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American Road Magazine
Celebrating our two-lane highways of yesteryear…And the joys of driving them today!


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Day Tripper

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  1. I would just like to thank this Forum and all who have shared in the location of the Monumental Highway Carving. I would have never found it without this forum. It has been quite the experience. For those who thought the carving was a "Holy Grail," I will give you another challenge. Following the Monumental Highway run, Dad was involved in the adventure of the Natural Bridges. A writer for the Arrowhead Touring Bureau (possible fore runner of the AAA), F. V. Owen wrote some glowing articles in the Salt Lake Telegram in 1917, about Dad and the area. There were several reels of 35mm movie film, plus still photos of the area. I have a couple of single clips of the film and am looking for the reels. Maybe some of this forum are acquainted with F. V. Owen's writings. Here are a couple of links to the articles: http://udn.lib.utah.edu/cdm4/document.php?...p;CISOPTR=77975 http://udn.lib.utah.edu/cdm4/document.php?...;CISOPTR=104349 Dolph Andrus would have been a great member of this forum. He never lost his love of the 'back roads" and preferred US6 and 50 to I15. Thanks to all of you for a great year. Berwyn Andrus
  2. Are there any particular caveats associated with it being on the reservation? There are no problems that I could determine. Just stay on roads, don't tear down fences, and use all normal courtesy. You will be following the Questar Gas Pipeline most of the way. The Red Lake Trading Post has not changed much, except there did not seem to be very much Indian materials for sale. Have a safe trip. Berwyn
  3. At 12:40 pm on November 19, 2009 I stood at the carving my Dad, Dolph Andrus, made in 1917, and my wife recorded the moment. We took a reading with a Garmin Nuvi500 GPS: N36.24057 W110.97853 Elevation 5271 ft. I think this is within 100 yards of the Road Scholar’s prediction. As my Dad recorded, it is about six miles south of the Red Lake Trading Post, but I did not do the careful log as he did. My emotions ran away with me. The road south from the trading post is passable with a passenger car for about 3 or 4 miles. At that point Chris and Linda Curley had us get into their truck for the rest of the distance. It is about a 100 yard walk to the carving. I think anyone with a GPS could drive and/or walk to the site, depending on the vehicle and weather. It is near the border of the Hopi and Navajo Indian Reservations. We drove back to St. George by way of Tuba City, Navajo Bridge (Lee’s Ferry for by Dad), Jacob Lake, Fredonia and Hurricane. My Dad made essentially that same trip in 1916 with a Dave Rust pack trip (See “Dave Rust: A Life in the Canyons” by Frederick H. Swanson, page 117), which allowed him to scout out the route for the Maxwell adventure with Dr. Hopkins the next year. Mother’s Uncle Kumen Jones had taken essentially the same route in 1869 with the Exploration Party in advance of the Hole in the Rock expedition to Bluff. (See “Hole in the Rock” by David E. Miller, Chapter `11). The scenery is much the same, but the road certainly has changed. This has been quite a ride. Thanks to Dave, the Road Scholar, and to the Curley Family for helping me finally get to stand in front of this carving. Hope others on this Forum will be able to make the visit in person, as you have expressed so much interest in following the old log. Thanks to all. Berwyn PS: Thought I was posting the picture, but it does not show. Will try that later, and maybe Chris will post some he took of the event
  4. There are so many players in the game of “MONUMENTAL HIGHWAY” in the past and now, that I am going to try and give you what I know about some of them, but first I want to post something about my Mother, Irene. It seems fitting that today is her Birthday, age 120, if she was living. Dad was gone much longer than he had estimated for the trip, and Mother was worried. Here are some excerpts from her version of the trip: “It seemed to Torma and I, back at homeport in Bluff that our road blazing man would never, never come home to us from this Monumental Highway trip. . . watching, waiting, for the sound of the little old Maxwell . . .finally one morning . . . we heard his heavy tired footsteps on the porch . . . “Did you have car trouble?” “No” he said, “I will tell you about it later. I have walked from Blanding and I haven’t eaten since ____” So we fed him and let him rest.” After Dad had rested he presented to Mom that he had contracted with a photographer in Salt Lake to take him on photo trip to the Natural Bridges and Monument Valley by Burro Pack trip. Back to Mother’s writing: “I was flabbergasted to say the least and tried with all my might mind and strength to convince him how foolhardy, dangerous, suicidal etc.etc., this trip would be —but he went right on with his preparations . . . It finally dawned on me that if we were going to be a family I had to give in and go along with the adventure. After all I had married him for better or worse etc and if we didn’t survive the trip we would at least be together. When Dolph and Torma were off together (Trying on the burro I suppose) . . . I took my little trunk of love letters and keepsakes, school themes etc., read them all with a lump in my throat and a sigh, I burned them all.” Then followed the trip by Burro from Bluff , over and under the three Natural Bridges, down through Valley of the Gods (Olympic Gardens), Mexican Hat, out into Monument Valley, as far as the Totem Pole, and then were headed for Rainbow Bridge, but the photographer said he could go no farther, and they returned to Bluff. They survived and lived together thru many more ventures, until they both died at age 90 within six weeks of each other. Thanks to Dave, the Road Scholar, and all else who have shared in this journey. It has been quite a ride. As Dad and Dr. Hopkins proclaimed, “FIX THE ROAD, the tourists are waiting.” Berwyn Andrus
  5. I have scanned some pictures of Dolph Andrus and the Maxwell on the Monumental Highway in 1917, and will try and post a couple of them to see if these are of any interest to you followers of the Monumental Highway. I also have scanned Dad's story behind the story, but I am not sure how that will post on this site. Here goes a try for a picture and a text page: Sorry that did not work, the file was too large. so I will just type in a section for a teaser and find out how to do the pictures and text better: "We drove from Organ Rock to Laguna Creek without any difficulty at all. We had been informed that Zahn Brothers had taken a car over this part of the road the year before. At Laguna Creek, near Kayenta, our team gave us our last help before returning to Bluff. Our scout on horseback also left us. Dr. Hopkins started asking for aid for our Highway Project at Kayenta. They gave him the cold shoulder. . . . The first day after leaving Kayenta we drove the magnificent distance of 52 miles to Red Lake Trading Post. Early the next morning before Dr. Hopkins was awake, I got out a hammer and chisel and carved the words MONUMENTAL HIGHWAY on the face of a cliff near our camp. When he saw my work he took the hammer and chisel and posed as if he were doing the carving and had me take a picture of him." Note by Berwyn: I believe that to be the picture on the cover of "Good Roads Automobilist" Vol. VIII, No. 1, January 1918 It looks like a large enough rock to still be there, and I hope someone can find it. I would think that some of the locals who trade at Red Lake Post would know of it, but I did not get any takers when I stopped there, and was not able to locate it on my own. Just a side note of interest on small world. Today we spent time at the cemetery with the daughter of Hugh Hyde, leaving some flowers at his grave in Salt Lake City. He was the boy that met my father with a team to pull the Maxwell back up Comb Ridge after the first exploring trip with the Maxwell from Bluff. My wife went all through school with her and we made the connection while Hugh was still alive and I got to visit with him several times before he passed away at 101. MONUMENTAL HIGHWAY has been a great journey. It is great to see how many of you have found this after all these years, and how I stumbled into your world through Google. Thanks, Berwyn Andrus
  6. I am not exactly sure of where I am or what I am doing, but I came across Dave's post in this form regarding my father, Dolph Andrus, of Monumental Highway fame. I have a copy of the original log of the 1917 Maxwell trip, plus a lot of small pictures. I also did make an attempt to find the rock wall carving "Monumental Highway" and enlisted the aid of Arizona Highway Department who sent me a 1912 Arizona Map with where they thought the carving might be. It is located near the border between the Hopi and Navajo regions, and we were advised not to stray off of the main dirt roads. It is logged in as being 6.2 miles from the Redlake Trading Post, before the left fork that leads to Blue Canyon. I hope someone can locate the carving, if it still exists. Following that trip with the Maxwell, which the dealer took back when they reached Salt Lake City, my father Dolph, contracted with a photographer, L. W. Clement of Salt Lake to take pictures in that area, and share in the profits. That trip was taken on burros from Bluff over and under the three Natural Bridges, then down through Valley of the Gods, into Monument Valley as far as the Totem Pole, and then were heading for Rainbow Bridge when the photographer said he was ill and could not go that far. The burrow trip included my mother Irene, and sister Torma, a four year old. A picture was taken with Jennie (Clement), my mother Irene, sister Torma, and father Dolph, on the Edwin (Owachomo) Bridge on the 4th of July 1917. My father wrote of these experiences in booklet form, called "The Bluff Years" 1915-1918. I don't know if these other experiences are of interest to this form or just those of the Monumental Highway, but I would like to be in touch with "Dave" who wrote so well of my father Dolph, and must share his love of Monument Valley. Berwyn Andrus
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