Whitehorse The Man

 


Now he found himself alone in the world. He buried his little brother in their new home at the base of the Superstition Mountains. To this day, he lies peacefully with the marker Whitehorse left for him over 108 years ago.

In the Summer months, he refrained from traveling during the day because of the stifling heat. The Winter months were much easier, even though the nights could get dreadfully cold. . .he was concerned about the lightening in the sky that would strike at the ground with such force as to create craters. He said his fear came from a time he saw a cow get blown apart by lightening. He knew the sign from the heavens was dangerous, and finding cover was a challenge. Staying out of these situations could prove difficult because he needed the days to hunt for food, which he would store for the coming months.

Traveling 15, sometimes 20 miles a day was common for Whitehorse. When he tired of walking, he would take refuge under passes, bridges and an occasional cave. One summer night, when he had been traveling for hours, he took refuge under a bridge. In the morning, when he awoke, it was chilly, so he started grabbing papers that were scattered around him. He reached out and felt something very cold. It was still dark and he couldn't see too clearly. He rubbed his eyes and searched for matches which he carried with him. When he lit the match, he saw a man's face glaring at him. Startled, he dropped the match and stumbled to his knees. It was at this moment he knew he had been sleeping next to a dead man all night. He scurried out through the opening of the bridge and ran to the nearest town. He ran and ran for hours to report what he had stumbled upon. The town officials went out, picked up the man and took him to the town morgue. Whitehorse heard from people in town that these incidents happened often. He said most of these people were loners (today, we call them homeless) and no one would claim them, so they would be lost f-o-r-e-v-e-r. Another time when dusk was setting in, he found himself in a deep gorge. On each side, the gorge had walls between 8 to 10 feet high. He had to travel some distance to climb out of it. As the sun began to set, and as he continued on his way, he heard what sounded like someone or something stepping on rocks behind him. He turned around but didn't see anything. He continued his hike and again heard disturbing sounds. Again he turned but nothing was there. Noises in the desert night could be just about anything is what he was thinking. He then continued his hike. The foot steps got louder and louder. At this moment, he became extremely nervous and scared. As he started walking faster, he was knocked to the ground by a painful blow to his lower back. Each time he tried to stand, he would be knocked down. Finally, he was able to turn around while still on the ground. He looked up and saw an enormous white Ram. Whitehorse scrambled to his feet facing away from the Ram; and when he turned around, it was gone--disappeared. There was no way this Ram could have jumped the steep walls. They were just too high. This experience stayed with him all his life and he would never say if this Ram was an evil spirit, but this he did know: it scared him so much, because he couldn't explain where the Ram disappeared to. "Things that go bump in the night" had true meaning for him.

Whitehorse hiked from town-to-town. When he reached a destination, he would take odd jobs for food, clothing and clean water. Mining towns like Rey, Arizona (doesn't exist on the maps of today, but you can still see it on the old maps) were a refuge for lost boys. People would take him in, clothe and feed him. People as he said "in those days" would jump at the opportunity to help an orphan boy. A couple of families he met on the way wanted to adopt him, but he wouldn't have any part of it. His independence and not having to rely on others for his existence was a way of life, and he wasn't about to give that up. He believed in the good of mankind, but from experience, he learned to explore his avenues before making important and critical decisions.

Updated: Sunday, October 9, 2022

1994