Monday, October 18, 2010

Maiden Voyage of New Camper

We recently bought a small used travel trailer so we could do some sightseeing and camping together; so we took it out for the first time to visit DUP (Daughters of the Utah Pioneers) museums in small Southern Utah Towns near where we live in St. George.  Here I am in front of the Panguitch City DUP Museum.  Built in the 1890's, it contained an amazing collection of pioneer artifacts collected from this area; such as, old tools, kitchen utensils, clothing, furniture, photos, and written histories.  The building itself is a historic Bishop's Storehouse of the Mormon Church in this area.  It stored donated commodities for distribution to local needs.

Our Ford pickup which is 17 years old now and in really good shape, did a good job of pulling the little trailer.  We enjoyed the conveniences of our little house on wheels with hot water, toilet, shower, kitchen, dinette, forced air heat, and air conditioning.  It has two beds in the main body and two fold out beds at each end.  We were snug as two bugs in a rug--even when the temperature was below freezing in the mountains at the Duck Creek campground near Cedar Breaks.  We are planning to do more camping this fall before the colorful leaves are gone from the trees.

 These pictures don't really do justice to the true colors of these rocks.  They were bright orangey-pink in color.  We traveled through the Red Canyon, Bryce Canyon, the towns of Tropic, Cannonville, and Henrieville on the way to Escalante where we camped in the Petrified Forest State Campground.  We enjoyed hiking a two mile trail to view the surrounding mesas and plateaus of the Grand Staircase area and to see the amazing petrified logs and pieces of wood produced over millions of years of geologic history.  This fascinates me.  I appreciate God's creations.

 This old storefront has been preserved in the town of Escalante and brings back images of the old west style architecture I have seen in old western movies so many times.

The DUP restored this old Mormon Church Tithing Office.  It is now a DUP museum.  It was closed; so we'll try to return another time to see inside.  It is constructed out of hand-made adobe bricks, a common building material in this area in the late 19th century.

This is a restored log cabin typical of the first pioneer dwellings constructed in this area.  I want to paint a picture of it sometime.
 While camped at the Petrified Forest Campground in Escalante, we took a drive way up into the mountains on a road named "Hell's Backbone".  It was aptly named with the winding hairpin curves and steep cliffs on a washboarded road.  The scariest part was a very narrow single-lane bridge connecting two narrow promintories which dropped off on both sides about 1200 feet.  I had to close my eyes to avoid a panic attack!

This is a good view from our hike near the campground in Escalante of the 11,000 foot Aquarius Plateau.  The distant cliffs on the plateau were brilliant pink in color.

We hope to return to this amazing scenery for further exploration.  What a great trip.  Fun, fun, fun!


  1. My poor grandmother could never cross Hell's back bone in a car. It scared her too much! She always had to get out and walk across. :D

    Your pictures make me homesick!

  2. Oh, and I meant to say that there is also a DUP museum in Hatch. My mother has always had a key to it if you ever want to see it. My grandmother was very instrumental in getting that museum started, and in preserving the building.

  3. I just noticed yesterday as we drove back to Lewiston from the farm that the fall colors are really coming out now along the Clearwater River.

    Your comments about the little trailer reminded me of the months we lived in a 20-foot trailer we borrowed from a friend. We "moved in" in October after we sold our big house and before the modular home was delivered. The trailer was of light construction -- impossible to heat. I'm glad you were snug in yours.