Articles published in the Blue Mountain Panorama

This blog was created to preserve digitally, articles written by Janet Wilcox for the Blue Mountain Panorama. This newspaper is published in Blanding, Utah by Neil and Becky Joslin. By publishing digitally, more photographs can be added, and your comments and corrections can be quickly noted. Thanks for reading my articles in the newspaper, as well as on the Internet. If you have ideas for stories, please contact me at

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Blanding Youth Experience Hole-in-the-Rock

Kelly Laws describes one of the stops down the "Hole" where they will see "Uncle Ben's Dugway"

On Uncle Ben's Dugway
by Janet Wilcox
     Youth and adult leaders from the Blanding West Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had a few "close encounters of the rough kind"  last week as they participated in a three-day modified Hole-in-the-Rock trek.
Actual trail marker at site

Hiking the "hole" was the culminating activity following five months of preparation by about 100 youth, ages 12-18.

Most of those participating in the trek earned "trail medallions, designed by Robert and Tony Turk.  In order to earn the trail medallion, youth and leaders had to complete at least four trail markers, which included such things as reading a book about the Hole-in-the-Rock, journaling, participating in assigned family activities, posting information about their assigned pioneer name, going on the trek, or creating something to help them "remember the county's pioneer heritage.

Stake leaders weren't quite a s nimble hiking down
 the steep incline, but most made it up and back through
 the 'Hole' which drops 2000 rough and challenging feet.
During the trek several historical presentations were shared.about those pioneers who actually made the original trek.  Presenters were Dave Laws (Silas Smith), Sandy and Mary Nielson (James and Mary Davis), Janet Wilcox (Arabella Smith), Kelly Laws (Ben Perkins), Nephi and his horse, and local Escalante businessman, Jerry Roundy.

Camp grub was the best on this well
planned trek.  Brother Pugh and Bleggi
know how it's done!

Devil's Playground
Other highlights of last week's trip to Escalante and the Hole-in-the-Rock included hiking both down and up the famous Hole, playing in the rocks of Devils Playground and eating Delton Pugh's trail grub.  He was aided by Steve Lovell, Kelly Bleggi, Steve Wilcox and Kevin Webb.

Some of the camp leaders

Mitch and Jana Bailey, Jennifer Nielson, Snookie Perkins, Debbie Pugh, Camille Ward, and Lori Webb orchestrated the set up and take downs.  The stake presidency and many bishops also participated in the three-day event.

There was also time for visiting, singing, and playing games together -- without cell phones and other distractions

The group of about 130 people camped in Escalante at Jerry Roundy's property.  The Roundy's have been working for over ten years to build a Hole-in-the-Rock pioneer museum and visitors center in Escalante.  Ground breaking has begun on the parking lot, but more money needs to be secured before work on the facility begins.
Sandi and Mary Nielson representing
James and Mary Davis
Stake leaders determine the logistics of serving 130 people
Latrine duty:  An important part of camp

David Laws representing Silas Smith

The area around Escalante seemed even more remote, rough and imposing than San Juan County with landmarks including such inhospitable names as Carcass Wash, Hell's Backbone, and Devils Playground.  Despite this, the Blanding group enjoyed  the high mountain loveliness of the community, the hospitality of the Roundy's and the challenge of a demanding hike.
Dance Hall Rock, one of the landmarks of the Hole-in-the-Rock trail, rang again with fiddle music, as youth from Cedar City and Blanding met for a short dance social.

Trek Families with their Flags