Archive for the ‘Hiking’ Category

It’s Been a While.

Monday, April 11th, 2011

Yes I am still alive and I still make pots. Soon after my last post I was called to a new position in the church I belong to. In our church everyone has a “calling” and assignment in which you volunteer your time. The assignments rotate and it is now my turn to be the clerk who oversees all record keeping and reports pertaining to finances, member ship and meetings….not what I would have chosen. In fact if all possible assignments had bee lined up and I had to rank them in order of my preference and aptitude I’d have put clerk at next to last. What would be my last choice? Bishop, the guy who runs the whole show. Needless to say I’ve been overwhelmed with learning new skills and routines. I can’t say I’ve got it dialed but I am taking some time to blog.
The image above is of Navajo Mountain in the morning. I took a few days in late February with Rick Gate to go camping and hiking in the desert of southern Utah and Northern Arizona. God’s country without a doubt. I’ll see if I can post some of the pots I have been making tomorrow.

Walking in the lap of the world

Sunday, April 25th, 2010


East and South of Spring City sits The Horseshoe. It has always been called The Horseshoe. When I established my pottery here in 1977 I was looking for a name that would tie my business to this landscape. “The Horseshoe Pottery” sounded wrong to me. It sounded like a good luck charm so I called the new enterprise “Horseshoe Mountain Pottery”. I thad a certain cadence to it that I liked. Soon followed Horseshoe Mountain Inn, Bed and Breakfast, Dog Groomery, Hardware, Raceway and you name it. Before long I began noticing the landmark referred to in print as Horseshoe Mountain. I guess that is hoe place names shift. it was not my intention. Old timers still call it The Horseshoe but I an afraid it may not stay that way.

West and North of Spring City is Mount Nebo. Between these two bookends is what my daughter Louisa took to calling “the lap of the world” as a child. It is indeed on of the prettiest places I know of. Each morning that I am able I go out walking with Lee and the dogs around Spring City, in the lap of the world.
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The “West Mountains”. The mountains to the east or Wasatch Plateau are the edge of the Colorado Plateau. I am told by my geologist friend that at one time this was the edge of a continent and that where we live one continent subducted under another. To the west is the beginning of the basin and range system known as the Great Basin which runs all the way to the Sierra Nevada which is being pushed up by the subduction of the Pacific Plate under the North American continent.
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The Haystack, Lee’s silhouette and The Big Shoe.
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The atmospheric show is to die for.
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The music is sweet. Robin, Canadian Goose, Meadow Lark, Magpie and Robin.

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Ernie in seek mode, Lee loving it, the sprawl of new Spring City building, Tony Llama watches out for Chad Beck’s sheep and Lee’s gelding Tiki waiting for breakfast.

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Old farm equipment speaks of Spring City’s base, Lee at the shooting range and the first light on the Head of Grizzly Gulch and Yellow Brush Ridge.
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Lee always stops to “talk” with whatever horses we pass. They always come to her.
Unfenced land seems to be an invitation to dump garbage. it is an old tradition in these parts that dies hard.

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I am told that walking every day is goof for my heart. Walking with Lee in this place is what my heart desires.

Looking for the Shaman’s Gallery

Monday, January 18th, 2010

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Thirteen years ago Louisa and I went into upper Tuckup Canyon in the Grand Canyon looking for a rock art site called the Shaman’s Gallery. We had a pretty good map to go by that was annotated and got us into the area. It was early January. We hiked down into the canyon but were unable to find the sitr. That was mostly because we didn’t know exactly where the site was or what it looked like. We only knew that it was in the upper part of the canyon. It was a nice hike in the canyon with one of my favorite people.
Last week I went back with several friends. We had down loaded and printed a cowboy map from the internet. Having been in the upper Tuckup area before I figured the map, drawn by mule/horse packer Gordon Smith who claims to have “discovered” the site in the 80’s. Never mind that there is old cowboy graffiti at the site.
The Smith map says that after turning left off of the Toroweep Road you just “stick to the main path”.
Can anyone guess which is the “main path”? This fork is right past the first cattle guard, corral and ponds shown on the map. We stuck to the left fork as it looked most traveled and wound up after some pretty extreme 4 wheeling on a hilltop about two miles from the canyon rim.
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After hiking to the trail head we discovered by checking the GPS that one of my hiking friends had brought that we were at The head of 150 Mile Canyon, about 6.5 miles from the trailhead in Tuckup as the crow flies. Of course we are not crows and would have had to drive back to the corrals and then another 10+ miles back out to the canyon rim at Tuckup.
Cowboy relics encountered along the trail into One Hundred Fifty Mile Canyon.

It was a nice day and the country was beautiful. The Shaman’s Gallery will have to wait for another day….again. Next time we bring real maps. Here are some of what we saw while camped out at Toroweep.
Looking west from the Toroweep overlook at the end of the day.
Lava Falls is awe inspiring even from 3k’ up.
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More scenes around the Toroweep area.
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There was an old cowboy camp on the rim at Saddle Horse Canyon. Here is a stove, watering tank and a pipe line going to a water source below the rim.

Recent walks.

Sunday, October 11th, 2009

I like to go out walking with the dogs early. I go alone these days because of Lee’s recent surgery. She is good for short walks. We usually do those in the evening. This sign marks the beginning of one of our favorite trails. As you can see it is limited in its access. Below are a selection of images from our walks both there and on other trails over the past couple of weeks. Enjoy.
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Aspens and Asters in the South Fork of Canal Canyon, Canal Creek near the second crossing and Lee with the Boyos.
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Indian Paint Brush, The west end of 200 South and the west fields of Spring City and Dixon on the Canal Canyon trail.
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Willow leaf, moss and aspen leaf.

The panorama of North Sanpete Valley with Nebo.


Friday, August 21st, 2009

While Juniper’s mother was out visiting with Lee she and I went hiking up Canal Canyon. Jun is Gabe’s sister. W had a great time. She brought cookies, pop and an apple which we shared. We took a trail she had never been on before so she was pretty keen to show it to her mom. On the trail we visited Craig’s grave. He was “Uncle Craig” to her.
Of course the doggie boys came along. They would not stand still.

Birch Creek and Canal Creek

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

Tuesday the boyos from Birch Creek Service Ranch came over with their counselors Sarah Vranes and Porter England and helped Lee and me to landscape around her new studio and clean up the construction mess. They are amazing. We had a great time and they really made a difference. Birch Creek is a program for regular non delinquent bays and girls to build character through service and outdoor activities. If you have young people in your life consider sending them there. It is a top shelf outfit.
After all that work Lee and I decided to go for a hike in Canal canyon to chill out by a mountain stream. The doggie boy agreed and went with us. Pottery making can wait another day.

Walking after the work is done.

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

After laying up the last of the stone Arlin and I went to Ephraim to get the pots I fired in Ed’s little train kiln. It was an order of mortar and pestle sets for the School of Natural Healing. I used Ed’s kiln because I will not be firing my much larger kiln until early September. Ed’s is wood fired and will give results similar to mine…I hoped. The 24 or so pots turned out nicely and the client was happy.
Arlin and I then grabbed some lunch and went hiking up Canal Canyon again. We had a great time gong up Middle Mountain and over to Elleck’s Flat (sorry Mike) by way of the Bucket Trail. Arlin had hoped we would see wild turkeys and we were not disappointed. Arlin found a wing feather and left it in a spruce tree.

Into the Wild Unknown Country

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

I remember watching the Ten Commandments as a little kid. I was maybe four or five years old. Two scenes stuck out for me. One was of the slaves treading mud and straw into bricks. I went into the field across from our house and dug a hole in the ground and poured water into it. After picking dried grass and putting it with the mud that was forming I took off my shoes and tried to tread the materials into brick mud. I don’t think I ever made anything more of it. I was excited about the possibility of forming earth into something useful. A few years later while playing with matches I burned the same field down and got in some hot water over it. Now I employ those early fascinations in making my living. Wet clay and fire are very elemental, sensual if you will. I can’t leave them alone.
The other scene that stayed in my mind’s eye was of Moses leaving Egypt to wander in the desert wilderness after he killed an Egyptian who was abusing one of the Hebrews he was identifying himself with. The image of this forty something man wandering through that landscape has stayed with me.
Friday I rose up early and went with friends into the deserts east of where I live. We went for beauty. It is physically satisfying to walk in the desert, again sensual if you will. The visuals are intoxicating in their richness and starkness. I believe as an artist that it is important to continually expose myself to beauty. It sharpens your ability to see beauty as it takes shape in the clay I am working. Hands in clay, feet in desert soil and on slick rock are parallel pleasures.
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Cane Wash in the San Rafael Swell of East Central Utah. It was a bright and relatively warm January day. The light gets best in the late afternoon when it is being reflected around these canyons. I love what water does in the desert even when it is hard. This area is only a two hour drive from my home. It is my back yard. God was having a good day when this happened.
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The San Raphael River runs from the mountains of the Wasatch Plateau (my Horseshoe Mountain is on the western edge of that area.) across the San Raphael Swell into the Dirty Devil River and canyons of the Colorado. Later this spring I’ll float those waters as they carve through the Grand Canyon.
A long time ago, some say several thousand years, people who lived in these desert canyons took time from hunting and gathering to make art as we call it. These paintings in Horseshoe canyon in Canyonlands National Park are some of the best in North America. These figures are 8-10 feet tall. There are 61 human like figures in this panel. The figures are pocked with little chip marks. I suspect that they were ritually killed with rocks or stone tipped projectiles. I could be wrong. Most people think these are gods. I don’t know. They are amazing images.
As I looked at these I heard Philip Glass’s theme from the Godfrey Reggio film “Koyaanisqatsi” and thought about Hopi prophecies.

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Eat your heart out Metropolitan Museum of Art.
It doesn’t take a sleuth to figure out what is going on here. Bison and elk make for tasty groceries.