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By the time I heard it, while working on a story about desert conservation, it had been nearly a century and a half since explorer Albert S. Traveling to San Bernardino, Evans came into a valley that was “the grim and silent ghost of a dead sea,” presumably Lake Cahuilla.“The moon threw a track of shimmering light,” he wrote, directly upon “the wreck of a gallant ship, which may have gone down there centuries ago.”The route Evans took came nowhere near Canebrake Canyon, and the ship Evans claimed to see was Spanish, not Norse.Many parts of the California desert are now patchworks of green, unnaturally fertile land that is a reminder that long ago, there was much more water here, including the vast but now barren Lake Cahuilia.
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They point, for example, to a wooden sloop from the 1770s unearthed during excavations at the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan, or the more than 40 ships, dating back perhaps 800 years, discovered in the Black Sea earlier this year. John Grasson’s long, dogged pursuit of the Viking ship (or was it Spanish?
) is fueled by his boundless curiosity and his craving for validation—although pocketing a hidden treasure wouldn’t be such a bad thing.
The legend does seem, prima facie, bonkers: a craft loaded with untold riches, sailed by early-European explorers into a vast lake that once stretched over much of inland Southern California, then run aground, abandoned by its crew and covered over by centuries of sand and rock and creosote bush as that lake dried out…and now it lies a few feet below the surface, in sight of the chicken-wire fence at the back of the Desert Dunes motel, $58 a night and HBO in most rooms. Let us slink back to our cubicles and never speak of the desert ship again.
Let us only believe that which is shared with us on Facebook.
“You will say I am crazy, that I lose my water and get thirsty and see dreams, but it is the truth.” He then told Petra he’d been exploring the mountains north of the border when, in a “narrow box canyon,” he saw “a boat of ancient appearance—an open boat but big, with round metal disks on its sides.” Santiago said he was pulled away by his companions before he could explore the ship, and he never went back.
Those “round metal disks”—the superior comals Santiago promised his wife—suggest a Viking ship that would have sailed through the Northwest Passage, down the coast of Canada, around Baja California and up the Colorado River, which before a modern-day diversion flowed into the Gulf of California.
Surrounding place names reflected the strangeness and severity of the land: Moonlight Canyon, Hellhole Canyon, Indian Gorge.
Keep up with this story and more To enter the desert is to succumb to the unknowable.
Grasson, who has a cheerful manner, walked me past winter bird tourists to the parking lot, where his 15-year-old Jeep Wrangler awaited.
The much-abused vehicle’s rear was covered by bumper stickers that made clear his enthusiasms, including one that declared him a believer in the landing of extraterrestrials at Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947; another suggested an affinity for Amboy, the famous California ghost town on Route 66.
Others have also seen this vessel, but much farther south, in Baja California, Mexico.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating