DAYS 25-28 ......................................................................................................................................................... FROM LEES FERRY TO NEARLY TO CEDAR RIDGE

Friday, August 26, 2016

Comeback of the Condor - Near Jacob's Pool (Day 21)

California Condor - the largest flying land bird in North America

The California Condor is soaring over Grand Canyon National Park
(Photo Courtesy of The Peregrine Fund)

September 22, 1884 - House Rock Spring to (near) Jacob's Pool

Day 21 of 44 - Week 4 (Day 2)
House Rock Spring to (near) Jacob's Pool = 9 Miles: Total Miles = 408
Total Trip Average Miles per Day = 19.4: Average Miles per Day - Week 4 = 18.5
September 21 - 23, 1884

Original Journal Entry (posted)
Monday 22
Drove about 9 miles came in sight of the banks of the Big Colorado River - very heavy sand - laid over in the after noon and rested our horses: good feed.

Final Journal Entry (Charles P Anderson Journal - p 6)
Monday Sep. 22.  Drove 9 miles, came in sight of the banks of the Big Colorado River, very heavy sand.  Laid over in afternoon and rested our horses - good feed.

Before going to Jacob's Pool today there are two places of interest to visit; the Condor Release Area (see California Condor), and the Highway 89A Pullout area (see Sharlot Hall)  Here we will learn more about Sharlot Hall.  Both of these places are close to House Rock Spring. Consult the maps below.

 California Condor
"A roadside pavilion (p131) commands views of the precise spot, high on the Vermilion Cliffs, where the first six birds were released from a glorified coop on December 12, 1996.  As the abundant guano stains prove, they and their siblings regularly return "home."  With powerful binoculars, you may well see them perched on the clifftops, or flying far overhead."  Today there is a small telescope (see
3rd picture below) to see the release guano stains and sometimes the condors.
Condor Release and Viewing Area near House Rock
California Condors have a wing span over 9 feet wide
Public telescope to view the release area  (front of shadow)
"Hello There."

Facts About The California Condor

  • The largest flying land bird in North America.
  •  Weigh about 22 pounds.
  • They maintain a large range often traveling 160 miles a day searching for carrion.
  • In 1967 the condor was added to the government's list of endangered species.
  • By the early 1980's only 9 wild condors remained; 24 existed in captivity.
  • In 1987 faced faced with possible extinction, all remaining birds rounded up.
  • The first successful breeding of the captive bird occurred in 1988.
  • Condors do not begin breeding until they are 5 to 8 years old.
  • They breed every other year, laying 1 egg at a time.
  • It takes about 56 days for the eggs to hatch.
  • If an egg is eaten or broken parents can produce a new egg in 3 or 4 weeks.
  • In October 2014 there were 425 birds; 219 in the wild and 206 captive (USFWS)
This data came from  wikipedia, defenders.org, and sfsu.edu Check these sites for other info.  

This video was made in 2009.  There are more condors now than just over the 300 
mentioned in the video.    Hopefully there will be continued success in bringing the 
California condor back to Utah skies.

About 4 miles from the Condor Release area,
turn right on highway 89A to the pullout
described below

Sharlot Hall

A visit to this part of the "Honeymoon Trail" would not be complete with talking about Sharlot Hall.  Spend just "A Moment In Time" with her.

Territorial Historian of Arizona Sharlot M Hall made "her historic "longest wagon trip" into the then little-known Arizona Strip."  She "was prompted in part by her desire to become personally familiar with historic places.  It was also her purpose to be better able to inform others about that "great corner of Arizona" north of the Colorado River that Utah hoped to annex."

She kept a diary of her seventy-five days that she and her guide, "Allen Doyle, with wagon and pony team, spent traveling in the magnificent and often harsh Arizona Strip.  Her sensitivity to the wild, wondrous landscape is unbounded.  Hers in one of the earliest descriptions of the Arizona Strip at large, its people, resources, and history.  The diaries are also the revelation of a woman of incredible vitality and courage, a woman who once said, "There is something better than making a living-making a life."(quoted from back cover of her book shown here)

After you visit the California Condor Release View Area, you come to Highway 89A. Before you continue east (left) on the "Honeymoon Trail" consider turning west (right) and for about a mile drive up a steep hill to a small pullout.  This will give you a view of the next part of your trip in the distance (see map at bottom of blog).

At this pullout, you will have a "breathtaking view across the broad grassy plain of House Rock Valley, at the base of the Vermillion Cliffs, to the wall of Marble Canyon, the Kaibab Plateau, and the far off Echo Cliffs (the Easternmost extension of the Vermillion Cliffs).  The evidence of human use is scarce and generally blends in with the "Western: feel of the area."  This is where the "Honeymoon Trail" will go for the next few days.  This area has changed little from  what Sharlot Hall saw in 1911.  For a 360 degree courtesy of James Tanner look from the pullout go HERE

view from the pullout on highway 89a

another view from the pullout

plaque on the "comeback of the condor" at the pullout

The plaque honoring Sharlot Hall (above) with closeup of parts (below) at the pullout

"Look down the valley from where
you are standing and you can see the privately
owned building of that Historic Inn."
"Thanks Little House
Thanks Mr. Fireplace
Thank you Mr. Man
That built this place."
(Sharlot Hall 1911)

Image of Sharlot Hall's journey to the Arizona Strip in 1911

Other images of Sharlot Hall's journey to the Arizona Strip
are available at the Sharlot Hall Museum (below)

Sharlot Hall Museum in Prescott, Arizona

After a long trip over the Buckskin Mountains to House Rock, the Andersons only traveled 9 miles and stopped in the afternoon to rest their horses.  They would go to Jacob's Pool tomorrow.

Pioneers resting on the prairie.
Imagine these pioneers are the Anderson and De La Mare families resting on the prairie before
 making the three mile trip to Jacob's Pool tomorrow and then going to Soap Creek
They were three miles from Jacob's Pool at this time.  This map pinpoints almost exactly where they were on the "Honeymoon Trail"; a place called Bonal Spring Trailhead on the map today.  There is a road from Highway 89A to the spot. More details on this map will be discussed in the next blog.  (Hiking and Exploring the Paria River by Michael R. Kelsey, pg. 321)

Update - condor release at the Vermillion Cliffs 9/25/2016

condor release 9/25/2016

The Anderson Family would travel 9 miles today and 3 miles tomorrow to cover the 12 miles shown on this map.  The route was north of Highway 89A shown here.

Just over a mile from when you enter Highway 89A turning right, after you go up a steep hill,
is the pullout to view House Rock Valley

Note Alternate Route:  Since most people will not be traveling over the Buckskin Mountain, the following route will be discussed in a future post.  This post will also include some wonderful places to visit which are close to the "Honeymoon Trail" route.  Enlarge (+) to see more locations on the map.  A great hike can be taken from Wire Pass Trailhead.  A second hike can be done if your name is one of the ten people drawn from a lottery to hike The Wave.  People come from all over the world to visit The Wave. Ten additional people are chosen online.

Tomorrow they would go to Jacob's Pool and then Soap Creek.  This is where Terry Gunn has the Cliff Dweller's Lodge.   I took  time  to hike up part of the canyon near the Lodge.  Next week we will also discuss a previous expedition that went through here in 1776.  

Friday, August 19, 2016

Signature Rocks - House Rock Spring (Day 20)

Week 4

September 21, 1884 - Buckskin Mountain to House Rock Spring

Day 20 of 44 - Week 4 (1/7)
Buckskin Mountain (foot) to Top (nooned); House Rock Spring=28 Miles :Total =399 Miles 
Total Trip Average Miles per Day = 19.95  : Average Miles per Day - Week 4  = 28

September 20 - 21, 1884
September 21, 1884

September 21 - 22, 1884

Original Journal

Sunday Sep 21
Started Earley - doubled up the Buckskin Mt. very rocky- Nooned on top - hitched up and drove to foot of mt. 16 miles from where we camped.  There we saw a sign board for water two miles from the road, we unhitched and took our animals two miles for water but found none; came back and hitched up and drove to House Rock Spring after 12 miles after dark.  There was two companies from Arizona one from Mesa and one from St. John's who was dissatisfied with the place they said that St. John's was no place for a poor man."


Final Journal Entry (Click and go to Page 6 of journal) 

Sunday Sept. 21.  Started early, doubled up the Buckskin Mt., very rocky - nooned on top - hitched up and drove to foot of B. Mt. 16 miles.  Saw a sign for water, unhitched and drove our horses 2 miles, but found no water, returned to wagons, hitched up and drove to House 
Rock Spring after dark, 12 miles.  There was two companies camped there, leaving Arizona, one from Mesa, the other from St. Johns - backsliding missionaries, they said that St. Johns was no place for a poor man.

Note:  This is the longest daily journal entry Charles made on the trip so far.

Buckskin Mountain Passage

My guide through the Buckskin Mountains

Buckskin Passage (note sign above)

House Rock Spring
This area provided some of the best water of all the waterholes.  Also there was good grazing and firewood.  It was a major resting place.  (Take Up Your Mission, p73)

The area under the rock below (left photo) was the "roof" of Jacob Hamblin's "House Rock Hotel" which gave the valley its name.  It was just a big block of sandstone fallen from the cliff and looking more or less house like, with a cave in the side which served to shelter Hamblin and his companions in their first exploring trip.  One of them took a piece of charred wood from the camp fire and wrote "Rock House Hotel" on the front of rock before they went on and the valley has borne this name.(Sharlot Hall on the Arizona Strip, p59)  The next blog will tell more about Sharlot Hall referenced here.

The French family from Tucson, Arizona were with me when I visited House Rock Spring.

The cliffs and rocks around House Rock Spring became the register of the Arizona migration as the travelers took time to chisel their names and sometimes the dates
 of their visits.   (Take Up Your Mission, p73).

 Carving of C. C. Olsen dated Jun 11, 1888 shown below.
Note:  The inscription looks like 1888, but C. C. Olsen died in 1887.  Is this 
actually 1883?  It is believed the family went to Arizona in the Spring of 1883.
Research is being done to help determine this. 
C. C. Olsen
A short video at the end of this blog will speak more to the inscriptions at House Rock 

"Joseph Adams from Kaysville - To Arzonia and Busted"
There has to be a story behind the name of Joseph Adams carved June 6, 1873
Joseph Adams inscription

May Whiting

After a long illness, May Whiting died while returning to Springville, Utah with her family. 
 More of the Whiting story which includes their trip back to Utah and the her death
can be read here.
"But Old House Rock is staunch in his vigil" (see poem)
May Whiting gravestone
 (see  findagrave.com)

 Charles and Anna Anderson were two of the travelers mentioned in the poem below to pass by the grave of May Whiting. She had died just two years before.  This is one of seven verses of a poem written about her by Bertha Anderson Kleinbahn

The years have been long since we left her
To sleep on the hillside alone,
But Old House-Rock is staunch in his vigil
And dearer and dearer has grown
That desolate mound in the Wasteland,
And many the travelers who tread,
To strew their wild flowers above her,
And tell of the lonely one dead.

Today those who travel to House Rock can see her grave on the hillside.  More details
 on the Whiting family and their trip to Utah can be read here

May's father was Edwin Whiting who was the great grandfather of Rex Lee of St.
Johns, Arizona who later became President of Brigham Young University.  

Ending this blog page is a short video on this  "secret place."

This map does not show the exact route the family took from Navajo Well to House Rock Spring.  It is about 35 miles not 28 as shown here.  From their camping spot to House Rock Spring is about 28 miles according to the Anderson Journal.  I compared 
the Bushman and Tate accounts and they agreed with this mileage.  So 7 miles are not accounted for on this map meaning they probably took a longer route over the Buckskin Mountains than is shown. I hope to travel the route again and see if I can find the discrepancy.

An item of interest today near House Rock Spring. is the largest North American land bird which at one time was near extinction.  Sometimes you can see the them  flying overhead.   Sharlot Hall will be introduced in the next blog.   Then we are on to the next watering place, Jacob's Pool.

Sharlot Hall

California Condor

KSL InSight - Primetime
Signature Rocks (House Rock Spring)

Did your ancestors carve their names at House Rock Spring?

Drop their names in the comments below and I'll check. 

If they aren't at House Rock, they may have inscribed them at other places along the trail.  I'll look for them and tell you when we get there.

Friday, August 12, 2016

The "Honeymoon Trail" - Navajo Wells (Day 19)

September 20, 1884 - Johnson to  Buckskin Mountain

Day 19 of 44 - Week 3
Johnson to Navajo Wells (nooned) to  Buckskin Mountain = 15 Miles: Total Miles = 371 Miles
Total Trip Average Miles per Day = 19.5: Average Miles per Day - Week 3 = 17.1
Average Miles
Week 1 = 20.2
Week 2 = 21.7
Week 3 = 17.1
Total Average = 19.5

September 19 - 20, 1884
September 20 - 21, 1884

Original Journal Entry
Saturday 20.  Drove from Johnson to Navajo Wells and nooned.  Some very heavy sand - Crossed the line of Utah and Arizona traveled 8 miles, hitched up and filled the barrals and drove to foot of Buckskin Mt. 7 miles - arrived there after dark.

Final Journal Entry
Saturday Sep. 20. Drove from Johnson to Navajo Wells and nooned - heavy sand - crossed the line of Utah and Arizona, filled barrels and drove 7 miles to foot of Buckskin Mountain, arrived after dark.

Note:  The original entry shows eight miles and seems to indicate the 8 miles included crossing the Utah/Arizona border.  The final journal entry does not mention the eight miles.  See google maps below for mileage explanation.The Tate and Bushman Journal accounts indicate it is between 7 and 8 miles between Johnson and Navajo Well.  The final entry only says they "filled barrels (at Navajo Well) and drove 7 miles to the foot of Buckskin Mountain.

Before Highway 89

A short distance past the Johnson Cemetery going south and 3.1 miles coming north from Highway 89 are Eagle Gate Arch #2, and Lion's Head.  Going South Eagle Gate Arch #2 is on the east side and Lion's Head on the west almost directly across from Eagle Gate Arch.

Lion's Head

Eagle Gate Arch #2
Named after Eagle Gate Arch in Salt Lake City
Click HERE for another picture

Navajo Well

Corral west of Navajo Well
Navajo Well - 1/4 mile west of the monument
"Honeymoon Trail" monument
 east of Navajo Well
To read the plaque click here

This monument was dedicated Thursday, April 7, 2016
It is located 15.2 miles east of Kanab
and just .4 miles south of Highway 89
To read more about the dedication ceremony and the "Honeymoon Trail" click here.
"Honeymoon Trail" plaque

Pioneer Gap

Jacob "Hamblin and his group were almost certainly the first white men to use the Gap route as they headed for the Colorado river via House Rock Valley in the early 1860s. One often reads in Jacob's diaries about stopping at Navajo Well, a key watering place just west of the Gap. (Wixom, p74)

"There are few landscape changes.  The terrain looks as seemingly remote and lonely today as it must have 100 years ago." (Wixom, p74)  The Anderson family went through Pioneer Gap  from Navajo Well to begin their journey over the Buckskin Mountains. 

near Pioneer Gap

"Drove 7 miles to foot of Buckskin Mountain"

"Honeymoon Trail' signs today before reaching their camping place on 
September 20, 1884.  They also crossed the Utah/Arizona state line

Map A:  The route today from Johnson Cemetery to Navajo Well.
Map B:  The route to Buckskin Mountain.
Map C:  The route from Johnson Cemetery to House Rock.
The Anderson, Tate, and Bushman Journals indicate it was about 7 miles from Navajo Well to the foot of the Buckskin Mountains.  From there it was about 16  miles up, over, and down the mountain.  Then 12 miles to House Rock Spring.  This would equal about 35 miles which does not  match the map below (refresh to see mileage)

Map A:  Shows an L  shaped route today following current highways to Navajo Well.  The pioneers would have taken a more direct route following the trail.   The Tate and Fish accounts of the journey show the distance from Johnson to Navajo Well to be about 8 miles, not nearly 11.  Also the map takes the distance to be from Johnson Cemetery and not Johnson.  There may have been a slight mileage difference.

Map B:  The C. P. Anderson Journal says they went 7 miles to the foot of the Buckskin Mountain.  The map shows Buckskin Mountain at 10 miles so the foot could be seven miles.  The title, "Unnamed Road," shows about where seven miles would be.  The Bushman Journal say the foot of Buckskin Moutains was 8 miles (Mar3) from Navajo Well, and the Tate account says 7 miles (p60).

Map C:  Press + and/or refresh to show the mileage.  This map shows nearly 40 miles from Johnson Cemetery to House Rock Spring (where they would travel the next day)  The Bushman, Tate, and Anderson accounts show the distance to be about 43 miles.  See the map on Day 20 for further clarification and a slight addition to the route.

Today the family traveled only 15 miles because tomorrow would be a long day.  They needed the rest as did their animals.   They would be going up, over, and down the Buckskin Mountains, and then to House Rock Spring. They would meet some people leaving Arizona on their way to Utah.  The grave of May Whiting who had died two years earlier was at House Rock   They would see inscriptions of former travelers who had stopped there.  Were your ancestors part of those travelers who made the journey?  Are their inscriptions at House Rock, other springs along the trail?  If you will drop their names in the "Comments" I will check., 

Inscription at House Rock Spring
Inscription at Navajo Spring
Inscription at Willow Spring

Article on Buckskin Mountains