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Sunday, November 01, 2009

Hell's Backbone

Here is a pictorial of the first part of our trip to Escalante. The next two photos are of the Grand Escalante Staircase and in the distance the Henry Mountains where I spent the good part of a month walking and walking.

We had heard about Hell's Backbone and wanted to see what it was all about. We ended up seeing a beautiful part of the country and more washboard roads.

We didn't get a really great shot of the quaking aspens that seemed to be forming a ski run down the hill but you can kind of imagine it, can't you?

The thing about Hell's Backbone is that it connected Boulder to the outside world finally in the 1940's. It had been a spot that defied roadmaking until them. The pioneers had built a small path at this point but had to transfer goods from a wagon to a mule or horse then back to a wagon on the other side. You have to look carefully to see the bridge in this picture but you can see the rugged terrain.

Off one side of the bridge

Off the other side

I think the fuzzy ball in the middle of these pictures is our guardian angel working overtime...

Today even it is a one lane road.

Here is what the WPA work group did. It was timbers laid out in a series of squares with dirt in the middle. I can't imagine how frightening it must have been to get the first bit in.

Now there is a strong, guarded road over the top of the originals.

This is looking back from across the way. If you enlarge this photo you may be able to see the bridge. There is definitely a small defect in the backbone right there though...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Daunted

Playing around south of Escalante, this represents the scenery for the first 2 hours on the washboard that claimed to be a road. We didn't see many signs of life during this time.

We were a little surprised that things could get worse but ran across this sign warning of road damage. Looked like the road had been partially washed away during a recent storm.

We passed this landmark called "The Hall" about 40 miles into our trek. Pioneers camped near here at 40 mile spring while the scouts were trying to figure out the rest of the route. They played, danced and generally enjoyed their time at this awesome place.

Some of the beautiful scenery at the end of the 50 mile mountain range.

After 3 grueling hours and 54 miles we finally met our match.

Doesn't look that bad from this picture but when Bus tried to go up in our Subaru, the nose of the car hit the rock. We had just heard from the man in the 3rd truck we passed that the "hole" was only 1-1/2 miles farther so we packed up our lunch and headed out on foot.

After hoofing it for about 40 minutes we could finally see "the hole". If you enlarge this photo look carefully along the distant ridge and you will see it too. It was about here that a nice couple from Highland picked us up and drove us to the end.

We rummaged around in this registration box discovering that the pages were already full of names. After shutting the lid we noticed this big spider :(

First glimpse of the payoff. Hard to believe the pioneers actually went down this with their wagons and horses.

At first it didn't look like the lake was that far away. When I came as an 8 year old the lake hadn't been built and the river looked a lot farther away than this. We saw all kinds of kids up there barefoot and in flip-flops so decided it couldn't be that hard and started down.

After slip-sliding for an hour we decided before we left the shade that the better part was to eat lunch here and skip the last thousand yards of hard steep loose dirt trail. The view was amazing and the day was perfect, slight breeze, 75 degrees. Those are boats down in the lake. Lots of people were climbing this trail with us. We started back up and found that while we were breathing heavier, we were able to go up faster than we were going down. I am so stiff today though. Quite a good workout.

Ten extra points if you know the meaning of this picture.

Friday, September 18, 2009

At the Fair

Bus, Matt, Toni, Anna and I went to the State Fair this week. We had fun looking at all the exhibits. It is especially fun to see the animals through a toddler's eyes. Here is Anna in the goat exhibit.

Goats win hands down

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Odds and Ends

Some new additions

Bus working hard on the upstairs bathroom remodel

Tomato update

New fire pit

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Family Reunion 2009

I know it's been a month since we had the reunion but it has taken me a while to rediscover how to retrieve the photos from my camera. At least that is my excuse...
The other problem is that these are the only pictures I took, all of them on Thursday morning July 16th. I don't know why that is, but it is. We were down in Piute County population 1500. There is an amazing mining camp up Marysvale's Bullion canyon where the county has put together an outdoor museum of the equipment used in gold mining at the early part of the 1900's and sort of an explanation of the process. This first picture is a restored cabin where a miner lived showing what things they would have used back then.

Here the group is examining the museum artifacts

Then we thought since they had discovered gold here maybe we could too!

After examining every particle of sand and loading up our enormous cache of gold we headed down the canyon only to discover a forest service bear trap.

We cautiously approached and timidly knocked on the pipe to discover the supposed contents. With little in the way of answer, Harrison bravely climbed up and exposed the interior. We were all a little relieved.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

4 wheeling adventure

Here I am on my first 4 wheeler. I think I won't be able to hike anymore. It is just too easy to sit on one of these and push a button and go places that are beautifully amazing. We went down a path just wide enough for the bikes that reminded me of a cross between a slot canyon and flying through the forest like jedi knights. Yeah, it was a black diamond run.

My companion in adventuring. I'm thinking this is a great new hobby for the two of us...

Goin' down the road

We were the guests of our neighbors the Joneses. They have a beautiful cabin close to Marysvale where we spent the night. The rhino took us up the canyon to an old mining camp. There were lots of old mining implements and a cabin to look at up there.

Manning Meadow Reservoir is a cutthroat trout nursery for the Fish and Game. You can only fly fish here and the limit is one fish. It has to be over 22" long, otherwise it's catch and release.
I'm thinking there are a lot of fish with sore lips in that lake.

Barney Lake
There was a guy out there in a float tube fishing. Looked like a great way to spend the day. I would like to try the canoe up here. So peaceful and beautiful.

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