Bighorn sheep herd 05/26/14

Bighorn sheep herd 05/26/14
There were about a dozen bighorn sheep this date 052614 up on Highway 74, above Palm Desert, CA, and right above Deep Canyon.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Lost Viking ship in the desert?


I recently went to the Rancho Mirage library, looking for information about Deep Canyon, since it was the route that the Cahuilla Indians took from La Quinta up to the Santa Rosa mountains. I checked out an interesting book, "Desert Lore of Southern California" by Choral Pepper. While it did not have any information about Deep Canyon, it did have an interesting story which caught my eye, the legend of a Viking ship. Since my dad's ancestors were Vikings, I wanted to read the story. Turns out, there is a story about a Viking longship near the Agua Caliente County Park. The story begins with a woman whose husband brought home a round shield in the size of a tortilla, but slightly larger than one. He told her he wandered through many canyons and in one he saw an ancient ship that had round discs on its side (like a Viking ship). Part of the ship was sticking out of the sand. There was some kind of strange writing on a wall above the ship, which wasn't English, Spanish, or Indian. It had a curved bow. Fast forward to about 1933, when Myrtle and Louis Botts of Julian were camping in the park. Myrtle encountered an old prospector who came into their camp and told them HE had seen an old ship sticking out of a nearby canyon. So, Myrtle and her husband went with the prospector and soon spotted the ancient ship. It had a curved head and there were marks on its side in the shape of round shields. Unfortunately, as they were leaving the canyon, the 1933 Long Beach earthquake struck, sending down tons of rock and debris into the canyon and on top of the ship. They were both thrown to the ground and their camp was in disarray! Years later, they returned to the spot of the ship, but the damage from the earthquake prevented their entry into the canyon and they could not enter it. This story is supported by a Seri Indian song (story) about men who "Came from Afar" and a red haired woman who was with them on a boat. Sooooo.................????? It is known that the Vikings were superior sailors and they often did bring their wives with them on voyages. It is also known that Vikings did explore portions of North America...

If you want to read more about this account, please visit: http://www.weirdca.com/location.php?location=52. There are also those who do not believe this account, such as:http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4209, so I leave it up to you to decide if you wish to believe it or not. Personally, I'm open to at least read further about it! Oh, and another note: my school is in Coachella, CA. There are shells in the sand and kids bring them in after recess all the time...something to consider!

5 comments:

  1. Fascinating story. It's got my imagination going.

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  2. That kind of sounds like "the one that got away" story, but of course it wasn't always a desert so who knows? That's a fascinating piece of folklore.

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  3. At one time the Gulf of California actually was up to the Salton Sea. The Salton Sea is the lowest point in Southern California, so it is possible that a ship could have sailed right up into our valley. You can still see the marks from the ancient Lake Cahuilla down in La Quinta!

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  4. It does sound like a very interesting legend and I would like to read more. Do I think the story is real? Probably not.

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  5. Like all legends, this one probably has a factual basis. The fact is that the Gulf of California has "invaded" the Coachella Valley many, many times! It has come all the way up to La Quinta and I live only 12 miles up from that! There also IS an Indian song (i.e. story) about a boatload of blue-eyed, red-haired men and a woman and the Indians now have blue eyes and blonde/red hair! Finally, the two witnesses who actually saw it in 1935 were very reponsible people in Julian, CA. The woman was the town's librarian and well known and not easily flustered. Too bad the earthquake hit when it did! I'll investigae this story further and post an update next week!

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