View From The Ridge

View From The Ridge

Friday, June 28, 2013

Sights in Utah

In our travels this year from Hawaii to the mainland, we have spent time in Portland, then three weeks on the ranch in Summerville, then drove to Southern California via Kanab, Utah, to spend 10 days visiting Jeri's sister and 96 year old Mother.  On the return trip to NE Oregon we stopped in Bryce Canyon and spent three nights and two days viewing some of the most awesome vistas this side of Heaven.  I took several hundred pictures (thank goodness for digital cameras with huge memory cards) of which I will share a few with you here over the next two or three blogs.  The pictures do not do justice to the colors and can't show the depth of the scenes that are there.  You can stand in one place, take pictures, move a few yards either direction and see things totally different. It is a National Park and treasure that is well worth the trip to visit. 

9 am on May 1st.  we left Hawaii for this!??
 But, first back to the beginning.  We arrived in Portland the night of April 24th, spent 6 days visiting Randy and Lani and the three grand kids.   On the 30th we drove to La Grande and spent the night with Orville and Bernice, then the following morning drove out to the ranch to untarp the 5th wheel trailer and get it cleaned up to move into. 

 About 5 miles from the ranch we came across several grass fields being irrigated.  The early morning temperatures had fallen well below freezing and the morning sun had failed to melt the ice sculptures that had been formed. 

Family started arriving the next day for our three day weekend retreat before the new renters and future owners moved in.  It was a great weekend and we were blessed with gorgeous weather. 

Jeri and I spent the next two weeks continuing to sort and pack "stuff" out of the house, trying to decide what to keep(very little), what to yard sale, and what to give away.  Not a fun time.  

We then went to the Boise area to visit with Kris and Andy for 5 days, then headed to Kanab, Utah.  We were going to visit Bryce then except the temperatures at 8'000 ft. were still getting below freezing at night and only in the 50's and low 60's during the day. We were not ready for that and that is why we went to Kanab.  

We spent the first night in Nephi, Utah, then headed down hwy 89 to Circle City, once the home of Billy the Kid, and ate lunch at the Circle City Cafe.  They make a great burger and onion rings and chili. 

Spent the night in Kanab and the next morning Jeri and I played 9 holes of golf at the local golf course, located next to red rock bluffs that serve as a back drop to the city.  

Moqui Cave
That afternoon we drove north a few miles and visited the Moqui Cave.  The cave is a museum of artifacts, fossils and history, depicting life in southern Utah spanning centuries. The cave’s history is as interesting as the artifacts contained within.  A cool room in the back once housed a fully-operational tavern, where those wanting to imbibe could hide their “devil’s brew” from prohibitionists.  Host Lex provides fascinating historical commentary. Especially interesting is his family’s polygamy background.  The cave also boasts one of the largest fluorescent and fossil mineral displays in the country. Exhibits include more than 1,000 arrowheads, ceremonial points, jugs, pots, bowls and working tools of the Anasazi-Navajo for the “Ancient Ones” from centuries ago. 

From there we drove west to the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park.  
The park is a 3,730 acre recreation area with over 2,000 acres of sand open to OHVs. The area open to OHVs is about six miles long and approximately one mile wide. Sitting at an elevation of 6,000 feet the park enjoys mild winters and warm summers. The Coral Pink dunes have laid down several hundred feet of sand along the 200 mile long Sevier Fault. A "notch" between the Moquith and Moccasin mountains directs the windblown sand (the venturi effect) to this corner of Southern Utah . The reddish colored sand is supplied by ancient Navajo Sandstone that is carried from the Virgin River to the bottom of the Cane beds and the eroding Navajo Sandstone around the park.


It is nice to see a state or federal park that allows families with ATV's access to areas like this to explore and see areas not accessible  by foot.  Besides, who doesn't enjoy playing in a giant sandbox.

As sand slips through our hands, so do the days of our lives. 

This fence is buried under 15 to 20 feet of sand.  A wind shift could expose it in a week or so. 

There are many of these almost monolith like plateaus or bluffs that appear to have been chiseled to their shape.  They look like they have marks or scars that would have come from someone rough shaping with a giant chisel or rock hammer.  

What continues to amaze me is how God took this planet of rock, dirt and water and created so many beautiful and diverse areas for our visual entertainment.  I have been blessed by being able to travel to some of the corners of this earth and have found beauty everywhere.  There are a lot of butt ugly spots, but there are a lot of knock out gorgeous vistas also.  Thank you Lord for your gift of creation and the beautiful scenery. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013


Taken at Rancho de Jamon May 2013.  back row, left to right:  Andy and Lesley; Kris; Hana (Mitchel's girl friend) Mitchel with Max; Drew; Bethany; Randal; Charles and Stacia.  Front row:  Cash, Kris' Great Dane; Jeri; Lani; and Mike.

In my previous blogs you have read about our adventures of leaving the ranch and buying a house in Hawaii.  So the family decided that we should have one last weekend at the ranch to say our goodbys and reminisce about how blessed we have been to have had the privilege to live there and how God used this piece of land to mold and shape each of us into who we are today. 
House site before house arrived.

What I would like to share now is some before and after pictures of the changes not only of the ranch, but of our family.

Arriving after one mile journey after being on the same place for 80 plus years

In May or June of 1974, we found this house, built between 1890 and 1895, that was going to be dismantled.  I had a friend look at it and he said it was very sound and worth the effort to move and remodel.  We found a house mover in Pasco, Washington, that would move it for $5,000.
House finally over foundation
Took them two or three days to raise it off the basement foundation and onto the axles to move it down the road, and another day to travel the mile to our place.  The next morning they started to move it up the hill to the new foundation, only to have the left axle sink into a spring that we were unaware of.  They spent the rest of the day jacking the house up and backing it back down the hill.  The next morning they tried going up the center of the field, only to find another spring.  They then repeated the previous days work.

On the third morning they showed up with a rented D-9 cat and a truck load of planks.  Two of my neighbors brought down their D-4 cats and with all this extra horse power and traction, they were finally able to haul the house up the hill to it's final resting site.   Total cost:  $2,000 for the house, $5,000 to move it, $3,000 for the foundation, plumbing and electricity.  A bargain even in those days!  We were in it, but the remodeling had to wait another twenty years.  

 Over the next few decades, few pictures were taken except of family.  Those were hard years and I was not in the mood for picture taking.  Nor could I afford the film cost. 

June 2002

June, 2010


Today the house looks like it has been there 100 years.  Twice we have had people who grew up in the area years ago stop and ask us if the house had been there back then because they couldn't remember it. 

While visiting dad in January of 2005, he said if I built a studio apartment, he would come.  So the summer of that year we built this really nice over sized two car garage with a 600 sf apartment above,  only to discover he lied to me.  He never came.