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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...

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