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How to stimulate your own powers of foresight. Consider the following thought provokers. Ask yourself, in these categories what are the brand new trends and forces? Which are the ones growing in importance? Which current forces are loosing their steam? Which have peaked or are reversing themselves? Which are the "wildcards" about to disrupt us in the future? POLITICAL AND TECHNICAL thought for food: Electronics, Materials, Energy, Fossil, Nuclear, Alternative, Other, Manufacturing (techniques), Agriculture, Machinery and Equipment, Distribution, Transportation (Urban, Mass, Personal, Surface, Sea, Subsurface, Space), Communication (Printed, Spoken, Interactive, Media), Computers (Information, Knowledge, Storage & Retrieval, Design, Network Resources), Post-Cold War, Third World, Conflict (Local, Regional, Global), Arms Limitation, Undeclared Wars, Terrorism, Nuclear Proliferation, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Governments (More/Less Power and Larger or Smaller Scale), Taxes, Isms: Nationalism, Regionalism, Protectionism, Populism, Cartels, Multinational Corporations, Balance of Trade, Third Party Payments, Regulations (OSHA, etc.) Environmental Impact, U.S. Prestige Abroad. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC Food for thought: Labor Movements, Unemployment / Employment Cycles, Recession, Employment Patterns, Work Hours / Schedules, Fringe Benefits, Management Approaches, Accounting Policies, Productivity, Energy Costs, Balance of Payments, Inflation, Taxes, Rates of Real Growth, Distribution of Wealth, Capital Availability and Costs, Reliability of Forecasts, Raw Materials, Availability and Costs, Global versus National Economy, Market versus Planned Economies, Generations: Y, X, Boomers, Elderly, Urban vs. Rural Lifestyles, Affluent vs. Poor, Neighborhoods and Communities, Planned or Organic Growth. Got Knowledge?

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The Journal of 2020 Foresight
Thursday, April 28, 2005  

Retracing Jedediah Smith's Trail: Bishop, the Mojave Desert and Laughlin

Chapter Three: The Outpost

By Steve Howard, CKO
The Knowledge Labs

Table of Contents
Chapter One: Basecamp
Chapter Two: The Ridge
Chapter Three: The Outpost
Chapter Four: The Tribal Territories

“Indeed, Thomas Jefferson himself spoke frankly of what we would today call genocide. 'We must leave it to yourself to decide [whether] the end proposed should be their extermination, or their removal,' Jefferson once wrote to Clark's older brother, the storied Indian fighter George Rogers Clark. 'The same world would scarcely do for them and us.'"

Jonathan Kirsch

LAUGHLIN, Nevada. Think Jedediah Smith with pedal-to-the-medal passing through at 85 miles per hour. Or Mark Twain in a luxury SUV - Stagecoach Urban Vehicle - accelerating out of Rock Creek headed for Bishop on 395 through the Owens Valley with the snow-capped Sierra mountains on his right and the alkaline flats on his left.

Journal of 2020 Foresight: I can't imagine how grueling a trip like this might have been for the early explorers in the region. In no time we passed from Mono County into Inyo County with only food, fuel or bio breaks in Bishop, Independence, Lone Pine and Big Pine - and it's been grueling on us.

Lone Eagle: Yeah, but on my next trip through here, I want to spend a little more time in Independence. That Winnedumah Bed & Breakfast looked inviting.

Lost Explorer: Ditto. I feel guilty that we didn't have time to explore Mt. Whitney or soak in the significance of the relocation camp at Manzanar.

Pathfinder: We didn't even take advantage of the Yosemite or Rock Creek locations by hiking the John Muir Trail - shame on us. He left a monumental legacy for the rest of us.

Trailblazer: Since you all anointed me the “indicator guru,” and you know I'm fascinated with both the geologic history of the Long Valley Caldera and recent earthquake readings, it is only fitting that I'd want to have spent more time in Lone Pine at the site of the 1872 Earthquake.

J2020F: Well given that Explorer was none too thrilled about how difficult the search for geo cache N 37° 33.738 W 118° 40.838 proved to be, we're lucky we didn't have to separate you two in the SUV like we used to do with our kids!

Eagle: And given that we had to start with that dense geo cache map of California before we could match the photo with the cache location as we got closer - it wasn't easy.

Trailblazer: So, all's well that ends well, right? Especially since we found Little Lakes Valley.

Explorer: True. And, Bishop's history reads like a who's who of the pioneers we profiled since leaving Sacramento. It began nearly3000 years ago with Paiute and Shoshone ancestors - and continued through the early 1800s with visits by Jedediah Smith and Joseph Walker. Later John C. Fremont with Kit Carson, Ed Kern (Kern County) and Richard Owens explored the region. Bishop, itself was named after Samuel A. Bishop.

Pathfinder: Bishop supplied the beef to the more notorious mining camps in Aurora with cattle drives.

J2020F: The one thing we all can agree on, we wouldn't stop at Red Mountain, although we passed right through it and it you see evidence of the boom and bust of mining operations into the 1900s.

Eagle: True. And, you know when we purchased gas at the present day Paiute casino in Bishop, I thought they can't be too happy about the camp or Fort Independence historical marker signifying the Bishop Creek battle.

J2020F: Talking about Jedediah on speed - it's really difficult to appreciate the daily hardships the man - and his exploration parties - suffered as he roamed the Great Basin across what was known as the Great American Desert to later wagon trains and emigrants venturing into the unknown.

Pathfinder: Right. Just think about it. He was the first American to enter California overland from the east across the forbidden Mojave Desert.

Trailblazer: I know. I couldn't help marvel at what he accomplished, especially after we drove past Death Valley and Mojave to get to Needles for the last leg of our journey to Laughlin.

Explorer: Didn't he take our same route, but from the opposite direction - starting on the Colorado River, traveling south and then west?

Pathfinder: The way I remember it, he headed towards the villages of Mojave Indians, then turned his band westward across the Mojave Desert. Kind of threading the needle between hostile Native Americans and Mexican authorities mistrustful of his fur trading deals.

J2020F: If you look at this 1895 map you get a somewhat historical snapshot of what it must have been like. By the way, is it Mojave or Mohave? Must be a state thing that switches from California / Nevada into Arizona?

Eagle: Speaking of needles he came under attack while crossing the Colorado River in what is now Needles, California. A party of Mojave Indians, angry with an earlier trapping party, killed ten of Smith's men and scattered his furs and supplies.

J2020F: You know what is hard for me to get? The attraction to this area - and yet it is on both of the lists - the Nevada resort appreciation and the early growth towns like Elko, Carson, and Jackpot.

Pathfinder: And, both Bullhead City in Arizon. and Laughlin across the Colorado River in Nevada grew recently to dwarf nearby Needles.

Trailblazer: Especially after arriving at the Flamingo Hotel earlier than we had expected in that kind of dry heat you experience if you've ever opened a pizza oven door and were hit by the blast of heat.

Explorer: Well, guys. It's not too different than Las Vegas. Laughlin is sandwiched between deserts - but it borders the Colorado River as the river continues its journey to the Gulf of California (the Sea of Cortez).

Eagle: And remember, nobody in our expedition had rented wave-runners before, nor had been to Laughlin, so we fumbled a little getting into our room, deciding on what to do, what to take with us and where to go.

Pathfinder: Yeah, but after a little conversation with the local guides, we were pointed to the Riverside Hotel where they ferry you across the Colorado to the rental place.

J2020F: But, what we didn't realize was how hot it was on the rocks and dirt. Not a beach for tourists. We really could have used our water walking shoes -- and frequently applied sunscreen.

Explorer: And we had a ball cruising up and down the river, from the dam at one end to the last of the strip hotels - Hurrahs - on the other. The Colorado River cooled us, even though we'd feel heat currents from either the desert or the engine.

Eagle: That was fun all right, but I thought it became hilarious when we tried to outdo each other in outlandish answers to how did the town get its name.

Pathfinder: It wasn't until we got back to the hotel that we were able to Google and find the real answer to “Laughlin” - in the form of a jeopardy question, “So who is Don Laughlin?” And what's his connection with Jedediah Smith?

Got Knowledge?
Copyright ©2002 - 2006 Aarnaes Howard Associates. All rights reserved worldwide.

6:07 AM

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