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Author: Subject: EL BARRIL MYSTERY by Choral Pepper
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[*] posted on 11-26-2007 at 05:59 PM


Yes, the Villavicencio's Rancho El Barril is just south of Punta San Francisquito. They have a nice runway and Erle Stanley Gardner made it a base camp when he was exploring the area in the mid 1960's.

I have not personally driven into the ranch, but it sounds like Shari and Paulina have both seen it...




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[*] posted on 11-26-2007 at 08:18 PM


I was at Rancho El Barrill (and points south) about 3 years ago. The 3 story rock building is deffinitely still there, and is a little way down (southeast) the coast from the Rancho, and clearly visible from the rancho. You can easily drive to it.

There are now other small structures around the rock structure, and people do live there. The Rancho itself is looking very prosperous, and there are several nice houses within the Rancho grounds.

There are some mansions further north from the Rancho which are pretty much inaccessible, (unless you drive through the Rancho), as far as I could determine.

The airstrip is in good repair (at least then it was), and close by the Rancho.

All this country is simply wonderful, and little changed from the days of Uncle Earle (Gardner) and his adventures.
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[*] posted on 11-26-2007 at 09:05 PM
Choral Pepper


Wow, her talent and skill at research must have been fantastic. Great stuff.

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[*] posted on 7-9-2008 at 07:57 PM


Hopefully I'll get to see it soon.



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[*] posted on 7-10-2008 at 08:15 AM


I'm going to blow the whistle on that rotten friend of mine, John M. He is an old time Baja guy, the president of the local historical society out in the Mojave and has written a book or two. I would give you the real dirt (including how he chickened out of continuing westward from the mine at La Turquesa and left me there to die), but he is giving a barbecue this summer so my lips are sealed.



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[*] posted on 7-10-2008 at 08:27 AM


Maybe The squarecircle should be at that BBQ to give a talk on how to drive through La Turquesa Canyon?:light::bounce::biggrin:

Here's the canyon looking west from the mine... you can see the grade going up the mountain... Photo by 'steekers'

[Edited on 7-10-2008 by David K]

IMG_2463r.JPG - 49kB




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[*] posted on 7-10-2008 at 08:31 AM


Squarecircle's Land Rover climbing the grade!

scan0002r.JPG - 35kB




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[*] posted on 7-10-2008 at 09:50 AM


Thank you David for that amazing Baja story. I am still hungry for more.
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[*] posted on 7-10-2008 at 06:27 PM


You are welcome bajasol!

Go to the Nomad Historic Interests and Literature forum... I have posted a few of Choral's chapters there... Other stuff too!




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[*] posted on 1-31-2018 at 09:29 AM


Bump to one of the good old (10 years old) threads.
I have since been to El Barril and the old rock house generally attributed to the Ybarra Mining Company of Calmalli, to the west, last June...









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[*] posted on 1-31-2018 at 06:18 PM


smart - the SW facing side of the house with lighter colored rocks



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[*] posted on 1-31-2018 at 07:32 PM


That is very cool, I'm going to have to get out there and see that. Never been down the coast past SF.
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[*] posted on 1-31-2018 at 08:16 PM


Oh boy, are you in for a treat!




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[*] posted on 2-1-2018 at 01:58 PM


Here's the best photo of callville that I've come across. On the right you can see the steamer "Colorado" with it's smokestack:


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[*] posted on 2-1-2018 at 04:41 PM


Thank you, elbeau!
Good to see you posting... Happy New Year!
Do you have any opinion or thoughts on Choral Pepper's theory about El Barril and the Utah migration up the gulf and Colorado River?




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[*] posted on 11-11-2018 at 10:33 AM




From Choral Pepper's m/s with one of here 1966 photos.

The manuscript was for a revised edition of her 1973 book (which had a 1975 revision and slight title change). Here is the cover page from my copy that Choral (Corke) signed for me:





[Edited on 11-11-2018 by David K]




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[*] posted on 11-11-2018 at 10:51 AM


Murl's book:







"So Much Baja, So Little Time..."

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[*] posted on 11-11-2018 at 10:56 AM


Erle Stanley Gardner's book from 1967:


His 1962 book, mentions El Barril as well:


Here are the two editions of Choral Peppers book (1973 and 1975):







"So Much Baja, So Little Time..."

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[*] posted on 11-11-2018 at 11:57 AM


Quote: Originally posted by advrider  
That is very cool, I'm going to have to get out there and see that. Never been down the coast past SF.


Got an open seat and towing a bike trailer. Dec. 1-10. Schedule is wide open first 5 days.
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[*] posted on 11-11-2018 at 02:08 PM


Interesting. I kept a boat out at Calville Bay on Lake Mead for about 5 years, and I'm just now studying a trip around El Barril. Who knew.



[Edited on 11-11-2018 by JZ]




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