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Blog Posts by the characters.

Chances are, if you’re someone who even spends one day a week on tumblr, you probably know what I’m about to talk about. But I’ll try to do it with a little more grace than “OMG HOLLSTEIN.” I am not a fangirl, at least not the screeching kind. I’ll leave that to Emily (who totally has posted that exact phrase before, by the by). Morgan gave me a little help with this one since she’s the book nut. I keep trying to convince her to get her own blog because girls–I mean, people–go crazy for a bookworm.


Anyway. The lesbian vampire trope is about as old as vampires themselves. Mainly because a lesbian vampire was basically our first vampire. Sure, Polidori’s (not Lord Byron’s) The Vampyre was the first prose edition of this folk monster, but most of the shit we think and believe about vampires came from another novel that predated good old Drac by a solid 26 years. I’m talking, of course, about the Sappho of our time: Carmilla. The 19th and 20th century’s ultimate symbol for how gay could you possibly get. Like seriously. This chick does not keep her hands to herself and she’s reciting corny poetry at our protagonist–Laura–every five seconds.


But anyway, this novel is responsible for some tropes. Some good, some not so good. First of all, our idea that vampires are people of nobility (counts and shit) comes from this, where Countess Karnstein is our vampire. Second, shapeshifting abilities also come from this, in this case it’s a big old black cat and not a bat, but it originated here. Vampire thrall also comes from Carmilla’s hold over Laura and so does the fixation of vampires as an Eastern European species. Some not great things that come from it? Well the predatory lesbian stereotype certainly isn’t fought against here.

From a modern lens, it’s easier to see Carmilla’s somewhat pure obsession with Laura. But to Victorians this would have been positively repulsive. What isn’t repulsive to them? Vampires went from being a folk fear about the dangers of the wilderness to the ultimate symbol of sinful, taboo temptation. Kinky.


As you all probably know, there’s some little webseries, somewhere, about this novel. In true Millennial fashion it’s set in a modern day college dorm and is told in the form of vlogs. But it works. Like really works. And, like Faking It, is pretty damn representative when it comes to the queer population. Sure, the only real orientations shown so far on this show are lesbian and straight boys (can we get a bi in here somewhere??) but there’s a non-binary character and no one makes a fuss about the plethora of lesbians running all over this campus. Also, it’s not a coming out story, which is rad.

Another, less exciting, example of this was James Franco’s (gag) remake of Mother May I Flirt With Danger. I tried to get Morgan to watch it with me. You can guess how that went. It was a nifty idea and totally plays on how vampires are basically queer by definition but it was also a James Franco creation–and conveniently ignored the history of Carmilla in favor of Dracula. Bleh.

Anyway, if any baby gays out there need to be directed to watch some shit, Carmilla is slowly becoming one of the many pieces of media in the lesbian right of passage canon. So go watch it, it’s free on YouTube and very bingeable. Watch Franco’s dumb movie too, if you want.

Okay, I can practically hear Morgan’s eye-rolling from here. And Abby might even be a little annoyed at this topic. But I’ve got a duty to cover any and all things with this. And it has been a suggested theory, albeit one that basically everyone has ignored, that the energy of the mountain might have something to do with our missing girl. And by energy I mean these things a lot of people out here seem to believe in called vortexes.

I’ll give you a minute to get your laughs out. Vortexes are a huge part of the New Age culture out here. Thanks to crystal shops like the ones practically blanketing Sedona up north. But I’m giving you another thirty seconds to get your chuckles out before we continue…

Time’s up.

So, let’s start ley lines since they’re more broad. What are these suckers? Well, they’re basically like invisible alignments between places of geographic importance. For example, several manmade monuments might sit along a straight ley line several to hundreds of miles apart. One more concrete example is in England where a ley line is said to run through the ridge of Malvern Hill, through several natural springs, and into a well. It doesn’t sound that impressive, but it’s believed that these alignments follow a spiritual energy and our ancestors knew something about that.


So what about vortexes? These are believed to be pockets of energy that can be the result of magnetism in ley lines. The really hardcore believers look at vortexes and think of them as places where the laws of physics won’t apply because the energy is that intense. Obviously that makes, like, zero sense given the Hawking definition of our universe means nothing can break the laws of physics (which is the reason backwards time travel isn’t a thing). But, if we humor this idea for a minute, many people believe vortexes can also be portals to another place.

This might have a little more grounding in reality, weirdly enough. There’s this thing called the many worlds interpretation that sounds like total science fiction, but a lot of scientists actually believe it’s possible. Basically, think of that episode of Doctor Who, “Turn Left” when Donna turned right instead of left and this whole other crappy alternative reality happened as a result. That’s the butterfly effect, that says one decision can alter the course of history. The many worlds interpretation says that there exists an infinite number of universes where you’ve made every choice you possibly could. If you got Qdoba for dinner last night there exists a world where you made the infinitely better choice and got Chipotle instead. Or McDonald’s. Or didn’t eat. Or maybe you died. For every option in life, there exists a version of you that took it.

So, our vortexes. Right now, it’s not possible to interact with these alternate realities (though some sci-fi writers think black holes might be a way to access them). But let’s say for a minute the gravitational effects of vortexes were true and it’s because there’s some kind of tear in spacetime (I know I sound super high right now guys), then it might be possible to find yourself trapped somewhere familiar but not the same at all.

Am I saying Rose got sucked into an alternate dimension through a ley line vortex? No. But I’ve given you the backstory on the more historical stuff, it was time to get a little out there when looking at theories.


So this probably should have been my first post, but I enjoy being unexpected. Plus, as much as this chick is the literal definition of a lesbian in every possible way you could think of it, she’s also kind of antiquated at this point. It’s kind of like how The Price of Salt was the big lesbian book for decades and then 90s happened and we have all this other stuff. That’s Sappho, except for like, thousands of years or whatever.

For those of you under a rock, the word “lesbian” comes from people who inhabited the Isle of Lesbos off the coast of Greece. It has this association with lady loving because Sappho, a frequenter of this island, wrote some pretty gay shit. She wrote a lot of poetry and, despite what uptight academics want you to think about it, she has some uber personal relationships with some of these women (but you know, we all write longing poetry for our best gal pals). Take for example, this little diddy:

I have not had one word from her

Frankly I wish I were dead

When she left, she wept

a great deal; she said to me, “This parting must be

endured, Sappho. I go unwillingly.”

I said, “Go, and be happy

but remember (you know

well) whom you leave shackled by love

And that’s just the first few lines. And that’s not even the best example. A lot of her stuff is a little too adult for me to post on here with Abby somehow finding out and banning my permissions. Like it gets crazy erotic. We’re talking fanfiction level of descriptions about some of the stuff she got up to (or wanted to get up to) with the other women on this island.

The problem is, a lot of people still use the excuse of “women were just really close to each other” to try and take the queer lens of Sappho’s stuff. Well I will gladly let a chick borrow a tampon but that doesn’t mean I’m going to go out and write a poem about how much I’m going to want to kill myself because we’ve parted ways out of the bathroom. Sure, we all have best friends but fuck if I’m gonna write any of them poetry. I WILL however, craft some artistic shit for a hot girl. If I was like…artistic at all. But I try. It’s my charm that wins ‘em.

Point is, don’t let any stuffy, tweed jacket professor try and tell you we’re grossly misinterpreting Sappho’s poems and intended audience. This chick had a slew of girlfriends in her life and wasn’t afraid to be blunt about it. Things are called “sapphic” for a reason. Don’t let the man tell you otherwise.

Stay classy pals.

So, at a certain point in history, you can say “okay, this is the thing that put this on the map.” There’s certain stuff that just wouldn’t be remembered today if that one thing hadn’t happened. Like the 20th century frenzy over Anastasia possibly surviving the Russian Revolution because one woman in 1921 came forward claiming to be her, and a slew followed. For the Lost Dutchman’s mine, and perhaps all the Superstitions, that one incident is the disappearance and tragic end to Adolph Ruth in the 1930s.

Adolph Ruth was an experienced hiker, not unlike our Rose, and was a well-known treasure hunter, capitalizing on the remnants of the Gold Rush era. The story begins with Ruth’s son, however, back in 1912. Ruth’s son, Erwin, was a lawyer who offered legal advice to a man named Pedro Gonzalez, who, in return, told Erwin about the mine and gave him to heirloom maps to the location as Gonzalez claimed maternal descent from the family. Erwin passed it on to his father who took great interest in another conquest for lost treasure in the wilderness.


In the early summer of 1931, Ruth, elderly and walking with a cane, set out on a two week journey into the mountains to follow the map. Ruth met many oppositions to his trek from friends, noting that at 66 years old and somewhat handicapped, it was a perilous feat. But, ever the adventurer, Ruth journeyed on. Two weeks passed and there was no sign of Ruth (is this starting to sound familiar?). Several search parties were dispatched but no trace of hims turned up as summer ended and fall brought nothing as well.

And then December of that year hit. A human skull was founded in the Superstition Wilderness. It was examined by respected anthropologist Dr. Ales Hrdiicka who compared the skull to Ruth’s dental records and several photos.

He positively id’d the skull as Ruths. The chilling part though, is what Dr. Hrdiicka discovered that did not match any picture of Ruth: two bullet holes in the head from a high powered rifle. The doctor noted that the wounds indicated the weapon had been fired at point blank range. By January 1932, it only got more bizarre.

More human remains were discovered that month, the body missing its head. The scattered remains were identified as Ruth’s by the personal effects and the pins in the hip which matched the ones Ruth had that forced him to walk with a cane. Also discovered was a journal and a pistol, with no missing shots. The map was missing. Within the journal was contained a handwritten message on Ruth’s checkbook claiming he found the mine along with the message: “Veni, vidi, vici.” Ruth’s death was ruled accidental, the result of heat or hunger, but that didn’t satisfy many in the town, especially his family.

What we can conclude from this is that Ruth did not kill himself, despite one assertion by authorities that that was the case. Even if Ruth had someone managed to reload his own pistol after shooting himself in the head (to account for the lack of missing rounds), it doesn’t explain that the wounds match that of a much more high powered gun. And how exactly did he go about removing his own head after doing so? To this day, most reject the theory that he died of any sort of suicide or natural cause in the desert. The story made national news after that and remains a mystery of history.

So, what do we glean from this? At the very least, people have been willing to kill for their belief in this mine. I have no doubt Ruth was murdered, like prospectors of old, for gold. We also have the most recent story of the Peraltas from a somewhat direct source thanks to Pedro Gonzalez. This fabled map, is still nowhere to be seen almost a hundred years later and the mysterious murderer, still anonymous. But Ruth’s story strangely preludes Rose’s own–at least I hope it doesn’t end the same way.

Before we even begin I don’t want to hear anything about the urchin who shall not be named also reading this book. She had good taste in a book one time. Good for her. Well not book, it’s actually graphic memoir. A tale many of us out there are probably all too familiar with: young gay realizes she is in fact a young gay and picks the least available person she possibly could to crush on. At an all girls summer camp.


Maggie Thrash is the shit, first of all, and writes cool stuff. Her drawings are also pretty snazzy. She combined that shit together with her own gay odyssey as a teenager and boom: awesome read right here. More specifically this is about Thrash’s summer at camp where she realizes she has a massive crush on a 19 year old counselor with a reputation as the token lesbian of the woods. The counselor seems to return her interest but with serious trepidation. It builds a little when the bitchy head of the camp warns both of them to keep it professional.

There’s also a real Freaks and Geeks thing going on too thanks to some popular biotches and an intense rivalry on the shooting range between Thrash and some chick. Overall Thrash’s character comes across super well for the seemingly simplistic drawings and the story has an earned, if not totally happy ending.


And that’s enough of me pretending to be a book critic.

Read this shit. It’s great for kids out there in need of a little solidarity. Coming out can be an embarrassing and troubling time. Bee-leeev-meeee. And seeing Thrash be so super open about it (puns) while knowing the super cool human being she grew up to be is crazy awesome. And the memoir is funny as shit. We need more YA stuff like this for everyone out there that actually has character and isn’t some cookie cutter John Green tragi-romance complete with a manic pixie dream girl.

So go buy it, go read it. Tell me how much you loved it and how I was right, otherwise don’t say anything at all.

I’m out.

This is something that should probably also be a two parter, all things considered. But, the Peralta Stones are separate and we’re still on a Lost Dutchman kick. So, this week’s post is all about the stranger and headache inducing clues we’ve got staring back at us from the bowels of history. I’m not even sure you could classify these as “clues” since they raise a lot more questions than they answer, but with the advent of Google Maps and Siri, there might be some new ways of going about it. After all, I doubt Waltz could have predicted GPS or our ability to take photographs from the sky. Many of the clues listed below are my own abridged version of Waltz’s own clues and notes from previous treasure hunters.


So…here we go. It’s daunting to even start so I’m sorry if this post is coming off a little choppy, but it’s not like I’m getting points taken off for articulation….

Clue #1

It lies within an imaginary circle whose diameter is no more than 5 miles from Weaver’s Needle, which is its center. Go to the first gorge on the south side of the west range until you find a trail that will lead over the ridge and down to Sombrero Butte. Follow the canyon to the north until you hit a tributary canyon, along the canyon you will find a cave. If you hit Red Hills, you’ve gone too far. A second entrance is farther up the canyon from the cave, identified by an old house made of Spanish stone.

Clue #2

You can watch the military trail from the mine, but you cannot be seen from the mine.

Clue #3

The westward setting sun will shine into the shaft and upon the ore.

Clue #4

From the mine you can look upon Four Peaks and see it as one.

That’s about it for the clues I was able to translate into human speak. A lot of the stuff is repetitive. The hardest part is trying to make sense of it the way Rose might have. Though it’s not difficult to figure out words like canyons and gorge, it gets tougher when that’s laced in with counts of paces up from “gulches” and pinnacles. Mostly, I’m posting this in the hopes that someone else out there maybe has a better understanding than me. I’ve considered bringing it to Jenn, Rose’s hiking partner we interviewed but it’s hard not to feel silly chasing stories like this.

But Rose did seem to believe this stuff, which makes it important. So those are the most decipherable clues I could gleam from research. Not even help from the curator at the Lost Dutchman Museum could really lend a hand in figuring this out. But, what else is a century old mystery for? So if you think you can crack this code at all, give us a shout, otherwise look for our next update and my next blog post!

So, I’m no expert on horror shit. I like it, I’ll go watch it. But I’m not about to sit here and analyze that garbage and pretend it’s some hugely academic thing. MTV has got some shitty shows, but this one was actually pretty enjoyable once you got passed the first few minutes of the white suburban high schooler onslaught. God. One thing that was pretty exciting at first ended up being pretty goddamn annoying, though.

There’s this character, Audrey, played by actor Bex Taylor-Klaus (who is awesome af) who starts out the first episode getting outed when a video of her making out with a girl in her car gets leaked onto the internet by her former childhood friend. Ouch. That’s not the annoying part (though it was a douche move). Also not the annoying part is when Audrey is asked about her sexuality and she responds kind of hesitant to label it. Totally cool. What isn’t cool is the show’s repeated use of “bi-curious” to constantly refer to Audrey’s orientation.


Bi-curious can be your thing, if you currently identify that way, go for it. But here we have a girl who was not just hooking up in a car. There are pretty emotional scenes of her and her lady love talking, hanging out, sharing less lustful kisses, and generally being girlfriend-y. That doesn’t sound “curious” to me. But you know, this girl can’t possibly be truly in love or anything. She’s still just curious. Sure. And the issue I have here is the difference between defining a relationship as an exploration of feelings vs. “well she’s just bi-curious, it’ll go away.” Whatever Audrey ends up identifying, a permanent label of bi-curious should not be it.

Because god forbid we admit somebody is bi on TV and god forbid a girl have a meaningful relationship with another girl without calling it “curiosity.” Jesus H Christ that annoyed the crap out of me so much. Which sucks because the actor is cool as shit. They’re pretty active on social media and a total cutie. They’re also one of the more solid actors on this sometimes bleh worthy show. But hey, what do I know right?

There’s probably more pressing issues of bi-erasure out there I could be focused on. But this one irked me. NOT TO MENTION said not-a-girlfriend-girlfriend gets killed like three seconds into the first episode, leaving Audrey as our sole form of queer representation in the show. Which makes the cowardly “bi-curious” thing stand out even more. She’s just queer curious, and she only kissed a girl in one episode. So, that’s enough, there ya go.


Hey there! So, last we left off our legendary Dutchman had passed away at a ripe age after catching a serious bout of pneumonia thanks to a freak flood in the valley. But, like all good tales, that turned out to only be the beginning. During his life, Waltz was said to boast of his hidden gold in the desert, so much so that he was often followed by would-be thieves. Well, he took the secret of the location to his grave…or did he?

Waltz had one confidant at the end–well, technically two. Julia Thomas was an innkeeper at an establishment Waltz frequented and was with him in his final days. It is said that it was to her and Dr. Walker, who attended him during his illness. He did this in the form of a crude map and cryptic clues (which we’ll delve into later). Turns out Julia and the doctor could not make sense of the clues and map and ultimately sold the artifacts for $7 and let the matter become lost to the pages of history.

And then there’s the soldier’s story. Depending on the source, this story could be dated before the time of Waltz’s death or after. But the story goes two army troopers came into town proclaiming they’d found a wealthy vein of gold in the desert. When their story was challenged they ventured out into the desert to relocate the gold and return with proof. However, they missed the mark on the returning part and were never heard from again. This is one of the earliest accounts of people gone missing in the hunt for gold, accounts that will only get stranger and stranger as time goes on, I assure you. Now, Morgan has sent me notes and insisted I include her own little tidbit below…

The story of the two soldiers is another account stolen from other parts of the southwest. I know it’s super tempting to think of this story as true, wanting to believe in the spooky aspects, but it should be noted stories like this were common elsewhere. In fact, the story of the soldiers is actually related to the true story of Dr. Thorne I talked about before. Like a lot of rumors, it got twisted and morphed to match the narrative and is now taken as fact. I hate to sound blunt about it, but it didn’t happen. But, as we’ve said, Rose probably believed it did. So it’s important.

…Anyway. There’s something of a gap in history after this. Without Waltz there to tell people all about his mine, and with the clues passed around and followed to no avail, the mysterious gold in the desert became a relic. And with the end of the American gold rush, diehard interest in getting rich quick off gold began to die off. In my next post we’ll examine the very cryptic and crazy clues a bit more closely since they’ll require some serious explanation (if there is any truly to give).

But, that’s the bulk of the original story of Jacob Waltz, our Lost Dutchman. From this point on, things only become stranger and stranger, so check back for more guidance down this crazy rabbit hole.

I’m back folks! And I’m here with another two parter but this time it’s going to be all me on both. This is the one all our posts have been working towards: the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine. For those of you who live elsewhere in the world, you should know this legend is like the lifeblood of this place. It’s one of those things that I don’t remember being told but I’ve just always known about. It’s so much part of the culture that museums and parks were named after it. So whether you think the story I’m about to tell you is real or not, the thing to remember is that a lot of people do. And a lot of people are willing to do crazy, crazy things because of that belief. So, here we go.


So, we know mining in this part of Arizona was a thing since the 1700s. We also know that the region had a penchant for the occult thanks to the spiritualism of local tribes. Also, the mountain just looks stupid weird, right? Like it juts up and right out of the earth in a freaky way. But that aside, this is where German-born immigrant Jacob Waltz enters the story (“Dutchman” is kind of a misnomer by modern standards). He landed in New York earlier in the 19th century and after some business ventures, decided to make his way out west to chase gold, like everyone else. We have documentation that he became a citizen during this journey somewhere in the American south/midwest region.

That’s another thing too, this part of the story is factual. There was a real Jacob Waltz who owned land in this part of Arizona and claimed to have struck it rich. Whether his tales are to be believed is the another story.

So, Waltz gets to Arizona and begins working in mines. His prospecting didn’t lead to much real success and he bought a farm around the Phoenix area. The story goes that he bought land, once owned by the Peralta family, where he and his partner, Jacob Weiser, stumbled upon a rich deposit of gold. Two different versions of events exist for what happened next. In one tale, Waltz murders his partner for his share of the gold and to protect the location of the mine. In another, Weiser dies of natural causes, leaving Waltz as the only living person with knowledge of the gold. Either way you slice it, Waltz ends up solo on this gold venture.

So, for a couple years he’s mining, coming into town, bragging about it, and heading back out to do it all again. Naturally he gets followed a few times but to no avail as those who went after him into the desert never returned. Another point of historical fact is how Waltz died. In the 1890s there was massive flood in the valley and Waltz’s farm was among the many places it hit. As a result, he contracted pneumonia and died shortly thereafter.

Now, this is one of those stories where the pieces become more and more famous after the death of our protagonist in question. With the exception of the possibility of murdered gold snatchers, Waltz lived a fairly typical and even boring rags to riches story that many people hoped to have happen during their hunt for gold. It’s what came after his death that truly put this mine and all its treasure on the map–or, maybe not? Puns. Anyway, that’s the topic for my next update. See you then!


For sooome reason that I can’t put my finger on, I’ve been reminded of Faking It a few times so far this summer. Can’t for the life of me figure out why…It’s weird because the show ended earlier this year, and I seemed to to be the only girl on my secret-not-for-posting-here lesbian forums that still watched it. But it’s definitely been on my mind lately. Who knows why though…

So Faking It. You’ve probably heard bad things from tumblr, and maybe even from TV critics. I’m not going to pretend it was the best show on TV, or that it’s a travesty for the state of modern media that it got cancelled. Shit happens. And I wasn’t super invested in it towards the end of its run. But at the very least I think we can all agree that Amy and Karma deserved a super gay ending. Well, it was not to be as our last season that apparently would have featured a conclusion to their arc will never come to be (that’s why you don’t hold your big narrative moments for future seasons that are only hypothetical, amateurs).

In the spirit of this blog, it definitely warrants mention how progressive this show was. Yes I wish they said the word “bi” earlier than they did, and yes their portrayal of some groups was stereotypical at times. But really, this was the only show on all of TV that featured as many diverse orientations and genders as it did. Lesbians, gay guys, eventually kind of bisexuals. The main character was a wonderful portrayal of questioning youth! And probably most progressively one of the leads was intersex, a plot that featured prominently, and in the last season they also featured a trans man. All in all, television is definitely going to be much less diverse now without this show on the air.

Oh! I think I just remembered why I’ve been constantly reminded of Faking It! Maybe it’s because the Karma and Amy dramatics has been playing out in front of my face for the past month. The forced drama of Karmy was definitely annoying at times in the show for many and believe me I understand why seeing it happen in person. I’m not going to name names of course, but it’s possible you guys know them? Maybe. Since we never got to see how Karmy turned out, I guess your guess is as good as mine as to how this one ends up. Really though, sincerely, I am hoping for the best for Amy…she had her heart broken way too many times and deserves a happy ending. Maybe my real life version of this will turn out better. Either way, I’ve got popcorn ready.