If the only things that happened were that I had a great road trip with two of my boys and a chance to show them Jacks Valley, Nevada while telling them stories of our ancestors and how we found them, then we can't be the least bit disappointed that we found no actual grave site.
We made good time and followed the paved routes closest to the original California Trail, Humboldt Route (I-80) crossing the forty-mile desert (US-95) from the Humboldt Sinks (Lovelock) to the Carson Sinks (Fallon). Then it was US-50 on the Pony Express route right into Carson City and then South, turning up the official route onto Jacks Valley Road
It was there we "saw the elephant." Actually, it was a road grader, a sight the pioneers never saw, as they were repaving the California Trail past the old Johns Ranch.
|We were up and down the road, as usual, and stopped to wait three times for the pilot truck.|
I drove in with much more confidence having arranged the visit ahead of time. We asked a ranch worker and his boy for the ranch manager and the guy called on his cell for him. We waited as the boy got out his bike and explained that while the ranch was a great place to play, it was tough that he was the only kid around for miles.
The ranch manager came and introductions all around were friendly even if the rancher hadn't told his manager that we were coming again. The manager did remember me from last Fall. I explained that we were searching for any trace of a family grave plot "on the west end" of the old Johns Family Ranch outside of Washoe Indian lands. He said to let him know if we found anything. He led us on his four-wheeler with his little, black dog standing on the back. We parked just before the creek that came our of Water Canyon neither of us trusting my little Corolla to ford it well (it would have been just fine, but I've got to get me a four-wheel drive vehicle for these adventures!)
|Looking Northwest towards the treeline that we thought might host some pioneer graves.|
We tried every likely shade tree that would have been around for a couple of hundred years and could see across the protected Washoe tribal lands to rule out likely possibilities there.
|Piles of rocks to keep cattle from rubbing hides against the trees rather than protecting graves (or so they told us).|
|Looking down (with a bit of a zoom) from the "west end" of the former Johns Ranch at the edge of the rough land.|
|An interesting gate-latch out on the ranch.|
We talked about the possibility of putting up a memorial in the Genoa Cemetery. We'll start exploring that as soon as we get the one in place in Llanfoist churchyard for Elinor's husband, John Vaughan (1789-1850). One monument at a time. A monument for Elinor could say something like: