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Dedicated to the lives and times of the men and women of the Old West, and to the spirit of the era, 1860 through 1890
Writins of Weakeyes Cody
Talented and witty writings
A Desert Divinity? @2008
On most days you can see it from just east of the town of Mojave, California. One of the mule skinners employed by Pacific Coast Borax, must have named it Pilot Knob, because it's a straight shot sixty-five miles or more out there in the haze and stands like a beacon, a pivot point where the great ore wagons turned north toward Panamint Valley, and then over Wingate Pass (Windy Gap) down into Death Valley's Harmony Borax Works. These wagons with their 20 mule hook-up would haul twenty tons of ore from the floor of Death Valley and did so for around six years beginning in the early 1880's.
Blackwater Well, located about ten miles west of Pilot Knob, was one of the many stops the wagons made on their one hundred sixty two mile trek. From here, it's about another ten miles to the foot of Pilot Knob, which becomes suddenly visible as you round the point of a long lava strewn mountain.
Smokey Jack and me rode out not long ago to this familiar (to me) land mark.
It's a personal analysis but there has always been something spiritual about Pilot Knob. It evokes something primeval in me. My mind tells me that this is a special mountain. It has to be for every human eye that has ever fell on it has had to conclude its unique position and shape. And nowadays as I approach it, it seems to speak to me. Not through the vibrations of the ear but with its presence. Its like approaching something of a deity, and it tells you so. It strikes chords in me that are inexplicable and I am puzzled as how to grasp them.
So, I simply stop, stand away, and study it.
The Mojave Desert is rife with mysteries, canyons, cuts, washes, and peaks that suggest many an untold tale. And I know anyone who has ever ventured into it has arrived at places that evoke specific thoughts and strange feelings that are simply difficult to explain.
Sitting around a fire in the desert night our words come freely and the stories are freely absorbed. But in living rooms in the eyes of modern comforts and civilization, they require explanation and a goodly measure of psychoanalysis. So maybe I best just put it to you this way; go ride the vast sweeps for yourself and take the time to mentally digest what falls before you along the trails. I can't predict what your reaction will be, but I can tell you this. You'll never again ask anyone, what's out there.
~ Weakeyes Cody