"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime"-MARK TWAIN

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Pipe Springs National Monument.


We took a different route to the North Rim this time.  Rather than going back through the East tunnel and down through Kanab, UT; we went westward, then South and East back across the Arizona Strip.  The Strip is a high arid place better known nowadays as the home of the Mormon sect that still practices plural marriage.  Colorado City being its center about half way between Hurricane, UT and Fredonia, AZ; right on the state line.

Between Colorado City and Fredonia, we happened upon Pipe Spring National Monument. Another place to visit, and pick up another pin.

The Pipe Springs area has been inhabitated for centuries, most recently by the Paiute Indians before the white man came.  It is an important site in early Morman history, first visited by a Jacob Hamblin in 1858.  John wesley Powell used the springs as a supply stop while exploring the area, as well as many others.  An early Paiute shelter called a Kahn.

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In 1863 James Whitmore acquired title to 160 acres surrounding the spring and started a settlement with dugout homes, corrals, orchards, and herds of livestock

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A restored dugout home.

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I liked the patterns in the glass of the reproduction windows.

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Whitmore was killed by Indians and the Mormon Church purchased Pipe Spring from his widow.  A gentleman named Anson Winsor was sent by Brigham Young to oversee the herds of cattle owned by the Church that were herded there.  He built a fortified house over the spring that became known as Winsor Castle. The ranch prospered for many years before being sold by the Church in 1895.  It was also the site of the first telegraph office in Arizona, connected to Salt Lake City and the Church by the Deseret Telegraph Line.

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Pipe Spring still flows from within it’s walls.

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Keeping two ponds filled to provide irrigation, and water for livestock.

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From 1895 till 1923 Winsor Castle was more or less a roadhouse.  Serving the neads of the locals, as well as the traveling public.

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Pipe Springs made for a nice stop on the way to the North Rim of the GC.  I always like to learn a little more western history….jc

Monday, May 30, 2016

And, the Madness Began



A dear friend took the photo above of a sunrise in Zion.  It represents much of what people expect to see when in Zion National Park.  Beauty, quietness, awe; any number of things.

As you are reading this, hopefully we are sitting on the edge of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, enjoying the relative quiet one expects in a national park campground.  We escaped Zion early on Saturday morning, even as most of the campground still slept.  The Memorial Day crowd had arrived.

A picture of our campsite would have one think we were camping in paradise.


You would never expect to see the guy from Florida, enjoying his laser lights reflecting all those wonderful colors off the trees and other surrounding objects.  Or the guy from California with his dog tied to the end of a forty foot rope.  The dog charged everyone that walked by, but was stopped just short of the campground road. That’s just a couple of examples.

On Friday afternoon, traffic was backed up as far as one could see with folks trying to get into the park.  A flashing sign at the entrance was announcing “no parking available in the park” as early as ten AM that morning.

Zion is a beautiful place and everyone should be able to enjoy it.  I just don’t know how that’s going to possible for much longer.  The infrastructure can’t handle the pressure, and the idiots are taking over……jc

Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Other Side of Zion


Zion Canyon is an awesome sight that can take one’s breath away.  It draws people like a bowl ofhoney draws flies.  I would be willing to bet that 95% of the visitors enter one gate and depart the other without giving a thought to anything other than the Canyon.

If one takes a drive fifteen or so miles westward from Springdale, they will find a road sign pointing to Kolob Reservoir.  What isn’t so clear is that the road will take you up to the top of Zion NP.  Rather than looking up at all the great walls of stone, one is looking across at the peaks themselves. 

The weather was clear when we left Hwy. 9 and started up from an elevation of 3600 feet or so. By the time we reached the upper reaches of the park at 7600 feet it was raining, sleeting, hailing, and other assorted weather phenomena.  We saw hardly anyone on the road, and very few vehicles at the many trail heads.

Rather than walls of rock, one finds pastures, cattle pens, and the occasional homestead.


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The creekside Cottonwoods have been replaced by Aspen, and Alpine meadows.

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Though I wanted to hike a trail or two, the weather put a halt to that.  Following are some rather crappy pictures taken through the rain and sleet. Hopefully you can get a feel for the other side of Zion.

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Morning Hike/Zion


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A few miles outside the tunnel in Zion is an unnamed parking area near an unnamed bridge. If one drops down into the dry wash, and hikes under the bridge there are petroglyphs to see.

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Though the park service doesn’t advertise their presence, footprints in the culvert show that lots of people know they’re there.

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They are notheing spectacular, but give proof that people have been enjoying the sights of Zion for centuries before the first white man saw them.

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I’m not sure these backpackers weren’t added later.

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The panels only took a few minutes to view and we were on our way again.  The wash appeared to deadend in a large rockfall, but if one was dedicated to the cause, a way up and around could be found.

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No trail to speak of, but awesome beauty all around. Enjoy.

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I  hiked maybe a half mile or so up the slickrock canyon until it became a slot canyon.  We traversed it for maybe a hundred yards before it became one rock scramble after another.  After about three of those we happened to look up and see it was clouding up fast. As you can see from the last pictures it had become totally overcast, and we barely beat the rain back to the truck.  Quite a morning….jc