• LOCATION 64 | The Modoc War: A Homeland Lost

    Back On Highway 50

    You should have now merged on Highway 50, traveling east, with the power poles on your right, and a whole lot of open agricultural expanse surrounding you. We're back on the path Hooker Jim and his warriors took after the Boddy ranch murders, and like him, we're skirting the eastern edge of what was once Tule Lake. Like Captain Jack, they wanted to wind up in the south at the lava beds.

    See, because I believe the Modocs had it pre-planned that if they ever went to war, they knew exactly where they were going. And that was to the lava beds. The terrain was torturous and would make a fierce enemy to any invader. There were long drops into the ground, deep hidden gorges, and big impassable rocks. And it was all guarded by skin-slicing lava.

    But the Modocs knew the lava beds like the back of their hand. This was their forebears' domain. They'd used the ice caves for food storage and water and the warmer caves as temporary hunting lodges. And it gave anyone who came after them a significant disadvantage. I like to think of them as some of America's first guerrilla warfare fighters.

    So now that war had finally found the Modocs, they were all on the move. They all knew to converge at the Lava Beds. Only Hooker Jim and his warriors were taking no prisoners.

The Modoc War: A Homeland Lost