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Keep the Show on the Road!

1. On The Trail Of The Motor Men Of 1917

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I’m looking for thoughts or advice on a trip that goes as follows:

 

Las Vegas to St George Utah via the Arrowhead Trail, St George to Zion, across the 1924 Rockville Bridge and over the 1924 – 28 National Park road link between Zion and the north side of the Grand Canyon to Utah 59, then on to Pipe Springs, Navajo bridge/ Lees Ferry, the Navajo Reservation, Tuba City, Kayenta, Monument Valley, Mexican Hat, Goosenecks of the San Juan, and into Bluff, Utah.

 

The trip is inspired by the motor adventure of Dr. W. H. Hopkins, “world traveler,” and Dolph Andrus (what a great name....sounds like Jack Armstrong, all American Boy!) who in 1917 were pathfinders along what they called the Monumental Highway. The description of their trip appeared in the January 1918 issue of Good Roads Automobilist, a Utah publication which I stumbled across. (See below)

 

Mobilene commented earlier that it sounds like I’m on a mission, and it has kind of become that. I want to follow the trail of the “Motor Men on the Monumental Highway.” I have a couple of books in the Motor Boys series of early last century, when motoring was the basis for great adventure yarns in the west. I have dubbed Dolph and W. C. the Motor Men. They didn’t capture any bandits nor discover any lost mines (as did the Motor Boys), but they had a real automobile adventure.

 

The route they took was more a trail in the sand than a road, but it was later followed by federal and state routes linking Utah’s and Arizona’s amazing Colorado Plateau sites. Some of the places they visited, like Monument Valley, are famous tourist sites today, but others are little know (like Ojeto) or lost (e.g. Douglas Camp).

 

The route is not lined with motels or service stations or eateries like Route 66 or the Old Spanish Trail, which we visited in the southwest last year, but we may find some evidences of the built environment they encountered.....and definitely many of the natural features.

 

If you have a hankering (western term!) to do a little original road research, this is the opportunity. If you spot something in the story that looks interesting, I will try to visit it and give you feedback...within the limits of a passenger car and a fat old man’s ability to get there.

 

(As I was writing this I did a search on Dr. W. Hopkins and “discovered” that Utah State University has some photographs taken by Hopkins of the area...which might have been taken on this trip!! I have contacted the curator.)

 

Anyway, I leave Saturday (March 15), but will try to be on line on the forum daily or when I can get a wifi connection.

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Dave

 

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Whoa. Three days with no one (in the forum:-) giving you any advice. For me, it's not a lack of interest but a lack of knowledge. The only thing I might even question, after looking over the photos, is your plan to rent a car and not a horse. I hope you've thought that through completely. Of course, even I will probably be able to point out tons of stuff you missed once you're back home but for now, nothing.

 

Best of luck! Looking forward to some dust covered postings.

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Whoa. Three days with no one (in the forum:-) giving you any advice.

 

Well, I canceled my airplane tickets this morning for a revised plan. I had purchased a ticket round trip to Las Vegas beginning tomorrow. I rented a convertible there for the drive. But I got a different offer I think I will go for.

 

An RV rental company wants to move some units to Arizona and they are making a deal on rates. They will give me a rig for $25 a day, and no mileage charges. Of course I have to pay for gasoline. I have 7 days to get to their drop off. I can fly back, and the total cost including camping and gasoline will come in $700 under my fly - drive combo.

 

Almost as important, I want to try out the RV thing. You may note that my last three auto trips were solo. The wife is not a big auto traveler and doesn’t love motels....so I’m trying to figure out a way to keep traveling, and have her go along. And until ‘ole Bo goes off to fire hydrant hill, we need something other than the back seat for him.

 

I got the email from the woman handling the RV arrangement this morning, and decided I’d reorganize the visit. It has to be within the next few weeks, and I’m pretty flexible.

 

As an aside, I appreciate your reply a lot! It has been pretty quiet. If few read my post, I can’t blame the readers! But I think there is a rich set of tales here, and maybe you can help discover them.

 

I have done some research on the Monumental Highway and the “Motor Men” as I have dubbed them. Both earned a little fame. William H Hopkins was quite a photographer and traveler. Many of his photos, some from this trip, are at Utah State University, on line. Dolph Andrus, “all American Boy,” was 27 when he took this trip with his Maxwell cope, and he had recently been appointed principal of schools in Bluff.

 

Both men promoted the Monumental Highway, and there are several newspaper stories of their presentations before civic groups. Parts of the highway were promoted as the Monumental Highway into the mid 1920’s, but in the end, the name that stuck was the Navaho Trail...and that is as it should have been.

 

Dolph commented at one point that the highway was inevitable in any event, but that no one man was going to make it happen...so I think he turned his energy elsewhere and disappeared from my radar. Hopkins was still sending copies of the story around two years after the trip...then I guess he gave it up.

 

There is a whole bunch to be said about the men and women he encountered. At least a few became legends...the Wetherills for example.

 

Well, Denny, as I said, I really appreciate the interest. This is really just a side trip off Route 66. In fact the whole 4 corners region and the Arizona strip await. Zane Grey, Louis L’Amour, and Denny Gibson.....mixing it up with the Motor Men!

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

 

Dave

 

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Well, I canceled my airplane tickets this morning for a revised plan. I had purchased a ticket round trip to Las Vegas beginning tomorrow. I rented a convertible there for the drive. But I got a different offer I think I will go for.

 

An RV rental company wants to move some units to Arizona and they are making a deal on rates. They will give me a rig for $25 a day, and no mileage charges. Of course I have to pay for gasoline. I have 7 days to get to their drop off. I can fly back, and the total cost including camping and gasoline will come in $700 under my fly - drive combo.

 

I was looking forward to those reports to start rolling in. Boy will they be surprised when you drop off the RV rig and its coated in red dirt. Tell them you were following the map...from 1918. :lol:

 

Roadhounds

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I was looking forward to those reports to start rolling in. Boy will they be surprised when you drop off the RV rig and its coated in red dirt. Tell them you were following the map...from 1918. :lol:

 

Roadhounds

 

Well, my friend, if it all comes together, they will now roll in from the RV roving reporter's temporary command post!

 

I am looking forward to the trip and I will find what Jack and Kevin have bragged about. My biggest question is how much an RV cuts into my adventures, if at all.

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Dave

 

 

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I wish I could be of some help, but I've never stepped foot in Utah and am fairly new to my road geekery. Looks like an amazing trip though. I will have to find the time to follow that path someday. I look forward to your reports.

 

Michele

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I wish I could be of some help, but I've never stepped foot in Utah and am fairly new to my road geekery. Looks like an amazing trip though. I will have to find the time to follow that path someday. I look forward to your reports.

 

Michele

 

Michele,

 

Thanks for the thoughtful note!

 

I have enjoyed the southwest for years and the Utah – Northern Arizona area specifically. But it has been a few years since I was in much of the area covered by the Motor Men. When you take your Route 6 trip, you may want to take a little detour to the 4 Corners area.

 

The story of HW and Dolph is a little gem, and if I had aspirations to writing, I would use it. I'm kind of hoping that someone will pick it up and make something of it.

 

The territory they covered is one of America's great travel areas today. Monument Valley gets about 500,000 tourists annually by itself, and I would suppose that Mesa Verde does even better. I don't know the tourist count at Zion, but it must be in the millions.

Over the years I have visited most of the sites the Motor Men saw in 1917, but obviously not from their perspective. Their travels were taken in the Zane Grey era, when the west was still the stuff of legend, and it really was untamed. Hopkins was a photographer, and his photos depict a west that was a mystery to most at the time.

 

It isn’t a mystery anymore! Like most spectacular places, we now walk, climb, drive, bike, boat, and ride over every inch of it. But we seldom have a detailed guide from so many years ago!

 

The men and women the Motor Men met became legends themselves. Their names are still on the land, and even the lost camps like Douglas left names in the washes and mesas nearby. If you were a white man and died here, you probably have a butte named after you!

 

And of course there is the modern touch of John Wayne. I was bicycling in England years ago, and stopped in a tiny bed and breakfast in a rural area. The woman who ran the place had only one question of me….”Have you been to Monument Valley?” It was so surprising a question, I asked why she was asking….”Oh, because that is where John Wayne is!” Wayne and John Ford used Monument Valley for movie scenes…and you guessed it…there is a John Ford viewpoint!

 

This planned adventure has taken on a little different slant with an RV, as compared with a convertible. It doesn’t sound quite as “carefree” but it is different for me, and like your planned adventure, will give me a new dimension to explore.

Again, thanks for the comment!

 

Oh, BTW, did I mention as resources for your US 6 trip the WPA American Guide series from the 1939-41 era. They tell the story of the route in great detail. I may be able to help with some copying of selected passages.

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Dave

 

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Another writer that lived in and described the area was Edward Abbey. I read Desert Solitaire before my first trip through the area almost 20 years ago and later the Monkey Wrench Gang. His writings where mostly from the 60s through 70's and whether or not you agreed with his politics his vivid descriptions of the Southwest can't help but inspire you to want to see it for yourself.

 

Roadhound

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Another writer that lived in and described the area was Edward Abbey. I read Desert Solitaire before my first trip through the area almost 20 years ago and later the Monkey Wrench Gang. His writings where mostly from the 60s through 70's and whether or not you agreed with his politics his vivid descriptions of the Southwest can't help but inspire you to want to see it for yourself.

 

Roadhound

 

I recall the title, but I don't think I read it. I'll have to find a copy. One reason for a spring visit is to step back to about the time of your visit and closer to the period when I first went there…in about 1950..and again in about 1962. When I read about the 4 wheel drive trails in places you could only have walked in the past, I can only be amazed at how completely we have penetrated into every nook and cranny of this land.

 

I am kind of neutral about the inevitable, but it does really amaze me. We have turned every rock face into a climbing challenge, and each crevice wide enough for a vehicle into a 4wd trail.

 

But the winter still puts off a lot of tourism. I remember driving through the Painted Desert last February on a warm sunny day, and seeing only one other car….of Japanese tourists.

 

I hope I am honest enough to admit to the gangplank syndrome at times, “I’m on board, now lets pull up the gangplank.” It isn’t that the “old days” were better…they were different.

 

When I was your age, the only way to bore your friends with your trips was to sit them in your living room in front of a silvered screen and show them your slides and 8mm home movies. Now I can numb the senses of friends around the world without having to provide the munchies and beer. Now that’s what I call progress!

 

Keep the show on the Road!!

 

Dave

 

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You could mail me some munchies and beer, you know. Or, hell, just the beer. I like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale! I'd watch all night for a six pack of that! :) :) :)

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Another writer that lived in and described the area was Edward Abbey. I read Desert Solitaire before my first trip through the area almost 20 years ago and later the Monkey Wrench Gang. His writings where mostly from the 60s through 70's and whether or not you agreed with his politics his vivid descriptions of the Southwest can't help but inspire you to want to see it for yourself.

 

Roadhound

 

Before I read Desert Solitaire I knew nothing about Utah and couldn't imagine anyone actually wanting to visit that state. This of course is from someone that grew up in the middle of Midwestern corn fields. :D Edward Abbey opened my eyes about what I was missing, although I admit I did skip over most of his chapters that were political essays so that I could read more about the landscapes. It is the reason that Arches National Park and the state of Utah are number 1 on my list of stops for the Route 6 trip. I've been meaning to dig that out to reread it before we leave. Thanks for the reminder. I also picked up an Illustrated Guide of Arches National Park at a used bookstore. It is a little over 100 pages of old and new photos and also the history of Arches National Park published in 1985. I am in love with the place and I haven't been there yet.

 

The more I hear and see about Monument Valley the more I think I must make that my next project.

 

Also, any passages/materials you have time to share for Route 6 are always welcome. :) I thank you heartily.

 

Michele

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Before I read Desert Solitaire I knew nothing about Utah and couldn't imagine anyone actually wanting to visit that state. This of course is from someone that grew up in the middle of Midwestern corn fields. :D Edward Abbey opened my eyes about what I was missing, although I admit I did skip over most of his chapters that were political essays so that I could read more about the landscapes. It is the reason that Arches National Park and the state of Utah are number 1 on my list of stops for the Route 6 trip. I've been meaning to dig that out to reread it before we leave. Thanks for the reminder. I also picked up an Illustrated Guide of Arches National Park at a used bookstore. It is a little over 100 pages of old and new photos and also the history of Arches National Park published in 1985. I am in love with the place and I haven't been there yet.

 

The more I hear and see about Monument Valley the more I think I must make that my next project.

 

Also, any passages/materials you have time to share for Route 6 are always welcome. :) I thank you heartily.

 

Michele

 

Michele,

 

You will not be disappointed visiting the Arches. I’d put them up there with the Grand Canyon and Yosemite for their landform impact. Your first experience with each is quite different. The Grand Canyon opens before you like the edge of the earth, and Yosemite is like stepping into a green wonderland with waterfalls where you expect clouds. The Arches look unimposing as you approach, but they just get bigger and bigger and bigger until you can’t believe such forms could exist on that scale. They turn the human visitors into ants.

 

If my RV deal comes through, I will likely change my route to include the Arches, as they are on the natural route in from the Northwest I am a native Californian who left ahead of the crowds, and I think for variety that state is hard to beat….but Utah is in a class by itself. The four corners area where I’m headed is outstanding.

 

Sheila comments that you have to like the desert, and that it took a little time for her to do that….being an upstate New York girl. It may seem dry and barren, and certainly mostly deserted compared with the mid west…little but rocks and sagebrush. I lived for two years in Tucson and came to love the wide open spaces, but I was captured by the land long before that.

 

Monument Valley is spectacular, and well worth a visit. My personal experience on two different visits has been great…. and so so. You need blue skies, perhaps with clouds and clear air because the distances are so great that haze and overcast dull the impact. I would suggest the springtime.

 

Regarding the WPA American Guide Series of the late 1930’s…..they are essential for your trip, if you plan to write anything later. And they are essential background if you expect to “see” the road in context (sorry about being so emphatic).

 

As you know, Route 6 came into being as a transcontinental highway in the second half of the 30’s, just a few years before the WPA series was done. These books describe it at its birth…at least as a transcontinental. I have most volumes for your route and their descriptions are gold. What most of us do not recognize is that this country was made up of distinct local cultures when transcontinental US 6 was born. The towns were lumber towns, or mining towns, or farming towns, or fishing villages, or oil towns,or railroad towns, or ….They smelled and looked and felt like the enterprise that sustained them.

 

The bread, and the beer, and the milk, and even the canned food was different from one local area or small region to another. The motels, the restaurants, and yes, even the gas stations differed from area to area. A trip along Route 6 in 1940 was a journey through a score or more cultures.

 

Alex (Hester-Nec) can add a couple years on me, and I think he will confirm and add to what I say. I got into the tail end of that period in my early travels with family in the 40’s. Lumber towns lived under a haze of smoke from the wigwam burners of wood waste, and men in red plaid shirts and grey-green work trousers walked the streets with their wives in curlers and flour sack print dresses. Fishing villages reeked of fish smell, and sea gulls circled the cleaning stations along the water.

 

My point is that we were not all eating at McDonalds, wearing Dockers, or shopping at Wal Mart. Believe me, I don’t claim it was better “back when,” but what we see today is played out along Route 6 against that background. In some cases we hang on to those years with our Lumber Jack festivals and Rodeos.

 

So you maybe should look at your library or used book store for the American Guide series. Some are available as reprints, but the originals with the 1930’s map in the pocket go in the $50 range, and half that much without the map...and it does depend on which state. It may seem cheaper to buy reprints, but it is also true that you can probably sell an original for what you paid for it (perhaps more) when you are done with it.

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Dave

 

 

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You could mail me some munchies and beer, you know. Or, hell, just the beer. I like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale! I'd watch all night for a six pack of that! :) :) :)

 

Ah, a beer after my own heart...nothing quite as sweet as a pale ale. Have you ever tried Old Peculiar? Really. It is brewed in the North of England. I’m not sure it is imported anymore, but it was my favorite. My wife started calling me that after I became attached.

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Dave

 

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Ah, a beer after my own heart...nothing quite as sweet as a pale ale. Have you ever tried Old Peculiar? Really. It is brewed in the North of England. I’m not sure it is imported anymore, but it was my favorite. My wife started calling me that after I became attached.

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Dave

 

Hate when that happens! Hit the wrong key!!! Lets start over... Obviously I have found the thread and having been here a couple months now have done some of those roads! Would be cool to redo the same one however... I have barely glanced at what is above yet, I guess some of my excitement is making me write this first! I would like to also match the photos with "now" photos... All this sounds like a great project! Last night again I rode the loop through "The Valley of the Gods" where we camped before the storms a couple days ago... don't laugh... I was looking for my keys!!! I am beyond using the term "needle in a haystack"!!! No luck of course... none in Mexican Hat either...

Well, "Keep the Show on the Road", Dave, are you coming around here?... I know as you wrote you do not mind Spirit and I trying this... but you have been the one with the idea... of course... my God! it is all for fun...

 

OK... SmugMug is down... no photos right now!!!

 

Be well... Ara & Spirit

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Hate when that happens! Hit the wrong key!!! Lets start over... Obviously I have found the thread and having been here a couple months now have done some of those roads! Would be cool to redo the same one however... I have barely glanced at what is above yet, I guess some of my excitement is making me write this first! I would like to also match the photos with "now" photos... All this sounds like a great project! Last night again I rode the loop through "The Valley of the Gods" where we camped before the storms a couple days ago... don't laugh... I was looking for my keys!!! I am beyond using the term "needle in a haystack"!!! No luck of course... none in Mexican Hat either...

Well, "Keep the Show on the Road", Dave, are you coming around here?... I know as you wrote you do not mind Spirit and I trying this... but you have been the one with the idea... of course... my God! it is all for fun...

 

OK... SmugMug is down... no photos right now!!!

 

Be well... Ara & Spirit

 

Be confident I “don’t mind” if you and Sprint enjoy, explore, discover, rejoice, and savor the Hopkins material and route. I’m confident you will share it here…and that is the pay back. Anyway, there isn't enough time in a lifetime to do all the places I would like to, so the more people I encourage out on the scout,, the more eyes and ears I have. Besides, we are in this for the joy of the trip…not to keep it on a shelf for another day that may never come.

 

I may have left a page out of the article. Did I include the notation where Dolph carved the Monumental Highway name into the rocks? That is my idea of the holy grail…if it could be located. That would be fantastic, so when you read the pages, if that story, and the location isn’t there, tell me and I’ll pass it on.

 

I did find out today from one of Utah’s top old road pros that he is aware of the story and would like to do the trip one day. Maybe you guys will connect and share insights and resources. I have encouraged him to look at the forum….so lets see what happens.

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Dave

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Be confident I “don’t mind” if you and Sprint enjoy, explore, discover, rejoice, and savor the Hopkins material and route. I’m confident you will share it here…and that is the pay back. Anyway, I don’t have the time left to do all the places I would like to, so the more people I encourage out on the scout,, the more eyes and ears I have. Besides, we are in this for the joy of the trip…not to keep it on a shelf for another day that may never come.

 

I may have left a page out of the article. Did I include the notation where Dolph carved the Monumental Highway name into the rocks? That is my idea of the holy grail…if it could be located. That would be fantastic, so when you read the pages, if that story, and the location isn’t there, tell me and I’ll pass it on.

 

I did find out today from one of Utah’s top old road pros that he is aware of the story and would like to do the trip one day. Maybe you guys will connect and share insights and resources. I have encouraged him to look at the forum….so lets see what happens.

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Dave

 

Thanks Dave!

 

Be well... Ara & Spirit

 

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Maybe "this" does not belong here... but I will write anyhow.

Aproaching 60 I have traveled a lot, being raised in Europe, Middle East (pre-war) and Africa were no strangers to me. I was fortunate to take 6 months off every year being in a seasonal town and never really paying much importance to the mighty $... living for NOW has always been my goal and still is when I do not get ahead of myself... And I have obviously since riding at the age of 10 enjoyed "roads"... and mores roads... But this thread has 'woken up' something new in me... just as Photography has taken over the riding these past two years homeless on the road, the bike and sidecar becoming mainly a tool... for the camera. (don't take me wrong... there is an immense pleasure left in riding!!!). But what has sparked, and this is hard to explain... is the "core" of the road itself... the point A to point B... not only its physical presence but its "mind" and others that as last summer doing much of the Pionner Trail have maybe struggled on it in time when as the "Mokey Dugway" was built by hand to get to Salt Lake City! So I feel very fortunate to have found this Forum...

It is adding another dimension to our Journey and my quest for some unanswered questions regarding certain aspects of Life...

 

Sorry to ramble on...

Be well... Ara & Spirit

 

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300249672_ehVkN-L.jpg

 

If you haven't already, go down in this forum to my "Mexican Hat & Monment Valley in 1918" post There is a better map of the area, and a 1913 (as I recall) map. I must have the whole thing somewhere, so I will look. BTW, I'm thinking my 1913 maps are from the BLM land office site for the southwest, a great online source for early maps. I'll find it again.

 

And Oh Right...no dugway...but didn't the old road come in from the north east near the top of the present dugway? Or am I thinking of another dugway? It (the old road) should show up in a cut north of the dugway (as I recall).

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Dave

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I’m with you friend. Now you are hooked on the stories the road tells. Only a very few can truly see what is there. I hope the heat of summer doesn’t drive you out too soon.

 

I have never been to Bluff, but I can see in my mind’s eye the Hole-in-the-Wall wagons struggling to cross Combs Ridge. I have wondered whether their path was along the old road that Hopkins took, or whether they went across closer to the river.

 

You may get interested in the old roads on maps. You may be aware of the Plat maps done in the late 1800’s through the mid 1930’s (and later). They can be quite interesting if you want to “discover” older sites and roads or trails. In any event, try the link below to get to those for Utah.

 

http://www.ut.blm.gov/LandRecords/surveys_ut.cfm

 

When you get there, the Bluff area is at

 

Township 40 S, Range 21 E on the SLM.

 

You can work from there to others areas you recognize.

 

Have fun!

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Dave

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I’m with you friend. Now you are hooked on the stories the road tells. Only a very few can truly see what is there. I hope the heat of summer doesn’t drive you out too soon.

 

I have never been to Bluff, but I can see in my mind’s eye the Hole-in-the-Wall wagons struggling to cross Combs Ridge. I have wondered whether their path was along the old road that Hopkins took, or whether they went across closer to the river.

 

You may get interested in the old roads on maps. You may be aware of the Plat maps done in the late 1800’s through the mid 1930’s (and later). They can be quite interesting if you want to “discover” older sites and roads or trails. In any event, try the link below to get to those for Utah.

 

http://www.ut.blm.gov/LandRecords/surveys_ut.cfm

 

When you get there, the Bluff area is at

 

Township 40 S, Range 21 E on the SLM.

 

You can work from there to others areas you recognize.

 

Have fun!

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Dave

 

How strange that yesterday coming back from the Canyon de Chelly we met this man name Wynn that has written over books on this area! He was a bit in a hurry but gave me his phone number as I asked him about Hopkins route... he said he will put me in touch with many people that are aware of it and more! Nice fellow... long grey hair... fitted right in the area... I will get in touch with him soon! The plot is thickening...

Be well... Ara & Spirit

 

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How strange that yesterday coming back from the Canyon de Chelly we met this man name Wynn that has written over books on this area! He was a bit in a hurry but gave me his phone number as I asked him about Hopkins route... he said he will put me in touch with many people that are aware of it and more! Nice fellow... long grey hair... fitted right in the area... I will get in touch with him soon! The plot is thickening...

Be well... Ara & Spirit

 

Ara,

 

It does sound interesting! I look forward to learning what he shares with you!

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Dave

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How strange that yesterday coming back from the Canyon de Chelly we met this man name Wynn that has written over books on this area! He was a bit in a hurry but gave me his phone number as I asked him about Hopkins route... he said he will put me in touch with many people that are aware of it and more! Nice fellow... long grey hair... fitted right in the area... I will get in touch with him soon! The plot is thickening...

Be well... Ara & Spirit

The plot is thickening indeed. This could get very interesting.

 

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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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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

 

Berwyn

 

What a thrill!! How wonderful to read your post!

 

I am confident that I am not the only one interested in your stories and materials! I have wondered about your father and how he fared during and after his Bluff years….and of course I would consider the carving the “holy grail” of possible old road discoveries.

 

Everything you describe sounds exciting! The log alone would draw a crowd here! And the stories of Bluff sound very interesting.

 

I will have to gather my thoughts a bit and then I’ll get back to you.

 

One thought does come to mind. Our member Beamerchef (Ara) is traveling in the area, and showed some interest last year in following in your father’s footsteps a bit. He is into other pursuits at the moment (I believe in Moab), but he is the kind of fellow who probably would enjoy a connection.

 

I will e-mail him and see if he is still interested. I certainly am!!

 

I also remember a fellow in Utah, John, who contacted me, and shared some of his interest in your father’s story. I think he works for the Utah Department of Transportation or Tourist department and was the graphic artist who designed the snow skiing license plate for Utah….but I may be confusing recollections.

 

I look forward greatly to our future exchanges here, and I believe others will be almost as excited as I am….but I may have to rattle their cages a little!!

 

Thank you so much for the contact!

 

My e-mail is dave.paul@att.net

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

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