Monday, August 29, 2016

The Disoriented Wanderer

August 22, 2016 © Thomas J. Kollenborn. All Rights Reserved.

Prospectors at Linesbe Cabin in Willow Canyon (Peralta Canyon) c. 1946.
Another New Yorker with a dream showed up at “Doc” Nation’s Camp along the old Willow Canyon (Peralta Canyon) Road late December 1945. He was a man anxious to find a guide and head into the mountains to search for gold. He was convinced he knew exactly where the Dutchman’s Mine was located and he didn’t want to waste any time, particularly his own time.

 Meyer Scuelebtz was an old man and not in good physical condition. He tried to convince “Doc” Nations to guide him into the mountains, but “Doc” immediately turned him down.

On January 19, 1946, a friend of “Doc’s” named James Watkins, reluctantly agreed to guide Meyer Scuelebtz into the area north of Weaver’s Needle. The area north of Weaver’s Needle had a couple of permanent camps. One was old man Pierce’s Camp in Needle Canyon and the other was Chuck Aylor’s “Caballo Camp” in East Boulder Canyon. Watkins figured Scuelebtz could get help from either man if he needed it.

Scuelebtz and Watkins departed “Doc” Nation’s Camp on January 20, 1946. They made their first camp at a place known by locals as “The Bluff,” about one and a half-miles north of Weaver’s Needle in East Boulder Canyon. “The Bluff” was located above Chuck Aylor’s Camp in East Boulder Canyon.

The next day, somewhere north of Weaver’s Needle in the area of the Three Red Hills, Scuelebtz told Watkins to return to camp because he didn’t need his services. Watkins protested but Scuelebtz insisted he return to camp. Watkins made his way back to camp beneath “the Bluff” and waited for Scuelebtz to return.

After thinking about the strange request of Scuelebtz, Watkins decided to go looking for him. He searched a half of a day and found no trace of Scuelebtz. Watkins became concerned and hiked out to “Doc” Nation’s Camp to report the situation.

“Doc” Nations contacted Sheriff Jimmy Herron. Herron quickly organized and brought a posse out to Nation’s Camp. He then prepared for a search in the mountains for Meyer Scuelebtz. Herron thought, “Another New Yorker with a dream who bit off more than he could chew.”

By this time Meyer Scuelebtz had been missing two days in the rugged back country of Superstition Mountain.

Two men prospecting north of Weaver’s Needle in La Barge Canyon found Meyer Scuelebtz in very poor condition wandering around and totally lost in rugged terrain. Meyer insisted he was close to his golden treasure and wanted to continue, however he was physically unable.

After breakfast on Thursday morning in the mountains he was taken back to the trail head near Linesbee’s cabin. William Linesbee notified Jimmy Herron who was at “Doc” Nation’s Camp. Herron immediately responded and came to Linesbee’s Camp to pick up Meyer Scuelebtz.

Meyer Scuelebtz, an inexperienced prospector-treasure hunter was lucky to be alive. If the two prospectors hadn’t stumbled on to him he would have perished in the mountains. Meyer never returned to the mountains again to try and fulfill his dream of riches.

Dreams have misguided many an individual and eventually led to their demise in these mountains.

Andy Syndbad told about Meyer Scuelebtz and his search in the mountains. He always said Meyer was a misguided German dreamer. He sincerely believed once he got in the mountains he could locate Waltz mine because he knew the thoughts of a German mind. Another interesting twist on the story of the Dutchman’s mine saga.

This is just another tale about a man and his dream to find golden riches in the rugged terrain of the Superstition Wilderness Area. Many men have perished in these mountains searching for gold, but this doesn’t discourage more from risking their lives a quest for the elusive golden treasures of Superstition Mountain.  The real gold of Superstition Mountain is it beauty, peace and tranquility. Meyer Scuelebtz was a lucky man to survive rigors of this rugged mountain range.