On the following day the pack train moved along the path I had walked over. We were pleasantly surprised to find at this season, the middle of December, and at this elevation, a species of violet in bloom, while Lupinus and Vicia were already in seed. We made our camp at a place 7,400 feet above sea level, and here we noticed trincheras close by, with water running through them from a marsh.
We also happened to come upon some stone piles made of rough stones laid on top of each other to a height of about three feet. The Mexicans called them “Apache Monuments,” and I saw here eight or ten, three at a distance of only twenty yards from each other and lying in a line from east to west. On the next day we found an Apache track with similar monuments. Some of these piles did not seem to be in places difficult to travel, and therefore could hardly have been intended for guide-posts, though others might have served that purpose; nor is it easy to see how they could have been meant for boundary marks, unless they were erected by some half-castes who kept company with the Apaches, to divide off the hunting grounds of various families. It seems to me more likely that they are connected with some religious rite.
We had some little difficulty in making our descent to the Bavispe River, but at last we discovered, and travelled down, an old but still practicable trail, dropping nearly 1,000 feet. A little further northward we came down another 1,000 feet, and thus we gradually reached Bavispe, which is here a rapid, roaring stream, girth-deep, and in many places deeper. It here flows northward, describing the easterly portion of the curve it forms around the Sierra de Nacori.
I selected as a camping ground a small mesa on the left bank of the river, among pines and oaks and high grass, about forty feet above the water edge. A meadow set park-like with pines extended from here nearly three-quarters of a mile along the river, and was almost half a mile wide. Near our camp we found several old and rusty empty tin cans, such as are used for putting up preserved food. One of them was marked “Fort Bowie.” Doubtless this spot had been used before as a camping ground, probably by some of General Crook’s scouts.
Camping at Upper Bavispe River—Low Stone Cabins, Fortresses, and Other Remains Indicating Former Habitation—The Animals Starve on the Winter Grass of the Sierra and Begin to Give Out—A Deserted Apache Camp—comfort at Last—The Giant Woodpecker—We Arrive at the Mormon Settlements of Pacheco and Cave Valley.