I dreamed I saw Joe Hill………

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.img_5606

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.

Colorado city.


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.img_2075

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.


..pilgrims along the way…


Finally a day to catch our breath. After several nights in Alburgues with many other people, we are at a “casa rural”. So a room of our own, with our own bathroom. I seem to be getting a cold as well, so a nice hot bath was in order. The last several days we have climbed about 2000 meters. Of course we have also come down 2000 meters so we are not at a very high elevation. We have passed into Galecia, from Zamora. Zamora being more arid, dry, and apparently great for grapes, Galecia is more lush. More vegetable gardening here. I will include some photos of the corn drying huts that are very unique to this area apparently.



Essentially all of the other “pilgrims” I talked about before have moved on and we are now with a totally different group. The French ladies took a train to get ahead of the steep hills, and most every one else have gone on ahead because of their time schedules. Most doing 35-45 km a day.
There is a British couple here who are doing this as a tour. Their backpacks are delivered to the accommodation each day ahead of them. At times when there is no private accommodation they will walk to a town, and then get a taxi back to the previous accommodation place and then a taxi in the morning back to where thy left off…. If all that makes sense. So they can do the Camino without carrying packs.

There is Gerard, from Ireland, who loves to sing. As we walked along we exchanged songs about tragic, unjust executions. He sang “Grace” to us about a man who was executed hours after his marriage, to Grace. The marriage was never consummated, it was during the Easter uprising in Ireland in 1916, which is 100 years ago now . The song is being reborn in Ireland this year. I hope I have the details somewhat correct, because I do not have the Internet to check…..right now. Ken and I sang “Joe Hill”, the song about the “singing union organizer”, who was executed in Utah……likely almost 100 years ago, or more…..
I got the feeling that although, neither of us knew each other’s songs/stories, many Irish people know of Grace, and many Americans know of Joe Hill. I guess that is one of the wonders of travel, the stories that explain how we are different, and why we are all the same.

this is our version of joe hill


We are also traveling along with a group from France. A man and his wife?, as well as a friend.
We were walking behind them for awhile  yesterday with the very long downhill. All seemed well. Then going through a town he was seated in obvious pain, his wife trying to call a taxi. They took a taxi to the next town which is where we all stayed last night. He certainly seemed uncomfortable, lower leg. We gave him some of our “high test” voltarin cream. (In Spain the over the counter voltarin cream is double the strength that you can get in Canada). ( actually in Canada, or likely anywhere for that matter, doctors can prescribe higher percentages of voltarin, and the pharmacist can mix it). This is great technology in that the medication stays in he area it is needed, rather than the whole body. Sorry for that transgression.
So today he headed off without his backpack. (He sent that ahead). Last I saw of him he seemed to be doing OK.


oh yes and then Sergei, who is traveling  along with his horse. The horse (I did not catch his name)., carries the stuff and “..Sergei, in turn leaves the horse in a yummy yard that has not been mowed n months= happy horse.

i do not have enough internet to post pictures. So will put hem in later. Adios amigos