“Indian marker trees…were the first ‘road signs…’
Marker trees were bent to guide travelers to significant locations such as campsites, water sources, river crossings, and other important natural features.”
– Carol Dawson with Roger Allen Polson, Miles and Miles of Texas
The thing people don’t realize is, these Indian markers are still around.
Here’s the bent tree which still stands to this day at Oak Spring, headquarters of the old G4 Ranch, in what today is Big Bend National Park.
The nearly horizontal trunk makes an inviting, shady bench.
A couple of scenes in my book take place right here. Oak Spring is where our hero John and his friends first arrive at the ranch, with their 2000 cattle, seed stock for the ranch’s enormous herds that later grew to something like 30,000 head.
An excerpt from the book, coming soon–
We lay down in the flood and drank. I gulped it down and dunked my head. My filthy, still-buttoned shirt floated up and the welcome cool flowed over my toes.
‘We’re not dead, and I’m a mite surprised.’ Tin said it matter-of-fact, but I laughed till I hurt my sides.
Davenport and his sore-footed boys slapped us on the back, all smiles. I was one of them now, a tramp, a cow-sitter…practically an old hand.
All on account of our going through that Hell of desert together.”