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Farm Creek Pass Cache

Years ago there was a story told by some of the Old Ones, among them Mountain Sheep and Bridger Jim. They said that in the long ago of their grandfather's time, Spanish miners brought carettas to the old Catholic Mission on Rock Creek, where they were loaded with gold bars. Those bars were packed in boxes, some say in metal boxes. After leaving the mission, the Spaniards were ambushed and killed by waiting Utes. That attack occurred near a small mountain lake not far from Farm Creek Pass. To rid themselves of the cursed gold, those heavy boxes of gold bars were thrown into the lake. Swords and muskets carried by the miners and their soldier-guards were piled at the edge of a rock slide near the lake, after which rocks were slid down over the weapons. One of the Old Ones said that a musket barrel still protrudes from the rocks to mark that cache.

All of the personal property of the miners and soldiers; gold and silver, rings and coins were gathered into a large pile. A deer was killed and all of the treasure was sewn up in its hide. That buckskin wrapped treasure was buried in a shallow hole dug at the foot of a large pine, and was then covered with rocks, soil and pine bark. That tree was said to be close to an old pole corral not far from that lake and rock slide. An Indian who lives nearby once said that over the years erosion would expose that cache, so that Ike Shotnick, one of the Utes designated to watch over that area, would have to recover it. Several early settlers used to tell how one old Indian obtained Spanish coins and Catholic rosaries and crosses from a place where he dug down into loose bark at the foot of a large pine tree. Even today one Ute Indian well known in public affairs wears a large Catholic Cross, one not manufactured by modern means, but hammered out of raw gold in the manner Spanish artisans fashioned jewelry in the long ago. Those who have seen it say that it looks a lot like an old mission cross.

Not long before his death, the late Gale Rhoades with a partner from nearby Roosevelt spent some time building a raft and using a long rod to probe the bottom of a small lake near Farm Creek Pass. They discovered that the lake bottom had about eight feet of black mud and sediment on it. Those who know that area well say they probed the wrong lake; that the lake in which the gold bars were thrown is only a shallow mountain pond, one which has a long, narrow neck at one end. The gold was thrown into that narrow neck of water. If you go there to look for those bars, remember, most of those shallow water ponds are only snow water run off, and that after six years of drought that pond might be only a mud hole now, or maybe just a marshy meadow. One other thing, don't forget that it is being closely watched by Utes who are there to guard it.--Faded Footprints, pg. 91

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