key was to never stop... if you stop you are stuck. I did find one hard spot in the road where I stopped, put on my boots and breathed for a while. I have a shot of it I will post later. The assessment was the same. I can't go back the way I came and it's not like I can turn around anyway. So off I go... telling myself I remember that this road loops back out to another. I wasn't sure because my map wasn't working on my phone... this area is so far removed that there is no service. anyway... I'm committed. The last few up and downs before the hills were a blur... mainly because of all the mud on my windshield As I arrive there wasn't a chance to stop. I'm starting to feel less superior to those goofballs that were out looking for Cibola as I watch my prize pass by the driver's side window.

I will confess to doubts at this stage.

...but the fates are always kind to small children and fools. After two harrowing up hill turns, the road turns into... well, a road, a muddy but an actual drivable road.

To make a long story longer...

I found gold.

It's a special place. I stopped and soaked in every bit of it I could. There wasn't another soul for miles(go figure) and all the sounds were of the wind and of the prairie. It was easy to imagine the wonder and sense of aloneness those tribes and explorers knew. I was a tiny speck in a very big place. I will return to this place when the Yucca blooms... and the damn roads are drier.

Jeeze it was fun.

:peace:



----------
more from this same day;

Moonrise by catch---22

Slip Sliding Away... by catch---22
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:icondvandyk:
DVanDyk Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2013
It is Cibola! the gold just wasn't visible to such inbreeds!
 Love the story, gotta admire your spirit in the desert mudscapes! 
does remind me of the vistas around here, that long shadow light is always amazingly gold.
Gold star for this masterpiece !
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:iconcatch---22:
catch---22 Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2013  Professional Photographer
alol my brother. :iconbowplz:

this is the edge where my land turns into yours.

thank you David!

lol it was one of the dumbest things I've ever done. the bars on my phone disappeared not long after passing the cattle guard... luck trumps skill every time ;)
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:iconteamstyling:
TeamStyling Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2013
An ode to this vast ocean of stillness where we are One...
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:iconcatch---22:
catch---22 Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2013  Professional Photographer
it is a strange but beautiful ocean...
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:iconlucia45:
lucia45 Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Your lonely Great Plains landscapes remind me of Loren Eiseley's books. He wrote wondrous descriptions and philosophized about things, and I felt like I'd been brought into his world.
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:iconcatch---22:
catch---22 Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2013  Professional Photographer
thank you much Lucia... I'm glad you enjoyed. :)
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:iconclippercarrillo:
clippercarrillo Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Professional Photographer
Love the shot and the write up is superb.
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:iconcatch---22:
catch---22 Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2013  Professional Photographer
thank you much Rene.
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:iconhummbuzz:
hummbuzz Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013
I have featured this image. [link] :sun:
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:iconcatch---22:
catch---22 Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013  Professional Photographer
thank you so much! :rose:
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:iconhummbuzz:
hummbuzz Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013
:heart:
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:iconshadowelve:
Shadowelve Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer

Hello :wave:

You have been featured in #SkyAndNatureClub's Best of February 2013-Feature!
Please consider giving a :+fav: to spread the word, so more people can see the feature.

Have a nice day :hug:
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:iconcatch---22:
catch---22 Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2013  Professional Photographer
Hi :wave:

thank you so much!!! :D
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:iconbarcon53:
barcon53 Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2013
Marvelous! You took a big risk, you could have really been stuck, but this one was worth it!
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:iconcatch---22:
catch---22 Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2013  Professional Photographer
thank you Barbara!
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:iconbarcon53:
barcon53 Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013
It is my pleasure!
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:iconbrightstar2:
BrightStar2 Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2013
lol...oh this made me laugh, what an experience, and some history lesson right there
and it does sound like you had fun on your travels, but alone, no cell phone and miles from anywhere? umm.....!! ::
but a beautiful shot after all Dennis :thumbsup: well done you for bringing the unreachable into reach
i love seeing the wilderness.
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:iconcatch---22:
catch---22 Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2013  Professional Photographer
thank you so much Donna!
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:iconbrightstar2:
BrightStar2 Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2013
:iconwelcome1plz::iconwelcome2plz::iconwelcome3plz::iconwelcome4plz: :-) :rose:
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:iconthailaun:
thailaun Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
i love this series.. so surreal
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:iconcatch---22:
catch---22 Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2013  Professional Photographer
thank you Taylan!
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:iconpanosps:
PanosPS Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2013
Amazing landscape!!!
A stunning shot!!! :)
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:iconcatch---22:
catch---22 Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2013  Professional Photographer
thank you very much!!! :)
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:iconmichaeldavitt:
Michaeldavitt Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2013  Professional Writer
Firesign on the founding of Terlingua:


INDIAN 1: Well, I think it’s about time . . . the way the corn’s been growing for the last two or three generations . . .

INDIAN 2: Look at that herd of Buffalo. They’re ready.

INDIAN 1: Everything’s living the Great Spirit’s way. In harmony.

INDIAN 2: He’ll be here soon.

INDIAN 1: The true white brother’s coming home. Remember what the Great Spirit said? If we did what we were supposed to do and lived according to the plan? White brother would finish his work in the East and come back to us.

INDIAN 2: It’ll be nice to have the family together again.

CONQUISTADOR 1: Buenos Dios, amigos!

INDIAN 1: Hello! You must be the true white brother.

CONQUISTADOR 1: Sure! You must be the Indians!

INDIAN 1: Yes.

INDIAN 2: Welcome home!

CONQUISTADOR 1: Welcome to New Spain! This is your new father, Father Corona.

FATHER CORONA [with thick Irish brogue]: [Mutters in Latin.] Down on your knees now! Do you recognize what I’m holding over your heads, lads?

INDIAN 1: It’s a cross: the symbol of the quartering of the universe into active and passive principles.

FATHER CORONA: God have mercy on their heathen souls.

CONQUISTADOR 1: What the Father means . . . is what is the cross made of? Gold! Have you got any?

INDIAN 1: No.

CONQUISTADOR 1: What about the seven cities of gold? Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas?

INDIAN 2: Uh, this is gold.

CONQUISTADOR 1: What’s that?

INDIAN 1: Corn.

CONQUISTADOR 2: Hey, corn! Now we can make tortillas!

CONQUISTADOR 3: We’ve been waiting for this for hundreds of years.

CONQUISTADOR 4: I’ve just invented tacos.

CONQUISTADOR 1: So this is all you’ve got?

INDIAN 1: Yes . . . but aren’t you the true white brother who’s supposed to come live with us in peace?

CONQUISTADOR 1: Sure, therefore I claim this rich world of pasture land in the name of the Empire of Spain!

CONQUISTADOR 2: Hey hey hey capitano! The rain . . . she’s-a stoppa to fall . . . and the corn . . . she’s all-a dead!

CONQUISTADOR 1: Shut up-pa, Vespucc’! I claim this stinking desert in the name of the Empire of Spain forever. Let’s go!

CONQUISTADORES (all sing): God bless Vespucciland . . . .

FATHER CORONA: By the way, domini domini domini you’re all Catholics now. God bless you . . . and good luck.

CONQUISTADOR 1: Come on, Father. Nobody in their right minds would live in this stinking desert.

CONQUISTADOR 4: Come on, Cisco.
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:iconcatch---22:
catch---22 Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2013  Professional Photographer
civilization... gotta love it.
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:iconmichaeldavitt:
Michaeldavitt Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2013  Professional Writer
audio too ~ [link]
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:iconcatch---22:
catch---22 Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2013  Professional Photographer
well I've saved that for later.
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:iconnwunseen:
NWunseen Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2013  Professional Photographer
hmm..somebody do a lil pruning out there within the last couple days.. ;) some very nice landscape..would love to wander out there for days..no intentions but to just be free..very envious of your time out there..captured that mood nicely my friend :)

so back to the pruning..like the warmer tones..but i miss the twigs to be honest, certain reason to omit them? nice job on the cloneout though..can only notice when looking back and forth between the two :) ..i have tabs open for days sometimes... :ashamed:
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:iconcatch---22:
catch---22 Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2013  Professional Photographer
lol, I do that too.

and hmmm... I guess the reason was I let myself get talked out of them. now I'll be clicking back and forth for a while myself.

thank you Addam input is always much appreciated!
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:iconnwunseen:
NWunseen Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013  Professional Photographer
:phew: glad im not the only one! leeanne always gives me crap about it..though i do have 72 tabs open at the moment.. :ashamed:

very welcome, dennis!
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:iconcatch---22:
catch---22 Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013  Professional Photographer
:laughing: seek help!
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:iconwiwionart:
wiwionart Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2013
Im thankful for it was not me, being there, and for your wonderful shot and story:heart:
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:iconcatch---22:
catch---22 Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2013  Professional Photographer
thank you Wiwi!
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:iconwiwionart:
wiwionart Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2013
:rose:
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:iconfrenchfox:
frenchfox Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2013
An interesting story and a lovely photo ! :clap:
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:iconcatch---22:
catch---22 Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2013  Professional Photographer
thank you much my friend!
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:icon8alnitakkaleids8:
8AlnitakKaleids8 Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
interesting read! Lovely photo, Denis.
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:iconcatch---22:
catch---22 Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2013  Professional Photographer
thank you Coco!
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:icon8alnitakkaleids8:
8AlnitakKaleids8 Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
My pleasure, dear friend.
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:iconcatch---22:
catch---22 Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2013  Professional Photographer
:rose:
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:icon8alnitakkaleids8:
8AlnitakKaleids8 Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
:heart:
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:iconlalight:
LAlight Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013  Professional Photographer
Really like this one at f/6.3...adds some mystery and emotion to the shot, in my opinion! :)
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:iconcatch---22:
catch---22 Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013  Professional Photographer
thank you LeeAnne I wanted the hills to be a bit abstract rather than sharp :)
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:iconlalight:
LAlight Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013  Professional Photographer
:nod:
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Details

Submitted on
February 24, 2013
Image Size
17.2 MB
Resolution
5131×3534
Submitted with
Sta.sh
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Stats

Views
1,742
Favourites
233 (who?)
Comments
147

Camera Data

Model
Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Shutter Speed
1/80 second
Aperture
F/6.3
Focal Length
58 mm
ISO Speed
320
Date Taken
Feb 23, 2013, 6:03:26 PM
Software
GIMP 2.6.11
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