Monday, September 25, 2017

Family Vacation (September 1990): Utah

(SEPTEMBER 1 TO 8, 1990)

September 1, 1990 (Saturday):        (Zion NP, Orderville, Red Canyon, Bryce Canyon NP, Escalante)

We left Redlands at 1:50 a.m. for a trip to Utah. I have recently sworn off Diet Coke and other forms of caffeine and was a little concerned that I may not be able to make it without falling asleep. However, in retrospect, I probably had the easiest time driving at night that I have ever had and realized the Diet Coke may not help, and may be a hindrance because it makes me have to go to the bathroom.

We made good time to Las Vegas, probably my best ever, making the trip in less than 3 ¼ hours. We stopped for the first time in Mesquite, Nevada, after traveling 320 miles. We traveled through St. George to Springdale to Zion National Park where we headed for the east entrance of the Park. There we traveled through a 1.1 mile tunnel drilled through the rock. Just past the other side of the tunnel we stopped and ate breakfast (cereal and apples) at the beginning of the Canyon Overlook Trail. Then we took the trail which was a one mile round trip. The trail started out by going up some stairs and following a little trail along the side of a mountain. We crossed through a large overhang which formed kind of a big cave (Andrew stopped for a rest, sitting on a smaller overhang underneath the overhang), and at the end of the trail were beautiful scenic views of the mountains at the far west end of the Park. From the canyon overlook we could see West Temple, the Sundial, and the Beehives.

Andrew was a lot of fun because he kept insisting that he was going to walk, even when I was trying to carry him so that we could go faster. Except for a few short stretches, Andrew walked the entire distance, having to climb over rocks and some areas that made Judy and I very nervous. Sam and Rachael had a game where they were trying to just step on rocks and avoid the sand. It was very obvious that Sam has good balance and is almost like a mountain goat as he hops from rock to rock.

After leaving Zion Park, we traveled to Orderville, which was settled by early Mormon settlers and was the best example of the Mormon practice of the United Order. In Orderville, we turned off into the residential part of town and came across a cemetery. We got out and walked through the cemetery and were amazed at the number of infants buried there. Probably two-thirds or three-quarters of the cemetery consisted of infants who lived only a month to five years. It was a very telling reminder of the hardships experienced by the early Mormon settlers. One grave we saw was of a woman who died in 1900. The tombstone indicated that she had traveled into the Great Salt Lake Valley in 1847 with the Mormon pioneers. We also stopped at a small schoolhouse in town that was built in about 1886, right after the United Order was discontinued.

We then traveled to Red Canyon where we dropped off a package to the Pollacks, the parents of Karen Thomas, our Relief Society President in Redlands. They are the hosts for the campground at Red Canyon and had agreed to save us a campground for the night. However, shortly before coming, we contacted the Larsons of Redlands who offered to let us use their ranch house in Escalante. On a previous trip we stopped at Red Canyon to take one of the hikes. It is a marvelous spot, in some respects nicer than Bryce because the formations and red rock are right off the road, less crowded, and you’re not constrained to stay on the trail.

After leaving Red Canyon, we traveled to Bryce Canyon National Park where it started to rain. We stopped and looked through some shops where Rachael and Sam each purchased rocks. Sam bought a polished pink and white stone and Rachael bought fluorite, a blue and white colored rock.

Because of the rain, we drove to the end of Bryce and stopped at Rainbow Point. It was still drizzling a little bit, but we got out and were able to view the formations. Toward the end of the plateau upon which Bryce Canyon sits, we were able to see out for more than 100 miles. The formations were a beautiful orange and red dispersed with dark green pine trees (the next day in Church in Escalante, a couple told us the formations were the prettiest this day that they had ever seen). Rainbow Point is my favorite part of Bryce because the formations are interspersed with pine trees. On the way back towards the entrance of the Park, we stopped at various overlooks. At one overlook, we got a picture with Sam standing in front of a raven, and at another overlook, a picture of Andrew with a chipmunk in front of Natural Bridge.

At Sunset Point, we decided to take a hike and started out on the Navajo Loop Trail. The trail took us down through the beautiful spires. Andrew decided he wanted me to carry him on my shoulders and I started to feel a wetness around my neck and an awful smell and realized that Andrew had a leaky diaper. At that point, Judy and Rachael and Sam decided to continue and complete the trail and Andrew and I, with Andrew walking, went back to the car to change his diaper. The rest of the day was rather unpleasant as I had a damp collar and a melodious smell clinging to me. Judy and the kids enjoyed the rest of the hike, but Sam was pretty pooped by the end and could have used a rope tow to pull him to the top of the mountain (Andrew and I watched them complete the hike from the top of Sunset Point). Rachael was still running around and looked like she could have hiked a lot farther.

We left Bryce and traveled through Tropic and over to Cannonville. We stopped the car and I posed in front of the sign to the town, something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. We then drove through Cannonville and were amazed at how tiny it was, and the fact that it still had its own Mormon church. We still have not been able to determine how the town was named, but assume that it must have been one of my ancestors. In checking the telephone book later, it was interesting to note that there are no Cannons living in Cannonville.

From there we traveled to Escalante, about 40 miles distant, and were amazed at the isolation of the area. It is Labor Day weekend and yet we only saw a couple of cars. In Escalante, we traveled through town, turned left at the Escalante Elementary School and north to a bluff overlooking the town where we found the Larson’s ranch house. The house is surrounded by sand. It is amazing that any trees can grow there at all. The house is large, with two bedrooms with queen size beds, two lofts which could easily sleep three people each, a large living room with a working t.v., a bathtub/shower, a separate bathroom with a shower, and a room where Rachael and Sam slept with couches in them. Judy and I ate two large t-bone steaks for dinner and after getting the kids to bed, watched a little bit of the BYU/UTEP football game on t.v.

September 2, 1990 (Sunday):          (Cannonville, Kodachrome SP, Mossy Cave, Escalante SP, Calf Creek)

This morning, Sam found a little toad (I think it is a spade-foot toad) outside the house in the mud. It rained heavily last night. We think that the toad must have come out because of the rain. We brought it in the house and washed it off in the sink and the kids took turns holding it. We were amazed at how quickly it could get around when it started to hop.

We left Escalante and traveled to Cannonville and another nine miles beyond to Kodachrome State Park. At Kodachrome, which just seems to be a small bowl filled with sandstone spires and shapes, we traveled down a sand and clay road several miles to what was identified as “Utah’s newest arch.” It was drizzling so Rachael and Judy stayed in the car to read, and Sam, Andrew and I took a one-half mile hike to the arch. The arch was toward the top of a large sandstone cliff and looked like an area where water ran down the side of the cliff and eventually eroded the hole. Compared to Bryce and Zion, Kodachrome is not particularly spectacular, but without the comparison would be a lot of fun.

We then traveled back to Bryce National Park where we took the four-tenths of a mile Mossy Cave Trail. On the way up to the cave we noticed a waterfall which would have been fun to go to had it not been raining. Mossy Cave was a large overhang with water seeping down the top and sides and which was filled with moss. The moss and damp made it very slippery. I understand that in early years, the pioneers used to get ice from the cave during the summer which they used to refrigerate their meat. As we were leaving the cave, the rain started to pour and we walked the four-tenths of a mile back to the car in a heavy rain. I was carrying Andrew and he was howling the whole way.

We then headed back to Escalante, and about one mile outside of town, we went to Escalante (petrified wood) State Park. It was drizzling and Judy decided to stay in the car with Andrew. Sam, Rachael and I started the trek up the mountain, which was a series of switchbacks that went all the way to the top of a pretty significant sized mountain. As we hiked, the rain got worse and the footing got treacherous (we were walking on clay). About three-quarters of the way to the top of the mountain, Sam started to complain of being tired, but through coaxing, ended up making it to the top. At the top the trail branched and we took the right fork and followed it in a circle of about one mile before reaching the fork again. We went a significant way before seeing any petrified wood, but eventually saw a fair amount of it. We saw small pieces and some rather large petrified logs which had beautiful colors of blue, red, orange, green and other colors. It was really quite a spectacular hike and walk, but one which we couldn’t fully enjoy because of the rain. We finally headed back toward the car. We fairly ran, and slipped and slided to the bottom of the hill and the car. It took us ten minutes just to clean the mud off the bottom of our shoes before we could get back in the car.

In Escalante, we stopped at the Frosty ______ for lunch where we got some hamburgers and burritos. We then hurried to the ranch, changed into our Sunday clothes and went to church in Escalante. It was fast and testimony meeting and afterwards we met people who had previously lived in Redlands (the Venutes).

After church, we changed clothes and drove toward Calf Creek Campground, about 13 miles out of Escalante. About 10 miles out of town, we rounded a hill and the terrain immediately changed. It went from scattered juniper trees to white and red rock formations as far as the eye could see. The view at the top of the hill was very spectacular and we could see for probably 50 miles or more. At the bottom of a winding road, we eventually got to Calf Creek which is very shallow, running over rocks and sand. Judy and the kids took off their shoes and waded for a while.

On the way back up the mountain, we stopped to hike on the rock. The rock we climbed on was scaled like a quilt or like a lizard’s scales. We climbed up toward the top of a little knoll, and then I climbed a little further up to some spires at the top. The kids, particularly Andrew and Sam, really enjoy hiking.

On the way back to Escalante we passed the road to Hole In The Rock and actually took it for a couple of hundred yards. The road is a dirt road and must go better than 100 miles before it reaches Hole In The Rock, right on Lake Powell. I believe we would need a Jeep to make it the whole way, but that is something I would like to do eventually.

September 3, 1990 (Monday):         (Boulder Mountain, Capital Reef NP, Loa, Manti)

We woke up at 5:30 a.m. to clean the Larson’s home and got out to the car to leave about 7:00 a.m. We traveled over the same country we’d traveled yesterday on our trip to Calf Creek, but we were glad we made the trip the day before. The colors in the afternoon were brilliant and beautiful, whereas in the morning with the sun coming up, we had a difficult time even seeing anything. We traveled up the hill to Boulder, a beautiful little town at the base of Boulder Mountain. We traveled through Boulder about 7:50, 10 minutes before the Anasazi State Park opened so we were not able to visit it.

Boulder Mountain was a tremendous contrast to the country we had been in. The mountainside was filled with beautiful green grass meadows, tall white aspens and lots of big green pine trees. While we had not seen any significant wildlife the first two days of our trip, we saw a deer down below the Larson’s home, probably 10 or 12 deer on our trip over Boulder Mountain and a group of prairie chickens. We also could see, from one of the viewpoints, Lower Bounds Reservoir, where I scout camp as a young scout. We could also see the distinctive Waterpocket Fold in the distance.

We then traveled to Capital Reef National Park where we again got into red rock country and large, massive cliffs. We took a drive from the visitor center 10 miles down a road through some awesome, massive rock formations. There is a whole different feel there than at Zion or Bryce. The formations are more massive and strong than Bryce but more intricate and carved than Zion. It probably does not have the sheer beauty of either, but conveys a sense of a more desert region. At one point driving down through the narrow canyon, we had a feeling that we were driving an old river bed.

After leaving the 10 mile drive, we turned right down the road towards Hanksville. We stopped at a turnout to look at Indian petroglyphs, but they were very difficult to see as we were kept back by a barrier and they had faded somewhat. A little further down the road, we stopped at another turnout to take a one mile hike (each way) to Hickman Natural Bridge. The hike started out at the Fremont River and wound its way up the mountain through volcanic rock. At the one-quarter mark, Sam began to complain and eventually said he wanted to go back, so we aborted our hike and headed back. We caught a tiny lizard and let it loose on Andrew’s shirt where it ran around for a while. We then got in the car and left.

Down the road a way, we stopped at an orchard where they allowed the picking of pears, peaches and apples. Apples were apparently the only fruit still available and the only apples we found were wormy. We did see a deer down the road several hundred yards, and as we got in the car to go, saw another deer sitting underneath an apple tree across the street.

In Loa, we stopped at an inn and bought smoked trout that was very delicious. On the other end of town, we stopped at a cheese factory and took a tour where we saw them skimming the cheese in large vats. We bought a big chunk of blue cheese, Swiss cheese and Monterey jack. For the next little while, we enjoyed slices of Swiss cheese and smoked trout.

When we arrived in Manti, we visited the grounds of the Manti Temple. The temple is set on a hill overlooking the city and I believe is as pretty as any of the other temples. We then continued up to Ephraim, around the backside of Mount Nebo, saw the destroyed town of Thistle, which was submerged by a lake when a mudslide blocked the canyon. There were memorials scrawled all over the cliffs next to the town. Submerged houses were still visible.

That evening we had the family dinner where Layne and Mary gave a presentation on their visit to Novosobirsk, Russia.

September 4, 1990 (Tuesday):                     (Emigration Canyon, East Canyon)

In the evening, Matt and I drove up Emigration Canyon through East Canyon to the top of the mountain. The leaves were just beginning to change colors. The Salt Lake Valley was very beautiful below. Up East Canyon, we spotted a large porcupine off the side of the road that had been hit by a car. We stopped; I pulled out my hunting knife and cut off its head. We brought it back to Mom’s house, removed the skin and as much of the muscle that we could. We boiled it for several hours which made it easier to remove more of the muscle. Then I soaked the skull overnight and most of the next day in a glass full of bleach, and then removed all of the remaining muscle and the brains. The end result was a wonderful skull of a porcupine like you find in museums, exhibiting the porcupine’s very large teeth, much like a beaver.

September 5, 1990 (Wednesday):                (Hogle Zoo)

Tutu took Rachael, Sam, Andrew and I to the Hogle Zoo. They had a white raccoon which I originally thought was an arctic fox. One of the zoo personnel indicated that it was indeed a raccoon, but not an albino, because it did not have pink eyes. We got to take a ride on the train. After the zoo, Tutu took us to McDonalds for lunch.

That evening, Tutu took us out (including Mom and Dad) to eat at Ruth’s Diner up Emigration Canyon and we ate outside in beautiful weather. I asked a band to play the Loggin’s and Messina song, “Christopher Robin,” which I was thrilled they knew.

September 6, 1990 (Thursday):       (Temple Square, City Creek Canyon, State Capitol)

We visited Temple Square, walked through the Assembly Hall and the Tabernacle, and went through the new church history museum. We also went up near the Kimball Apartments and viewed the new park where the Heber C. Kimball, Newell K. Whitney and Vilate Kimball graves are located.

 We bought some sandwiches at Subway Sandwiches and went up City Creek Canyon to the end of the road. Rachael, Sam and Andrew and I took a hike for about 20 minutes up beyond the road, but did not get as far as the beaver ponds.

We then traveled to the State Capitol building. Having just been in Madison, Wisconsin, and its state capitol building, it was interesting to contrast the two. The layout of both is very similar, but I believe the Wisconsin capitol building is more beautiful. It is also interesting to note that a statue of Philo T. Farnsworth, the founder of television, stands in the middle of the floor right beneath the rotunda.

In the evening, Matt’s girlfriend, Danny, took care of Andrew, Sam and Rachael, and Judy and I went down to the Capitol Theater with Mom and Dad, Tutu, and Layne and Mary and their children to see the play of Peter Pan. Cathy Rigby, the Olympic gymnast, was to play the role of Peter Pan. Cathy Rigby was sick and unable to perform, but her understudy did a good job as we watched an enjoyable performance.

September 7, 1990 (Friday):                        (Ranch, Kamas, Mirror Lake)

Sam and I traveled with Dad, and Judy, Rachael and Andrew traveled with Mom up to the Ranch near Kamas. Melissa saddled up three horses and allowed us to go out riding. Rachael rode a horse alone, Judy road a horse and I road a horse with Sam which was an appaloosa named Apache. We rode up past Melissa’s house, up along the creek, and then up almost all the way through sagebrush up to the base of the mountain where the scrub oak starts. We turned around and went back down to the ranch.

We then drove to Kamas and ate at the Hi-Mountain Drug. We had the traditional hamburgers with potato chips and the plastic containers.

After leaving Kamas, we traveled up to Mirror Lake, about 32 miles beyond Kamas, and enjoyed a walk partly around the lake. The campground closes in two days for the winter and the weather is beautiful and brisk. I had forgotten that Mt. Baldy looms right above Mirror Lake (an 11,992 foot high mountain) and in the near vicinity is also Mt. Hayden and Mt. Agassiz.

September 8, 1990 (Saturday):        (Provo Canyon, Bridal Veil Falls, Cascade Springs, American Fork Canyon)

Sam, Andrew and I traveled up Provo Canyon to Bridal Veil Falls and rode the tram up to the top. Both Sam and Andrew showed some concern initially as we traveled higher and higher, but got over the fear, at least outwardly, rather quickly. At the top, we took a 1/3 mile trail along the side of the mountain over to the stream which feeds the waterfall. The trail at times was very steep. Sam, although he complained a little bit, did very well.

After leaving Bridal Veil Falls, we traveled further up Provo Canyon and took the exit toward Sundance Ski Resort. After passing Sundance, we continued on past Aspen Grove and saw the beautiful backside of Mount Timpanogas. We traveled to Cascade Springs that is an area where a natural spring bubbles out of the mountain, comes down the hill and forms a number of small, beautiful pools, filled with German brown trout. At first Sam had a hard time spotting the  trout in the pools, but after looking at them for a while, got quite adept at spotting them. The trail was segmented into three loops, each successive loop requiring a further hike. Because Sam had complained a little bit earlier about having to hike so long, I asked him how far he wanted to go. When we came to the first loop I asked him if he wanted to go on. He said yes. At the second loop he said he wanted to go further, and finally as we got to the end of the third loop he didn’t want to head back to the car. He had seen a sign indicating porcupines live in the area, and wanted to see one (remembering the porcupine head Matt and I obtained a few nights earlier).

We finished out the trip by heading down American Fork Canyon past Timpanogas Cave and back to Provo. I’ve never been on the backside of Timpanogas before and was amazed at the beauty of the area.

In the evening, Judy and I went with Layne, Mary, Lincoln and Molly to the BYU vs. Miami football game. It was billed as the biggest football game ever in the State of Utah. Miami entered into the game as the number one rated team in the country and had been the number one team in the country last year. Their defense was rated as the top in the country last year, their quarterback, Craig Erickson, was touted as a Heisman Trophy candidate.

The temperature was about 94 degrees in Provo that afternoon and we were on the eastside of the stadium with the sun glaring down directly into our faces. The stadium was filled to capacity, with a record crowed of 66,000 plus fans.

It was one of the best football games I have ever seen. Ty Detmer had a Heisman Trophy type performance passing for 407 yards and executing some tremendous pass plays after being subjected to a very heavy pass rush. The game was in doubt to the last few seconds. The tension and emotion was high.

When the game ended with a 28 to 21 BYU victory, many of the fans ran on to the football field and very few people in the stadium left, most continuing to stand in the stadium and to bask in the glory of what had taken place.

It was one of those games you knew could be significant in terms of progression of BYU football, but yet almost too much to hope for a BYU victory. The chance of a BYU victory seemed so remote that no one even appeared willing to express the sentiment that BYU might win, but rather expressed the hope that BYU would do well and Ty Detmer not hurt his Heisman Trophy chances.

We left Layne and Mary’s house in Provo about 10:30 p.m., hoarse, sweaty and tired (we had been up until 2:00 a.m. the night before with Layne, Mary, Chris and Joan). I drove as far as Beaver and we pulled over to the side of the road and slept in the car for about an hour. I then drove to St. George where Judy spelled me and drove to Las Vegas. I drove from Las Vegas to the Nevada border where we ate at Whiskey Pete’s and then Judy drove the rest of the way home.

1 comment:

  1. Can you believe we didn't visit a single art museum on this trip? What was wrong with us? Oh well, we've definitely improved our travel MO.