We did a bit of geocaching this morning and learned a lot about Quartzsite from one very cool geocache. The cache is called “Hi Jolly” and is a virtual cache. This means you do not have to sign the log at the geocache, you have to find a clue or take a picture and send to the cache owner. This one had several choices, we could take our picture in front of the tomb or we could e-mail a bit of information to the owner. We chose to do number 1 below.
1:On the south side of the monument, below the affixed plaque, is a round fixture with a raised oval in the center. When viewed at the proper angle a date (year) can be seen there. What is that date?
2:Optionally, (in case the above isn't visible at night) what is the name and date on the gravestone to the immediate west of Hi Jolly's tomb.
Easy drive-up virtual.
An interesting bit of Arizona history.
This is the site of 'Hi Jolly's last camp', the tomb of an Arabic camel driver who came to this country in 1856 as part of an Army experiment to use camels to haul freight across the desert. His actual name was Hadji Ali, but the soldiers quickly Anglicized it to Hi Jolly. You can find lots of information about him and the experiment on the web. I am also adding a lot of pictures taken from the cemetery telling more about this historic site.
Syrian camel jockey Hadji Ali — whose name was Anglicized to "Hi Jolly" — came to the U.S. to drive the herd of camels that formed the "United States Camel Corps" under command of Lt. Edward Fitzgerald Beale. The short-lived corps was deployed to chart the shortest distance between Ft. Defiance, in Texas, and the Colorado River. Although the U.S. Army officially abandoned the experiment, Beale used the camels — and, evidently, continued to use Ali's expertise at handling them — to haul supplies back and forth from Los Angeles to Fort Tejon by way of the Santa Clarita Valley in the late 1850s and early 1860s. Some of the other camels from the herd were sold to circuses and others were left to roam the desert.
After visiting the cemetery and doing this cache, we understand why camel designs are seen all over Quartzsite. What a cool cache! For all our readers who love geocaching like we do, don’t miss this one. Check back later for more from Quartzsite.