C C 1840 INSCRIPTION
Near Piedmont, where an old trapper's trail descends Bigelow Bench, is found a stone wall which once was covered with numerous names. One of the inscriptions is "C C 1840." Could this have been left by the famous Kit Carson? It is know that Kit was on the Muddy in 1840. Also a soldier and correspondent to the New York Herald using the pen name UTAH wrote:
"About six miles from our camp was a high rock, which I visited, and though I walked entirely around its base, I found no place where it was possible to make an ascent. It is about two thousand feet high -- when I speak thus I mean higher than the plains around -- and presented naught but a solid rocky face to the visitor. I should have risked my neck in making an attempt to ascend it, but my time was nearly up, and I had to hasten back to camp; for if I were once to abuse my privilege, I could never expect to have it renewed -- I would never ask it. All around the base, as high as a man could reach,names were cut and painted. Following the example of those who were before me, I raised myself by means of a heap of stones, and cut my name in large letters, about twelve feet from the plain. Though I may never have a monument raised to my memory in any of our great cities; though my name may never be met with on history's pages; though my statue may never stand in public places, or on the top of pedestals; though no stone may deck my last resting place; though I may fall on the battle field, fighting for my country's honor, and my bones be left to whiten on the Western Plains, without even a sod to cover them; so long as the rock stands he who visits it will know that such a man as "UTAH" lived, and that he placed his name where it would be almost immortal, high above all others who proceeded him. What a glorious idea that is! He who reads my letters may soon forget me, He who heard my name may pass it by unnoticed, but away on the Western Plain I have a mighty monument that keeps my name undying, until the rock shall melt or tumble to the plain. Among the names I saw that of Christopher Carson; but his does not come within five feet of being as high as mine. Ah, Kit, old hunter and traveler though you be, a boy, scarce three months from civilization, overtops you. But so it should be. He who reaches highest should succeed, and he who is content with lowliness, should shine there."
|Today most of the names on this cliff have gone. A small insect bores holes in the surface and large segments fall to the ground. Christopher Carson did outlast "UTAH." Several years have passed since this photo was taken. Even Christopher Carson is now gone. The E.W. Byrne inscription is that of the son of Moses Byrne. Edwin Byrne was taken from the Muddy station by a war party of Soiux when he was three years old. Three years later, he was found by Chief Washaki, a friend of the Byrne's and returned to his home. Thus the middle initial "W" for Washaki. A note of interest, Edwin Byrne moved to Buhl Idaho where he became the mayor.|
|All that remains today.|