Search

Category

Zion National Park

2018-09-20 – WBCCI 2018 Southwest Adventure Caravan – Day 33 – The Arizona Strip

2018-09-19 – WBCCI 2018 Southwest Adventure Caravan – Day 32 – Zion National Park adjacent

Slow, quiet day today.  We need one of these every now and then…

We slept in, caught up on the blog, and read the newspaper; we walked around a bit…

img_8075

We did walk across the street to the Pipe Springs National Monument… It is an historic site documenting the life and times of the Mormons in this area.  The irony is that these 40 acres are in the middle of the Kaibab Paiute Reservation…

The Indians, of course, have been in this area forever.

The water of Pipe Spring has made it possible for plants, animals, and people to live in this dry desert region.  Ancestral Puebloans and Kaibab Paiute Indians gathered grass seeds, hunted animals, and raised crops near the springs for at least 1,000 years.  The land at that time was rich is grasses, not desert sand as it is today…

In the 1860s Mormon pioneers from St. George, Utah, led by James M. Whitmore brought cattle to the area, and a large cattle ranching operation was established.  In 1866 the Apache, Navajo and Paiute tribes of the region joined the Utes for the Black Hawk War, and they raided Pipe Spring and killed Mr. Whitmore and his ranch foreman.  The  ranch was later purchased by Brigham Young for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church), and a fort was built over the top of Pipe Spring.  The LDS Bishop of nearby Grafton, Utah, Anson Perry Winsor, was hired to operate the ranch and maintain the fort, soon called “Winsor Castle”. This isolated outpost served as a way station for people traveling across the Arizona Strip, that part of Arizona separated from the rest of the state by the Grand Canyon.

The main function of the ranch was to accept tithes from the local Mormons, in the form of cows, chickens, etc.  The ranch fed the animals, and milked the cows and made cheese, and shipped it all off on weekly trips to St. George, Utah.

The Pipe Spring area also served as a refuge for polygamist wives during the 1880s and 1890s. The LDS Church lost ownership of the property through penalties involved in the federal Edmunds-Tucker (Anti-Polygamy) Act of 1887.

In the mean time, overgrazing from as many as 100,000 cattle decimated the grasslands; the topsoil soon blew away, and the land was left with the desert sand and sagebrush we see today.  There are attempts in the area, through better grazing practices, to bring back the grasslands.

As the Mormons took over the ranch lands, the local Indians were deprived of their main water source, and times were hard on the Paiute.  However, they continued to live in the area and by 1907 the Kaibab Paiute Indian Reservation was established, surrounding the privately owned Pipe Spring ranch. In 1923, the Pipe Spring ranch was purchased and set aside as a national monument to be a memorial to western pioneer life.

The Winsor Castle has been restored, as well as several smaller cabins.  The tours are very informative, and “living history” is on view in the form of a lady demonstrating the use of a spinning wheel, and a blacksmith using a primitive forge.

This is Winsor Castle… We were met at the entrance by the NPS tour guide…

img_8089img_8088img_8079

The interior of the castle are typical of a well-made outpost such as this…

img_5514img_8093img_8094img_8096img_8097

This is the entrance to the Spring Room.  The spring water ran through here, keeping the room at about 55 degrees (perfect for wine, but these were Mormons living here…).

img_8098

We saw some of the out-buildings and cabins for visitors… Interesting earthen roof…

img_8083img_8086img_8087img_8084

We watched the spinning wheel lady doing her thing…

img_5505img_5504

The view of the area known as the Arizona Strip… More on this tomorrow…

img_5501

After a few hours we walked back to the RV Park and relaxed and did laundry…

We drove to Kanab for dinner at a very nice, and very busy, French Restaurant.  It has only been open for 6 weeks.  We wished we could have spoken with the proprietor and learn more, but as I said, it was packed – on a Wednesday evening…!

img_8108img_8105img_8101

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2018-09-18 – WBCCI 2018 Southwest Adventure Caravan – Day 31 – Zion National Park

Today we explored Zion National Park…

img_5496

Yes, more rocks… But different rocks, and different colored rocks…

Zion National Park is an national park located in Southwestern Utah near the city of Springdale.  A prominent feature of the 229-square-mile park is Zion Canyon, which stretches 15 miles long and spans up to half a mile deep.  It cuts through the reddish and tan-colored Navajo Sandstone by the North Fork of the Virgin River.  The lowest point in the park is 3,666 ft at Coalpits Wash and the highest peak is 8,726 ft at Horse Ranch Mountain.  Located at the junction of the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, and Mojave Desert regions, the park has a unique geography and a variety of life zones that allow for unusual plant and animal diversity.

Zion National Park includes mountains, canyons, buttes, mesas, monoliths, rivers, slot canyons, and natural arches.  Human habitation of the area started about 8,000 years ago with small family groups of Native Americans;  however, these Indians moved away by 1300 and were replaced by other Southern Paiute subtribes.  Mormons came into the area in 1858 and settled there in the early 1860s.  In 1909, President William Howard Taft named the area Mukuntuweap National Monument in order to protect the canyon.  In 1918, the acting director of the newly created National Park Service, Horace Albright, drafted a proposal to enlarge the existing monument and change the park’s name to Zion National Monument, a name used by the Mormons.  According to historian Hal Rothman: “The name change played to a prevalent bias of the time.  Many believed that Spanish and Indian names would deter visitors who, if they could not pronounce the name of a place, might not bother to visit it.  The new name, Zion, had greater appeal to an ethnocentric audience.”  On November 20, 1919, the United States Congress established the monument as Zion National Park, and it was signed by President Woodrow Wilson.  The Kolob section was proclaimed a separate Zion National Monument in 1937, but was incorporated into the park in 1956.

We left the RV park at just before 6:00 am, Utah time… Wow! It is really dark out here!

Light finally came just as we arrived at Zion, just after 7:00 am.

The entrance station was still closed.  We entered the tunnel (1.1 mile long, took 3 years to complete in the 1930s…) and emerged to the sun rising over the valley below…

img_5413

Maybe I should have cleaned my windshield…

img_5415img_5418img_5421img_5422img_5424

As we drove through the almost deserted park we recalled that we had been told that Zion is the 3rd most visited national park in the USA, yet it is one of the smaller parks.  We were arriving early precisely to avoid these expected crowds.

As we drove to the visitor center we found many interesting sights as the rising sun began to hit the higher peaks…

img_8018img_8019img_5429img_8021img_8023img_8025img_8026img_8027

We arrived at the visitors center (which was not yet open) and parked.  We then walked the Pa’rus Trail, along the Virgin River for about 1 1/2 miles…

img_8029img_5431

Lynda went off-road to get a picture of the rapids…

img_8031img_5433

The sun continued to reveal move sights…

img_8032img_8033img_5434img_8034img_5435img_8035img_8036

We arrived at Canyon Junction, where we caught the shuttle to the Lodge…

img_8037img_5438

We had a nice late breakfast in the second floor dining room, then set out to walk the Lower Emerald Pool Trail… Only one mile, round trip…

img_8039img_5439img_8040img_8042img_5440img_5441img_8043img_8044img_8046

Finally we arrived at the “waterfall”… More of a “wet wall”…

img_8047img_8048

The pool was a little bit emerald…

img_8049img_8050

Now we see falling water…

img_5445img_8052img_5447img_8055img_5449

Falling into the Emerald Pool…

img_5446img_5448img_5451img_5454

We back-tracked to the lodge and caught the shuttle to Temple of Sinawava… They tried to explain which rocks looked like a temple, but I didn’t see it…

img_5458

We are following the Virgin River, once again, about two miles round trip.  At the top of the canyon is “The Narrows”.  In the mean time, we see the flora and fauna…

img_5459img_8058img_5460img_8060img_8061img_8062img_8063img_5461img_8064img_8066img_8067img_5465img_5466img_5467

If you squint, and imagine it 100 times as big, it almost looks like a bear… Lynda says she wants to see a bear…

img_8068

Finally we reach the end of the trail.  No, this is not a throng of Mormons being baptized… This is where “The Narrows” begins.  To see the narrows up close, where the canyon walls are only 20′ apart, you need to hike upstream through the water for about a mile… We didn’t…

img_5471img_8069img_8070

We were not about to walk in the river, so we returned along the path, seeing the canyon from the other direction…

img_5474img_8072

At the trail head we caught the shuttle back to the visitors center, and thus to the Big Red Truck.  As we headed out of the park we saw the sights that we missed by arriving when it was still dark…

img_5475img_5476img_5479img_5480img_5481img_5482img_5483 We emerged from the tunnel… and we were on our way…

img_5484img_5488img_5493

We returned to Kanab, where we enjoyed a late lunch at the Wild Thyme Cafe.  We returned to The Villa, where the AC was running strong (it is 93 degrees today…), took a nap, and had Happy Hours…

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2018-09-17 – WBCCI 2018 Southwest Adventure Caravan – Day 30 – Traveling to Fredonia, AZ, near Zion National Park

Today we traveled to Zion National Park.  Except, not exactly… We are camping 13 miles outside Fredonia, AZ, at the Kaibab Paiute Band Tribal RV Park.  The RV park is across the street from the Pipe Springs National Monument, and is about 50 miles from Zion…

I took this picture because… Not Rocks!

img_5383

It was an easy drive.  After about 1 1/2 hours we arrived at the town of Kanab, UT, a nice little town…

We stopped for lunch at the Rocking V Cafe… Interesting place in this very remote town…

img_8011img_5385

Other Airstreamers were in town, too, having lunch, shopping for groceries…

img_8013

We also shopped for groceries – finally found half-&-half.  The last four grocery stores didn’t have any… What’s up with Southern Utah and their lack of half-&-half?

As we left the grocery store and headed to the RV park, we noticed a strange thing:  It is 1:34 pm, and we will arrive at our destination, 20 miles away, at 1:06 pm…

img_8014

Obviously we are in Utah, and our destination is in Arizona.  They are in the same time zone, but Arizona does not believe in Daylight Saving Time…  However, as we approached the RV park, rather than changing the actual time to Arizona time, it changed the destination time to Utah time!  Apparently the RV Park is quite close to cellular towers in Utah.  Our Apple devices and our computer similarly kept switching back and forth such that we never able to know what time it was… To avoid the confusion we set a real clock on Utah time, and the Caravan all agreed that we would operate on Utah time… Of course, Zion is on Utah time…

As we approached the RV park, this was the landscape surrounding us… Arizona looks a lot like Wyoming around here…

img_8015

Zion National Park is an national park located in Southwestern Utah near the city of Springdale.  A prominent feature of the 229-square-mile park is Zion Canyon, which stretches 15 miles long and spans up to half a mile deep.  It cuts through the reddish and tan-colored Navajo Sandstone by the North Fork of the Virgin River.  The lowest point in the park is 3,666 ft at Coalpits Wash and the highest peak is 8,726 ft at Horse Ranch Mountain.  Located at the junction of the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, and Mojave Desert regions, the park has a unique geography and a variety of life zones that allow for unusual plant and animal diversity.

Zion National Park includes mountains, canyons, buttes, mesas, monoliths, rivers, slot canyons, and natural arches.  Human habitation of the area started about 8,000 years ago with small family groups of Native Americans;  however, these Indians moved away by 1300 and were replaced by other Southern Paiute subtribes.  Mormons came into the area in 1858 and settled there in the early 1860s.  In 1909, President William Howard Taft named the area Mukuntuweap National Monument in order to protect the canyon.  In 1918, the acting director of the newly created National Park Service, Horace Albright, drafted a proposal to enlarge the existing monument and change the park’s name to Zion National Monument, a name used by the Mormons.  According to historian Hal Rothman: “The name change played to a prevalent bias of the time.  Many believed that Spanish and Indian names would deter visitors who, if they could not pronounce the name of a place, might not bother to visit it.  The new name, Zion, had greater appeal to an ethnocentric audience.”  On November 20, 1919, the United States Congress established the monument as Zion National Park, and it was signed by President Woodrow Wilson.  The Kolob section was proclaimed a separate Zion National Monument in 1937, but was incorporated into the park in 1956.  

We parked The Villa and set up camp… As did all the others…

img_5389img_8016

As we settled in at the RV park we learned that one of the Caravaner couples, who live in coastal North Carolina, had learned that their property (not their house) had sustained damage due to debris and flooding from Hurricane Florence, so they decided to leave the caravan and return home… We held an impromptu gathering to wish them well…

img_5390img_5393img_5391

After the gathering, as we headed back to The Villa.  The sunset was striking…

img_5407

 

Another momentous event occurred 39 years ago today … Our daughter, Erin, was born… She celebrated today by letting her not-quite-three-year-old capture her on film:

img_8073

I think he has caught her essence…

 

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

2018-09-16 – WBCCI 2018 Southwest Adventure Caravan – Day 29 – Bryce Canyon National Park

This is our last day in Bryce.  We took advantage of the free time and drove through the park on our own…

We visited the Natural Bridge, at elevation 8,627’…

img_7977

img_5367

Of course, as we know, this is not a bridge at all, but an arch…

We would have gone on further to see other sights, but the road was closed due to a controlled burn in the park…

img_7980

We visited the Farview Overlook, at elevation 8,819’…

img_7983img_5369img_7982img_7984img_7988img_7991

We visited the Swamp Canyon overlook…

img_5374img_5375

We visited Fairyland Canyon, at elevation 7,758’…

img_7994

We saw marvelous rock formations that looked like they were copying something from Disney…

img_7995img_7996img_7998img_7999img_5378

We had a shared dessert of assorted pies, then we had our usual Drivers Meeting to review our move tomorrow to Fredonia, AZ, staging area for our visit to Zion National Park and Pipe Springs National Monument…

img_8004img_8005

And an enjoyable time was had by all…

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑