Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for November 17, 2010
A trip to Hole in the Rock
I do not write this as a member of a religious faith. I write this as a casual passer-by who just happened to stumble across an unusual phenomenon.
Neo-Nazis have discredited the Holocaust as a myth perpetuated by haters of the Nazis and claim the pictures of death were staged and the mountains of bones were merely animal remains. Of course, the real world knows the ludicrousness of these claims and that for a number of years; Satan stalked the world of gas chambers and death camps. The grim reality was beyond anyone’s ability to laugh it away.
However . . . I stand firm and declare the Hole in the Rock fairy tales are just that . . . urban myths. They absolutely have to be. I went there with my wife, the Babe, and my youngest daughter, Alice, and her very classy family.
We left Escalante on four wheelers and a Rhino (Ol’ Crank rode in complete comfort with a cup of coffee in his hand) and traveled some 50 miles out on a dirt road that would have given a mountain goat tremors and vivid nightmares for weeks.
What we saw had to be the product of someone’s fanatic and warped religious imagination. The claim is that about 1890, early pioneers blasted a hole in sheer sandstone cliffs, with nothing but black powder, and cut a road down to the Colorado River in order to start settlements in the San Juan Valley. What a joke!
Yes, there was a cut, just about the width of a Rhino. Wagons with teams of horses made it down through that crack? You’ve been smoking peyote buttons, again! The angle was about 50 degrees, with boulders half as big as a front room strewn the entire length of the chute. Even with fill dirt and gravel, a descent would have been absolute suicide!
Lake Powell has backed up to cover the last 500 feet of this slide into oblivion. On the other side of what would have, then, been just the Colorado River, there were nothing for miles but dome-shaped, red sandstone hills running together and intertwining like snakes for these miles and miles.
Historians, you are such liars as to claim anyone drove a team and wagon through that maze of solid red rock sediments to San Juan. Join the Liars of American competition. You’ll win!
Ol’ Chick is about as hard to impress as they come. Yet, as I look back, now, and see that slot in my mind’s eye, I still can’t believe hundreds of wagons with terrified animals and drivers with hearts pounding against threadbare shirts drove down that black hole into the bowels of the earth. Yet, drive they did! Too much evidence remains that verified the truth of this bizarre, but mind-boggling episode.
The faith and devotion of a people so desirous to please their God as to undertake and complete such a Herculean task must have driven a stake through the black heart of Satan.
One other minor detail . . . Dance Hall Rock! We stood where 120 years before; tired, destitute pioneers danced their cares away, late into the night with the Virginia Reel and Two Step, mindful that the morrow would only bring more backbreaking toil and sorrow. You could almost hear the fiddle squeaking and the boots beating a rhythm on the tabletop of red sandstone.
Thanks Babe, Alice, John, Allyse, Tayson and Emily for taking your husband, father and grandfather on such an incredible journey. As always, he is much in your debt.