Utah, a lot of ghosts here…..(more on that later)
Turns out that the road to get to the north rim of the Grand Canyon is closed in the winter. We checked out 2 rockhounding places, but found very little…… other than spectacular vistas. WOW.
The cool thing about rockhounding is that the books tell you these extremely remote places to go and you get to see things that almost no one else does.
It turns out that you do not seem to have go far for spectacular views in Utah ( at least in the south west)
These pictures are OF and FROM the Hurricane Mesa. We actually drove up the face of this, it is pretty hard to imagine a paved road up here.
The REASON for this road is that on top of the Mesa, there is a test strip, which was used to develop that “high speed ejection seat”. “ By the time of the Korean war, military jet fighters were flying at supersonic speeds at high altitudes. The pilot ejection seats of the day had not kept pace with the other aircraft developments, and about 80 percent of high speed bailouts ended with injuries or death.
🤔Kind of makes me wonder if all of the property of deserted old projects of the us Military were sold to developers….. I’ll bet they could pay for medicare for all. A fancy hotel or something like that up where the test strip is would be amazing, yet it just sits there with warning signs around it.
We are staying at Snow Canyon State park, itself an amazing site. This picture is before the sun came up
Yesterday we left the motorhome and drove over to Zion. There is a very cute town that leads up to the opening of the park, many hotels and stores. Even Campgrounds.
Zion has a scenic route that essentially a road that goes up the centre of the park….. about 2/3s of the way. You can only take this route in a shuttle bus, and they did not allow dogs, and we did not want to leave Tucker in the Jeep, so did not take this. We did find though that just driving through the park heading east was extremely spectacular and there were numerous pullouts to take photos and walk around.
This would be a bit treacherous in the motorhome, there are limits to the size of vehicles allowed in park. Perhaps another time we might camp at one of the campgrounds and leave Tucker in the motorhome and take the shuttle.
Zion has an amazing tunnel that goes over a mile through the rock and you eventually end up in yet another amazing landscape. The tunnel might also be a bit treacherous for a larger vehicle, you could hire someone to help you through the tunnel? Not sure what that meant?
Zion only has the one road through it, and to get around it you have to loop down in to Arizona to get back. We could have just gone back the way we came, but thought it would be interesting to see the terrain heading east.
Not far to the east you get to Bryce Canyon National park, and then as the loop goes, you go towards the Grand Canyon, then looping west you get the Colorado city, and then back to Hurricane where the loop started.
I believe it would take a photographer much better than my self to really photograph the beauty of Zion, much better to see it in person though.
Ghosts of Utah…..
One of the rock sites we went to suggested we visit the Mountain Meadows Massacre site, so thought we would check it out. Dreadful story of how the “mormon militiamen” and a group of Pauiute Indians killed 120 “emigrants from Arkansas. They were a wagon train headed to California.
First off who were Mormon Militiament? click here. Mormon Militiamen
They recruited the Paiute Indians.
The memorial site includes a memorial to where the men and boys died, and memorial to where the women and girls died and the gravesite where the battle took place.
Where the first part of massacre took place…..
As to WHY the massacre took place I could only find this “Today, historians attribute the massacre to a combination of factors, including war hysteria about a possible invasion of Mormon territory and Mormon teachings against outsiders, which were part of the Mormon Reformation period. Scholars debate whether senior Mormon leadership, including Brigham Young, directly instigated the massacre or if responsibility lay only with the local leaders in southern Utah.“
I guess the other thing about this attack is that the very young children were spared and dropped at a local ranchers home hours after the massacre. The children eventually except one, were returned to other Arkansas family members with in a few years.
Here are the children names.
The very elaborate memorial was build in the 1990s by the offspring of both the victims and the perpetrators. Very sad story, I had nightmares the night after seeing this.
Interesting that the massacre took place September 11 1857.
Yet another ghost of Utah. Ken and I have always had a special interest in visiting Utah because of our interest in Joe Hill. We recorded the song called Joe Hill, made famous by Joan Baez at Wood stock. In researching the song, we found out more about Joe Hill and after reading his last will and testament, chose to include it in the song, with Ken reading it.
Our take on Joe Hill from stories we have read:
Joe Hill was a union organizer who was often imprisoned for his activities, he did find out that those who wrote union songs and performing them at events, were not arrested. So he became a song writing union organizer.
He was eventually arrested and executed for what have long been felt to have been drummed up murder charges. One of his final wishes were that he body be taken immediately after death to the state line, because he would never have wanted to be “caught dead in Utah”.
Much love from Janet, Ken and Tucker the rock climbing dog.