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Bob Goodwin
The trail to Robbers Roost
Sat Feb 3, 2018 6:39am

Here is the full quote from page 289 (Roger Pocock "Following the Frontier, 1903:"
"The tract of land on top of the Orange Cliffs, entirely surrounded by canyons, can only be reached by one or two difficult trails [I am supposing he means from Monticello]. Here stands a log house, the Robbers' Roost, with it's corrals and spring of water, pasturage for horses and cattle; the cliffs are a fence, and the whole district a retreat from justice . The garrison generally numbers about ten out of thirty-fur members of the gang. The house is cheered by the presence of one or two ladies, wives of outlaws; and in 1896 there were two Mormon girls stolen from Castle Valley who made no moan over their bondage. The place is just an ordinary ranch."

The original 1900 version, written just a couple of months after Pocock's trek is essentially the same with the exception of: "for Horses to ride, and cattle to eat and for sell" rather than "for horses and cattle, and "the house is cheered by the presence of ladies, wives of the outlaws," rather than "The house is cheered by the presence of one or two ladies, wives of outlaws."

As for traveling from Monticello to Robbers Roost, there are only one or two ways to get there from Monticello, The route that Pocock describes would go northwest from Monticello to the Colorado river, crossing at what is known as Spanish bottom. one of the calm areas and traditional crossings along the river. Then up along the trail that skirts the Orange cliffs to the south and up into the Roost. This was a trail used regularly by the Roosters trailing their cattle, or horses, stolen, or otherwise, to Monticello, or points East. The two other routes into the Roost from the east were to go down to Hite's Crossing, and up along what is now Utah route 95, to the Granite ranch, then follow the Angel trail into the Roost, or to go back up to Green River and cross the Sinbad desert to the Roost.

Pocock gives a short, but fairly accurate description of the middle route. Any confusion to the route just means that you are not familiar with the area.

  • Re: The two girls at Robbers RoostDaniel Buck, Sat Feb 3 5:06am
    Vince, Read Pocock's Following the Frontier (1903), "The Trail of the Outlaw," but only if you are a glutton for confusion. The chief moment of clarity is p. 287, where he says that he arrived in... more
    • The trail to Robbers Roost — Bob Goodwin, Sat Feb 3 6:39am
      • Southwest Coloradojim lynch, Sat Feb 3 11:28am
        For anyone with an interest in that part of Colorado, starting in Grand Junction head east on hi-way 50 towards Delta. Turn south on 141 towards Whitewater and cross the Dolores River. Follow the... more
        • Unaweep CanyonBob Goodwin, Sat Feb 3 11:38am
          Jim, Unaweep is the route that Pocock took South from Grand Junction following roughly the course of route 141.
        • re: Southwest ColoradoBob Goodwin, Sat Feb 3 11:34am
          If you actually take the time to travel down there, don't forget to stop at Dove Creek for some Anasazi beans. Low on gas, and very tasty. Dove Creek is the Bean capital of the U.S.
          • re: Southwest Coloradojim lynch, Sat Feb 3 12:34pm
            I was raised in Cortez and mined uranium on Long Park near Naturita. This is pretty close to heaven!
      • Re: The trail to Robbers RoostDaniel Buck, Sat Feb 3 6:59am
        Bob, I'm not familiar with the area, that is a given. But I have read (and, alas, reread, Pocock). In the chapter from Following the Frontier (1903) under discussion, "The Trail of the Outlaw," he... more
        • re: the trailBob Goodwin, Sat Feb 3 7:42am
          Dan, Your clarity and alacrity are always astounding. Yes, you are correct, Pocock never in his narratives says that he actually visited the Roost himself. And, as you have mentioned often, in his... more
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