Hey Dave I went by the cabins tonight and I have to say I am disgussed at what I saw.
The cabins on the dry lake: The west end cabin has had every window and door broken and the east one burned down! When did THAT happen?
The cabin on the left side as you head up the wash: The front door is gone and part of the lean-to roof blew off, the people staying there tried to fix it the best they could.
So there you go, sorry for the bad news Dave.
I knew of the fires down in the "flats" ... one of which happened several years ago. When I started going there, there were 13 complete and intact, habitable buildings not counting the outhouse! It's terribly unfortunate the lack of respect many different types have out there. I have to say, I know that the first of the fires (since the 13 buildings existed, thus leaving 11 at THAT time) was started by a group of dirt bikers....it was an accident, but no doubt due to lack of concern and carelessness! There is simply NO excuse for any kind of fire to get so out of hand that we lose yet another piece of history. Sadly, the few decent dirt bikers I have spoke with (there are no doubt plenty of good ones) don't even know the true history of this area. In fact most of them mistakenly believe the flats that have doubled as a landing strip, had always been as such. In fact the area had originally began as a tent city with literally hundreds of tents set up and had one main street...that which the few buildings that are left stand. The local school (Goler Schoolhouse) was just up from the Edith E. cabin in Goler Gulch/Wash In 2001, my goup was just finishing breakfast on a Sunday morning in spring there in Goler proper, those buildings on the flats when an old couple actually rolled into the flats in a Lincoln Towncar. The two were raised right there in that tent city from 3-4 years old til their early teens when their fathers had a falling out, one threatening to kill the other quite literally with a rifle if he did not leave as he struck it, not rich, but made a (at that time) sizable finding. The other father and family (the gentleman's family) did in fact leave town. The girl ran away, found her NOW HUSBAND and married, raised a family and return to the area each year...well, at least back then as they were truly quite old. They didn't even get out of their car. But myself and my dear friend, Ted, spoke to them for over an hour right there at the window frames of the car doors. It was perhaps, my favorite experience in the area as the stories they had, the pictures though grainy that they had...it was truly amazing to hear of the history from someone who lived there first hand! But, waaaay too many people think this place was nothing more then the few dwellings left there and a landing strip, believing that's all it ever was. People, families, friends and enemies made their life there...made a horribly rough living there, died there. There is a cemetery just a canyon west (Benson Canyon off of Iron Canyon, were many of Goler's residents are laid to rest. Those who know even a little of the history, respect the area and the history, are the ones who at the very least, attempt to leave it better then when they arrived. I myself and my group took care of a cabin over in Bonanza Gulch for many years. It fell to the wayside for awhile after my life demanded enough of me that I could no longer make the trip 2-3 times a year simply to clean up and make repairs. Someone took over that cabin and for several years and as of just last year, it was in quite nice shape! That's what I love to see, respect. Someone who cares. These dwellings are nothing more then a symbol. . . a symbol of the lives those pioneers lived and when you stay at one, you can't help but feel their situation a little bit...at least I do. I think of how cold it gets in February out there...and as much as that cold bites, I have the option of leaving Sunday night after packing up and getting into my Jeep. My Jeep with a heater. Those folks if lucky may have had a horse or access thereof. They dedicated their lives in these areas in hopes of making a better life for themselves, their families. It's all too often taken for granted. It's all too often unknown, un realized, just what they went through. It's all too often disrepected, vandalized, abused....and forgotten.
Here is a link to some good reading of the area, inlcuding a few pics and a map of Goler, Goler Heights, Goler Gulch, Benson Gulch(Canyon), etc.
It disgusts me to no end. But, I can only rant about it, try to clean up while I am there, and pray that the next group does the same.
Ok, enough of my personal disgust and ranting! Back to the fun part of thinsgs!