|Bright blue turquoise in matrix.|
While working over at the Rustic Cabin at the Painted Pony Resort, insulating pipes running from the well to the pressure tank in preparation for winter, some color on the ground caught my eye. Small flecks of green and blue rock which were scattered about on the river bed bench top where the cabin sits attracted my attention. Finishing the pipe insulation job, I began to look around for more and hunting for the source. Walking in widening circles around the pump area I found more and more small fragments (1-2 mm) of turquoise. Eventually coming upon an abandoned animal burrow I noticed lying in the dirt spoils created by the animal during digging, a larger (several inch) piece of rust colored matrix with veins of turquoise running through it. Found it I thought, it was apparent this bright blue turquoise was not native to an alluvial bench along San Simon River bed but more likely imported by a former inhabitant. The presence of fragments from a dozen different metates found around the cabin suggest this bench top was inhabited in the past and the presence of turquoise was just one more indicator of a habitation site. Two locations within several days walk have a history of turquoise production, the Johnny Bull mine the mines around old Hachita which are respectively 17 and 33 miles distant are possible sources, but this does not exclude the possibility of closer unknown sources.