b'C H A P T E R 1A V I A T O RS C A V EtoolsAvonlea, Desert Side-notched, Indians, a place for temporary camps Atwood reported the cave to archaeo-Rosegateor that their sizes and on the way to somewhere else. 9 logical authorities, who in turn notifiedshapes would tell a story about themembers of the Shoshone-Bannockpassage of time. 8 Someone eventually did try, however, to Tribe at the Fort Hall Indianhomestead in the desert. The land Reservation in southeast Idaho. He andIn the air once more, the pilots could seemed good, and all that was needed other pilots of the Special Responsesee in the land below the subtle scars was to transport water to it. The serpen- Team flew back to the place manythat marked the changing fortunes of tine tracings of old canals in the western times, carrying members of the tribethe Shoshone and Bannock people. region of the Site were easy to pick out and archaeologists to the cave for visitsAfter the trappers had come, and after from the air. It had required the resources and work trips. As the one who redis-Eliza Spalding and Narcissa Whitman of the federal government to make such covered the cave, he had the privilegehad proved in 1836 that families could irrigation projects feasible. The Carey of naming it. He chose Aviators Cavecross the continent in wagons, the Act of 1894 and the Reclamation Act of as a gesture of acknowledgement to allOregon Trail brought a vast invasion of 1902 provided the legal framework to the pilots in his unit.native lands. The wagon ruts of imagine that water from the Big LostGoodales Cutoff, one of its branches, River could be dammed, diverted into a The successive waves of trappers, pio-is still recognizable at the southwestern canal, and sent to transform the desert neers, miners, and settlers in southeastcorner of the Site. After the first waves into a garden. The effort was doomed Idaho had long since changed the land-of settlers, great herds of cattle and because the engineers miscalculated the scape and restricted the seasonal round,sheep moved along the trail. amount of water available. They didnt although Shoshone and Bannock peopleunderstand the wind-blown soils of the continued to use some of their tradi-The mountains to the north contained desert and the layers of fractured basalt tional routes. Memories of the cave livegold, and when prospectors discovered beneath the reservoirs and canals. Soils in legends. Gold had played out.this in the 1880s, they stimulated a were too porous or contained too much Dreams of agrarian abundance hadsubstantial freighting industry between clay . Disappointed, the settlers drifted gone bankrupt. The Lost River Desert,the mining towns and supply centers at away in the 1920s, having failed to find sometimes called the Arco Desert forEagle Rock (now Idaho Falls) and salvation from the application of sci- the village on its northern fringe,Blackfoot. Wagon roads began to criss- ence and engineering expertise. So the became another remote place in across the Site, carrying food and dry Site lost the few inhabitants who had long list of remote places in thegoods, mining gear, and hopeful pas- ever thought of residing permanently on American West. But with the coming ofsengers. The desert remained primarily the desert. 10World War II, remoteness would provea corridor, as it had been for the to be its most appealing attraction. 11INEEL Cultural ResourcesArchaeologists dont know the purpose of the gorgehook device found in Aviators Cave. A carved woodsplinter is attached to a fiber line running through areed shaft. The opposite end of the line is tied to atuft of fur, which plugs the end of the tube,preventing the line from pulling out.7'