Hunting Along a Northern California
By Paul Greaves
After work today, I had planned to do some "cleanup" hunting. The meeting went late, so I almost decided to come home... but it stays light until at least 8 p.m. now, so I went anyway. I planned to go back to a site on a line where I found a real nice gutter top platter last year, to see if I could spot or rake up the tiny sliver missing from the collar, or the back rim bottom edge flake. It is glued together from three pieces, but it is such a nice top otherwise that I had to try. I have found in the past that sometimes returning to a place a year later will result in finding a missing piece. It didn't take long to get there, so I had about two hours to do whatever I was going to do. I had a change of clothes, so on they went.
I found the spot quickly. The mosquitoes were terrible! Forgot the bug spray of course, so I wrapped my head with a shirt. After a bit of raking and looking, I was having no luck whatsoever. So, I decided to take the remaining light and just go wandering around (leaving the mosquitoes behind).
I went back and re-checked a low point to make sure there was no pole down there, and found nothing. I do think they spanned it in one large jump. So, I continued up hill. There were a few big pieces that Mike Spadafora and I found up there last year, but not enough to make anything. The area has bothered me, so having another look seemed a good way to use up the light. Keeping moving made me a harder target for the mosquitoes.
I found the line, and a couple pole sites. Relocated a big chunk of a gutter top we saw last year, with a manufacturing date of Dec 24 1900 (Christmas eve!). I'd still like to find the rest of it to identify the marking... and I do suspect it is there somewhere nearby. About 1/3 of a glass base is just downhill in a ravine, so I decided to poke around more fully on my way down. Lots of deep duff here, and the piece above is half the platter....
I went up to the next pole site uphill, but nothing was near it. I remembered finding a couple pieces quite a ways away from this point, so I went looking for them (side-hilling). I remembered being puzzled by them last time, as they were so far away, that they either were carried there or they rolled down from a pole further up the line (it's going diagonally uphill in a direction that would take it uphill of that point). Before long I did find them again. Looking down I saw a substantial part of a glass base in a ravine below. I sort of remember seeing it last time, but didn't remember that it was essentially half of the glass cone (missing the top completely). The other half must be somewhere! So, at this point, with the light starting to fade, I figured I'd go down the ravine, poking around as I went to see if I could find the other half.I went down the ravine quite a ways, finding nothing. There were lots of places to hide things, and I was not poking so completely that I could be sure I wasn't missing anything. I got to a point where I was really feeling like I had gone so far that it seemed pretty unlikely…I was probably at least 200 feet from the nearest pole. I came very close to heading off back to the line, but for some reason decided to go down just one more bit (past some poison oak bushes). So I went 20 feet further. Again, about to turn away, something tugged at my awareness...something up on the left side of the ravine, the side away from the line, where nothing should be. I realized I was looking at ears! Stepping a little closer, I could see that it was actually a substantial part of a platter. Boy, it was a long way from the pole! Here is what I saw:
It is actually right on the route of a game trail. As you can see, much is obscured.
I quickly realized it is a warty one! So, I hold my breath and start moving leaves...
The evening is suddenly taking a whole new turn! Not that it wasn't a pleasant way to spend the end of a day anyway, but wow!! This was getting serious! So I turned it over. Alas, I guess the ideal of finding a complete top remains a goal to be reached for. Here is what I saw:
The collar is broken off
about halfway down, right where the interior groove is. But the platter is
great! The front half is virtually perfect.
SO... a lesson learned...
there can be stuff a Long Way down the hill! And a good warty
platter! How cool is that? It was about 7:45 p.m. at this point, so
I had little time to look for the base or collar pieces. I wouldn't rule
out them being there... well, they have to be there somewhere of course.
But they could be a long way uphill, and pretty tough to find. I'll
have to go back. Maybe I'll get another chance before it gets too hot.
It was getting pretty dark when I got back to the car.
So, that was the high point of my day! It is a 4-1 marking, with no manufacturing date. Here it is, at home after being cleaned up:
M-2795 Hunt: Continue to Day 2