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2020-05-11  
Renolds Crk Trl 150 to Knoles Hole, AZ
mini location map2020-05-11
14 by photographer avatarOregon_Hiker
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Renolds Crk Trl 150 to Knoles Hole, AZ 
Renolds Crk Trl 150 to Knoles Hole, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 11 2020
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking5.05 Miles 1,016 AEG
Hiking5.05 Miles   5 Hrs   52 Mns   1.03 mph
1,016 ft AEG      59 Mns Break
 
1st trip
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This was my fourth day hike on a 6 night car camping trip to the Aztec Peak area of the Sierra Ancha. This was supposed to be another day of taking it easy after an exhausting hike the day before trying to keep up with @friendofThundergod and his side kick, Katie. The plan was to hike down the Reynolds Creek Trail #150 from the Murphy trail head to Knoles Hole to look for the location of the illusive Knoles Hole Spring and for evidence of a possible homestead in the 1890s at that location by a Robert Knowles. Along the way I would scout out some possible routes for future hikes and also look for the Murphy Tank shown on the topo maps. Shortly after starting down the track I decided to go off trail a short distance to the Murphy Ranch Property line and discovered what I think is the actual location of the Murphy Tank. It's on the ranch property close to the property line and not where it's shown on the topo maps. I spent some time and energy bushwhacking through the brush looking for the tank at the location shown on the maps and it is not there.

Further along Trail #150 I scouted out a couple of possible routes for future exploration. Then I started the search for the Knoles Hole Spring around the location where it is shown on the map - nothing but brush and a dry wash. I know from previous hikes that there are springs a little further down the upper part of Reynolds Creek along the trail. I've been curious as to how Knoles Hole got its name. One account of the murder of Edward Baker in 1890 at the later to be named Peterson Ranch site mentions a Robert S. Knowles as being the nearest neighbor with a homestead 1 mile away at the time of the murder. [ Triplog ] Could Knowles homestead have been in Knoles Hole? I have my doubts because there does not seem to be enough flat land to grow a crop which was a requirement for proving up on a homestead. I now suspect that Robert S. Knowles' homestead was at the location where Walter Murphy established his homestead sometime between 1909 and 1918. Perhaps Knowles abandoned his homestead after the murder of Edward Baker. Both Knoles Hole and the Murphy Ranch are 1 mile in a straight line from the Peterson Ranch site. I'd had enough off-trail exploring and pondering of local history so headed back to camp to relax in the shade and read a book.
Named place
Named place
Murphy Tank
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