Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico history is fascinating. Note: Thread title changed to “Western HISTORY Thread” to better reflect its intent. We see the remains of old farms, ranches, mines, smelters, etc. out in the boonies when we ride and I always want to know what happened there. Who were the people? Where did they come from? Why did they chose to come all the way out here? Since there's lots of folk here who really enjoy the West's history tidbits posted here by @nwcolorider and others, here's a place specifically for that. Copy and paste from other threads is cool. Without his permission, I'll get it started by copying some of Norm's historical lessons from a recent thread. From Norm: So those of you that have made the ride or know know that I enjoy the history of the area we will be riding. Form the Great Diamond Hoax, The outlaws, Tom Horn etc. There was a Hermit that lived in the Bench Road area for years. Echo Park was called Pats Hole for years. Here is the story on ol Pat by Kerry Ross Boren Pat Lynch spent over 40 years living the life of a hermit in the area of Echo Park in what is now known as Dinosaur National Monument. He was born in Ireland and left home at an early age to become a seafaring man. According to his stories, he was shipwrecked off the coast of Africa and was adopted by a tribe of natives. He wed one of the tribe’s maidens and fathered two children by her. Later, becoming restless, he abandoned the tribe and made his way to the United States. He joined the U.S, Navy just in time to serve in the Civil War. In 1863 he was wounded in battle and discharged from the service. Soon afterward he enlisted in the Army under the name of James Cooper and served there until around 1870 when he made his way westward. Pat collected pensions under both names after moving west. It is uncertain whey Pat ended up in the remote area along the Yampa River. There was strong suspicion that he had killed a man and was on the run from the law. Over the years Pat became friends with many of the families living along the river and would often pay them visits. He frequently visited the Chew family at Pool Creek. They said he always talked with an Irish burr and used the slang of seafaring men. Ralph Chew said that many times when talk would come up of someone dying or being killed, Pat would ask if they had been killed with an axe. Some believed Pat had killed a man in this way and that he may have come to this area to hide from the law. He brought with him a small herd of horses which he bred and traded during his many years in the area which locals would come to know as Pat's Hole. My grandfather, William C. Boren, went into business with Pat for several years in raising horses in Pat’s Hole and nearby Rainbow Park. Grandfather brought his family to live on a makeshift ranch in Rainbow Park, where he raised and broke horses which he then drove over a precarious route known as “Horsethief Trail” to Pat’s place in Pat’s Hole. Then the horses would be traded and sold to the outlaws. My father, who was just a boy at the time, recalled that Pat was a “strange old fellow who used to talk to himself and tell stories to his horses.” According to F.C. Barnes, a long time friend of Pat's, the old hermit lived just like a coyote. “If he found a drowned horse he would take a quarter of it or so and make jerky out of it. He had jerky and bread cached all over the mountains. Sometimes when we were on a ride he would stop and study for a minute and then go to a rock or cave and come back with some bread and jerky. The bread looked like it may have been cooked over a year ago.” Pat knew the area like the back of his hand and had many places where he would hole up during a storm or when overtaken by darkness. These were usually caves and many went undetected until years after his death. Friends had said that Pat strongly believed in spirits and would often talk to them and set out food for them. He would also talk to the animals who shared his canyon home and believed they understood him. He believed that a mountain lion had saved him from starvation by leaving him deer kill, and that one particular lion in the canyon would answer when he called. As Pat aged he began to forget things easily. Friends said that he scarcely knew what he was talking about and would ramble on from one subject to another. The last few years of his life he was too feeble to live alone, so he stayed with some friends in Lily Park. It is said that his last wish was to be set adrift on the river he loved so much. but when Pat died on 27 February 1917, he was buried next to the Yampa River in Lily Park where a weathered stone still marks his grave.