Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Day 142 - Utah Rocks - The Butler Did It, with a Rope in the Valley

Right after college, I moved back in begrudgingly with my mother.  I love my mother, but once you've lived on your own, its hard to be under a different set of rules.  I had to work any job I could get as my I was in that vicious cycle we all have after graduating college.  You don't have enough experience...we are told.  Our response is, well if you'd give us a job, we would.  Give us a break, we just went through four intense years of studying without a dime for food or to do our laundry. So I ended up at the local upscale department store called Hess Department Store.  The manager of the department to which I was assigned kept calling me Brenda.  Well my name wasn't Brenda and I repeatedly kept asking her to call me by my name to which she replied, Ok Brenda.  She was in my estimation unhappy with her life, her job and anyone who came in contact with her was to receive her wrath.  The day I quit, I said to her, "You know even a dog gets the honor of being called by his name.  You have treated me less than a dog."  As a result when I meet people who have names that are difficult to pronounce mainly due to me not ever hearing that name before, I really try to ask them to repeat it or to write it down as I know how it feels for someone to not get you name right.

I asked my mother once why she named me Brenda-jean.  She said it was either that or Penny Lee.  I went to first grade with a Penny who always peed her pants in class so I was very glad she didn't name me Penny Lee!  Turns out Dad like that name better and he had never communicated that to Mom and because he didn't make it to the hospital in time, Mom picked my name.  Whew that was close!

Close is what we came to missing out on a great opportunity on our next day in Utah. As we drove to see the slot canyons of Willis Creek Trail, we missed a turn and headed for Kodachrome Basin.  I had seen photos on the internet and decided that there was so much else for us to see that we had to use our time wisely.  We decided to head into the National Staircase Escalante National Park.  I thought this was the way to Willis Creek.  As we kept driving for miles and miles, it was like being in the movie Kill Bill with Uma Thurman.  FOR MILES THERE WAS NOBODY BUT US!  Absolutely nobody.  We saw rain clouds coming and I wondered if the non four-wheel rental car would be able to make it up these steep terrain roads that were all red dirt.  The locals had said that when it rains to get out of the canyons as flash floods can and will happen 100% of the time.

Lark Sparrow

Cattle Grate so they can't cross to get out  of the valley
We stopped to check our location and saw a Lark Sparrow.  Beautiful bird.  He posed for us and off he flew when we were done.  The smell of sage was still prevalent.  The only thing I can equate it to if you haven't smelled it is like taking the top off a jar of Vicks and leaving it in the room to fill up with the aroma.  It was great for your body and soul.  We went up a steep mountain and once at top, we came into a valley.  The road lead over a cattle grate and all of a sudden we were in the middle of cattle. Cattle in the middle of no where aka Butler Valley.  We kept driving listening to the silence of the wind and hoping somebody else would be out here.  We kept wondering woud we see other humans.  We saw a sign about twenty-three miles into the Valley called Butler Valley after the Mormon settler who discovered it and it directed us to Grosvenors Arch left one mile.  When we arrived at the arch, we learned that it was formed by two rocks which came together at the top.  The left rock is 165 million years old and the right rock is 95 million years old.

We met two men who were visibly upset.  One told us the story of why.  They were brothers from Las Vegas who hadn't been here for thirty years.  They had been brought here by their father when they were fifteen or so and had climbed up to the base in the arch.  [This was a pretty impressive feat at any age.] When they came here thirty years ago it was called Butlers Arch and now because some National Geographic Explorer who had money "rediscovered" it they had changed its name to Grosvenors Arch.  I get that.  First of all you don't mess with childhood memories.  The right thing to do is to keep a name of the original discoverer of such a grand marvel.  I told him when I blogged about it, I would tell this story and oh by the way, "How did you get up there?"  The brothers admitted they were younger and more foolish.  But their memories were intact and I respected this. 

I know how important a name is I would be devastated if some other person renamed me. [Especially if they chose Penny Lee.] Just as the brothers have their memories of their childhood that shouldn't be tainted, I can only say that I remember playing the board game Clue in my childhood and more often than not, the Butler did it.  Just as Mr. Butler had discovered Grosvenor's Arch long before Grosvenor was probably even born.  The clues are all here too (its located in Butler Valley for example)...spread the word and enjoy the view....

Going up the mountain on Cottonwood Road
Butlers Arch - The black line shows where they climbed as kids

We found cougar tracks in the sand under the arch

The back of the arch where they climbed up

Female Western Scrub Jay who liked us (the male wasn't so friendly)

A seat made from rock to enjoy the view breathtaking...

Scrub Jays can only be found in Florida (Eastern) and Utah (Western)

Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance. ~ Will Durant

Click on these links below to see more of Utah's Arches:

Lynn Sessions

Utah Arches

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