Wednesday, 2 February 2011


PERHAPS THIS MAN AND HIS FAMILY WILL INSPIRE YOU TO LIVE YOUR DREAM. A real live Tarzan of the desert----Marshal South---- scans the valley below his mountaintop home in the remotes of Southern California ---in the 1930's. When I saw this photo in the library of Julian, I knew that I must go visit the site.
You can drive to the base of Ghost mountain, with only a few miles of dirt road.
And then you must hike a mile uphill to this spot. (approximately where Marshal was standing) Below is Blair Valley.
Incredible as it now seems---an entire family of 5 lived 16 years in this unlikely place.
What remains of their house.
Can you see the cistern to my left? It's one of several---In front of me is a collection bowl. Searching around, I found several water collection sites and a likely spot for their garden.
Also this sun dial.
Marker at the base of the mountain ----says: YAQUITEPEC----ONE FAMILY'S ATTEMPT TO LIVE OFF THE LAND. In 1932 while the country felt the grip of depression, Marshal and Tanys South came to this mountain to build their home and live off the land. They raised their children here, wrote magazine articles, grew vegetables, gathered native plants and after 16 years decided to call it quits. Yaquitepec, or Ghost Mountain still carries the reminders of South's homesteading adventure. The steep mile-long walk to the homesite will give you a breathtaking view of the land the South family called home. Look for signs of the ingenious water system with its cisterns and troughs. The adobe structure is quickly becoming a victim of the elements.

Living off the land proved difficult. Supplies had to be brought by model t from Julian and carried up on foot. Tanya South tired of her eccentric mate's lifestyle and the family split up leaving Yaquitepec to the sun and the wind.

The stories of the South family fade with time in the pages of Desert Magazine, but the melting adobe and the garden terraces will remain atop Ghost Mountain for years to come.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES: I stand in Awe at the courage of this couple--to dare--to deviate---and I say with Cassanova: "When I consider life's opportunities, I am astounded at my own timidity." Click here and see the family in action:

No comments:

Post a Comment