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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Signature Rock

Posted Thursday, December 1, 2011, at 12:01 PM


As you know, I get to go to some pretty remote places in Idaho and surrounding states.  I love seeing how beautiful our country  is.  Also, I like to envision being here hundreds of years ago.  Maybe coming in a Wagon Train, or arriving horseback for the first time.  The inherent dangers would have been countless.  Idaho weather itself would have been something to fight off, and work hard to survive.  Now-a-days, I wear UnderArmor, and layers of wool and what not to keep me warm.  I have boots that supposedly keep me warm up to 40 below (but I don't really believe it) I've been out there and had the thought a few times "I can't stand it any more" 

So, imagine the Pioneers (or whatever you wanna call them) arriving here.  I'm sure they didn't arrive in the winter, ... probably would have been extremely unwise.  Of course they were on the "Oregon Trail" of sorts.  I have lots of opinions about where the Oregon Trail actually is.  Where they like to say it is ... just doesn't make sense in lots of places... but ... well, I guess that's another 'blog' topic.

Idaho is without question a beautiful state.  I love it.  I've taken lots of people riding, and seen their expressions when we come to the top of a mountain, where they can look down and see where they've just ridden from.  It's still breath taking to me, after all these years.  I hope to never take it for granted.

Recently, I took my Grandsons to a place that is called

"Signature Rock"

On this rock are a few signature of folks from years gone by.  There are at least 2 legible dates.  On the lower rock on this 1st picture, you can see the year "1857"


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And on this one, on the lower portion, you can see below the 1857, F Bois

I apologize for cutting the photo, but if it had F Boise, is it talking about Fort Boise? 

The other date/year is 1849

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Can you imagine my Grandsons' delight at finding this playground?  They absolutely loved it, and always want to go.  There is unwritten history, and written history to be learned here.

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By showing you our pickup next to these rocks, it gives you an idea of the enormity of them.  Imagine being in the 1800's and seeing these. 

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I like to imagine the "whys" of why the people wrote their names and dates on these rocks back then.  Some say there was an Indian Massacre done here.  Are these a sort of grave marker?  Or the last thing they were able to do, so that someone knew they were there?  The possibilities are endless.

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I can imagine taking shelter here, either from the elements, or other violence

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This little pool on top of a rock would supply much needed water, if there  had been rains.....

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Wayne LOVES history.... he tells me that the writing is done with axle grease and soot from lanterns.  THAT is really the only thing that might be readily available in those times. 

The sheltered rocks have lots of marks to still read.  The rocks that weren't so sheltered have of course, lost a lot of what was written on them. 


I have added some photos from the same general area, from another day.  Surely you can see why this spectacular state has my love?  Who wouldn't want to see this, out on a day's work?

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This was about 2 weeks ago.  The colors are so rich and real

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Rocks like these have a fascination for me.  See the balancing?

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We have visitors, who like to keep an eye on us.

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Hauling horses in this old way so takes me back to my childhood.  Yep, that is Marshmallow, and there is another Palomino behind her.

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This was taken the day after Thanksgiving.  yep, I'm thankful for these opportunities, and a man who also appreciates these simple things

That is Sam right behind the horse.  Remember him? He has become a great working dog, and much in demand for a "Daddy"

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This is the end of a long cold day.  8 hours horseback and we were finally done.  That's how I spent the day after Thanksgiving.  And loving it

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Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

I used to play on the rocks as a kid. They all had such great shapes. Of course, you had to be careful of the snakes, but we did have lots of fun.

Thank you for the memories.

-- Posted by KH Gal on Thu, Dec 1, 2011, at 2:21 PM

I would love to see this, as there are several places called "signature rock"; where is the place you took these pics?

-- Posted by outatown on Fri, Dec 2, 2011, at 8:44 AM

This is from Mountain Home, towards Boise.

Beautiful huh?

It's on private land though, so I'm not sure you can go see it.

-- Posted by jessiemiller on Fri, Dec 2, 2011, at 10:29 AM

It is beautiful. I thought I had explored just about every side road between MH and Boise on my trusty 1965 Honda Trail 90. I put 7500 miles on that little work horse between August of 1965 and August of 1967. Longest trip was from Lola Creek Campground west of Stanley to Boise when a friend's Dad kicked me out of salmon fishing camp. It took me nearly all day and I had to seek shelter from 1/4 inch hailstones during a lightning storm (under a huge Ponderosa Pine east of Lowman - only place I could find), stopped at least once climbing out of Lowman on 21 (to let the engine cool down), ran out of brakes about a quarter of the way down from hilltop summit, held on for dear life (literally) while the speedometer floated between 60 and the peg, the valves were floaating right along with my heart,so I pressed down on the shift lever, effectively shifting into nuetral, which relieved the valve float, spent about an hour under the trees in Discovery Park waiting for my heart to catch up with the rest of my body.

I did not even know those rocks existed, but I suspect they may be some where close to a flying mailbox in the same vicinity.

Thanks for sharing

-- Posted by wh67 on Fri, Dec 2, 2011, at 1:39 PM

Flying Mail box? Is that a hint? If so, I'm not getting it. LOL More hints?

-- Posted by jessiemiller on Fri, Dec 2, 2011, at 1:44 PM

wh67, I have been told what you meant by "flying mailbox" you are in the general vicinity. Good guess! I'm impressed. Do you know the owner of the flying mailbox?

-- Posted by jessiemiller on Fri, Dec 2, 2011, at 7:19 PM

I don't remember who has the "air mail box" or even if it's atill there. It has been years since I've been out there. Sad to admit, but nonetheless true. The last time I was out there Rich C and I had a bit of a stand-off. Not a pleasant one, but a good reminder for me.

-- Posted by wh67 on Fri, Dec 2, 2011, at 9:34 PM

Well, Rich has the air mail box, & Wayne was pretty much raised by him. WE are aware how adamant he was about people on his land! Actually the signature rock is on land that he used to own, but now owned by someone else that we are tied with. None the less, I'm pleased with your guess!

-- Posted by jessiemiller on Sat, Dec 3, 2011, at 8:18 AM

But should have said not close to the air mail box. Different side of town

Those huge granite rocks aren't everywhere huh?!

-- Posted by jessiemiller on Sat, Dec 3, 2011, at 8:20 AM

Indeed they are not. Last time I saw Rich was about halfway between his family's log summer place and what I was told is his new summer house. I was having lunch with a couple of guys from Boise trying to warm up after a cold, windy day fishing when he came in. I think an old sheepherder named Fred built that place.

the incident

-- Posted by wh67 on Sat, Dec 3, 2011, at 7:39 PM

As for the stand-off on Ditto Creek, it was my fault. I met several of his dogs up close and personal. Several minutes later Rich told them to get back in the flatbed. They were, thankfully, very well trained.

-- Posted by wh67 on Sat, Dec 3, 2011, at 7:42 PM

Yeehaw! Sounds like you met both the fun Rich and the stern Rich!

So, actually, the Signature Rock I show, is near Ditto Creek. I thought you were thinking the other place. are we confused?

Anyway, thanks for your comments!

-- Posted by jessiemiller on Sat, Dec 3, 2011, at 8:40 PM

I was bewildered for a while, but not really lost. The problem was that the seat on my old Honda 90 wasn't as high as the saddle on your horses or I just wasn't sitting tall enough on the seat. Thanks for the geography lesson and the great pics.

-- Posted by wh67 on Sat, Dec 3, 2011, at 9:24 PM

I'm glad you enjoyed the pictures. Stop and visit for awhile again!

By the way...since you're been here so long, do I/we know one another?

-- Posted by jessiemiller on Sun, Dec 4, 2011, at 4:51 PM

I was raised on the south side of the tracks across from the old Young's Dairy depot on S 5 W in MH. My Dad was born in Elmore County in 1913. His Granddad is buried on the old homestead and we set a headstone there in 1955. When they built the "new" Sun Valley highway, the feds rerouted it to avoid having to pay for moving the headstone. I found it in 2004 and have pictures now. His name was Daniel, my Dad was Paul and I am Warren.

Janet Jo can fill in more details

-- Posted by wh67 on Sun, Dec 4, 2011, at 7:15 PM

It's like another puzzle!

I know the Dairy...or at least where it was.

Can't place any of the names.

You definately have us at a disadvantage with names

-- Posted by jessiemiller on Sun, Dec 4, 2011, at 9:58 PM

Janet Jo owns property on Smith Creek I believe. Her winter place is across the street from Mountain View Cemetary on the northeast corner of a horse corral/arena her Dad and Mom built. She and many other 4-H kids used to practice barrel racing there in the 60's. The family used to summer at Dixie where Ned (her Dad) rode ditch for the MH irrigation district. Her Mom and My Dad grew up together in Bliss.

did that help? By the way, her current last name starts with D.

-- Posted by wh67 on Mon, Dec 5, 2011, at 1:16 PM

Now I know the family. I don't know Janet Jo well, and that's not the name I know her by. But I do know who she is. I kind of wondered if that might be the connection.


-- Posted by jessiemiller on Mon, Dec 5, 2011, at 1:23 PM

I know exactly where this Signature Rock (not the same as Register Rock along the Snake River) is located. I took lots of photos with permission of the former owners on the day they sold the ranch. Long ago, owners would occasionally restore the names with charcoal mixed with axle grease. They would no longer be visible if they had not done that. Any touching or otherwise causing wear and tear to the names and dates will make them disappear forever. Old Oregon Trail wagon ruts could also be destroyed along there. Access must be given by permission from the Ditto Creek ranch owners and to that, I say, Good Luck! They are overrun with nearby city folk who assume ranchland can be trompled and vandalized at will. It has been said that the new owners aren't even happy with the annual Glenns Ferry Three Island bus tours, but hopefully some P.R. with the owners will regain permission to return each year for the Oregon Trail events. It is probably best to enjoy these Great Photos and then go play on rocks without a treasured, fragile historical site...on the BLM land here and there in the area (such as Danskin Mtn/Willow Creek trails in good travel weather).

-- Posted by MarieB on Mon, Dec 5, 2011, at 1:57 PM

Marie and Jesse, I totally agree. One of the reasons I have been so vague in my answers is that a couple of weeks back, I put a couple of electronic "map pins" on Google Earth and e-mailed them to my nephew in California. The problem is that I cannot remove the darned things.

It would'nt bother me so much execpt the first pin was the location of my great grandfather's headstone. That thing hid from me for over 50 I found it after a 90 year old non-relative from Pocatello sent a handwritten scribble to my sister in chicago via Rosemary Mouser. The note said to look 300 yards east of "nigger crick".

It was right there. Grandpa was buried in 1911, two years before my Dad came along. I had driven past it hundreds of times. The only good thing is that Google Earth map pins move around a lot, as compared to granite rocks.

I find the honesty here refreshing, but it figures. Some folks are still rock solid.

-- Posted by wh67 on Mon, Dec 5, 2011, at 3:21 PM

All awesome comments!

Marie B thank you so much for joining our conversation!

I can understand your concerns WH

-- Posted by jessiemiller on Mon, Dec 5, 2011, at 9:10 PM

I just now finished removing those markers, except the one back in Indiana where it all was supposed to have started circa 1838. I am relieved somehow. The H stands for Hostetler, the 67 for my graduating class, also the year we moved to Boise.

-- Posted by wh67 on Mon, Dec 5, 2011, at 9:45 PM

Hostetler is also a name I've run across from time to time

Joe is the name I've known Janet from. Have run into her thru 4-H most recently, and other things before that thru the years. She's in the Rainey house, and I had ties there years ago, thru a friend. (tho it's awful vague now in my mind)

I'm glad you were able to remove the markers... sometimes those things are better left private/alone

-- Posted by jessiemiller on Tue, Dec 6, 2011, at 8:13 AM

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Jessie Miller
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I am interested in this Community, County, and the beautiful state of Idaho. Most of my photos will be in Idaho, but from time to time, they will be my vacations aay from Idaho. You'll see lots of my Children and Grand children, along with others in my family. Of course there will be horses and horse related things, and things I photo'd horseback.
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