Monday, July 02, 2007

A Birthday Party and Yesterday's Ramblings

As I try to do when I remember and know in advance, let's have another birthday party. Happy birthday to the Mistress of the Night! Please drop by her site and wish her a wonderful birthday. Mistress, I’m sorry I wasn't able to get you that Cooper Mini you covet, or that rare vinyl from Elvis Costello’s early years or the NL pennant for the Pittsburgh Pirates, so these flowers will have to do!
Mistress of the Night, may you have a very special day and a night filled with music. Pittsburgh doesn’t know what it’s missing by not having you as their DJ. And to quote the Moody Blues, one of your favorite bands, from their album “Days of Future Past (with a few additional words from me):

(May you have) no future fears.
(And may) this day will last
A thousand years
If you want it to…

My Sunday Afternoon Wanderings

Yesterday afternoon I went up to Alta and climbed up the ridge on the north side of the canyon and poked around the old mining areas. Long before skiing, Alta was a mining camp. In the late 1850s, after the Mountain Meadow Massacre (I’ll have to blog about that one day), the United States sent troops to Utah to occupy the territory and to attempt to force Brigham Young and his Mormon settlers to obey American laws. After a truce was drawn up, these troops used their time to prospect for gold and silver. In time, communities like Alta and Park City sprung up. These communities were mostly settled by “Gentiles” (non-Mormons), unlike the territory which was, until the coming of the railroad, settled almost exclusively by Mormons. Brigham Young, with a vision of building a self-sufficient kingdom (ie, theocracy), forbid his followers to engage in speculative mining (such as gold and silver). He wanted his followers to settle down and knew that gold fever created a restlessness that would destroy communities.
There's nothing left of the old Alta, except tailing piles and a few coyote holes dug into the side of the mountain. The old town was destroyed several times by avalances. The above picture shows one of the tailing piles (rock that had to be removed to get to the ore).
This appears to be the remains of an old ore cart. These carts were pushed (or pulled by mules) along a light rail line and were used to haul both ore and tailings out of the mine.
"Consider the lilies of the field... even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these."

Up here in the high country, the wild flowers are beautiful this time of the year. If you could save a smell, I would let you have a scent of some of the ravines that I hiked through yesterday. The fragrance from the abundance of flowers was wonderful.


  1. Thanks for sending me over to Mistress' site. She seems to be a kindred spirit, with all those kitty pics. =o)

    And speaking of pics, thanks for sharing these. It's stormy here, so I can't go outside to work, and the pics help feed my need for a little nature. =o)

  2. I've seen a documentary on PBS or somewhere about the Mountain Meadow Massacre but would be interested in hearing your story after having lived out there for a number of years.

  3. Gee, for my birthday I got possible salmonella poisoning and she gets flowers! I really have to work on my New Year's Resolution and be nice to you.

    Know what I was thinking while reading the second part? You know a lot of stuff. Glad to see that you seem to be having good weather.

  4. Sounds like you're having a great time. Beautiful surroundings.

  5. I'm going to go and wish your friend birthday tidings, Sage. Your photos are great.

  6. Jaded: it's sad about Mistress losing two cats this year. Maybe I should send Murf over to offer condolences, but then she rejoiced when her husband's cat final croaked.

    Diane, thanks, this is beautiful country.

    Ed, I'll try to work up something on Mountain Meadows in the next few days. There's recently been several new books on the topic; I have two of them back in my office

    Murf, you shouldn't complain, you got an official American Girl party! I know a lot about society in Western mining camps, for what good that does.

    Dawn, being back West is like a homecoming

    Kenju, Happy anniversary to you (I wish I knew it was your anniversary earlier and we could have made it a double party.

    Dan, thanks.

  7. growing up on the west coast and moving to the midwest, I find I miss the mountains. Every where you go in the west, there are mountains on the horizon. Not so much here.

    I have skied the Wasatch on several occasions and loved it.

    The LDS is a great example of cult making it. Their history is certainly interesting reading. There is a strong LDS presence all over the western US. We lived next to a ward Bishop in the San Joaquin Valley. Nice people, but their lives are centered on the church despite the claims of "family values" etc.. He also informed us that there are more Mormons in California than Utah. That was an interesting bit of trivia

  8. BTW...what a girl really wants for her birthday is a black velvet painting of Elvis. Most just won't admit it!!

  9. You must be having a whale of a time exploring. Those pictures are great!

  10. Thank you kindly for the b-day wishes :) I had a wonderful b-day this year :)

  11. Sage, your travels are most interesting. Obviously you weren't too near the fires.

  12. Mal, I lived in Utah for over a decade, the LDS Church is very interesting as is living in what can seem at times to be a theocarcy. I didn't think about a velvet Elvis!

    Mistress, I'm glad you had a wonderful birthday

    Pat, the big fire I could see from the top of the mts was probably 75-100 miles east of here

  13. You make your hikes sound so amazing I'd like to be there too. I need to find a nice new spot to go hiking. The pictures are wonderful, as they always are. I will go say Happy Birthday to the lady of the night!

  14. That is some awe-inspiring scenery, Sage. Thanks for sharing the pics.

    And happy birthday to Mistress of the Night.

  15. Yeah, simply majestic scenery. I mean just utterly beautiful. Thanks for sharing them Sage.

    PS - Happy B-Day Mistress of the Night

  16. Ahh, the sweet Columbine, one of my favorites. Here in CA, they're usually orange-to-red, or sometimes white. I think it has something to do with the ph balance of the soil. In CO, they're blue. So delicate! So hardy!

    Is your dog, by any chance, named John?

  17. I enjoyed the pics and what a lovely birthday wish!

  18. Hope you're having an awesome 4th!

  19. Yeah, hope you had a wonderful 4th!

  20. What a great walk, thanks for including the beautiful pictures.

  21. I'm back in Michigan, after a redeye flight east... Thanks to all who wished Mistress a happy brithday. I got to get busy writing some stories... to illustrate some pictures that I have to share with you all. I also have another book review to complete. It'll all come in time.

  22. Wow - you've been to a place I've wanted to be! I wish I could hike - maybe some day :-)

    Thanks for visiting my site and for your comment about Antelope Island. You're the first I've heard from in a while that has been able to float. Perhaps these other are not going to right place?

    Have a great weekend!