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.  

1 comment:

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