The Johnson’s Cut-Off research group started the year with a well-attended planning meeting with the Forest Service in January. We set the dates for fieldwork for the year.
Our first priority was to work with the Forest Archeologist to complete a historical survey before a planned timber harvest. This worked well for us, as we needed to complete the trail research through the area of summer cabins along Highway 50 where the timber harvest was to take place. We felt we needed the presence of a uniformed Forest Service employee with us as we worked so close to the cabins. So close, we found an ox shoe right in a cabin driveway.
Later we moved east and worked in the Sayles Flat area west to Slippery Ford, where we had great success. Until we got on the ground it was hard to envision how the emigrants coped with what they called “Boulder Hill.” More work is needed here to link together the two sections worked so far.
In September the Forest Service offered our group a rare opportunity to work with them on the Rubicon Route. This is the site of the world famous annual Jeepers Jamboree. Our task for these two days of concentrated work was to assist with documentation to qualify the route for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. We were joined by John Krizek who wanted to see and experience the route that a group of six emigrants from the Murphy-Stephens party took in 1844, the first Americans to take this route.